Wanted: Advice from Experts

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by rnbullis, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Hello, everyone! I'm brand new to this forum, and look forward to the multitudes of information I can gain from all of you experts!

    I have an 8 year old cat who was diagnosed with diabetes in the summer. I am still working on getting him regulated...it has taken a long time mostly because I am trying to cut costs everywhere possible. The poor guy has been through quite a bit of transition, from trying different foods to types of insulin/syringes, and some unforeseen (by me) problems have come up. I greatly appreciate any advice I can gain from those with so much experience here!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hi and welcome!

    What's your name, and your kittie's name? What kind of insulin are you using?

    One of the best ways to cut costs is by home testing, if you don't already. No more expensive curves at the vet!

    Here are some links to get you started:

    hometesting links and tips
    hometesting kit

    Also, could we get you to start using our spreadsheet? This is a great tool that lets the folks here see BG patterns in your kitty easily. It's color-coded, and all you have to do is enter BG reading. No math/formulas involved!

    spreadsheet instructions

    Again, welcome!

    :)
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  3. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Hi and welcome to FDMB. This board is a treasure trove of information and support and the amount of hands on experience cannot be beat! We have a wonderful group of folks willing and able to help you with whatever you need.

    If you could provide us with a little more information about yourself and your kitty we'll be better able to provide you with useful information. It would really help for us to know your location. Economical tips for diabetic supplies and cat food options differ depending on location and we have members from all around the world.

    We'd love to know your name and your kitty's name! It would also be helpful if you could tell us a bit more about your journey so far. You mentioned trying different insulins so a brief history and what insulin/dose you are currently using, what diet your cat is currently on, whether there are other health concerns (wondering if that might be the "unforeseen problems" you mentioned) , whether you are home testing your kitty and if so what meter you are using would be helpful information for us to know. We strongly advocate home testing here and most folks use a human glucometer (there are pet meter users too). All the reference numbers in the documentation on this board are based on human meter readings unless otherwise specified. If you are not home testing but would like to learn we can help you with that too!

    At the bottom of most posts, you will see some lighter coloured text. This is called our "signature" and that's where we store all that info I mentioned above. It makes it easier for everyone to help you and keeps you from repeatedly being asked for these details. To make your signature, click on your name up in the dark bar in the upper right hand corner of the screen. A menu will drop down and in the left column, you select "signature". This opens a text entry box where you can enter the information you wish to share. The signature is limited to three lines of text.

    If there are specific things you are in need of help with, please let us know! Looking forward to getting to know you and your kitty! :)
     
    Jeanne & Dottie and rnbullis like this.
  4. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    I'm Rachel and my cat is Guido. He was on Humulin N from a previous vet's advice, but has since switched and is now on Vetsulin. He has been on that for the last couple of months. I'll definitely take a look at the links and spreadsheet you suggested. Thanks!
     
  5. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Nice to meet you, Rachel and Guido!
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  6. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Thanks for the response! I'm Rachel, my cat's name is Guido. He was diagnosed in the summer when he was living with my parents on the western slope of Colorado, and his vet at the time suggested no food change (he was only eating regular dry cat food), which I thought was unusual. At that time, he was also prescribed 1 1/2 units of Humulin N, twice a day. Since moving him back home to the Denver area, another vet prescribed a DM diet of wet cat food, and suggested upping his insulin dosage to 2 units a day. I wasn't able to afford more of the prescribed food than the samples that the vet sent us home with, so I fed him Friskies pate instead. We have since switched to a cat-specific vet, who prescribed Guido Vetsulin, 2 units, twice a day. She also suggested the prescribed DM wet food diet, which we were able to purchase at cost and tried for a while. However, I another cat who is not diabetic, and Guido stopped eating the DM food, wanting only to eat the Friskies pate that the other cat eats. Now, he eats 1/4 of a can of Friskies pate, twice a day, followed by an insulin shot. I have also used the conversion chart to use 100U syringes with Vetsulin, since they cost so much less. So, now he gets 5 units of Vetsulin with a 100U syringe after each meal.

    The unforeseen problems (for me, at least) are his improper urination that happens on occasion, as well as his food stealing. We can't leave any food anywhere within his reach throughout the day, or he will eat it. He has lost tons of weight and is down to 8.5 lbs, very fragile. And, he no longer jumps as high as he used to be able to, making me think he is experiencing the nerve pain that is associated with diabetes in cats.

    I feel like it's time for home testing, so I'm in the market for a glucometer and could use any suggestions provided.

    I will fill out the signature like you suggested to make explaining these things simpler in the future. Thank you for pointing that feature out!
     
