Was It The Car Ride, Or Is It The Diabetes?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by J-Money, Mar 15, 2019 at 9:57 AM.

  1. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    Good morning everyone! First time forum poster here, and first time diabetic cat mom. :)

    Soleil was diagnosed with diabetes on 3/9. It’s been a roller coaster ride since then, but I think I have a game plan to try and get her glucose levels under control. I’ve read that she should be switched to wet food as her diet from the dry food she was prescribed, so after her appointment yesterday, we took a trip to PetSmart and got a few different flavors for Merrick, Friskies, and Fancy Feast.

    She was in better spirits yesterday before going to the vet. When we got home however she wasn’t her normal somewhat cheerful self. She didn’t touch any of the wet food, and nibbled a little on the dry food. This morning however she seemed even more tired than usual, and didn’t entertain the fresh wet food or even the dry food.

    Is it safe to assume that the stress from a car ride is causing her to have a bad day? She starts on her insulin tomorrow, but I can’t give it to her if she’s not eating enough or at all of either food type. She’s not a fan of car rides, so I’m hoping yesterday’s vet visit will the last one for a while before having to take her back to test her numbers again to make sure she’s regulated.

    Any advice on her eating or if she still needs to decompress from the stressful car ride would be greatly appreciated.

    I hope everyone has a great day!
     
  2. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    You may want to try some baby food meat (Beechnut brand has no additives) and make a soupy mixture with warm water. When Idjit has been ill it is our "go to" diet. She may not be feeling well because of the untreated diabetes, but it's always a concern if the cat is not eating. Is she drinking water? Is she displaying any pain symptoms like "meatloafing" or nausea symptoms like licking/sniffing the food and walking away, lip licking, lip smacking and teeth grinding? Those could be symptoms of pancreatitis and that needs to be addressed right away.
    I would not assume anything at this point, since the ride was yesterday and it would be reasonable to think she is recovered from that today.
    You can avoid taking her back to the vet for blood sugar tests or curves, avoiding that stress (and save $$), by home testing. You should always test her blood sugar before injecting insulin to be sure it is safe to do so. It's the best tool you have to keep Soliel safe and see "real time" exactly how the insulin is affecting her. It's a learned process but we all do it and we can help you with how to, and what supplies you will need.
     
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  3. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    Firstly, if your profile picture is of Idjit, he is SO handsome.

    She’s drinking for sure. She also “chatted” with me this morning while I was getting ready for work, so that helps me stay positive that she’s just having a bad day. She did sniff at the food, and when I put down the dry food she did the same and went into her closet (while she’s stopped getting sick since starting the medicated dry food, I keep her isolated in my home office so she isn’t harassed by her brother when I’m not at home). She hasn’t been smacking her lips or teeth grinding, and she hasn’t shown any signs of physical pain. While she’s a loving cat, she’s pretty indifferent to a lot of things most of the time. I like to call her gazes “looks of judgement”. And she’s never really gotten excited for wet food. Her brother, however, would break the door down and open the can on his own if he could.

    I should be able to pick up the glucose tester and test strips tomorrow along with her insulin. That’ll probably be the more difficult task because I live along and don’t have and extra pair of hands to keep her calm. I made note of the baby food you suggested and will pick up a couple of jars while at Wal-Mart droppping off her scripts for the syringes and insulin today. Their site-to-store pickup option has been a bit unpredictable lately, so I hope the meter arrives tomorrow like it’s supposed to. If not, I’ll have to procure it somewhere else tomorrow so I have it and find a way to get the charges reversed to my card.

    I’m also going to grab a few of the baby syringes used to give babies medication orally in case I have to start giving her food to ensure she can take the insulin. It’s not my favorite option, but I feel like it’s the last resort if she stays stuck on the dry food and won’t entertain the baby food meat meal, low-carb wet food, or any of it at all. Fingers crossed she’s nibbled on something while I’ve been at work all day.
     
  4. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Well-Known Member

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    Feb 12, 2018
    Welcome and ur in the best place here u could be, when in doubt ask, these people are just amazing
     
  5. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    Thank you so much. I wish I had known that there are grouped like this before I went into panic mode when Soleil was first diagnosed. I look forward to getting to know and learn from everyone here.
     
