Where do I Start

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by krazy4kritters, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. krazy4kritters

    krazy4kritters Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2018
    Today I got conformation my 6 yr old cat Diamond has diabetes. I'm new to this site. First I'm going to vent about the disappointment I feel about the vets I'm working with.
    On Thursday I noticed he had a plantigrade stance/hock walking. Every thing my trusty Google machine generated pointed to diabetes. I was not able to take him to the vet until Monday but started searching the internet for information to manage it.
    I told the vet I thought it was diabetes but he was pretty sure it wasn't. He thought it was his back or a nerve thing. We did the blood work and his glucose was 489. He said he had never seen a cat have hock walking as a symptom before. Hmmm?
    Diamond is 23 pounds: clearly obese. I feel like a horrible mom. We discussed weight loss. I told him I had just switched everyone to canned food only (they were getting dry in the morning, wet at night). He told me I should only feed him 4-5 oz a day. I thought that was way too little. He is a big guy. Supposed to be around 16 pounds.
    Today he had his urinalysis. His glucose was 250-500. This was a different vet today. When I discussed feeding with her, she told me to feed 3-4oz twice a day. I'm happier with her recommendation. However, when I explained to her that he really doesn't eat that much but that I also wasn't watching real close at carbs, fats and proteins, she responded with "canned food is canned food". Grrrr so frustrated. I printed off the chart Dr. Pierson has on her site with TNA data. I have another fatty and he's going to shed some pounds too before I have two cats with diabetes!
    I'm so glad to have found this site/forum! I have lots of questions I know I won't get answered at the vet office.
     
  2. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Welcome aboard. We have lots of experience members to help you.

    Yeah, that first vet sounds untrained and inexperienced with diabetes. Over time high BG is basically glucose toxicity, and causes neuropathy. It's a common topic here. Do a search for it. Summary of the solution for neuropathy:
    - BG (blood glucose) regulation into normal ranges
    - B12 (Zobaline) to help rebuild the damaged nerves

    We feed all our cats Fancy Feast classics off the Dr.Pierson chart. Plus cooked chicken every few days.
     
    Nan & Amber likes this.
  3. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Maybe share this video with him?




    Mogs
    .
     
    Nan & Amber and JeffJ like this.
  4. TiffanyRossi

    TiffanyRossi New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    I know how you feel! My Ziggy saw the family vet when his symptons were worse, we told her we thought it was diabetes and she asked for lots of labs, but no BG. She wanted to rule out kidney diseases first. At the same day we took him to get his labs done, he started to feel worse and we took him at 3am to an emergency hospital. They did test his glucose, but told us it wasn't diabetes, but caused by stress (a nearly dead cat, who wasn't responding to any kind of touch or handling, who couldn't even open his eyes or move his head or anything, with BG levels above 300). After three nights of hospitalization, they finally decided to test him for diabetes, and found out he was in ketoacidosis. After one week at the hospital and with Ziggy much better, they told us they couldn't diagnose him, that we needed a cats specialist. Our family vet told us the same thing. They believed he wasn't really diabetic, and the diabetes was secondary to a liver disease, but they couldn't tell which one. Since before hospital, I kept saying "This cat is diabetic. He needs insulin to get better". With his last labs before leaving the hospital in hand, the same labs all the previous vets said they couldn't read, I made lots of research, the medical papers kind of research, and said " This cat is diabetic. His liver damage was caused by lipidosis".

    We went to the cats specialist, and he told us exaclty what my gut was telling me all the time. And, although he is pretty good with diagnosis, although he is considered the best in my whole country, the one who gives speechs about cat health on every convention event they have, I don't agree with most of the diabetes handling instructions he gives us. On our first appointment, he made a few mistakes regarding his treatment, mistakes that we noticed while at the appointment, and were able to handle and give him a chance to fix on the next week. He never spoke to us about hypoglicemia, and I'm so glad I found this board to educate me on that.

    I'm sharing this story to tell you a few things:

    1. You're not alone. I'm still struggling to find balance between what I believe is right for Ziggy, and what the vet says. It takes a lot to go against vets, empower yourself and say "I'm going this way with my cat and I'm responsible for whatever happens".
    2. They may have studied, they may be pet or cat specialists, but I'm a full-time Ziggy specialist, and I know for sure you're a full-time Diamond specialist. While they are seeing dozens of pets every day and our cats are a 30-minute appointment once a week on their busy schedule, we are at our cat's sides, watching closely for every behavior change, spending night after night doing research, taking notes, observing their reactions to treatment.
    3. Do trust your vets, but not blindly. They have the means to know better than us, obviously. Always talk to them about things you read, things you feel insecure about, treatment options. Be a part of decision making as much as your doctor is. I've struggled a lot with vets before finding our regular family vet, and I do trust her a lot, but I know this trust has boundaries.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Your instincts are spot on. If it were my cats I would switch to fancy feast classic and feed about 4 cans. If you can spread that out and do a can morning, mid day, dinner and just before bed. My 17 lb non diabetic ate 4-5 cans of the 3 Oz ff per day. Since uou want your guys to loose weight that might be a good place to start.
    Just no food 2 hours prior to the preshot test.