  7. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Friskies pate is fine for a sugar kitty - but that's not very much food. He should probably eat more like 1.5-2 cans/day if he needs to gain weight. How much has he lost?
    Pimp was down to 6.5lbs at his Dx, with proper feeding and insulin he is back to 10.5lbs 4 months later.
    This is great! You will want to refer to the u40 units when talking dose though, to avoid confusion. So he is still getting 2u of Vetsulin.
    These are sypmtoms of poor, or no, regulation. If he's not getting enough insulin, his body can't process his food, and he is slowly starving. Hungry all the time but can't get nutrition. Diabetic neuropathy can produce the improper urination and weakness. Does he still walk on his toes?
    Zobaline is a fantastic B-12 supplement that has worked for many kitties with symptoms of neuropathy.

    I agree home testing can reallly help you get things dialed in. I use the relion prime from wal-mart, you can get a meter and 100 test strips for well under $50. There are other models of relion meters (confirm is one that is popular here) that need a bit less blood, but the strips are more expensive.
    You will also need lancets, 26 gauge is best when starting out (usually labeled "for alternate site testing"). Making sure the ear is warm before poking helps them bleed more readily. Many of us freehand the lancets because the "click" of a lancing device can startle kitty. You'll have to see what works for you and Guido.

    :)
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  8. Ferndoc

    Ferndoc Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    The CVS generic meter is good as well. (it is also the meter available at Kroger). It runs about the same price as the prime. The meter is made by Agamatrix. I also freehand the lancets. Fern does not like the sound of a lancing device. I can't even shoot the device within 5 ft of him.
     
    rnbullis and Andy & Pimp like this.
  9. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Thank you for all that info, and so quickly written! I was afraid to give him too much more food than he has been used to without changing his insulin dosage, especially since I am not home testing yet. Should I keep his insulin the same after feeding him more? I forgot to add that I do keep some dry cat food out each day and both cats snack on that. In fact, Guido seems to prefer that, honestly. He scarfs down wet food when it is straight out of the can, but doesn't seem to love wet cat food that has been refrigerated. I'm assuming I should wean them both off of the dry food?

    I'm not sure exactly what his weight was when he was diagnosed, but he used to be our "fat cat," and I know at one point he weighed in the teens. He's all skin and bones now.

    I'll look into the home testing supplies asap. Many thanks for suggestions as to what to buy, as I have no idea where to start with that!
     
  10. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Hi Rachael. Nice to meet you and Guido who is a very handsome dude! What did Guido weigh before the diabetes? What's his ideal weight? You should be feeding him based on ideal weight. I assume you are using the tall cans of Friskies (not sure how much the can contains oz. wise) because 1/2 of a small can per day would definitely not be enough food. While it's absolutely necessary to feed your cat before his insulin, it is ok to give him some smaller snacks in between meals. It helps to level out the effects of the insulin and causes less stress on their internal organs. This is a formula to determine how many calories your at needs per day;
    13.6 X ideal weight in pounds +70 = calories per day

    Obviously this can be adjusted based on activity level ie. if the cat is particularly active or needing to gain weight but it's a good starting point. Weighing your cat on a regular basis (at least weekly) will help you determine if he's getting enough or too much.

    As for the inappropriate urination, it could be that he is having urgency and not making it to his box or if he does have neuropathy, he's not aware of his need to go. The other possibility is that he is having a hard time getting into the box if the sides are too high due to weakness in his legs. You could try a box with lower sides and maybe put a second box down so he doesn't have to go so far to reach one. As he gets better regulated, this problem should dissipate but I can understand how upsetting this can be.

    Oh! I see you have got some advice from others as I "slowly" typed mine so you have info re: meters and Zobaline for neuropathy.:)
     
    Andy & Pimp likes this.
  11. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    All meters are regulated by the government and provide usable readings. They are allowed 15-20% error range, so big numbers can be a bit off, but high is high, who cares how high. They're all reasonably accurate when you get to "normal" BG ranges.
    The biggest thing to consider is the price of the strips, those are what you'll be constantly buying. Not everyone tests so much but I go through at least 50 strips a week.

    What kind of dry food? There are only 2 low-carb options for dry kibble, one is Evo Cat & Kitten -available in stores but can be hard to find (some cats do well on it but it will spike others) and Young Again Zero Carb (again every cat is different) which is only available online at their website.

    You can microwave fridged food for a few seconds, or add a bit of hot water to warm it before serving. Even better, if you can get them both on canned, feed 1/2 can to each cat and never have leftovers;)

    It is best to be home testing when attempting any diet change, especially removing dry food or lowering carb intake in any way. Testing is important when removing carbs because they could go too low and have a symptomatic hypoglycemic episode, and possibly die.
    Removing high-carb dry food from the diet could/will drop BG levels by up to 200 mg/dl.

    You have already done the most important step...coming here for help!
     
    Critter Mom and MrWorfMen's Mom like this.
  12. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    The dry food is Friskies Indoor Delights, which both cats have lived on basically all of their lives (until this diagnosis). They grazed on it all day in the past. Now, I just put one scoop into their shared bowl for the day, and when it's gone, it's gone until the next day.

