Wow so many of us :-(

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Frankie Bear, Dec 22, 2015.

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  1. Frankie Bear

    Frankie Bear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    I am a crazy cat lady with 7 cats ranging in age from 15 to 5 months. My Frankie Bear is in the middle at 8 years old, and was diagnosed diabetic in September. I love my vet but I'm not sure if maybe the treatment has maybe been a bit too conservative and my husband and I are really pulling our hair out trying to find the magic solution. Nothing seems to work. We've previously lost 2 other fur babies to diabetes and just can't stand to lose another. I have a friend who has gotten lots of help here so I'm hoping Frankie and I can get some help too. :) Also, I really was unclear how to set up my account so Frankie is my cat's name but he's not 45 years old, lol...
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  2. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Hi Crazy Cat Lady! All of us here are crazy cat peeps, some with 1 cat and some of us with 15! I only have 2, one of which is Bubba my sugar cat.

    Could you tell us a little more about Frankie Bear and his diabetes. What insulin are you using and how many units a shot? And did you change his diet to wet lower carbs? We recommend wet low carb under 10% carbs. I am linking a chart for you to see if what you are feeding is low enough.

    foodchart

    Also, are you home testing? If not, we all home test to keep our kitties safe and to know when to increase or decrease the insulin. If you aren't I or someone will link you videos on how to test and also give you some meter information.

    We don't want you to lose another cat to diabetes as it is a manageable disease with the right food, the best insulin and keeping kitty safe. I am going to tag @Wendy&Neko as she is in Canada as well and could possibly be a good resource for food choices for you as I believe some of the foods we feed in the States are not available to you there.

    Keep asking questions as that is how we all learn. This is an awesome forum and everyone here is so dedicated to helping and getting our sugar cats better. Answer when you can and we will take it from there. And Welcome!
     
  3. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Welcome to FDMB from another Crazy Canuck Cat Lady (Ontario). You will find all the support, tips, tricks, tools and guidance you need here. There is a ton of info/knowledge to share but first it would be helpful if you would share a few more details about Frankie and his treatment.

    Bobbie has given you a good list of info that would help us, assist you. If Frankie has any other health issue, it would be helpful if you could include those as well. Also if you are home testing, let us know what kind of meter you are using. Most people here are using human glucometers to monitor their kitties but there are also pet specific meters. We can help no matter which meter you use, but it's important to note that ALL the reference numbers on this site (unless specifically indicated otherwise) are based on human meter readings.

    If you have any specific concerns, let us know. Ask any and all questions on your mind! The hands on experience on this board is priceless.

    BTW
    That's actually a pretty close estimate of his age in human years, so I don't think he should take any issue! LOL!:D:woot:
     
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  4. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Thanks for weighing in Linda, I forgot you were in Canada also! :)
     
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  5. Frankie Bear

    Frankie Bear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Thank you, both of you! I sooo appreciate your reaching out... This is all such a learning.

    Frank was diagnosed Sept. 9/15. He was put on Lantus at first. I'm going to get the units all wrong so please forgive me. We were initially giving him 1 "unit" - i.e. to the 1 line on an U-100 syringe. (Is that 1 unit? I don't think it is.) Together with the vet's advice, worked him up to the 5 line twice a day. (I remember the vet saying the max was 2 - 2.5 units per kg of body weight and he was 6 kg. so 12 - 15 would be the most he could get.) His blood glucose stayed pretty constant at 18+ mmol/L (I know it should be between 4-8. I see on the message board everyone using different units for blood glucose so not sure how this equates). I'm using an Accu-Chek Aviva Nano glucometer so yes, we do test at home - it was tough to get figured out at first but we've got it down pat now.

    Because Frank is one of 7 fur babies, we have the problem of feeding everyone. In early November, I decided the free-feed kibble had to go. So we've been fighting to provide kibble several times a day to the brood, but keeping Frank out of it. He was getting canned food (Friskies pate) for breakfast before the diagnosis so it wasn't a horrible transition for him, but he loves his kibble. He fights against canned food all the time, turns his nose up to it. I can't tell you how much food has been wasted because he doesn't feel like chicken dinner today so there's a feline hunger strike going on. But it worked. Getting him off the kibble, his BG was finally moving. 6 times his BG fell into the normal range, once was too low at 3.0. Then it was skyrocketing up to 24-something. The vet said it was the somogyi effect - I guess that's called 'bouncing'? So we tried several weeks of trying to find the right dose that would not cause the wild fluctuations. It didn't work. He stayed back up in the 18-something range. The vet thought the dose would be somewhere between 4.5 - 5 but of course on a U-100 syringe, it's not possible to dose that precisely.