  6. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    I'm glad to hear that she's not overtly displaying pain and was chatty this morning. However, our cats have a habit of hiding pain and it's always good to be very observant.
    Thank you for the compliment to Idjit. He's our spoiled brat cat, and actually the center of our little universe now since the kids insisted on growing up and moving away.
    Please do make the signature and the spreadsheet as soon as you can, so that her info is available with each of your posts. I gave you that information in the Introduction forum. It's important for us to know where you are so that we can check on whether you need scripts for supplies like the syringes if we make recommendations.
    It may be a challenge to figure out the testing process, but members here will be able to make suggestions based on their experiences. You can begin by desensitizing her now. Choose a "testing station" that is comfortable for both of you and has good lighting, lightly rub and and touch her ears. You can also use a cotton sock with about 1/4 cup uncooked rice or oatmeal heated in the microwave just enough to warm it, and warm her ears, that will increase the blood flow. Do this as many times a day as time and your schedule allows.
    Always give a treat, successful test or not. We use little pieces of cooked chicken breast or thigh, and have used the Pure Bites Freeze Dried Chicken with great success. You might also try a treat before and after the testing to get her used to the idea that it's not all a bad thing. The more you actually test, the more capillaries grow and getting the blood sample gets much easier.
    Start with a 26 or 28 gauge lancet, it's bigger and you will be more successful getting that little blood bead. It's up to you whether you want to use the lancing device or not.
    JanetNJ has a wonderful video of how she tests her cat CC in her signature, and here is a link to home testing from the FAQs forum: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/
    There are also lots of home testing videos on YouTube.
    This is a whole new experience for both of you but I assure you, you both will survive! It's just like learning everything else you have accomplished in your life. We will help in every way we can.
     
  7. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    I’ll definitely be sure to get the signature up and her spreadsheet as soon as I get home this evening. I set up my account and started posting from my phone when I got to work. I honestly didn’t think I’d see any responses or help until this evening so the prompt welcoming mat and suggestions took me by surprise. Which is great because I’ll need all the help I can get.

    I’ll be sure to check the video link you provided as well when I get home and try to sit with her and massage her ears to get her used to me playing with them. It’s usually puts her to sleep but when she’s over it she gets up and naps somewhere else. I do have a friend that’s going to show me how to boil some chicken for her. I tried it last week but per my friend, she may have turned her nose up because it was dark meat (I only had frozen drum sticks so I cut the meat off the bone and boiled that). So along with the baby food I plan on picking up a small pack of chicken breast tenders.

    Speaking of the baby food, my parents were able to locate a brand that’s organic, but one of the flavors is chicken and chicken broth. Is it accurate that she should have anything with broth in it?

    Thank you again for your help and guidance. It’s only my first day on here and my first week with Soleil’s diagnosis and I feel a lot less lest than I did last Saturday.
     
  8. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    I am not certain about the organic baby food, but I do know that there shouldn't be any flavoring, like onion, garlic or rosemary in the broth. Plain meat and meat broth is what you want, no preservatives or additives. Broth is a good way to get water in her diet. @FurBabiesMama and I both make chicken bone broth for our cats. You can use the drumstick meat for treats, or broth, but if Soliel didn't like it, she's the boss! It might have been too fatty for her if you cooked with the skin. We started with skinless chicken breast but Idjit is a very good eater and likes dark meat too.
    Jackie, you are going to be fine. It's a steep learning curve at first but it's doable, you and Soliel (Flash too!) are going to benefit from everything you learn.
    If you are not working this weekend, you could do some reading here, about the insulin you are going to be using, how to inject insulin, how to test, etc. Ask as many questions as you like. We all started in the same place, brand new and knowing little or nothing. You are not alone on this new journey.
     
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  9. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    I probably should have included a picture of the food my parents found. Organic apparently is the brand name. I asked my mom to give me to carb count and she says it says zero. I just wasn’t sure about the broth, but if that helps her, and that’s what I’m able to find if I can’t get my hands on any Beech-Nut food that’s meat, then I’ve got something I can work with. I’ll definitely double check to make sure it’s only chicken broth; not chicken broth with a hint of this and a hint of that.

    I did my best to peel the skin off of the drum sticks concerned that if I boiled it and it was stringy or rubbery that she’d gag or choke. So if there was any small skin remenants on it, it probably turned her off. I like to consider her my pinky out baby, taking after her momma. :)

    What’s definitely helped me with this process, and it was almost as if the universe knew I needed a financial assist, is that Care Credit not only covers vet visits (which I’m trying not to do considering she’s not a fan of car rides and it’s a great way to max out my card) but NOW I can use it at Wal-Mart toward pharmacy, health & beauty, and baby items. Which is amazing because I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to maintain the insulin once I’m able to get a reoccurring script for her. And if baby food is covered as a baby item, that’s helpful, too. If anyone needs that extra financial help and can apply for the card, I’d recommend it. Not only has it given me extra hope in helping Soleil, it’s also added to my ability to stay healthy too as it covers some doctors visits for myself, cold medicine, etc.
     