    The wet Friskies I've been feeding him is in the short cans, what you can buy from Costco. So, obviously, I need to start feeding him more! Since I currently feed him half a can a day, should I start by doubling that?
     
  13. Ferndoc

    Ferndoc Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    I would add avoid any meter with the word True in it. For some reason they read too low for cats. At the Vet mine read 150 while the vet read 300 and I've seen similar complaints to this.
     
    Critter Mom, rnbullis and Andy & Pimp like this.
  14. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Not to be rude but that has GOT to go. It would be best to start phasing it out slowly, as soon as you can start testing.
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  15. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    I'm not sure what his original weight was before his diagnosis, but I know that at one point he weighed at least 15 lbs. He was our "fat cat" of the two. (His sister looks almost exactly like him, although she used to be the small one. Now, she's bigger than he is!)

    With the inappropriate urination, he has no trouble getting into his litter box and uses it many times a day. The frustrating thing is that he has never had any issues with using a litter box his entire life. He just seems to be targeting a couple of specific spots in our apartment, so I'm trying to eliminate everything in those places as best I can.
     
  16. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Pimp was the same way, it's actually what led us to take him in for a check. The "accidents" stopped within about a month of starting insulin. I believe a lot of the cause is the excessive amount they urinate with the PU/PD induced from hyperglycemia.
    Nature's Miracle is about the best there is for cleaning up urine odor. I use the "advanced formula".
     
    Critter Mom and rnbullis like this.
  17. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    I figured. It's just habit, I guess, since the cats have been eating it for 7 years or so. Ugh. Never has owning a cat become so expensive. But, I'm comforted by the fact that I'm not required to feed prescription wet cat food!
     
  18. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Again, same for me, and many others here. I fed purina cat chow to my boys for 10 years up to P's dx.
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  19. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Here is a current discussion about low-carb dry foods. Wysong Epigen90 was one I forgot to mention.
     
  20. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Don't feel bad, mine were eating Whiskas kibble all because I have a senior (took in my Mom's cat when she couldn't care for him any longer) who couldn't live without it and of course my little ones wouldn't eat better food when the Whiskas was available. The stuff is kitty crack!

    I know it's not ideal (kind of ruins the décor!) but if you are having repeat accidents in the same place, try some foil wrap on the floor over the spot for a few days after a very thorough cleaning. They don't like the feel of it on their paws. My old guy has the odd accident now (senior moments?!) and I have found this to be an effective way to avoid re-use of the same spot. An extra litter box on the spot or nearby wouldn't hurt either but admittedly it depends on where the spot is!

    The other possibility is that Guido may have a urinary tract infection. Diabetics are very prone to them so you may want to have him checked out by the vet if the problem doesn't resolve very soon.
     
    Critter Mom and rnbullis like this.
  21. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    I'm a little embarrassed to ask this, but since I don't currently home test...what is considered high for BG? What it normal?
     
  22. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Rachel and Guido,

    I see that others have already given you some great advice, so I'll just go with offering some encouragement...

    My cat was also diagnosed at age 8; and he's just had his 9th anniversary of being diabetic (at age 17). He's had a wonderful life despite his diabetes.

    Bertie was ravenous at first, because his body couldn't utilise the food he was eating. Once he started on insulin that soon got a lot better.

    And he also had 'improper urination' and neuropathy initially...
    He likes to sleep on my pillow, and in the early days of his dx I woke up in the morning on a number of occasions to find my hair soaked in cat's pee! Bertie had peed in his sleep without realising it.... He was also so desperate to pee on occasions that he'd just squat and pee wherever he was, poor little bloke. All that soon resolved once he was on insulin and his blood glucose got under better control.

    His neuropathy responded well to methyl B12, and he completely recovered the strength in his legs.

    Oh, and prior to his dx I fed my cats dry food.... Many of us did, and often at the recommendation of our vets.....:arghh:

    You've found the best site on the planet for help with feline diabetes. Welcome! :bighug:

    Eliz
     
    Critter Mom and rnbullis like this.
  23. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Lab results I believe are "normal" between 70-160ish. Many diabetic cats are 400+ at dx.

    The range we like to see (for a kitty on insulin) on human meters is between 50-120, or 90-150 if they're eating any dry food. Under 150 will keep them under renal threshold, which is the point where hyperglycemia causes damage to the body. My non-diabetic cat routinely tests around 45-50 on my meter.

    I don't think anyone here has mentioned...one of the best ways to learn here is poking around and looking at other members daily threads and spreadsheets. Please feel free to look at any of our spreadsheets to see how we manage our kitties - we all have them linked in our signatures. Do bear in mind that we don't all use the same insulin. (I use Lantus)

    *Edit to add: SPREADSHEETS ARE NOT FOR DOSING GUIDELINES
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
    Critter Mom and rnbullis like this.
  24. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Funny, it has been weeks of me trying to solve that problem and I finally did JUST start putting down foil on the spots after cleaning! I'm not sure why I hadn't found that as a solution sooner. Fortunately, both spots are in closets, so it isn't messing with the decor. ;) I'm leery of putting a litter box on the spots, which has been the piece of advice most-given, because I don't want him to get used to going there all the time. We are also closing the doors to those areas, but in a small apartment with two small children, that gets very tricky. It feels like we are closing off our whole living space after a while!

