Walter - my new diabetic foster kitty

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Mandarin'sMom, Sep 12, 2015.

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  1. Mandarin'sMom

    Mandarin'sMom Well-Known Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    Even though I am not technically a new member, I wanted to introduce my new sugar cat: Walter. I originally joined this forum last fall after my cat Mandarin was diagnosed with diabetes. Luckily, Mandarin was able to go OTJ soon after I switched his food to canned food only and started him on ProZinc.

    My new sugar cat, Walter, is a foster for a local rescue. He was returned last year and diagnosed with diabetes when he started losing a lot of weight at the shelter. At the time (January 2015), the shelter vet started him DM food (both dry and canned). After a few months on the DM food, they did a Fructosamine test, which showed extremely high numbers (well over 500). The vet then started him on Glipizide (which also didn’t help). After much back and forth, Walter was put on Lantus in August 2015, but the shelter decided that they could only do Inulin injections ONCE a day (at night, anywhere between 4:30 and 9pm). They never tested his glucose levels and never tested for Ketones.

    Since I already knew a little bit about Diabetes, was familiar with testing and have another cat that is now a diet controlled diabetic, I decided to take Walter into foster to make sure that he would finally get the care he so desperately needed. He came home with me on Thursday night (after he already had his Insulin dose at the shelter). My plan is to take him off the DM food and transition him to Friskies Pates. And I will start doing Insulin twice a day. The vet told me that I could safely do 2 units twice a day, but when I saw his low number Friday morning (71!), I decided it wasn’t safe to give Insulin. Instead, I have started him on 1 unit twice a day.

    While all of this sounded easy in theory, it’s proving to be a lot scarier now that he is home with me. His numbers are all over the place. He is peeing gallons (well, not really, but it sure feels like it). He acts like he is starving (which I am sure he is). And I don’t really know him yet. Walter is a very sweet, vocal boy who has been very cooperative about testing and LOVES canned food (at least one small blessing). But I have no idea what kind of behavior is “normal” for him and what might be a sign that’s he’s in trouble.

    At this point, I don’t even know what a good starting level of Insulin might be – he’s been totally unregulated for so long AND I am switching his food at the same time. I panicked when he threw me a 71 his first morning here, so I figured I should start on a low dose. Originally, I wanted to go with a tight regulation protocol, but I am not sure if that’s safe in Walter’s particular case. Advice???
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2014
    I just want to make sure that I understand. Walter's readingwas 71 this morning? Have you given a shot yet? If not, do not shoot.

    Edit Update: Sorry I reread your post and saw that earlier you said that Walter got the 71 yesterday morning.

    I am glad to see Walter is in good hands now.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  3. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    Good on you for taking on a diabetic kitty. Walter is a lucky boy!....after a rough start.
    It sounds to me that you know what you are doing. It will be harder in the beginning when you don't know Walter and you are unsure of his reactions, but you know more than most about diabetes when they start out.
    You have the food sorted out or are in the process of doing so.
    You are testing the BSL
    You have the SS up and running
    I think it is just a matter of taking it one day at a time and letting him settle into the dose. You don't have to decide on what protocol you will follow straight away.
    How much does Walter weigh? The usual starting dose of Lantus is 0.25 units per kgm of ideal weight twice a day.
    Looking at his SS he looks like he could be bouncing from that 71. Better to start on a low dose of insulin and work your way up than start too high.
    I think you are doing well. I would switch the food over slowly to avoid the BSL dropping too low and monitor closely.
    Good your instincts.
  4. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to the message board, the best place you never wanted to be.

    There are 4 things you'll need to manage your kitty's diabetes:
    - You - without your commitment, the following won't work.
    - Home blood glucose monitoring with an inexpensive human glucometer such as the WalMart Relion Confirm or Target Up and Up (the pet ones will break your budget!). This may save you the cost of going to the vet for curves and done regularly, removes the need for a fructosamine test.
    - Low carb over the counter canned or raw diet, such as many Friskies pates. See Cat Info for more info. If already on insulin, you must be home testing before changing the diet. Food changes should be gradual to avoid GI upsets - 20-25% different food each day until switched. There are 2 low carb, dry, over the counter foods in the US - Evo Cat and Kitten dry found at pet specialty stores and Young Again 0 Carb found online.
    - A long-lasting insulin such as ProZinc, Lantus, BCP PZI, or Levemir. No insulin lasts 24 hours in the cat, so giving it every 12 hours is optimal for control.
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