Change to wet food at the same time as starting insulin?

Discussion in 'Prozinc / PZI' started by Brite_eyes06, May 26, 2019.

  1. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019
    Hi everyone,

    Forgive me if this isn't the correct spot to ask my question.

    My cat has eaten dry food his entire life, since his dx I've switched him to a diabetic friendly dry food. Now I'm ready to start giving his insulin but I've read so much about wet food being better for him than dry food that I think I should switch him over.

    My question is, should I switch to wet food at the same time as starting insulin, should I do one before the other?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Jeni
     
  2. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    Feb 18, 2019
    Hi Jeni. Yep. This is exactly the right spot to ask your question! Low-carb wet food is so much better for your sugar baby than even the most diabetic friendly dry food could be. Many cats will go into remission simply by switching to low carb wet , so you do need to be cautious if you're starting insulin at the same time that you're changing foods. I switched Jack to wet food a week before I started giving him insulin, and I tested his blood glucose at home to make sure that I was giving him the right dose for his changing numbers. If you're not testing at home, I wouldn't recommend doing both together. Will you be testing Riddick's blood glucose level with a glucometer at home?
     
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  3. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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  4. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Hi Jeni, and welcome! I agree with Carolyn that it's best to switch the food and start home testing first. See what the BG level is at home, and post that for us. We can help you figure out if you need to start the insulin right away, or if it would be better to give the food change a few days.

    Here is the link to get your spreadsheet set up: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    And here is information about how to home test: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/

    Let us know what questions you have and we're happy to help!
     
  5. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019

    Thank you so much for the information and in depth response! Yes, I will be testing at home, although I haven't yet. I plan on doing it today actually even though I won't be doing insulin until I decide on his food.

    When the vet explained Riddicks diagnosis to me, she stated that remission probably isn't a possibility for him since he didn't acquire diabetes from being overweight. I'm not sure how accurate that is but that's what they are saying.

    Would you still suggest switching him to wet food for a week and taking his numbers to see what that does?

    Riddick is also suffering from the neuropathy in his hind legs, more than likely from the untreated diabetes. It breaks my heart and I'm anxious to start getting him treatment. I'm just nervous to start the insulin until I have his food figured out as I know it will directly affect what he needs insulin wise.

    Am I just overthinking this!?

    Thank you again, I really appreciate your time!
     
  6. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019

    Thank you so much!! This is so helpful. I will test his BG today and post again. Thank you, thank you!
     
  7. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    Feb 18, 2019
    I think switching him and testing him for a week before you start insulin is a good idea. It will also give you time to get comfortable with testing and to get Riddick used to having it done. Sometimes it takes a little while for capillaries to grow in the ears, and as you test it gets easier and easier to actually get a drop of blood. And as @Djamila suggested, members here can help you decide which dose to start him on. Generally, 1U is a good place to begin, but if his BG numbers are low or continuing to lower, it may be good to start lower. But you can cross that bridge when you come to it.
    I'm so glad that you're testing him at home! It's the best way to keep him safe and the only way to really know how to dose him correctly. Let us know if you need help or support in testing, as it can be quite challenging in the beginning.
    As far as going into remission... My sugar baby wasn't overweight, and he was very underweight when he was first diagnosed. (Down from 18 pounds to 13 pounds. He s a very big boy - my gentle giant.) He also had very bad neuropathy and walked completely on his hocks. It broke my heart as well. But here's the good news - Jack was dx in Feb. and his first insulin shot was on Feb 22nd. Right now, I am doing an OTJ (off the juice) trial because his BG numbers look like maybe he's going into remission. And he wasn't overweight. And his neuropathy is nearly gone because of lowering his BG (and taking Zobaline). There is great hope for Riddick!

    Jack was dx on a Friday and I switched to all low carb food by Sun. Then I began trying to test. My first successful test was on Fri (one week after his dx), so I gave him his first insulin shot that day. Since then, his numbers have gradually gone down.

    Let us know what his BG numbers are, and if we can help you in any way.
     
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  8. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Carolyn - I love Jack's story. Even though I was here to watch the whole thing unfold, it was really fun to read it all just now. What a great encouragement!

    Riddick's mama - fantastic job getting your first test done, and getting your spreadsheet set up already! Gold star for you!

    Seeing how high that first number is though, I'm not inclined to tell you to wait a full week. Can you give us an idea how the test went today? Was it easy? Does it seem like you'll be able to test from here out without any trouble...or was it challenging and might take a few days to get it figured it out?

    Do you have some low-carb wet food that he'll eat? We can make suggestions if you need some help with this. My cat was a kibble addict who did not like wet food, so I even have some tricks for getting a resistant cat to try wet food if you need help with that.

    And finally, how is your life schedule? Are you at work all day? Home all day? Some combination of the two? As we learn what will work for you we can make the best suggestions. :bighug:
     
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  9. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    It's wonderful that you were able to get a BG test! Congrats! As far as beginning insulin now or later... I would encourage you to follow Djamila's advice. I'm basically a newbie, and Jack has been so uncomplicated from the beginning. And as long as you're able to test so that you know how he is responding to the food change and to the insulin, insulin can only help in healing his pancreas and his neuropathy sooner than later. Even though Jack was eating low carb wet for a week before I was able to test him, his BG numbers were still in the red for the first few days, and holding back insulin wouldn't have been good for him at that point.

