Looking for advice, blood sugar continually high

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Jenniferrahn, Sep 25, 2019.

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  1. Jenniferrahn

    Jenniferrahn New Member

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    Sep 25, 2019
    Hello!! I am wondering if anyone can give me some pointers regarding our diabetic kitty. Things don't seem to be getting a whole lot better despite three vet visits. Per our vet, we have our cat on Royal Canin Glycobalance. She seemed to like it at first, but isn't as thrilled now with it. She eats a couple spoonfuls twice a day. Also per our vet, she is allowed to free feed purina cat food (I questioned this, but vet said this was fine). We have her on 3u of Novolin every 12 hours with a two-hour variance. We also have two other cats (her kittens) and they all eat at the same time in different locations. The other two cats also free feed on dry food and eat a mix of 9-lives or friskies with a little bit of her food in it, because we are considering transitioning everyone to the same diet.

    Our cat is constantly hungry and it breaks our hearts. When she is climbing up our legs begging for food, we always open a can of chicken, tuna in oil, salmon, or gourmet sardines. Her favorite protein is snow crab from Red Lobster, so we are those cat people who will buy it for her. The vet recommended we did that and to make sure she eats when she is hungry. She is still drinking a lot of water and peeing a lot. She also has kind of felt warm to the touch to me and lays on the hard floor to keep cool I think.

    We have asked numerous times if we are able to test ourselves, and our vet said that there is no option for home testing. Based on what I have seen on this forum so far, that is inaccurate. We have also been told that there are just two options for us as far as insulin-- one that costs $30 per vial (Novolin) and one that costs $400 per vial. Regarding the insulin, our vet said that the expiration dates do not matter and we are still on the first vial of insulin, so now I am questioning everything and am not feeling very confident in our vet's ability to treat her.

    The last time we were at the vet, although her blood sugar numbers didn't improve, she did gain 1/4 pound. She lost about 21% of her body weight before we realized there was a problem. It seemed to happen quick. I had also spent a couple of weeks out of town and when I got back, she was super skinny.

    If anyone has any advice or if I need to answer more questions, please let me know. We are 100% dedicated to making this cat's life comfortable, happy, and long.
     
  2. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Hi Jen, so glad to see your thread here. And I'm glad to see that you are questioning and researching. If you have not yet, please revisit the Home page and read the "Getting Started" and the "Education" sections to the right of the page. This is basic information that is helpful to all diabetic cat caretakers.

    Your vet is incorrect about testing. We all test our cats and keep a record of all insulin shots and testing data in a spreadsheet that we use here. Many of us use a human glucometer because it's less expensive than the pet meters, strips especially as the pet meter strips can run $1 apiece in the US, more in Canada.

    Testing is going to show you how the insulin is working, and we urge every member to test before "shooting" to be sure the blood sugar is high enough to inject. You kitty may not in danger of this right at this time, with the high carb diet she is on, but it's so much better to be safe than sorry. Plus, if you decide to change insulin and/or the diet this is going to be imperative.

    If you are in the US you can visit Walmart and buy a ReliOn Prime meter for about $9, 50 strips for another $9 and a box of 26 or 28 gauge lancets for a few more dollars. Some cosmetic pads or cotton balls, some Vaseline and some Neosporin or Equate pain relieving ointment (not cream) are the essentials for testing.

    Here is some information on testing from the FAQs forum Index. This forum is also well worth visiting, lots of valuable information.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/
    From member JanetNJ: How to test your cat's bg at home: Video I made showing how to test your cat's blood sugar

    There are other choices of insulin. Novolin insulin is not really a very suitable insulin for cats. There are several other much more suitable ones such as Lantus and Prozinc. Prozinc is a cat only insulin and is available from other vendors such as Chewy.com.
    The insulin your vet mentioned that is $400 a vial is probably Lantus, and again, there are options. There is Lantus, Basaglar and Levemir that are "depot" insulins ( a little insulin is used right away and some is stored in the body fat to be used later, providing a long lasting gentle effect). Many of our members get these insulins from Marks Marine in Canada at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost in the US, plus if you get pens instead of a vial, you can use it to the last drop: no wastage.

    If you go back out to the forum menu, you can scroll down to see the Insulin Support Group subsection. You can read about Prozinc and the depot insulins.

    Yes, they are more expensive, but they work better and are easier on the cat! I think that your vet having your cat on a high carb diet (like giving donuts and cookies to a human diabetic) plus the high dose of 3 units of Novolin to counteract the carbs she's eating indicated he is very uneducated about feline diabetes.

    It's a balancing act, proper diet of low carb wet food like Fancy Feast Classics and/or Friskies pates, proper insulin and proper dosage, plus home testing the blood sugar is going to get Cali into much better shape. But, it's a learning process to be sure, and you may find it a steep learning curve. I sure did! But Idjit is in remission for the last 15 months because of the information and support I found here.

    We are going to be right here and help you every step of the way. We love our sugar cats and that's why we are here, to educate, assist and support every member here wherever they are on the path of feline diabetic treatment.
     