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  10. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Jackie, what insulin are you going to be using? If it's Lantus you can order it from Marks Marine Pharmacy in Canada with a Rx from your vet for much less than in the U.S. We have information on that.

    I checked the ingredients on that baby food, it's just chicken and water, so that's great.
     
  11. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    I unfortunately was able to find that food for meat at Wal-Mart, but I was able to find chicken and turkey for Beech-Nut. I got the last eight cans, and had to buy an emergency first aid baby kit to get the medicinal syringe in case I have to get the baby food / wet food into her manually.

    Her insulin brand is Norolin-N. I put it in as soon as I arrived, but I’m aggravated because I came all the way home, checked the status of the glucose meter, and it won’t arrive until sometime tomorrow after six.

    When I let her out of her room, I could tell she was walking stiffly. She wanted to get on the bed but before I could help her, she made the jump herself. She struggled with her back legs and I gave her help. I have a footstool for a Lay-Z boy in my room, so I placed it close to the side of the bed for when she wants to get down or even back up again. I have a second one as well so she hopefully doesn’t try to make the jump again. This is a new symptom, so now I’m a little panicked again. She drank water today, but I can’t tell if she tried eating anything at all.

    I’m going to cancel the order and go back to Wal-Mart and get the meter that’s there. It’s the same brand, so I’m not sure why it needed to be shipped for me to have it as early as today considering I purchased it last night.

    I’ve filled out the signature card, but I have nothing to input for the spreadsheet yet. After I make my call, I’m going back to the store, picking up everything today, and starting the baby food regimine tonight so I can hopefully give her her first insulin shot today instead of wait all the way until tomorrow. Once I figure out the meter, I’ll get her numbers filled in, try to get her to eat, and then give her her first shot. I’ll be sure to check in.
     

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  12. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    After a long wait in line at Wal-Mart and getting in touch with the vet, I made it home with the glucose meter and insulin. My mom (Type 2 Diabetic) walked me through the setup of the meter via FaceTime. I stuck myself a few times with some lances to make sure the meter was reading correctly before attempting to get a reading on Soleil.

    She was surprisingly calm the entire time I massaged her ear and slid her around until I had her in a position that I was comfortable with to get a reading. I attempted three times in her ear, without her struggling, but couldn't get enough blood for the meter to read anything. After those attempts, I moved on to the warm water and turkey & turkey broth to see if she'd even try to lap some up, but she turned her nose up at it. I then moved to tricking her into thinking pieces of the medicated dry food I was placing on the floor were treats. She ate about four, but then caught on and stopped. Then I moved to try to coax her to eat with a couple of pieces of the normal food they've been on (Purina Tender Selects). She ate a few pieces, and then stopped. And trying to get the turkey & turkey broth in her via medial syringe from the baby department was more of a struggle than trying to get a glucose reading from her. Because she didn't eat much this evening, five minutes to give what she did eat time to settle in her stomach, I gave her what I don't think was even a full unit of insulin out of fear that she hasn't eaten enough. So I'll be up late to check on her to make sure she's okay.

    The vet said that if she's not eating by tomorrow morning, I need to bring her in because the diabetes may have lingered for too long and she might have too many ketones (sp?) in her system which would explain her stiff back legs. I don't want to pack her up and take her for another car ride because it stresses her out so much. But I'm not sure what I can do to help her if she's not eating enough for me to give her the insulin she needs to start to feel better.
     
  13. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Hi Jackie, thank you for creating the signature, that's a big help. Beechnut baby food meat is fine, just not as a permanent diet as it doesn't have all the nutrients she needs.
    I checked the carb percentage of the Royal Canin Glycobalance canned food, and it's 14%. Has she eaten this before or is this something the vet recommended and sold to you? Most of the "prescription" or special diabetic diets sold at the vet are not low enough in carbs and more expensive than you want to be paying. Dry is not recommended at all and if that has been or is part of her diet you will need to work on eliminating it from her diet. It's very high in carbs which raises the blood sugar, creating a cycle of high BG = more insulin needed.
    Many of us feed Fancy Feast classics and Friskies pates, they are all below the recommended 10% carbs and there are many flavors. You can buy it at the grocery store as well as other outlets.
    Now the insulin, I think you mean Novolin N, that is not really a very suitable insulin for cats. However, it's a less expensive and people use it because they usually don't have another choice. There are several other much more suitable ones such as Lantus and Prozinc.
    Here is information on Novolin: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/beginners-guide-to-novolin-humulin-nph.186097/
    I just read your latest message about the vet telling you ketones would cause the stiffness in the back legs. I am not quite certain of that but ketones in the urine are a concern when the cat isn't eating. That is a symptom of Diabetic Ketoacidosis and it is very serious. You can use Ketostix from the pharmacy to test her urine at home.
    @Marje and Gracie @Kris & Teasel @Bron and Sheba @Wendy&Neko
    I have tagged experienced members to look in, as they can advise you much better than I can.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 8:42 PM
  14. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    You're right, that's the insulin name. I was reading it off of a notepad I wrote on when taking notes on how to administer it and mistook the V for an R. I've updated that in the signature. I'll read up on the link you provided for the insulin you provided. The only reason this is the insulin of choice is because that's the most affordable for me unfortunately.