    What insulin and dose was he prescribed?

    Also right away order zobaline from Amazon. It's a b12 methylcobalamin supplement with folic acid for the neuropathy. That along with getting the blood glucose down will help restore his leg strength.
     
    Nan & Amber likes this.
  6. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    I suspect that switching both your kitties to canned low carb food only will promote slow weight loss - and slow is what you want. :)
     
    Critter Mom and Nan & Amber like this.
  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    @TiffanyRossi - Great post!


    Mogs
    .
     
    JeffJ likes this.
  8. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Tiffany and Krazy4 - For long timers on the forum, we are continually baffled by the lack of diabetes training to veterinarians. As you said, it is trivial to do a BG test. And after a short period, insulin injections are easy too. And for a cat walking on its hocks - yeah, the first test would be a glucose test to verify diabetes.

    Even if the cat is under dosed, at least it helps them soak up calories.

    I was fortunate. I found this forum. And our cat-only vet is spot-on with her diabetes recommendations.
     
    Kris & Teasel and Critter Mom like this.
  9. krazy4kritters

    krazy4kritters Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2018
    Thank-you for sharing your story. I’ve been at this vet office for 20+ years. I’ve tried a few other places but have decided they are the best choice for my pets and I. I’m sure almost every pet owner who reads up on medical pet care has disagreed or had issues their veterinarians opinions. Diamond and I will get through this.
     
  10. krazy4kritters

    krazy4kritters Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2018
    I surprised but glad to hear fancy feast is a food of choice for many. I was under the impression it was kind of like junk food for cats. I have given it to my cats from time to time. Usually I feed them Nutro, Soulstice, and sometimes a few other brands. I just bought some Tiki cat because of the zero carbs (I picked flavor switch lower fat). But holy crap, it's expensive! I thought the other stuff I fed was pricey. If I can spend .55-.60 a can vs 1.29-1.59 I'll save lots of money! Plus, all my cats like most of the flavors. It's a crap shoot with
    I decided to put Lantus. 1 unit twice a day. I pick it up on Monday. I also bought a Relion mini glucose tester. I have to figure that thing out too.
     
    JeffJ likes this.
  11. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Feel free to followup with questions, or just read thru some of the existing threads in Feline Health - Main Forum (subforum)
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/#more-topics.37

    Fancy Feast - it has the basics and it is low carb. Lots of us feed it. Sure, it is probably animal leftovers that humans don't want displayed in the grocery meat shelf. But it is also inexpensive. We also use Tiki sometimes but it is expensive like you said.

    Lantus is a good insulin. With lots of helpful people here, who can help you with dose adjustments in the Lantus subforum:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/forums/lantus-glargine-levemir-detemir.9/
     
  12. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    One caution on the Fancy Feast is that it is high in phosphorous, so it's not a great choice for cats with kidney problems. Otherwise, it's just fine in terms of quality (and taste, according to my cats!). This list from the sticky at the top of this forum gives carb % and phosphorous content of most of the major brands and varieties of canned cat foods available in the US. We generally say to try to keep carbs under 10%, whatever you're feeding.

    Good luck with the home testing!
     
    JeffJ likes this.
  13. Badtux

    Badtux Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Good luck finding a good vet. It may be that the best you can do is find an educable vet. My vet isn't that great with diabetes, but he knew upon looking at the blood work results that it was diabetes (we were 50-50 before the blood work on whether it was kidney disease or diabetes, but if blood sugar is in the 400's, it's diabetes, period), and that Lantus was the gold standard for treating feline diabetes. We started him on the injections the next day after I picked up the prescription at the pharmacy that night, I brought Tux to the vet at 7:30am the next morning and he showed me how to do the injections. Even there, he didn't know about the Catkins diet or the interactions between diet and insulin amount. But he doesn't pretend to know everything about how every cat responds to treatment, and he trusts my judgement because he's been my vet for 15 years and seen how I handle cats with chronic or terminal illnesses.

    One word of warning on the list from the sticky at the top of the forum: Cat foods differ in composition between markets, and cat food makers reformulate foods regularly for a variety of reasons (to make it cheaper, to add things they think will appeal to human buyers, etc.). In my area some of the foods marked as low carb in the list are not low carb, and some not marked as low carb actually are. Read the ingredients list carefully looking for anything that's not meat just in case the cat food maker decided to reformulate it in your market. But yes, the Fancy Feast Classics are mostly low carb (still) in my market.
     

Share This Page