  3. galaxygirl

    galaxygirl New Member

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    Sep 22, 2019
    Your cat is very young to have diabetes. I recently rescued a cat that was 2 that had this issue. We went to 3 different vets to see why he was having this problem. Non were helpful. He was bones and eating 1000 calories a day despite getting his injects 2x. That was 5 cans of low carb pate. We found him a forever home. This man flew in from another states. Buddy stopped eating a few days after getting to his forever home and he was sent to the emergency vet who found a huge fist sized tumor on his liver. How did 3 vets miss this? I was very sad. He passed away. I would seek another vet and see if there are any other underlining issues that this vet might have missed, because 3 is very young.
     
  4. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    I’m so glad you’ve found us! We can definitely help!!! As Lou (Idjits mom) said, home testing is the most important thing you can do for Cali. Once you start that, you can start decreasing the high carb Purina kibble and, hopefully, Cali's blood sugar will start coming down. Is she on any meds for the asthma?
     
    Idjit's mom likes this.
  5. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    I agreed with what everyone has mentioned. I would definitely seek another vet, I don't know where I would be with out the knowledge from this group
     
    Idjit's mom likes this.
  6. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    When you start switching over to a low carb diet, you also need to lower your dose if you are still giving 3 units. Switching to a low carb diet will significantly lower the glucose levels. 3 units will be too high and you risk your cat becoming hypoglycemic if you do not lower the dose.
     
    Idjit's mom likes this.
  7. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Hi Lou just wanted to tell you Idjit I'd such a beautiful kitty. So happy he is in remission
     
  8. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Thanks very much. He's a big ole fluffy kitty, and we are very happy he's still hanging onto remission. Paws, and everything else that can be, crossed. All the kitties here are handsome, beautiful and incredibly ours! Ain't it great?
     
  9. Bama Kitty Mom (AL)

    Bama Kitty Mom (AL) Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2018
    My cat has been on Novolin N for 5 years and is currently getting 4.25 U every 12 hours. I home test before every shot and occasionally do mid cycle tests to see how low the insulin takes him. While Novolin is not the best, it is the cheapest and if costs are an issue for you [as they are for me], it is a workable solution. I concur with the others that diet is a big factor. Don't buy the vet's prescription food especially if he doesn't want to eat it. Most non-gravy option pates are low carb. I buy the grocery store's brand [Kroger's Luvsome] but have also purchased store brands from Aldi and Publix. If he prefers dry kibble, you can get low carb Dr. Elsey's Clean Protein Chicken from Chewy's.com. That is preferable to most any other dry kibble available. I add extra water to Bama's wet and he even tolerates me pouring water over his dry food that he gets at the end of his main meal. I feed Bama 4 times per day--his two main meals after his preshot tests and before his shots and two small mini meals or snacks about 3 hours after shots. His mini meals are just a tablespoon of kibble. His main meals are 1/2 of 3 oz. can of pate plus a couple tablespoons of dry.

    Encouraging water consumption is important. Fortunately Bama loves for me to hold his water bowl so he can drink which I am happy to do several times a day. He's always loved water--from the garden hose or morning dew licked off leaves and grass--all this even before he developed diabetes.
     
  10. Panic

    Panic Well-Known Member

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    Apr 10, 2019
    Hi, Jen! To add to this, Lantus may even be cheaper in the end compared to other good insulins for cats. A vial of Prozinc (very good insulin) is about $100 on chewy.com and lasts 3-4 months on average. The Lantus pens that you buy in 5-packs from Canada are roughly $270 last I checked, but they can last 1-2 years since the other pens can sit unopened until ready, extending the shelf-life. It's more upfront cost but cheaper in the long-run. If you do decide to switch insulin, the main thing to consider is whether you as a caretaker are a good fit. Lantus/Levemir have extremely limited wiggle room for shot times, whereas Prozinc allows an hour of wiggle room. If you're like me and sometimes late due to work/etc. Prozinc may be more ideal, whereas if you're retired or work from home, you'll prefer Lantus. Both insulins are great but Lantus tends to give a higher remission rate.
     
  11. Paula Nowak

    Paula Nowak Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2018
    Everything that was told to you on here is absolutely correct. The people on here know their stuff. They have a ton of experience and are willing to help. Listen to them and your kitty will be on the road to being much better!!!
     
    CandyH & Catcat likes this.
  12. Paula Nowak

    Paula Nowak Member

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    Sep 9, 2018
    If anyone looks at Elvis's spreadsheet, it has a huge incomplete gap. Because I haven't posted on the spreadsheet for a while, It seems as though I've lost the ability to post on itI! I think my roommate screwed up things when he used my phone several times. He is computer illiterate. I'm not totally sure. I've been so stressed out with my health. I have congestive heart failure , atrial fibrillation and degenerative joint disease. I just didn't post on the spreadsheet one day and it carried on. I certainly have been though putting Elvis first and have kept up with his health regimen. Elvis is now stable in the middle 200's and has been this way close to one month now. He started out in November of 2018 in the high 500's.
     
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