Trying to figure this out..

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Jen & Cosmo, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Okay, so my rescue/foster kitty Cosmo was diagnosed yesterday. I've been reading so much, and I'm overwhelmed. I want to do what is best for Cosmo. I picked up his insulin today, but then read we may be able to get his blood sugar under control with a change in diet, so that is our 1st plan. If he needs insulin, we have it.

    How do I check his levels at home? My vet said it wasn't easy to do. I love our vet to pieces, he's an older gentleman. He said his office doesn't have a lot of diabetic patients. So, his office is learning with me (of course they know way more than I'll ever learn). They are willing to hear about what I've read and open to whatever ideas we find that may work. We ordered special food from them, but I don't think we will use it, especially the dry food.

    I know we want a low carb food, but I think we really want it to be just wet food. Is this a good idea or bad idea?

    How do I know how much is to much carbs, or is there a such thing as not enough carbs?

    If we pick a wet food, should we stick to just that brand/flavor?

    Cosmo deserves the best, and that is what we want to give him. This is new to me, and i'm willing to learn.

    Thank you,
    Jen
     
  2. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Welcome! You've come to a great place for help. :)

    Yes, try a switch to a low carb wet diet first. Wet food only is the best way to go. Grocery store brands like Friskies and Fancy Feast pate versions are used by many people here. What insulin will you be using?

    It's actually quite easy once you get you and your kitty used to it. We can share lots of tips and tricks to help you. Have an ample supply of low carb treats to reward him. Freeze dried meat/fish treats are ideal. One popular brand is Pure Bites.

    This is excellent! Having a vet who will learn/collaborate with you will make it all much easier.

    You want wet food that's under 10% carbs as fed. The Friskies and Fancy Feast pates fit within that. Here's the link to a great food list put together by Dr. Lisa Pierson, a vet with a special interest in feline nutrition:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/dr-pierson-new-food-chart.174147/

    You can mix it up within the flavours of a particular brand or try different brands. Use Dr. Lisa's chart as a guide. Is your boy a fussy eater?

    You can give him the best with a little help from us here. The right mind set will take you far on the feline diabetes journey.

    Here are some things that will help us to help you:
    1. Set up your "signature" (the light grey text you see under a post) by clicking on your name in the upper right corner of this page, then click on "signature" in the drop down menu, type in the text box that appears, then save. The info we like to see includes: Cosmo's date of diagnosis/his age/insulin you use/whether you test at home and, if so, what glucose meter you use/what you feed him/other meds and/or health issues he has.
    2. Set up a spreadsheet like the one we use here. It's an online spreadsheet viewable by all members and is the first thing we look at before giving advice. Here's a link to the instructions: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    Post any/all questions you have here on this forum.
     
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  3. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
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  4. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Hi there! We picked up Novolin N today. We haven't started it yet because I read it's better to transition them to wet food diet before starting the insulin. Is this true?

    Thank you! He's a very easy going boy. When they took blood from him yesterday, he just laid there, No fights. Purred the whole time. I just don't understand how someone could dump him. I'm sure it's because of his diagnosis.

    Thank you! I will check this out! I was thinking tiki food for him, but then I ready a lot of cats don't like it.

    I will work on this now! Thank you so much!
     
  5. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Yes, this is the way to go because a switch to low carb wet food can have a positive effect on BG and a prescribed insulin dose could be too high. What dose are you starting on?

    This excellent document put together by other members tells you just about everything you need to know:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/beginners-guide-to-novolin-humulin-nph.186097/
     
  6. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    He's all yours now Jennifer! Welcome to you and Cosmo, this is the best place to be and it sounds like you're off to a good start.
     
  7. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Yes!! It's the safest time...as long as there's no history of ketones

    Since you're in the US, you can go to your local WalMart and get everything you need to test.

    The Relion Confirm or Micro are both popular meters here. They take the tiniest sample size and the strips are affordable. ($35.88/100)

    Look for "alternate site testing" lancets....they'll be 26 or 28 gauge. Whether you buy a lancet device is up to you. Most of us just freehand, but if the it's easier for you, there's no reason you can't use it. The lancets that come with it are usually 33 gauge which are too small for new ears. The lower the gauge number, the bigger the "hole" they make

    A package of cotton cosmetic pads is a good thing to have too. It gives you something to put behind the ear to protect your finger as well as an easy way to apply pressure after the "poke" to prevent bruising.

    A tube of Neosporin with pain relief ointment (not cream) will help heal up the little holes from poking quickly.

    Just a little information....Novolin isn't generally a good insulin for most cats, although we do have some success stories using it. It's more of a dog insulin so a lot of vets that don't see many diabetic cats use it like they were treating their small diabetic dogs.