    The Royal Canin Glycobalance food isn't something she's had before. It was prescribed after she was diagnosed. I have to have an RX card when I go to PetSmart to get the dry or wet food or else I can't purchase it. It's definitely a lot more expensive than I'd like it to be considering the size of the bag I get. Trying to ween her off of it has proven difficult because she's just not connecting with any wet food. Her first can of food yesterday was by Merrick, and she turned it away. She didn't touch the rest of it this morning, but Flash finished the rest that I knew she wouldn't touch so it wouldn't go to waste. The next one I have to try is either the Fancy Feast or Friskies. I don't know if it's the consistency she isn't a fan of (I typically get pate) or if she just doesn't like the smell or taste.

    The vet during her last visit told me about the Ketostix test, but that I'd also have to get a special litter for her to use because of my work hours and inability to catch her when she's urinating without making her worry that I'll always interrupt her when she's using the litter box.

    Right now since I was able to give her close to just 1 unit of insulin, I'm just checking in on her to see if she's just okay. I know this isn't something that will magically help her in a couple of hours, but I don't want her to crash while I'm sleeping.
     
  15. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Diabetic ketoacidosis, which starts which high ketone levels, can cause loss of muscle tone. But just having ketones will not affect her legs. Are you sure they didn’t say the diabetes, lingering too long, might cause diabetic neuropathy because that is common. A cat with neuropathy has a hard time jumping, legs might slip out from them, they will walk plantigrade, etc. To remedy that, we give zobaline. The zobaline and getting the insulin dose to the right amount will really help with neuropathy and can turn it completely around.

    As Lou said, you can get urine ketone test strips at Walmart or any pharmacy. We highly recommend you always keep them in stock and check ketones daily until numbers are more normal. I got a big metal spoon and just slipped it under Gracie’s little bottom as she squated. Then you dip the ketone test strip in the urine, wait exactly 15 seconds, and then read it compared to the charts on the bottle.

    Ketones can develop suddenly which can quickly progress to DKA caused due to lack of insulin (the right amount), not enough water/food, infection (that you might not be aware of). The kitties become lethargic, anorexic, and generally obviously appear to be sick. I always see a red flag when a diabetic cat that is typically a good eater doesn’t want to eat so it’s important to stay on top of ketone testing.

    Insofar as insulins go, I’ve helped other members get their cats into remission using Normalin N but it’s a harsher insulin without any “staying power” to keep the BG nice and level like lantus and levemir can. The members I’ve helped used Normalin because it is inexpensive but if you are able to get lantus or levemir for a price you can afford, they are much, much better insulins for cats.
     
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  16. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    That may very well be what she meant. I've been trying to focus when getting answers to my questions from the vet, but I'm not retaining as well as I normally would if I weren't so stressed trying to figure out what to do to just get her to eat normally. Before taking her to the vet when she was initially diagnosed, I didn't recognize all of the signs that something was wrong or else I would have taken her earlier. While we've only known about her diabetes for a week, she very well could have developed this months ago. The only flag that made me concerned was when I pet her one morning and she felt thinner than usually. It's almost like things escalated from there while also cascading in regard to her appearance (she does look and feel anorexic compared to when she was plump and fluffy), and eating habits. And when she first started having difficulty getting on the bed, I figured she was just being clumsy.

    Her appointment yesterday was because she started smelling fruity earlier this week. But she was also eating better, and stopped vomiting so I thought she was stabilizing until I could figure out the insulin situation. I can look into the zobaline and the ketone strips and figure out where to go from there.

    I'm going to give her a little wet food to see if she's tempted to nibble on a different flavor / brand than what i started her with yesterday.
     