    So now we're on Prozinc? (Did I get that right?) It's only been 6 days. The vet said to start with 1 unit twice a day, so this one I know that the 2.5 line on the U-100 syringe = 1 unit. She said to continue to use the U-100 syringe because the lines between 1 unit and 2 units makes it so much easier to find a precise dose. In the meantime, Frank's BG has been a steady 18-something every time. It does go down after insulin, sometimes to 14 or 16-something but that's about it. He's showing signs of neuropathy - won't jump like before, shakes his back legs and will suddenly, feverishly bite his back feet like he's got pins-and-needles. He's also starting to show signs of aggression - attacking one of the others for no reasons at all. I'm worried for my kitten and my two geriatric babies. I've told the vet all this. A couple of days ago, my husband was angry about all this and says this is BS, let's give him 2 units and try to make some progress. And guess what: nothing. No change. He stays around 18-something, is down only a tiny bit around the 5-6 hour mark.

    The vet did give us some kibble that he could have - it's only 8% carbs and 50% protein and all the kitties (including the toothless one!) like it. But I'm suspicious. Maybe it's fine, I don't know, and it sure helps with feeding the whole brood - we can leave that out for them all the time.

    Frank had a slightly elevated pancreas marker back in September but it was only a very tiny bit about above the normal range. He had that tooth-resorption disease back in January and had 5 teeth removed. He has no other health problems that we know of. We haven't weighed him in awhile but I think he's losing weight again. That was the first clue that something was wrong - he had been a big cat at 15 pounds (he has a big frame so he wasn't fat per se) and then one day I realized I could feel his backbone. He had lost 3 pounds.

    That's about everything I can think of... Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! He's my cuddle bear and I so want to get him stable...
     
  6. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    You are at the best place. I currently have 8 cats. In the past I have had 4 diabetic cats, including 2 at one time. This information you will help you immensely. I did not lose any of my sugar kitties to diabetes. Two passed away at 17 & 19 due to old age and CRF. I lost one to cancer and the other to a blood clot.

    The best way to care for Frankie Bear is with a low carb/high protein diet. This means removing any dry food and changing over to all canned or raw food. Many of us feed our cats either Fancy Feast or Friskies pate flavors. Avoid anything with gravy in it - too high in carbs.

    Hometesting is your next tool. This means using a glucose meter to test the glucose levels in his blood. You do not need a special pet meter. Most of us use human meters. If are in the US, the Walmart Relion brand meters are good and inexpensive to use. If you are giving him insulin, you want to test before every shot. Don't worry, we can help you learn how to test.

    If your cat does need insulin, Lantus, Levemir, Prozinc and PZI are your best choices. These are all long acting insulins that cats respond well to. Lantus and Levemir are human insulins. If your vet prescribes either of these, ask for the prescription for the pens instead of vial. In the long run, they are more economical since you should be able to use almost every drop. The vial becomes ineffective long before you can use it all.

    If you have any questions, please ask them. That is what this board is for. We have all been where you are now and we are here to help you.
     
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  7. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Hello mom to Frankie Bear! I live to the west of you (BC) - welcome to the best place you don't want to be. Looks like you've got Frankie on a good low carb wet food. A lot of the foods in the food chart Bobbie posted for you are available in Canada. My crew are on low carb raw food - we have an abundance of selection here. And in some cases, it's actually cheaper than canned food. Kibble can play a huge part in regulation. We had one caregiver who thought her cat wasn't getting any kibble (available to the other 12 in her house), but after she switched the rest of her crew to all wet, his insulin went from 5.5 units twice a day to zero, very quickly.

    The Accu-Check Aviva you are using is a good one and used by a number of us Canucks. Check out Ebay for good prices on strips. I am one of the few Canadians using the Relion Lisa mentions, but that's because I hop across the border for my test strip shopping. You will notice that most of us have SS or spreadsheets linked in our signatures. We have a standard format for our spreadsheets (instructions here). We find it a very useful tool for helping us help others to figure out the right dosing of insulin. By the way, that 3.0 you got is not "too low" on a human meter, but rather a sign that you kitty was close to a pretty good dose. It's too low if you aren't home testing.

    Both Lantus and Prozinc are good insulins. I think more of us here use Lantus. Neko was on Lantus for a while, but is now on Levemir. Both Lantus and Levemir can be purchased over the counter at any pharmacy in Canada without a prescription. And yes, using the BD Ultra-Fine II U-100 syringes you can also purchased at that pharmacy. I have found that Safeway and Real Canadian Superstore have some of the best prices for diabetes supplies.