    He has been tested for UTIs a couple of different times, but tests always come back negative, thankfully.
     
    Andy & Pimp likes this.
  25. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    No need to be embarrassed. :bighug:
    I don't think many (if any!) of us knew this when our cats were first diagnosed.
    I found the following chart from the petdiabetes Wiki helpful:

    http://petdiabetes.wikia.com/wiki/Blood_sugar_guidelines
    .
     
    Critter Mom and Andy & Pimp like this.
  26. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Thank you for the encouragement! Sounds like you started off in a VERY similar place with your kitty. I spend a lot of time wondering if he won't last very much longer, so it's nice to hear that it isn't a death sentence. :)

    The inappropriate urination has truly been the last straw. Thinking that resolving that is a possibility is so helpful! I was almost resolving myself to the idea of having to clean up cat pee for the rest of his life. It's such a nasty and lengthy process, that is certainly not ideal. I really hope that after he gets regulated, he will stop with that!
     
  27. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Should mention - your high-range will be higher since you use Vetsulin.
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  28. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Welcome Rachel and Guido! Please start home testing before you take away any food you're currently feeding. By lowering the carbs, his insulin needs will drop - many times drastically. You'll want to catch this and lower his insulin dose to keep him safe.

    HUGS!
     
    rnbullis and Andy & Pimp like this.
  29. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    I don't recommend peaking at my spreadsheet! It may blow your mind and does not show anything close to "normal"! I have a rare cat who tested positive for insulin autoantibodies (IAA) so she requires far, far more insulin that the average cat and I use Levemir so again different from yours. Peak if you wish but do so knowing my Menace is an odd ball and nothing on her sheet in within normal expectations and definitely should NOT be copied dose wise!
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  30. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Good point Linda...the spreadsheets are NOT for dosing guidelines.
     
    MrWorfMen's Mom likes this.
  31. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Ok, so here is my next question. I've ordered the glucometer and supplies, now after I test him and his blood sugar is high, what do I do next? Add insulin? If so, how do I know how much to add? Also, if I'm going to start feeding him more wet food, how do I accommodate with insulin for that? Maybe these are questions I should be asking my vet... But, I also don't want to call my vet every time I make a decision with his food and insulin!
     
  32. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Once you start testing, record the readings in your spreadsheet (great job with that, and the signature, btw:)). Does it all make sense, how it works?
    The spreadsheet is the most critical tool in getting dosing advice here.

    You'll probably want to post in the Main Forum- Feline Health because the Vetsulin forum is inactive.

    You can start feeding more canned right away, just don't take away the dry food (yet).

    You can start getting him ready for testing by rubbing his ears and giving him a low carb treat afterwards. Most cats don't even notice the poke and giving a treat really helps to reinforce the experience. Pimp actually jumps up to his "test spot" when he hears the test strip vial open now.

    ...and keep asking questions!
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  33. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Thanks! I'm not sure it will completely make sense until I start actually testing. I'm sure I'll have questions when I start trying to record readings, but it is nice to be able to look at other spreadsheets just to see how to fill one out. How do you get yours to show up in your signature with just the title you gave it, instead of the full web address?
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  34. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    At the top of the text entry box is a button that looks like chain links, highlight text and click this button. Paste link into URL box and click insert.:)
     
  35. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    If you have any BG readings from the vet, you can put them in the SS (spreadsheet). Any data you already have is valuable and can help the Vetsulin gurus advise you on dosing.
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  36. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    The routine would be test, feed and then give insulin. Withhold food for at least two hours before the pre-shot test so you don't have food influencing the numbers. I don't use Vetsulin but I believe you need to feed and wait 20 30 minutes or so before giving the insulin. I'm going to tag Lucy to get someone who uses your insulin into the discussion.

    Since Guido is already on low carb food and all you're doing is increasing his portions, you don't need to do anything different because of the food. Once you start getting some BG readings, you'll be able to see if Guido needs more or less insulin. A general rule of thumb for "beginners" is not to shoot at any reading below 200. Since you have no idea what numbers you have been shooting, this might be a good rule of thumb to begin with and if you get a lower reading, post here using a "?" prefix on your message title asking for dosing assistance and include that you are using Vetsulin. Once you get some data and know how Guido is reacting to the 2u then you can decide how low a pre-shot number is safe for you to shoot with Guido.