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  17. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    That fruity smelling breath is an indicator for ketones so it would be great if you can test her urine asap. Some members put some plastic wrap in the litter box if the kitty is pretty regular about where he/she squats. Or you can use clean fish aquarium gravel, or even lentils. You don't have to buy special litter. Just so you get a puddle and can test right after she pees.
    Here are some tips for catching and testing the urine: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1quta5WLEjdO0Y_t2dAYSwN84h-LNZWxOdtVsJDKZ16A/pub from a link about DKA in the FAQS forum:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...oacidosis-dka-and-blood-ketone-meters.135952/
    I know it's a lot of stuff thrown at you right now, but I'm concerned for Soleil and want to help ease your mind too. :bighug:
    I hope you can get her to eat.
     
  18. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Agreed.....fruity breath can indicate ketones. I’d definitely try to get some urine ketone strips immediately and test her.
     
  19. J-Money

    J-Money Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    I just checked on her with a little Fancy Feast. She gave it a sniff and turned it away, but it appears as though she’s nibbled away at the prescribed dry food. So it’s like she’s eating sporadically and in small doses. But I can’t get her to latch on to the wet food. I left the Fancy Feast with her in a way that I’d be able to tell if she had any. Flash on the other hand devoured the little bit of Fancy Feast I gave him so he doesn’t feel left out. I don’t know which is more difficult: getting her to eat what will help her feel better, or trying to get enough blood from her ear to check her levels.
     
  20. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Oh Jackie, it all seems difficult at the beginning, even without kitty not being willing to eat much. You kinda got thrown in the pool to learn to swim! I am sorry about that.
    Testing gets easier, the more you poke, the more capillaries grow and the ear "learns" to bleed. The 26 to 28 gauge lancets are a bit thicker and work better at the beginning to get that little blood sample. You can warm her ear with a wet warm washcloth in a plastic bag or a little rice sock warmed in the microwave. Just find a cotton sock, dump about a 1/4 cup of raw rice or oatmeal, and warm to comfort on the inner wrist.
    As for the food, it looks like you are going to be the banquet queen for awhile, I know it's a pain but maybe place a tsp of each of the opened cans you have, add a little warm water and hope she likes something. Maybe you can put her in a different room for a few minutes so Flash doesn't gobble up the banquet offerings? Or Flash can take a break elsewhere?
     
  21. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Jackie and Soliel and welcome to the forum.
    You have had some great advice from @Idjit's mom and Marje.
    I agree that you need to be testing for ketones in the urine, especially if Soliel is not eating and the BSLs are still high and Soliel is unregulated.
    I would not leave it til tomorrow to buy the Ketostix strips and test. If you can get them today, please do so. it is a simple test, but a very important one.
    Has the vet mentioned to you or given you any anti nausea tablets for Soliel?
    Sniffing the food and walking away is very symptomatic of nausea.
    The vet can give you some cerenia and/ or ondansetron tablets for nausea. They work on different parts of the brain and are both excellent for cats. They can be given together so try and get both sorts.
    A nauseated cat wont eat so it is very important to get that problem addressed.
    The vet may even give Soliel an injection of cerenia and give you tablets to give at home. That would be the best solution I think.
    To prevent ketones from developing and increasing you need to ensure that Soliel is getting enough food and enough insulin to prevent them.
    I agree with Marje that Lantus or Levemir are much better insulins for cats.....try and get the vet to change the insulin to one of those before you buy it.
    Well done getting a meter and starting testing the blood sugars!!
    Bron
     
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  22. JoyBee&Ravan

    JoyBee&Ravan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Organic Earth's BEST baby food is the BEST! They sell it at Walmart with the other baby food.
    add a little water mix it up & put it in a feeding syringe.

    Did you read the Yellow sticky note by Dr. Pierson about Why NOT to feed any dry food? She also explains how to wean they off dry food in a different sticky note.
    Info Dry Food - PLEASE consider more than just carbohydrate content

    I've seen Kitties go into remission just by stopping ALL dry food. Even if you're feeding canned food you need to check the food Chart to make sure it's LOW Carb Some canned food is too high in carbs. https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf

    If she's having problems with her back legs she probably has neuropathy from the Diabetes. You want to start giving her Methyl B-12 it will help the neuropathy ( nerve damage)

    "Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can lead to less energy, reduced appetite, loss of weight, poor coat condition, and if the deficiency is severe enough, neurological issues such as seizures."

    A lot of people here use one formulated for diabetic cats such as Zobaline Methyl B12

    Good Luck to you & Soleil :) :bighug:
     

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