    And @Djamila - It was nice to have the chance to share Jack's story. He's such a sweet little guy, and it's been great seeing him walk on his toes and play with his toys again.
     
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  10. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019
    Again, thank you so very much. I can't express how much these words of wisdom and encouragement from both of you had helped calm my nerves! I was prepared to do what was needed for Riddick but this whole new world comes with some extra anxiety. So, thank you both very much. ♥

    Now, his first test wasn't horrible. It wasn't totally seamless and smooth but I don't think I will have too much trouble testing.

    I have zero wet food at the moment. I can rectify that pretty quickly though.

    I work for our school district. After June 12th, I'll be home for the next 3 months. Until then, I am home regularly at 8am and 8 pm. I am thinking that will be a good 12 hour period for me atleast. My husband works from home so if there's a need to have food set out or removed throughout the day, he can take care of that.

    I'm 100% open to suggestions and advice!
     
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  11. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    Thank you Carolyn! What an encouraging story. My heart is happy knowing this isn't necessarily the end for my guy. Which is what I was expecting to hear.
     
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  12. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    You're welcome. I will always remember how overwhelmed I felt when Jack was first diagnosed. Finding this forum was my sanity.

    It's so good that you'll have time to test Riddick while he's adjusting to insulin and diet change. Will your husband also be testing him? I'm so impressed that you got enough blood to test on your first attempt! It took me a few days before I got enough to test him. I poked and poked again. How did it go with him today?
    Anyway... let us know if you have any questions.
     
  13. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019
    Riddick was a trooper with me today as I tested him twice, before the wet food and an hour after. Took me two tries each time but still got two good readings! :)

    Starting tomorrow morning, I'm going to feed him his wet food twice a day and track his BG. As soon as I feel confident in the U100 needles, I will start his insulin.
     
  14. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    Feb 18, 2019
    It's good to see that Riddick's BG went down after he ate, even without insulin. It shows that his pancreas is at least doing something on its own! I was confused when I first looked at his spreadsheet because you had two rows for today's date. To make it easy to understand at a glance, the spreadsheets are designed so that we can keep each day in one row, and put the BG tests at the appropriate hour. So for Riddick's test one hour after he ate, you could put that number in the +1 column. Two hours after a meal would be in the +2 column, and so forth. This document will explain it a lot clearer than I just did! http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/understanding-the-spreadsheet-grid.156606/
    You're doing a great job!
     
  15. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    How are you doing? How is Riddick? He's high enough that I think it would be good to start the insulin tomorrow so you can monitor him through the weekend. Let us know what questions you have about the syringes, and if there's any way we can help. :bighug:
     
  16. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019
    Thank you! I gave him his first dose this morning. The injection itself was totally smooth. Riddick was too interested in his food to care. :) I can tell he is wanting to eat sooner than every 12 hours. He's been used to free feed g dry food his entire life. I'm worried to give him more food throughout the day with his starting insulin and having such high numbers. Any thoughts? Might be get used to his new feeding schedule or should I adhere closer to what he's accustomed to? Thank you, thank you!! Hope all is well on everyone else's end too!
     
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  17. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    Feb 18, 2019
    I'm so glad you got that first shot! And it's wonderful that Riddick is such a cooperative guy. As far as the feedings go... I feed my cats 3 times a day, and give them enough to have extra to graze on for quite a while. It's actually better for his BG to eat more frequently than less frequently, so Riddick doesn't have to be hungry. (He'll be happy to hear that.) Just be sure that he doesn't eat within two hours before his AMPS and PMPS testing, so his numbers can be more accurate. Testing before a shot lets us know if it's safe to go ahead and shoot. If he eats too soon before a shot and his BG is elevated, it's possible that the food could have taken him from a too-low-to-shoot number to one that looks safe to shoot. (I hope I'm making sense!) So... some members let their cats graze, and others feed 3 or 4 times a day.
    I see that you've also been able to get that +1 testing in. That's great! It will generally take 2-3 hours to begin to see the BG go down from the insulin. And he won't hit his lowest numbers until later in his cycle (although some cats have their own agendas). So when you can (maybe if you're home this weekend), try and get a test in later, at 2 hours or beyond, so you can see if the dose has lowered his BG. This will let you know if the dose is working for him, or if you have to raise or lower it as needed. It's a good idea to stay with the same dose for a week, to give it time. The exceptions would be if it drops him too low or if it isn't working at all to lower it.
    I hope I'm not overwhelming you with info. There's so much to learn, and I remember the feeling of... Arg!!!!!! :nailbiting:
    If you have any questions, we're here!
     
  18. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019
    Oh my goodness, thank you! You explained wonderfully! I feel confident going into the weekend, thank you. ❤️ I look forward to how he does and I'll post updates. :)
     
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  19. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    Good!
     
  20. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019
    Three doses of insulin so far and this mornings PS BG was the lowest yet, 278!