    @Squalliesmom We could use your counsel here regarding Vetsulin. Do you need to leave some wait time between feeding and shooting? Any other thoughts to help Rachel or corrections to my diatribe? I know little about Vetsulin since I've never used it. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
    Reason for edit: changing 20 minutes to 30 minutes in first paragraph
    rnbullis likes this.
  37. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    @Squalliesmom We could use your counsel here regarding Vetsulin. Do you need to leave some wait time between feeding and shooting? Any other thoughts to help Rachel or corrections to my diatribe? I know little about Vetsulin since I've never used it. Thanks![/QUOTE]

    Although I'm not Squalliesmom, when I used it you give Vetsulin 30 minutes after eating. You want some food in him before the insulin because it's a short term insulin. It has been a few months since I used it, so I think it would still be correct.
     
    Critter Mom and rnbullis like this.
  38. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Hello Rachel and Guido,

    The inappropriate box issue is probably because he is not feeling well and it his way of alerting you that he is sick. This behavior should disappear when the Vetsulin starts to lower his BS. My Smokey before I got him was horrible with this issue for a very long time. Now we have no issue. You can put puppy pads around box if he is missing it. When he did use the carpet (before receiving insulin regularly) which is always the same spot, I cleaned with nature's miracle and put puppy pads in that area. So if for any reason (now my fault for not cleaning box fast enough) he will use puppy pad. Smokey had a rough time before I got him. But that's a story for another day. I AGREE. The dry food is not helping him at all, it is part of the problem. If you have the wet DM already, you can mix it with store food to make it last longer until you are finished with it. Or see if vet will credit you for unopened cans. Smokey was barely 12 lbs (used to be 22-25) when I got him. He is now maintaining 16-17 lbs. He now gets regular feedings many times though out the day and probably tripled what he was getting, but that's hard to determine.

    You will get Guido managed and feeling well. We are here to help you. Ask all the questions you want. We all want Guido feeling well.
     
    MrWorfMen's Mom and rnbullis like this.
  39. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    @Woodsywife Thank you for coming to our aid. Couldn't remember who else has used or is currently using Vetsulin!
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  40. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    This may sound silly, but I'm sort of excited to pick up a meter tomorrow! I can't wait until this cat feels better and starts acting more like himself again. Thank you for all of your input, everyone! I'm sure I will be asking more questions soon. In the meantime, I'll watch some You Tube videos to learn how to test Guido.
     
    MrWorfMen's Mom likes this.
  41. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    You are welcome. That's all I can say about Vetsulin, since it didn't work well for us for various reasons.
     
  42. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Glad to be of help. Do let us know if you need any help with the testing. We are full of tips and tricks for everything! One thing you might find helpful as you start out testing that I don't think is in the video tutorials is to make sure Guido's ear is warm. You can use a little pill bottle with warmed water in it or a little rice sock warmed in the microwave. Just make sure either one feels good on your ear before using it...don't want it too hot. Warm ears bleed better and helps you get a better bead of blood to test with. Fingers and paws crossed here for your success tomorrow!
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  43. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Don't forget the treats. It helps with testing. Pure Bites is safe. It's freeze dried chicken. You can give it dry. Get the dog package if you can, more for your money and cheaper than the cats. Also nature variety instinct mixers for dog are good. There is a trial size package you can get.
     
    rnbullis and Andy & Pimp like this.
  44. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    I know the feeling. Keep us posted. Every day we start a new thread (condo) so everyone can see what's going and to possibly catch any potential problems.
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  45. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Ahh you guys are such softees! I'm a hard nose! I use treats for reward when we use our scratchy poles but testing has to be done. So Menace's reward for testing is getting smothered in kisses for being such a good girl and then some brushies! Whatever works is what you do! ;)
     
    rnbullis and Critter Mom like this.
  46. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Smokey gets treat most of time. Lately I've been talking and rubbing noses with him while playing with his ears. Hubby thinks I lost my mind.
     
  47. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Oh, dear ...

    .
     
  48. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Not a good way to wake up.
     
  49. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Yep; 30 minutes. Vetsulin typically drops BG hard and fast at the beginning of the cycle so you need carbs well and truly on board beforehand.


    Mogs
    .
     
    rnbullis and MrWorfMen's Mom like this.
  50. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    An unregulated diabetic cat can look very poorly indeed both before and during the early days of treatment. The transformations that occur when cats start returning to good glucose regulation can be nothing short of amazing. For all the negative emotions that come with the diabetes diagnosis, there is much joy to be found on the journey back to wellness. Hang in there. :)


    Mogs
    .
     
  51. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Thanks Mogs. Woodsywife came to my rescue and cleared that up for me 'cause I thought it was 20 minutes and wanted confirmation or correction. Note to self done for future reference!
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  52. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Don't hesitate to ask any questions!
     
  53. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    This is sooo true...I was crying 4 months ago and now I am grinning at all the things Pimp is doing "again for the first time".
     
  54. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Magic, innit! :cat:
    .
     
