Zephyr's not eating

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Zephyr&Bailey'sDad, May 23, 2015.

  1. Zephyr&Bailey'sDad

    Zephyr&Bailey'sDad New Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    This is my first post, but I'm in desperate need of advice. If this would be better suited for a different part of the forum, let me know. I'll try to keep it concise. Below is an overview of everything so far, followed by our current issue.

    Zephyr, my 12 yr old, 15 lb Tabby, was diagnosed a month ago after a routine check up. Other that frequent urination, he had shown no symptoms leading up to this. BG was in the 400s. It was the next week before the vet could get me in to show me how to give him Prozinc injections (1 unit) and to give me Prescription Diet w/d (which I have NOT given him thanks to this forum). I waited until the weekend to begin injections because I wanted to be around the first couple of days in case of hypoglycemia (my wife and I both work full time). Per my wife's urging, I did more research to make sure we understood the treatment. I came across catinfo.org which led me here.

    Thanks to catinfo and you wonderful people, I went out that same day and bought a week's worth of Fancy Feast (Classic only) and made the switch cold turkey since I hadn't begun injections yet.

    For 2 weeks Zephyr and Bailey (12yo siamese) loved the new food. Bailey still does, but over the last 2 weeks Zephyr has become less and less interested and just wanted his dry food. I've tried lots of "tricks" to get him to eat the canned and to keep his calorie intake at 100 at least, more if I can get him to eat enough (vet said to try to get him to 12 lbs, 10 lbs ideally, so I guess 150-200 calories would be best based on what I've read here). I've tried:

    -sprinkling his science diet on top
    -crushing science diet to powder and sprinkling it.
    -switched to Wellness canned, he ate it for one day
    -got Evo cat and kitten DRY to feed him and try the above tricks, he liked this food for a few days.

    Each method has worked for a day or two and then I have to try something else. I often have to relent and give him dry food only (now EVO, 8% carbs right?) and/or some tuna just to make sure he reaches his calorie mark.

    THE ISSUE NOW: Zephyr doesn't seem to care much for eating at all the last few days - wet, EVO dry, or his science diet from before. He's not necessarily lethargic, he's alert, he purrs but he is laying around more. The only thing he's enthusiastic about is these Get Naked Urinary Tract treats we bought on a whim http://www.amazon.com/Get-Naked-Urinary-Health-Crunchy/dp/B0076Y29AW
    which he gets really excited for, so I don't know if it's an appetite issue or stubbornness.

    I'm ashamed of this, but I have not begun injections yet. At first I was fearful because of the food switch, having read the amount of insulin required will drop immediately after switching, and not knowing how much to give him. I think I've been hopeful that the food switch alone would take him into remission, which was naive of me. Now I CAN'T inject him because he won't eat a full meal. I'm also ashamed that I was only giving them a half can of Fancy Feast each twice a day at first (3oz each per cat per day). It seemed like so much food, but then I did calorie research and realized I was only giving them half what they need.

    I tested him for the first time this morning: 394 without eating : (

    Zephyr's shoulders, back and hips have been getting bony ever since the food switch, I don't know if this is good or bad. I'm starting to get really scared. This is specially scary because he was always happy and eager to eat before daignosis, so this disinterest has developed over a month period. I'm ready to stop being fearful and begin injections, but now I have to get him to eat to do so. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    This is an incredible forum, and I thank you all for providing such a crucial resource.
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
    Critter Mom likes this.
  2. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Without enough insulin, the cat is literally starving to death, even while eating voraciously. Insulin is what allows the glucose from food to be absorbed.

    Lack of appetite, when not on insulin, could be ketones from fat breakdown for energy. Too many ketones can turn into diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal, expensive to treat, complication of diabetes. Pop over tot he pharmacy and pick up some KetoStix, KetoDiaStix, or generic to test the urine for ketones. If more than a trace of these is detected in a fresh urine sample, you may need an emergency vet visit.

    Also, the fat goes through the liver and too much may overload the it causing hepatic lipidosis, which disrupts digestion and is also a potentially fatal, expensive to treat, complication of diabetes.

    If the glucose is high, it can be OK to give small doses of insulin and start the process safely. Plus, by reducing the blood glucose, it triggers appetite. With a 394 mg/dL, it is likely to be safe to give 0.5 units. What insulin do you have? Our members have experience with several kinds and we have protocols and guidelines for their use.
  3. Zephyr&Bailey'sDad

    Zephyr&Bailey'sDad New Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Thanks so much for your insight. We were given Prozinc.

    Update: Out of other options, I broke down and openned the prescription w/d. He went for it right away. At least he has something in him. I'm going to test him again and give him an injection of .5 units.
  4. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Novel food can do that. I gave Gracie some Fancy Feast Classic beef pate last night and she finally ate. She's been having some GI issues.

