wondering whether to stop giving my cat insulin

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by jack hammerly, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. jack hammerly

    jack hammerly New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Looking for some support on what to do--My cat mittens has been a mostly (90%) outdoor cat and is 12 years old...He was diagnosed with FIV probably 5 years ago and has diabetes for the last 2 years ...he also has arthritis and cannot get around very good.//.His insulin dose is up to 19 units twice daily and that means 1 bottle of insulin every 10 days at $128 per bottle --3 bottles monthly $382 plus DM at $65 so $450 a month to keep him going.... we do not know what to do ...thinking of stopping the insulin and change his diet to raw meat (low carb) or just let him go by putting him down....does not move much from the garage...not sure what to do --any suggestions.........
     
  2. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Jack, sorry to hear of this.

    What insulin are you using? And are you home testing?

    The DM is it dry or wet?
     
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  3. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    No reason for DM. Commercial, low-carb canned for like Fancy Feast or Friskies are fine and may be better.
    Here is a list of commercial, low-carb canned foods.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/shortcut-shopping-list-all-8-or-less-updated.117688/

    How was the 19 units arrived at? Such a high dose indicates Acromegaly or other high-dose condition
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...-other-high-dose-conditions-what-we-know.375/
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/acromegaly-the-basics.373/

    My Murfee had acromegaly and was up to about 50 units twice a day before the acromegaly got to him. I used both Levemir and N insulins since Levemir was too expensive by itself. You can get Walmart's brand of N for about $40
     
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  4. jack hammerly

    jack hammerly New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    DM is dry and the insulin is ProZinc and also testing every 3 days and it takes 19 units to keep him below 200 ---we test after 6 hours of no food
     
  5. jack hammerly

    jack hammerly New Member

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    Mar 20, 2016
    We live in North Dakota and we can't get any prescriptions from Walmart...one of the only states like this to protect the mom and pop drug store in our rural state
     
  6. jack hammerly

    jack hammerly New Member

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    Mar 20, 2016
    we have to go thru our vet and that is the cheapest they will give it to us for for a while we were paying $137 per vial now it is $126-$128 if we buy 2 or more
     
  7. jack hammerly

    jack hammerly New Member

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    Mar 20, 2016
    Just kept increasing until the test would come in below 200 after 6 hours of no eating we would test---if we were overdosing he would go into hypoclycymic(sp) shock
     
  8. Mum of two felines

    Mum of two felines Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    IF you make the change to canned food, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE test your kitty more often than every three day!!!! The wet food can drop your kitty's BG up to 200 pts. You will need to read the PRoZinc protocol so you know how it works. You will also need a hypo kit ready in case your kitty crashes.

    It is scary to think your kitty has that much insulin going into him. Does he have another problems? And are you testing or is the vet?
     
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  9. jack hammerly

    jack hammerly New Member

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    Mar 20, 2016
    He has lots of problems--FIV positive for the last 5 years and last 2 years diabetic and also arthritis that is the reason for the advice should we just let him go or keep trying
     
  10. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    It seems to me like most of his issues can be dealt with, without too much stress. Is he showing any symptoms of FIV? Where is most of his arthritis? Could it possibly be diabetic neuropathy instead of arthritis? If you change him to a wet-food diet you may (probably WILL) end up having to reduce his insulin dose, perhaps making it easier to control his diabetes (not to mention maybe saving you a few $$!) If he was my cat I think I would keep trying. :cat: We can help you manage his diabetes, and maybe help take some of the stress off you. :) Here is some "good reading material" to get you started, if you'd like:

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/forums/health-links-faqs-about-feline-diabetes.14/
     
  11. Mum of two felines

    Mum of two felines Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Except if the carbs in the dry are keeping his BG up like what was happening to my two kittys. Does he get the food all the time?
     
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  12. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Jack, when my cat was first diagnosed he quickly went up to 7 U of insulin 2x daily; as soon as I started transitioning to a low carb diet, he dropped from 7 to 2, and shortly thereafter, went down to 1U. It is very possible that the DM is keeping his BG extremely high. I do recommend transitioning Mittens to a low carb diet, but UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THIS BE DONE WITHOUT HOME TESTING!!! He absolutely must be very closely monitored and tested frequently! Most of us, here, test before every shot, and at least one other time during the cycle, just as a regular routine; while transitioning from dry to wet food you would need to test even more frequently, especially so because of the huge insulin dose Mittens is receiving. You might do well to discuss this with his vet; it may even be advisable to start lowering his dose before, or as, you make the transition. Your vet can best advise you on ways to keep him safe during this time.
     
  13. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Do you have any BG value before the shot?
    You can purchase N/NPH insulin at a pharmacy, Novolin's brand is less expensive that Lilly's Humulin brand. The cost for the vial will be abut what you pay for ProZinc but vial of N/NPH contains 1000 units vice 400 units for ProZinc. You may be able to order Walmart's N over the internet. A prescription is not required
     
  14. Sebastian & Kerry

    Sebastian & Kerry New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Jack, since you are spending so much on insulin and he has other health issues, have you considered trying Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried food? It is quite expensive but has a nice crunchy texture (unless you add water as is recommended, but mine prefers it dry like a soft kibble) and good nutrition without risks of raw food which my vets advise against and I would think especially for any cat with immune issues. You might also try canned wet Wellness, which is what was prescribed for my diabetic cat who prefers the Stella & Chewy's. He is also sharing with my kidney disease cat a couple flavors of grain-free Spot's Stew (ones recommended for cats with kidney diease), but they are not as low carb.

    I would definitely try a better nutrition and lower carb diet to see if his quality of life improves. If his quality of life does not improve, I don't think it is wrong to be thinking about euthanasia given his multiple health issues, but it may be that you can both make him feel better and significantly reduce your insulin costs by switching to a better diet. If it were my cat (I mean if Sebastian reached that point) I would probably try the diet fix first before getting to a final decision about his quality of life versus cost of life. (I notice with Sebastian when his insulin is not working right he feels visibly worse.) But when a cat starts to irrevocably deteriorate, I do think it is kinder to euthanize maybe a little too soon rather than let it go too late and have the cat suffer.

    One note that others can pitch in on: My vets do NOT try to get Sebastian to actually stay below 200, but he is averaging in the 100s to 200s.
     
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  15. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    You might find the info found here helpful: Making "The Decision": Help to know when and how. The articles have tools included to help you assess Mitten's quality of life.

    That said, I happen to agree with Sebastian & Kerry when he said:


    Whatever you decide is best for Mittens... please don't just stop insulin. Discontinuing insulin would be like slowly starving him to death because he will not be able to absorb the nutrients in his food properly without it.


    You've been given some things to think about. Wishing you the strength and wisdom required to make the best choices for your little guy...
     

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