    MrWorfMen's Mom and Andy & Pimp like this.
  55. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    I was so ecstatic when Smokey started using a box again. Then the vomiting stopped once we figured out the feedings. Ah when he played with a toy for the first time in a year I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The best was when he started to purr. I never ever heard him do that. These "first" achievements are the best part of this disease.:kiss:
     
  56. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Food 'wait' - you're doing 2 things by waiting:

    * Letting the food begin to start the digestive process
    * Making sure he doesn't throw up

    If there's not adequate food for the insulin, it will potentially cause numbers to drop significantly quickly....possibly into unsafe zones. There's really no 'safe' amount of time. I could shoot KT in 15 minutes, Dakota doesn't even start thinking about food until half an hour after he's eaten... :)

    Don't get discouraged if you don't get blood in the beginning - that's not unusual at all. It takes a while for their ears to 'learn to bleed' - technically growing additional capillaries to that area being irritated by poking. 3 tries then a treat and try again later. Don't let it stress you out either, that translates to kitty stressing HIM just making matters worse...

    HUGS! Welcome to the sugar dance!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  57. Jeanne & Dottie

    Jeanne & Dottie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    I use the CVS meter, Rachel. It's very economical, and the test strips aren't expensive either.
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  58. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Alright, after sticking the poor cat three times, I finally got a reading that didn't have an error! Although, all it said was "HI," so I assume that isn't good news. I did it right before he ate dinner, so now I'm wondering...when am I supposed to check his BG? After feeding and before giving him insulin? If I have it in me, I might check him after I give insulin tonight just to see what happens with that HI number.
     
  59. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Congratulations on joining the Vampire Club!:)

    I believe the protocol for Vetsulin is to test, then feed, then shoot about 30 minutes after feeding. You want to test before feeding so that you're not testing a food-influenced number, and Guido should not eat for 2 hours prior to the pre-shot test.

    Definitely test later tonight if you can! It's the mid-cycle tests that will really tell us if the insulin is working for him or not.
     
    rnbullis and MrWorfMen's Mom like this.
  60. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Woohoo! Another accomplishment. You are on your way:smuggrin:
     
    rnbullis likes this.
  61. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Correct shoot 30 minutes after eating. Getting a test later if you can is a good idea.
     
    rnbullis and Andy & Pimp like this.
  62. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Update:
    Day 2 into home testing and I'm finding this cat's blood sugar is all over the place. It's going from more than 600 in the morning to 139 tonight, a couple hours after I fed him dinner and gave him his shot. Everything with wet food and insulin is the same as it has been. The only thing I changed was limiting his dry food, which seems to be the obvious culprit for his high blood sugar. Now I'm sort of afraid that he will get too low, which has never been a concern!

    My question is, is a drop like this (600ish to 139) throughout the course of a day something to be concerned about? I mean, the 130s is where I guess I would have hoped he'd be! I just wonder if I should be concerned about it dropping further overnight.
     
  63. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    How long ago did you shoot? It would be a REALLY good idea to get a +1 and +2 test.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  64. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    I misread your post and commented without looking at the spreadsheet first, big mistake:facepalm: That is a great number at that time in the cycle. If you'll be awake, try to grab a +4 or +5.
     
  65. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Sorry, I'm still unclear as to what the +1, +2 numbers, etc. mean. Is that how many hours after I give him his shot?

    I was worried about the 139 number going into overnight, so I gave in and gave him a tiny bit of dry food. Dang it! I should have waited, if that's a decent number!
     
  66. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    +1 would be one hour after the shot, +2 is 2 hours after, etc. Your pre-shot test always goes in amps or pmps no matter what time of day it is.

    What time did you shoot, and what time did you get the 139?
     
  67. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    I'm so sorry Rachel I didn't realize no one explained the spreadsheet to you.

    AMPS= A.M. Pre-shot
    PMPS= P.M. Pre-shot

    You test before every shot, these go in the PS column. the U column is for units given which you have figured out and we just discussed how the clock works. if you want to record times, feedings, etc you can use the "notes" function of the spreadsheet (left click cell to add) or in the "remarks" column on the right.
     
  68. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    To a point. It is possible that Guido is "bouncing" from low numbers. Going too low during a cycle can make a big number show up later. It's really important to test him before every shot, and if he's below 200, I would not shoot.

    Not sure if you're still online or not....
    I'm not quite clear on when you tested the 139 in relationship to the shot tonight. I'm afraid that you misunderstood the spreadsheet and you shot insulin into the 139. If that is the case, you did the right thing by giving the dry food. Please test Guido's BG again and if it is anything under 90 give him high carb wet food and/or karo. and be sure to leave dry food out.

    If the 139 was 3 hours after the shot, then that's perfect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  69. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    The 139 was 3 hours after his PM shot, so it's good to know that's ok. Thanks for clarifying the spreadsheet a bit! He was high again this morning, so I think I will leave out the dry food now. It seems to be the culprit!
     