    I'm headed to the store for more cat food! ❤️
     
  21. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    Feb 18, 2019
    He's responded so well to the insulin! I'm so happy for you (And Riddick, of course :p).
     
  22. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019
    I think Riddick is happy for sure! I took your advice to go ahead and feed him (more than I was) and I'm pretty sure he's glowing. :)

    Now that his numbers are coming down, how do I know what he "should" be? I know I need to do the BG curve test in a few days, does that help determine what his range should be?
     
  23. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    Oh my goodness, his numbers are looking so good! And I'm glad that he's glowing! Ha ha ha ha ha!! As far as what his numbers "should" be... every cat is different (ECID) and every diabetic cat's BG numbers will have different "normal" numbers. Time will tell what looks normal for Riddick. And... normal will often change. My sugar baby's BG changed consistently for 3 months up until his OTJ trial (which is now day #14). That's why we always get some numbers and some data, so we can know if and when the dose should change. Riddick is responding well to his insulin, and his BG is already going down. So you may be altering his dose if the numbers go down quick or too low for 2U. But worry not! You'll get good advice along the way, and people here will help you out with changes as you need them. I'm going to let a more experienced member give advice on this. I just reached out to someone who will be popping in on this thread, and she'll be able to make suggestions about his dosing if his numbers go too low.
    If he is below 200 at pre shot, come here and ask for advice on what to dose. Or... start a new thread and ask for immediate dosing advice. Don't give a full 2U if it's that low this early in the game.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
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  24. Jenna Josie

    Jenna Josie Member

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    Jun 30, 2018
    Looks like he is having a really good initial response -- yay!

    When you're first starting, before you have lots of data and know your kitty's responses well, the "no shoot" number is 200 (on a human meter. I think you're using that kind vs. one formulated for pets; e.g., Alpha Track?). We hope for about a 50% drop from the pre-shot (PS) number to the nadir, which is typically around +6. That's just what Riddick did for you today. A well-regulated cat will have pre-shot numbers in the high blues or low yellows and nadirs in the dark greens.

    A couple of things might happen now that your testing/shooting. 1) his PS number might actually be higher than the previous one! This is usually because kitty's body responds to what is *for him* a "low" number. Your numbers today were perfectly safe, but they are not what he has been used to, and when that happens, sometimes the cat's body dumps stored sugar into the bloodstream to counteract what it *perceives* to be a low number, resulting in a higher PS. This is called "bouncing." Or 2) the diet change + the insulin support may keep bringing those numbers down, in which case we'll want to reassess your dose. 2 units may be somewhat high to start on (don't fret about it, though! It's what we started on, too, per vet's instructions.), so you just need to be attentive, as you're doing, and post for advice if you get a lower-than-expected pre-shot number.

    Also, and this is just as a precaution, since you're stocking up on foods, do pick up a few cans of food with "gravy." This is terrible, awful stuff chock full of carbs, but it is *exactly* what you will want to have handy if Riddick drops too low (i.e., into the lime green range). You'll want to create a little "hypo kit" with the gravy food, some honey/syurp, and maybe some treats like Temptations (also contraband except during emergencies! :) ), as well as a little cache of extra strips and lancets.

    (That's not meant to scare you at all! It's just really good to be prepared always, and esp. when just starting insulin while also changing foods.)
     
  25. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    And if you do get a lime green number along the way (I'm really not trying to worry you, but you just never know), his dose should be lowered. But we'll help you if that happens. He's doing great! Have you reviewed anything that discusses hypos - lime green numbers? As Jenna said, you'll want to keep some high carb foods and treats at hand, along with some honey or karo syrup. (All of us have a hypo kit handy.) You don't need to worry unless his numbers go down to 50, and even then, don't panic. That 50 is just the warning number - it's not dangerous. If you get a lime green number, or if he's dropping too low, post a new thread with a 911 prefix, and people will respond fast. (That's the reason for the 911 symbol). If it happens, you'll have people that will help you. And now that I've probably thoroughly scared you, I'll say... not every cat experiences a hypo situation. Jack never did. He often went into those lovely 50s, but never went too low. Riddick looks great!
     
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  26. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    Oh, thank you! You made me chuckle a bit, which is great during all of this! I love your explanation of contraband. :) I will make my hypo kit tomorrow!
     
  27. Brite_eyes06

    Brite_eyes06 Member

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    May 18, 2019
    No worries on causing panic!! I am absorbing all of this and feel comforted like you're all great friends here to help! I can't get enough info. and all of the thoughts/advice are so appreciated. I will do some additional reading on a hypo situation and get my kit together tomorrow! As well as train my husband! :)
     
  28. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    I just saw that Riddick was high this morning. I don't know if that was a bounce from him going to blue numbers yesterday? But he was in the yellows after his PM dose, so I don't know. He may just need a few days to get used to the dose, or it could have been a bounce (from the low numbers). Or... you may need to slightly increase his dose. (He's already had 5 cycles with the same.) I'll check back later to see how he's doing, and to see if you have any mid cycle numbers.

    Also, you can post and ask for dosing advice, and put a question mark before the topic. It draws more attention, and people know that you're asking for an answer.
     
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