    Some kitties need more insulin than others. My Neko has two high dose conditions and we got up to 8.75U twice a day. Some kitties here need a lot more than that. There is no max per body weight, but we do have a formula we use for starting kitties on insulin, and we also increase slowly as to not bypass a good dose. A lot of vets think the high dose conditions are rare, but one in four diabetic cats have acromegaly.
     
  8. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Hey there again. I am so glad you are hometesting! So important especially the time you saw Frankie Bear go low. Could we get you to set up a spread sheet? It is where we all keep our data from home test and it helps to look back and see what the trends are and it also will help the peeps who are helping you to alter your dose for Frankie Bear. If you look at my signature, you will see SS and click on that and you will see what one looks like. I test a lot because Bubba had ketones and I have to keep an eye on things so don't get freaked out....

    Here is an explanation of how to use the Spreadsheet (SS) it looks difficult but when you understand how it works, it is not hard.

    AMPS is the AM Pre-shot test (always test before shooting to make sure they're high enough to give insulin)...then the U column is for "Units" (how much you gave)

    The +1, +2, +3, etc are for how many hours since shooting...so +2 is 2 hours after the AM shot, +9 is 9 hour after, etc.....Since we're all over the world here, saying "he was at 148 at 8pm" doesn't tell us anything...we need to know how long since his last shot.

    The instructions on how to get on up and going is here. .

    If you have trouble doing getting it going, reach out and someone will help you (won't be me because I am a mo -mo at that stuff and someone got mine up and going for me)

    Once you get it going you can start tracking your test. Then post in ProZinc forum since that is the insulin Frankie Bear is on now and the peeps there are so knowledgeable with ProZinc and will help and guide you to find the perfect dose for Frankie.

    Ask all the questions you need to, we are here to help. What is your name by the way?
     
  9. Frankie Bear

    Frankie Bear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Oh I'm Rhonda, btw... Thanks for the info! And thank you, Bobbie, for the details - I have to run out for a few things this morning but I'll get going on that spreadsheet - we've kept a book of the details so far so we have everything.
     
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  10. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Thank you for the wonderful synopsis of your journey with Frankie. This helps us figure out how to best assist you.

    First of all, congratulations for testing Frankie and for trying to get him onto a wet canned diet. What brand of dry cat food did your vet give you that is supposed to be only 8% carbs because none of the vet prescription foods are that low (most are 18% and higher) and even from a retail perspective, the only 8% kibble here was Evo but sadly the company decided to stop selling their products in Canada last spring/summer. So unless I am sorely mistaken about the food, I think that may be one of the first things you need to look at.

    I can certainly appreciate the difficulty of trying to feed multiple cats. Goodness knows I've had my challenges with a smaller crew of 3! I have a kibble addicted sugar cat who refuses to acknowledge anything soft is edible! But if Frankie is eating wet food, you are on the right track and I would try to get him on that exclusively. Who knows, maybe the rest of them can be persuaded to give up their kibble too? I managed to get my 17 yr. old off kibble and never thought that would be possible.

    If I need to leave canned food out for my boys, I freeze some and leave the cubes out for them to eat later so there is always some food available. A lot of folks here use auto feeders and there are some available now that can be programmed to allow certain cats access (based on a microchip or wearable tag) while keeping others out. If you want to stay with kibble for the rest of your clowder, this might be just the ticket. They can be pricey but might be well worth it in the long run. Here are some links .....

    http://www.hammacher.com/Product/Default.aspx?sku=83789
    http://microchipfoodbowl.com/duo.html
    http://www.amazon.ca/SureFlap-Microchip-Pet-Feeder/dp/B0189MWES6
    http://www.wirelesswhiskers.com/ec/

    As mentioned by Wendy and Bobbie, the spreadsheet is an invaluable tool that allows you to keep track of Frankie's readings and also provides detailed information to the folks here so they can help you in the best way possible. Posting in the ProZinc forum will put you in touch with the folks most experienced using that insulin.

    There is a product called Zobaline that many folks use for neuropathy. It is not available here but you may be able to order it online and have it shipped from the US. The other option would be Vit b12 injections which you would have to speak to your vet about. Unlike humans, cats usually recover completely from the neurological effects once they are regulated and the vitamin b12 seems to help immensely.
     
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  11. Frankie Bear

    Frankie Bear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    B12! Oh my goodness, we have a bunch of that too, and completely forgot about it. We'll definitely get him going on that again. So here's the kibble the vet gave us: Purina Pro Plan Overweight Management and its details are:
    Protein 50%
    crude fat min 6% max 10%
    fiber 8%
    moisture 11%
    ash 7.5%
    calcium 0.9%
    phosphorus 0.85%

    She said that the fiber was 8% therefore the carbs are 8%. But if I subtract all these things from 100%, I get 11%? (using 10% fat) I was suspicious but thought she's the vet... and now I see he's almost gone backwards with his BG - he was bouncing before but at least there was movement...
     