    Lantus, Levemir and ProZinc are all better for cats, so if your vet is interested in learning, you might want to ask him about using one of these instead.

    Here's the latest treatment protocols for diabetic cats if your vet would like to do some reading!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Okay, I will respond to everyone tomorrow when I get to work and at my computer.

    I bought the Tiki chicken tonight. He ate a full can. They are 3 oz cans. How much should he have a day? He is around 10.5 lbs. He is underweight right now. This is what I got him. The protein is high and the carbs are really low, I believe 0. https://www.chewy.com/tiki-cat-puka-puka-luau-succulent/dp/34304

    What is a good meter to get? I want to get one asap so we can start checking his levels.
     
  9. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    If he’s underweight you can feed him as much as he wants in several small meals a day. Unregulated diabetics are always hungry.

    Many people buy one of the Walmart house brand ReliOn meters. The Micro and Confirm models take only a tiny blood drop to give a reading. The test strips are relatively cheap (around $30+ for 100) and easy to get. The Prime model’s strips are about half that price but take a larger blood drop.
     
  10. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    I gave you a list of things to get (including a meter) in my comment above.

    The Relion Confirm or Micro are favorites here and available at WalMart
     
  11. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    I'm sorry I didn't see it. Checking this on my phone. I will go back and look.
     
  12. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
     
  13. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    The only time it's important that they don't eat is the 2 hours immediately before shot times. You want the Pre-shot tests to be without the influence of any food.

    After that, most of us feed multiple small meals throughout the cycle, but in some cats, it's best to get the majority of their food before nadir. By testing enough and keeping good notes on your spreadsheet, you'll find what works best for Cosmo.

    In some cats, if you feed after nadir, it can act like slamming the brakes on any remaining action of the insulin.
     
  14. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Hello everyone. Last night when I got home from work we started Cosmo on just wet food. He's loving the Tiki food (thank goodness). I'm already seeing a difference in him. He didn't drink nearly as much last night, he's not using the potty as much either. I am buying a meter today so we can start checking his BG. This may be a stupid question, but it does it matter what brand of lancets we get? I know the test strips matter. Walmart is out of the 26 gauge lancets.

    Also, how do I check for keytones?
     
  15. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Any brand of lancet is fine. They might not all fit into the trigger holder that comes with your meter but many of us just freehand the poke with the lancet only.
     
  16. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Here's how to check for ketones using ordinary test strips from any human pharmacy:
    • put the end of the test strip right in his urine stream as he's peeing OR
    • slip a shallow, long handled spoon under his backside to catch a little pee - you don't need much OR
    • put a double layer of plastic wrap over his favourite part of the litter box and poke some depressions in it too catch pee.
    Most test strips have to be dipped and allowed to develop for 15 seconds before viewing the colour change in very good light.
     
  17. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    I did it! I checked his BG! Hubby even helped. I was so nervous but Cosmo is a trooper. It's been a couple hours since he ate his last meal. His BG was 194, much better than 535! I'm going to give him his dinner and then recheck maybe 30 minutes later? Does this seem like a good idea?

    I decided on the Relion Confirm and were using 26 Gauge lancets. I'll work on our spreadsheet tomorrow. Right now I'm keeping track on my phone.
     
  18. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Congrats on getting that test! :smuggrin: Here's the recommended basic testing routine:
    1. test every day AM and PM before feeding and injecting (no food at least 2 hours before) to see if the planned dose is safe
    2. test at least once near mid cycle or at bedtime daily to see how low the BG goes
    3. do extra tests on days off to fill in the response picture
    4. if indicated by consistently high numbers on your SS, increase the dose by no more than 0.25 u at a time so you don't accidentally go right past a good dose
    5. post here for advice whenever you're confused or unsure of what to do.
     
  19. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    Congratulations!!!

    Welcome to the Vampire club!!
    vampire smiley .jpg
     
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  20. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Wow well done! After a week or two testing will be much easier and only take a minute. 194 is a good number
     
  21. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    We tested before breakfast this morning. It was 185. He's not on insulin yet. I haven't started it, because I wanted to see what it would be after switching over to wet food. Should I be starting the insulin? He's been on all wet food for 36 hours or so. His appetite isn't what it used to be, he's not drinking as much water either. I want to make sure he's getting enough. Do you think it's because he's getting more protein that he's filling up faster? He's excited when I bring him his food. I think I'm going to give him less food more often if that makes sense.
     