  70. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    I'm sure the dry food has an effect. You'll want to make sure you're testing before shots if you're starting to remove it.
    Please ask if you have any more questions!

    :)
     
  71. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Rachel,
    That 139 is, in itself, absolutely fine. However, it shows a very steep drop of blood glucose by +3 (3 hours after the shot).

    If his preshot was 400 (and let's suppose that it may have taken an hour for the insulin to get into his system) then it's possible that he's dropped 260 points in about 2 hours. That is toooo fast.
    If his blood glucose continued to drop at a similar rate until the peak of the cycle then he could have got into very low numbers...
    Many of us have found that Caninsulin/Vetsulin reaches the peak of the cycle (ie lowest number) between maybe 4 - 5.5 hours after the shot (but 'your mileage may vary' ;) )

    So well done you for catching that, and for giving food to slow the drop and raise the blood glucose level. It's wonderful that you have started hometesting! :bighug:

    Some folks find that feeding a snack/mini-meal 1.5 to 2 hours after the shot can help to slow the rate of blood glucose drop.

    The speed of that blood glucose drop may well cause a 'bounce' (ie. the body may release stored glucose to keep the blood sugar from dropping too low, and this can cause a huge upswing in numbers.)
    A cat's blood glucose level can also 'bounce' when it drops to a level that the cat's body has become unaccustomed to (ie. because the cat been in high numbers for quite a while and has got used to those). Even perfectly normal healthy numbers (and slightly higher) can trigger bouncing.

    I think there is a strong likelihood that Guido's insulin dose is too high. (It's not that the 139 was too low, it's that there was the potential (and time) to drop even lower had you not intervened.)
    If this were my cat I would be trying a reduced dose at this point, maybe cutting back to one unit to see how that works.
    And as Andy & Pimp said above we generally recommend that - initially - no shot is given if the blood glucose is below 200 at preshot (immediately prior to giving insulin). That's just until the caregiver is comfortable with hometesting and has gathered a bit of data to show how the insulin is working in their kitty.

    Does Guido have any history of ketones or ketosis?
    Has he had steroid treatment recently?
    And what exactly are you feeding him at the moment?

    Eliz
     
    Andy & Pimp likes this.
  72. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Thank you for all the info! I'm learning so much from this forum, truly.

    Guido has not been tested for ketones for months, so I wouldn't know right now what his status is there. At the time he was tested, the vet didn't say much more than the fact that he had some. I didn't get anything as far as a solution for that at the time.

    He has not had any steroid treatment, ever, as far as I know.

    I'm currently feeding him Friskies pate, at least half a can each feeding, twice a day.

    His latest numbers have been more in the 375-475 range before feedings, rather than "HI" (which I understand from my glucometer manual to mean upwards of 600). I haven't been able to test him a few hours after morning feedings since I've been at work, but I can check today. All I can say is that he already seems so much more like his old self in the last couple of days, so that is very encouraging! A lot less drinking of water (he was out of control there), more active and playful, crawling in our laps, etc.
     
  73. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Update: Just tested him 2 hours after his shot and he's at 288, about 100 down from his pre-shot test.
     
  74. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Rachel, your spreadsheet indicates the 288 was at +3 hours after the shot. A hundred points in 2 hours is a lot steeper drop than in 3 hours so it's important to know whether that reading was 2 or 3 hours post shot. Just want to make sure which info is correct so those helping you can do so accurately. :)
     
  75. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Linda is spot on with her last comment. Please make sure the spreadsheet is accurate, it can make quite a big difference.
    I would attribute these positive signs to the skipped shots :)
    Shooting a lower number can cause a "bounce", that is- when Guido's BG goes too low, it causes his liver to send out hormones and stored sugars to raise it back up. The effects can last up to 3 days. I believe that has been the source of the super high numbers you've been seeing.



    Getting those extra tests in today will really give us a good idea what's going on with him.

    You're doing a great job;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  76. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    I'm still not sure how to use the spreadsheet, I guess. I test him right before feeding, which generally happens between 6 and 7 each morning, then he gets his shot about a half hour later. But, because of my schedule, it doesn't happen the same EXACT time every day, so I'm not sure how to reflect that in the spreadsheet. It fluctuates within an hour on a given day, I'd say. I also don't know if it's important to include his food intake or not, since it's the same every time.

    Today, I tested him a little before 7, fed him, and gave him his shot around 7:30. The next time I tested was about 2 hours later.

    Testing is getting sort of frustrating. I have to poke him 3-4 times each time, it seems, because he struggles and hates it. His ears are ravaged at this point. I feel sorry for him, but I know it's important. It's enough of a chore that I find myself not wanting to do it more than right before a feeding and then later, if I have to.
     