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  12. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Hey Rhonda, me again. I forgot to give you instructions to get your signature up and going also. That is where you will attach Frankie Bear's SS. Click in the upper right corner on Frankie Bear's name. You'll see a drop down box. Click on Signature. Put Frankie Bear's name, date of DX, insulin, how many units, what meter you are using and any thing else you feel is important, maybe like neuropathy, any of the civilian animals in your house, whatever can fit into three sentences.

    About the RX food: so many of us fall for the RX food and it is so unnecessary, cost-wise, convenience (who wants to be running to the vet for cat food) AND it is not lower carb than the grocery store food, at all! Our vets get seduced by these pet food companies and buy into their propaganda. There is nothing RX about the food.

    Yell if you need us!
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
    Reason for edit: ETA
  13. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Based on that food analysis, I'd estimate the carb load to be somewhere around 18-20%. High fibre diets used to be prescribed for diabetic cats but that thinking has changed over the years. It's also important to take the ingredients in the food into consideration as some carbs have a higher glycemic affect than others. Potatoes and rice and tapioca are some of the frequently found items that are high glycemic. ECID (every cat is different) so while one cat may do well on one food, another may not so paying attention to the ingredients can be very telling as you try to regulate Frankie.

    Vets get little training on nutrition and the RX food makers do a marvelous job of making vets think their food is the best possible choice. The majority of folks here have been given the same recommendations from their vet and most are now feeding their cats regular non Rx foods with great results and considerably less expense!
     
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  14. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    HA! Linda, I just got your name MrWorfmen's Mom!!! Clever!
     
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  15. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Bobbie! You win the gold medal! No one else has ever commented and several people thought I was a guy!:woot::D
     
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  16. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    See, that's what happens when you realllllly look at someone's signature. Sorry Rhonda for high-jacking your thread.:)
     
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  17. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    There are some Secondary Monitoring Tools in my signature link, plus some Notes to Share and some info on meters and numbers, which you may find helpful.
     
  18. Frankie Bear

    Frankie Bear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Ok, I have a question about the spreadsheet. If I'm asking in the wrong place, please let me know... :) I opened up the World spreadsheet for human meters, and then I tried the US spreadsheet. And both show BG < 50, 50 - 99, etc. but I do not know what #s that represents... my meter is mmol/L so I'm pretty sure my #s are not the ones that should go on there (our aim is to have his BG between 4 - 8 mm0l/L). What do I do now?
     
  19. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Hi Rhonda. The sheet you want is the World sheet showing the mmol measurements. There are two tabs (sheets) in that spreadsheet....one is in mmol and the other in mg/dl which is the measurement our U.S. friends use. Since the majority of folks here are used to the US measurement, our spreadsheet is set up so that the conversion between our mmol and their mg. is done automatically. That way if someone from the US is trying to help those of us using mmols, they don't have to do any calculating to figure out our numbers and can easily help us with our kitties.

    You just enter your numbers as per your meter on the World (mmol) sheet and then if you click on the US sheet, it will show the reading in the US measurement scale.
     
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  20. Frankie Bear

    Frankie Bear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Cool! Thanks so much, Linda!
     
  21. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Glad that helped! If you have any problems getting it set up and putting it into your signature, just holler!
     
  22. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Love the pic of Frankie Bear! Welcome to you both. :)
     
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  23. Frankie Bear

    Frankie Bear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    He's been such a big boy, that's a dog bed he's filling up

    Hey, let's see if the spreadsheet is showing in my signature now... I am going to test his BG again in just a few minutes because things are very weird today... I gave him 5 units this morning and his BG was UP 2 hours later! Urg, this is so frustrating. I wanted to see what was going on at 2, 4 and 6 hours but I was busy filling in the spreadsheet and missed the +4 hour mark so it'll have to be approximately +5 instead...
     
  24. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    It's working just fine! Great job! I know how frustrating those higher +2 numbers can be but it's how the cycles go, not individual numbers you need to take into consideration. Now that you are testing more and have the spreadsheet set up, you'll get a better picture of what's happening with Frankie. Those individual numbers don't mean a lot....it's the big picture over time that counts.

    Wow he is a big boy! Does he have some Bengal or Maine Coone in him?
     
  25. Frankie Bear

    Frankie Bear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Not as far as I know! Mind you, his mom snuck out partying one night and came home pregnant so who knows!

    Thanks for the info - it's great reassurance. This whole experience is exhausting - I won't give up but ... I just did his BG and it was down to 14.1 so that's better...
     
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  26. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    It does get better and easier as you go along. Promise! :bighug:


    Mogs
    .
     
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