Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Rosies Mama, Feb 23, 2015.

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  1. Rosies Mama

    Rosies Mama New Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    My sugar cat Rosie is 13 and was diagnosed as diabetic in December. She's been on 3 iu's of insulin twice a day since then. I've been learning about home testing and changing food and I while I had hoped my vet would give me some guidance, he's not going to. I have a glucose meter...Freestyle Mini that was my fathers. I'll need to buy strips and lancets and I've learned how to do the blood draw from her ear. But how do I know what level she should be at? How much insulin do I give her depending on her numbers? That's my biggest question. I'm trying to switch her to Fancy Feast Classic wet food, but she tends to throw up wet food so not sure how that'll work. I'm trying smaller amounts hoping she can learn to stomach it.

    Thanks in advance for all your help :)

    P.S. we're in Canada
  2. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    I put together the feline-specific reference ranges and more in my signature link Glucometer Notes.
  3. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    What type of insulin?
  4. Hillary & Maui (GA)

    Hillary & Maui (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Many of us have had issues with Freestyle meters (the one with butterfly strips) and meters with TRU in the name.

    May I suggest if the freestyle has the butterfly strips that you opt for a different meter - if you have a Walmart - you can get a Relion - confirm, micro or prime and if not - Bayer Contour is a good meter to get (strips aren't too expensive).

    Regarding the food, what flavor FF are you feeding? There could be an allergy issue here - some cats are allergic to beef and fish and while it may say say it contains fish, some FF flavors do anyway. Try feeding one flavor only such as chicken or turkey classic pate style (feast) and see if that helps with the vomiting. It could also be that she is eating too fast and getting air in her stomach. Add water to the food, to slow her down and see if that helps - I usually add 1/2 can of water to 1 can of food.

    In order to determine the insulin dose, it will help if you can create a spreadsheet and attach it to your signature. This way we can all view it and see just what is going on with tests, dose, etc. http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...ink-in-your-signature-updated-12-11-14.18207/

    How much insulin are you shooting and what type?
  5. Rosies Mama

    Rosies Mama New Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Thanks everyone. Rosie is currently getting 3 IU's of Caninsulin twice a day. She managed to hold down the salmon flavour, but chicken made her sick. I haven't tried the beef yet.
  6. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Rosie's Mama and welcome.

    I'm sorry to hear that you're not getting the best of support on home testing and diet change from your vet, but many of us here have been through similar. Thankfully you've found a great place here to get help and support with that, and much more besides. :)

    If it's a struggle for Rosie to eat wet food maybe it might be worth looking at Young Again Zero Carb dry food (about 5% carbs). They sell direct online. Their customer service department are very helpful and I believe that they may send out samples for cats to try out. Hillary's tip about adding water to the wet food is a good one.

    3 units of Caninsulin is quite a significant dose. What is the food you're trying to wean Rosie away from? I'm assuming it's a dry food, in which case it might be quite high in carbohydrates. It's great that you're home testing BG. If you are looking to move to low carb, I strongly recommend transitioning gradually and testing regularly during the transition in order to keep Rosie safe because her current Caninsulin dose may be too high for the lower carb diet. The switch can sometimes lower blood glucose levels dramatically. (I had to reduce Saoirse's dose several times in the space of only a few days when she transitioned to low carb, and I had to test very regularly to keep her in safe BG numbers.)
  7. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2010
    Hello Rosie's Mama, and welcome to FDMB :bighug:

    The normal blood glucose range for a non-diabetic cat is approximately 60 - 12o mg/dL (3.3 - 6.7 mmol). And some kitties will naturally run a little higher or lower than this.
    Many cats who are newly diagnosed will have blood glucose levels in the 400's (20's) or above.
    The aim of treatment may depend on a number of factors including the insulin that is being used and how the cat responds to that particular insulin. We have a saying here that 'Every Cat Is Different'.

    Here is some info from the FDMB FAQ's:


    Q6.1. What is regulation?

    A6.1. There are different definitions of regulation. As hometesting becomes more common, we've been getting a better understanding of what cats and their humans might be capable of. Janet & Fitzgerald propose the following "regulation continuum":

    · Not treated [blood glucose typically above 300 mg/dl (16.7 mmol/L), poor clinical signs]

    · Treated but not regulated [often above 300 (16.7) and rarely near 100 (5.6), poor clinical signs]

    · Regulated [generally below 300 (16.7) with glucose nadir near 100 (5.6), good clinical signs, no hypoglycemia]

    · Well regulated [generally below 200-250 (11.1-13.9) and often near 100 (5.6), no hypoglycemia]

    · Tightly regulated [generally below 150 (8.3) and usually in the 60-120 (3.3-6.7) range, no hypoglycemia, still receiving insulin]

    · Normalized [60-120 (3.3-6.7) except perhaps directly after meals -- usually not receiving insulin]

    There may also be an extra category of "mostly above 300 (16.7) but with good clinical signs" which occurs with some cats who are getting insulin. We don't know why it happens, but such a cat probably should not be considered to be regulated. On the other end of the spectrum, it is possible for a cat who is not getting insulin to have blood glucose as low as 40 mg/dl (2.2 mmol/L) on a home glucometer. If you have a non-diabetic cat, try testing her with the same meter to get a safe comparison figure.

    Q6.2. Which definition of regulation should be my goal?

    A6.2. That depends on your individual situation. Generally, it's thought that a cat will suffer less long-term organ and nerve damage if his average blood glucose is lower rather than higher. However, because preventing hypoglycemia is a top priority, it may not be practical to try for normal numbers. The ability of your cat to respond to food and insulin in a consistent manner and your own ability to monitor your cat are both important factors in setting your goal. For most cats who are receiving insulin, "regulated" is a reasonable first goal, after which you can try for "well-regulated". For the lucky minority who can be diet-controlled, normalization is often achievable. It’s important to realize that some cats never consistently stay in regulation range in spite of all efforts, and yet they can be happy and healthy anyway. Ultimately, you should tailor your goals to your cat's individual situation, and you should always consider your cat's quality of life as well as the numbers as you evaluate how well your treatment protocol is working.
    The above info comes from this document:

    For those new to dealing with feline diabetes we recommend that no insulin is given if the blood glucose level immediately prior to the insulin shot is below 200 (11).
    That's just until the caregiver has gathered some data to show how the insulin is working in the cat's body. After that it is usually possible to give insulin at lower blood glucose levels.

    Insulin dose adjustments are made mainly on the basis of the lowest number of the cycle. If the testing data shows that the kitty isn't dropping into sufficiently low numbers the dose may be increased. If the data shows that the kitty is in danger of dropping too low the dose should be decreased.

    As others have said, that 3 units is quite a high dose (though some cats do need higher doses). And removing the dry food could reduce the BG (blood glucose) level quite a bit, in which case the current dose could well be too much. I would strongly suggest that you monitor your kitty's BG very closely and be prepared to reduce the dose as needed. You may also consider reducing the dose at this point while switching the diet over.

    It is important to have some higher carb foods available (types in gravy are good), and some source of sugar such as karo/honey/glucose syrup, in case your kitty's BG drops too low and you need to raise the level.

    Does Rosie have any history of ketones?

    Critter Mom likes this.
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