    ProZinc has a nadir, or lowest glucose, around +5 to +7 hours post shot. Snagging a test in that period will help you see how the insulin is working. See my signature link Glucometer Notes for more info on using glucometers to test at home.
  5. Zephyr&Bailey'sDad

    Zephyr&Bailey'sDad New Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Thanks for that link, very helpful!
  6. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    But wait, there's more!
    See the other signature link, Secondary Monitoring Tools, for additional assessments you may use to evaluate your cat. In particular, check out the urine testing for ketones using KetoStix, KetoDiaStix, or a generic equivalent.
    Zephyr&Bailey'sDad likes this.
  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi and welcome to you and Zephyr.

    Is Zephyr showing any signs of nausea at all? Here's a handy nausea symptom checker from Tanya's site. If Zephyr is nauseated then generic ondansetron (not Zofran - crazy expensive!) or Cerenia can help. If Zephyr does need an appetite stimulant, cyproheptadine can help. I'd recommend contacting your vets to let them know about Zephyr's inappetence. I'm glad he has eaten some of the w/d. It's not a suitable food for the long haul because of the insane level of carbs in it, but when kitties have appetite problems the right food is the one you can get them to eat. :)
    Zephyr&Bailey'sDad likes this.
  8. TigzMom

    TigzMom Member

    Apr 14, 2015
    Hi there. I'm certainly no expert like the others, but when my sugar cat was initially finicky (when he was on insulin), and wouldn't eat, I tried giving him some Gerber baby food meat. This is low-carb (approx 2 carbs). My Tigz was given this once prior to his diabetes dx when he had to take oral steroids for his asthma. I used to hide the pills in this. He loves this and gobbles this up. Just a thought. Perhaps this may help get your sugar cat to eat some.
    Again, BJM and the others are the experts, but just wanted to share what worked for my Tiggy.
  9. Zephyr&Bailey'sDad

    Zephyr&Bailey'sDad New Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Thanks everyone for your concern and helpful advice. For some reason I was not getting email notifications that responses were still coming in so I'm just seeing them now. I will definitely try your advice getting him switched over to canned food. GOOD NEWS (I think) but first a quick recap of the week in case the extra info helps determine how he's doing/treatment needed.

    Today marks one week I've been giving Zeph his shots, and I've been doing so regularly. His appetite has grown back to normal and he's seeming more like himself each day. His levels seemed to stay in the 300s even when I upped his dosage from 1 unit to 1 1/3 units. This morning he tested at 559, I have no idea where that came from, I tested twice to be sure. I gave him about 50 calories tuna and 30 calories w/d to try to curb his carb intake, and 1 1/2 units Prozinc. At 3+ hrs he was down to 472.

    I just tested him before mealtime: 138!!!

    -Does this seem right? Once again, tested twice to make sure and confirmed. Is such a huge drop normal?

    -The "Glucometer Notes" said 150 is the no-shot threshold, but wasn't sure when that meant, 150 before meal? At nadir? Also, I read it to say NOT to give a shot if I have insufficient mid-cycle data, am I interpreting this correctly?

    I'm not going to give him an injection this meal for fear of hypoglycemia, please let me know if I'm doing the right thing.

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  10. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    If your pre-shot test is below 150 mg/dL and you do NOT have test data showing the glucose drop will remain safely above 50 mg/dL,
    1) stall for 30 minutes without feeding and re-test.
    1a) If rising and now above 150 mg/dL shoot.
    1b) If rising and not above 150 mg/dL and you can be home to monitor through the next 12 hours, shoot and collect tests to monitor how low he goes.
    1c) if not rising or if dropping, you may wish to give a token half dose to keep from going to high by tomorrow.
    2) skip - tomorrow is another day!
  11. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Can we get you started using our grid to record your glucose tests? It will help us give you better feedback. Instructions are here.

    Understanding the spreadsheet/grid:

    The colored headings at the top are the ranges of glucose values. They are color-coded to clue you in as to meaning.

    Each day is 1 row. Each column stores different data for the day.

    From left to right, you enter
    the Date in the first column
    the AMPS (morning pre-shot test) in the 2nd column
    the Units given (turquoise column)

    Then, there are 11 columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you test at +5 (5 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +5 column
    If you test at +7 (7 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +7 column
    and so on.

    Halfway across the page is the column for PMPS (evening pre-shot)
    To the right is another turquoise column for Units given at the evening shot.

    There is second set of columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you snag a before bed test at +3, you enter the test number in the +3 column.

    We separate day and night numbers like that because many cats go lower at night.

    It is merely a grid for storing the info; no math required.
  12. Zephyr&Bailey'sDad

    Zephyr&Bailey'sDad New Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Will do, I will try to start on it tomorrow. Would it he helpful to backlog what I have stored in the Relion?

    I already fed him. What would be the best course of action tonight?
  13. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Absolutely add in all the data you can retrieve. It helps us see patterns.

    Maybe just skip for tonight and start over in the morning.
  14. Sunnyboy

    Sunnyboy New Member

    Mar 15, 2016
    My cat sunny stopped eating his dry food i gave him fancy feast canned food.tuna feast in gravy.he wont eat any other food ive tried. This is the only one he will eat .i still leave his dry food out for over nights.he does eat it some timed

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