  22. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    wow, that's wonderful. this cat may only need a tiny dose... and may have an excellent chance at going into remission quickly. I would say do another day of the low carb food. If he's under 200 i would hold off on giving any insulin. He's eating less and drinking less because his numbers are better! He's getting extra moisture from the food (you can add a little water to it to get even more into him). How much are you feeding now? If you need help with the google spreadsheet just say the word and we can have someone set it up for you.
     
  23. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018

    Janet,

    I think I got the spreadsheet. Should be in my signature now. Please check to see if it looks okay. We only started testing last night. I've been giving him a 2.8 oz can - 3 oz can 3 times a day. He's such a trooper. Our plan was to find him his forever home, but honestly I'm not sure we will be able to let him go now. I bought him a bunch of Tiki brand food, and then some friskies too. My vet said he should be between 74-159, but I'm not sure he's utd on all the info. If we can get away without insulin, that would be awesome, but if he needs it, we will get it for him.

    I think I will add a little water to his food. Also, I switched one of our other fosters to low carb. He is also very underweight, his rbc is really low. He's been tested 3 times, and its worse than the 1st time. Praying he doesn't have cancer. If he does, we will give him the best life possible. He has to go to a specialist this week for another blood check.
     
  24. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    I can see your spreadsheet. :)
     
  25. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Normal on a pet meter it's 68-150. Normal on a human meter is 50-120. Good job getting the spreadsheet going! Can you add the type of meter you are using to the signature, please?
     
  26. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    I added that info. I have a question. Is it common for them to lose weight once we start to get things normalized? He's lost a little. I'm so afraid he's not getting enough to eat.
     
  27. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    You can let him graze or feed several small meals a day to keep him satisfied. Just make sure to remove all food at least 2 hours before the pre shot BG test. Unregulated diabetics are always hungry and have a hard time gaining weight.
     
  28. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Kris,

    We've tried to feed him several small meals today and he's not interested. He ate breakfast, and a little bit around lunch time, but hasn't wanted anything since. I'm just afraid he isn't getting enough calories.
     
  29. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Is he severely underweight? Some people feed kitten food because it's higher calorie but I'm not sure about carb level. Aside from not being a voracious eater does he seem well?
     
  30. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    He's not lethargic, he's just chilling. He's still getting use to my kitties and the other fosters, so he's still in his big crate. My one cat is a jerk to newbies, so I don't want her to stress him out. [​IMG] Here is a pic of him tonight.
     
  31. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    I can't see the photo unfortunately.
     
  32. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    I don't know why it didn't work.. I put it as a link. Maybe you can see it that way.
     
  33. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    He's decided he doesn't like the Tiki. I gave him fancy feast classic chicken, added a little water and he is eating it up. Of course it's because I bought 5 cases of it. Oh well, it won't go to waste. I guess I should be happy he prefers the cheaper brand.
     
  34. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    You can also try Friskies pates. Many people here feed them because the Fancy Feast cans are so small.
     
  35. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Good morning. We are on day 4 1/2 of all wet food. His morning BG is running around 177 (was that both yesterday morning and today), Last night before dinner his BG was 166. I fed him breakfast, ran and did some errands, checked his BG before I came to work it's 183. I'm finding he eats more & better if we feed him twice a day. I try to give him 3 oz, and increase it a little bit each time. I read he needs 200 calories a day to maintain his weight, but we'd like him to gain. I wish he'd eat more, but I don't want to force feed him and stress him out.

    Overall, I think he's feeling better. He's up moving around more. Do you think I should start insulin? Should we give his body a couple more days to adjust to the low carb diet?

    I can't thank you enough for all the support, and taking the time to answer our questions.

    This is a stupid question.. so, is there a way to calculate his whole number into a decimal number? I look at other sheets and I see that. Does it matter?
     
  36. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Not sure what you mean by “whole number into decimal number”. Great data gathering and with food switch accomplished and going well it’s time to consider giving him a tiny insulin dose. He’s running below the no insulin number of 200 we recommend for new members. I suggest you make a new thread and ask for help with making a dose decision. It might be something like 0.25 units twice a day but I’m not sure.
     
  37. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Do you mean giving like half a unit instead of 1 unit?
     
  38. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Hi, what I mean is in Cosmo's chart I have 177, in Teasel's (love that name btw) chart you have 11.2. Does this matter? Is it different for each meter? I will make a new post.

    Thank you!
     
  39. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Hi, we haven't started any insulin yet. I'm going to make a new post with my question to see if we should start.
     
  40. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    It's because I'm in Canada and we measure BG in different units. If you click on the US 2018 tab on my SS you'll see BGs in the units you use in the US.
     
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  41. Jen & Cosmo

    Jen & Cosmo Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Oh okay, that makes sense. Thank you!
     
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  42. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    If you multiply her 11.2 by 18 you'll get us number equivalents.
     

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