  77. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    I'm sorry you're getting frustrated with testing, Rachel. :bighug: The ones you've mentioned are the important ones, and if it keeps you a little sane there's no real reason to test more.
    Edit to add: The before meal/shot tests are the big ones. If you're shooting a 325 preshot you probably don't need to test later in the cycle. However if you decide you want to shoot a 225 preshot, I would definitely get a test a bit later.

    Are you warming the ear first? I found that to make quite the difference in the beginning. It should feel almost hot to the touch. Also, thicker lancets make a bigger hole to let bleed easier. 26 or even 24 gauge if you can find it is preferred. (Smaller number = bigger needle).
    A dab of neosporin+pain relief GEL can help the pokes heal up quickly and take the soreness out. You, Guido and his ears will all get used to it soon enough:)

    As far as the spreadsheet- AMPS and PMPS are always the last reading before shot, no matter what time it is. We know you're waiting a bit after that test to give the shot, because of the insulin you use. All that matters to the peeps here is how long after the shot the readings come. Does that make sense?
     
  78. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    I haven't skipped any shots, or given him any lower dose than he has normally had. I took away his dry food, but that's really the only difference.
     
    Andy & Pimp likes this.
  79. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    :oops: SOrry....trying to help too many peeps at once and was thinking of a different kitty:)
     
  80. rnbullis

    rnbullis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    I'm just warming his ear by rubbing it, but once I start that, he knows what's coming next and tries to get away from me. The lancets I have are 26 gauge, I think. I'll try the Neosporin when I can, thanks for that tip.

    I adjusted the times on the spreadsheet to fit what usually happens a little better. It makes sense about the shot coming a half hour after testing, but it's weird not to have that on the spreadsheet, it seems. I think that's what might have me confused.
     
  81. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Rachel, take some deep breathes. Guido's ears will learn to bleed better with time. If Guido doesn't like having his ears fussed with, try just messing with his ears at non test times to get him more accustomed to it and to not expect a poke every time they are touched. And most of all, take those deep breathes and calm yourself before testing. Kitties pick up on our stress and mimic it which might be making him struggle against you more right now.

    On your spreadsheet, please move the 288 reading into the +2 column since that was actually 2 hours after his shot. You don't need the times on the spreadsheet and I seriously think that is only going to confuse things more. I'd try to get another reading around +4 (might be about now if I am calculating time differences correctly) . I know you don't want to and I understand:bighug: but we need to figure out how long the insulin is lasting for him and how low he goes on this dose. Once you get some mid cycle tests it will be easier to figure out how to help you help Guido.

    To heat up his ear, try a pill bottle with fairly warm water in it, held on his ear for few seconds. Sometimes they actually like that. Just make sure it's Ok temperature wise on your ear first!
     
  82. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    I saw one member here that had their kitty sit under a desk lamp for the bulb to warm it:confused:

    If you can catch him for a test when he's been sleeping curled up, sometimes the ears are nice and warm. Or if sleeping by a heat vent/radiator.

    Try rubbing ears and giving treats without testing, just to get him used to the fondling with no chance of pain.
    If you freehand the lancet, sliding the lancet in gently at an angle works much better than jabbing/stabbing straight on.
    If you're using the lancet device, mabye try freehand.

    more tips

    library of links

    :)
     
  83. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Since you just recently removed dry kibble from the diet I think some checks early in the cycle after the pre-shot tests are stll needed right now as it may take a bit of time before all the effects of the higher carb dry food are out of his system and that could result in lower numbers mid way when the insulin peaks.
     
    Elizabeth and Bertie likes this.
  84. Andy & Pimp

    Andy & Pimp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Good point! Absolutely agreed, just don't want Rachel - or Guido - to get fed up!
     
    MrWorfMen's Mom likes this.
  85. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    I hear you, Rachel...
    It's very frustrating when tests are difficult to do. And I say this even after 9 years of testing my own cat.
    Mostly, Bertie is very easy to test these days, but there are still times when he's a complete 'turnip head' and I'd swear there is NO blood anywhere to be found in there... Aaargghhh!! :arghh:

    I do try to ensure that his ears are warm prior to testing (but that's not always possible despite our best efforts...)
    If he's in 'turnip head' mode I automatically prick the ear twice, close together, rather than try to get enough blood from a single ear prick.
    Massaging immediately below the ear prick/s will 'milk' more blood out; very often that will be sufficient for a test.
    A teensy weensy smear of vaseline on the outer edge of the ear will stop that precious blood disappearing into the fur.
    Some people reward their cats after the test is done. I crumble low carb treats and test Bertie while he is eating them.
    Rachel, you will find a way that works for you and Guido. Really, you will.... ;)

    And I do wonder if you need to step back a bit and re-start the process, rewarding Guido along the way, so that he comes to associate the process with yummy things....? With 'positive reinforcement' many things become possible....
    .
     
    MrWorfMen's Mom likes this.
  86. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    You've got your signature and spreadsheet set up, so you're ready to start posting in Feline Health with further questions you may have.
     

Share This Page