Low blood sugars after switching to wet food

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Rocky1710, Feb 12, 2020.

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  1. Rocky1710

    Rocky1710 New Member

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    Hi! Relatively new member here...a call was made to my vet and we are in constant communication. New diabetic diagnosis about 4 weeks ago. My cat's readings have been in the 350-450 range and he's been on 2.5 units of prozinc twice/day. Over the past weekend, after slowly making the transition he is 100% on wet canned food (wellness core). Today my vet wanted me to do a blood glucose curve at home. I am completely comfortable doing the home testing. At 7:15 this morning before breakfast his BG was 88. No insulin given obviously. 9:30 BG was 60. 12:30 BG was 140. Is it possible that his blood sugar can regulate this quickly after only being on wet food 100% for 3 days? In addition to the diabetes he has SEVERE neuropathy. He can only manage 4 to 5 steps. He also has a history of IBD. My vet is thinking he may have cushings which could be the culprit behind all of this. I posted as a first time member last week on this cat and euthanasia is unfortunately still on the table. Yes, I'm doing everything I can for my cat. I worry about his quality of life as he cannot walk, lays in his own feces when his bowels aren't 100% and overall seems weak and tired. What else can I do for him? I'm taking another blood sugar reading before his dinner tonight to see where we are. His quality of life is my primary concern. Any tips are greatly appreciated! Thank you!
     
  2. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Oh, your poor little guy! :(

    The good news is that, on the diabetest/neuropathy front, we should be able to get him feeling better. I hope that he doesn't have cushings or anything else like that complicating the picture.

    To answer your questions:

    Yes, definitely! Becoming fully regulated on the food change only is somewhat rare-- usually cats will need some insulin support for a time, especially if they have been diabetic long enough to develop the severe neuropathy you describe. But it is absolutely the case that the food change to low-carb can cause a dramatic decrease in insulin needs, and that's probably what you are seeing here. At the very least, your kitty probably needs to go down in dose now. Are you using a pet meter (like an Alphatrak 2), or a human meter to measure BG?

    For neuropathy, many people have used Zobaline (B12, cat-friendly formulation) and gotten really good results. That plus regulating the diabetes are the best things you can do for neuropathy. The good news there is that in most cases, it's quite reversible (although it can take several months).

    Why does your vet suspect cushings? Are you having trouble with skin tears, etc?
     
  3. Rocky1710

    Rocky1710 New Member

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    Feb 2, 2020
    Nan and Amber,
    Thank you for your reply. I am using the advocate pet test meter. After spending 2k in vet bills I went with this one instead of the alphatrak. As far as her suspecting cushings, this is based off of everything he's presented with over the past few months: pot belly appearance, chronic diarrhea, lethargy, dull, very poor hair coat, overall weakness, elevated WBC and now the diabetes. He just has a long list of issues. It would be great if the only thing needed to fix this was switching to wet food! Haha. However, if this is cushings then I have a more serious problem. I will keep an even closer eye on him these next few days to see where we are
    Such a tough thing to go through for a cat and an owner. I will look into the zobaline as well. Thsnk you!
     
  4. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Let's hope it's not Cushings, that is a hard road. The reason I ask about skin tears is because that's the symptom that usually sends people to a Cushings diagnosis in a diabetic cat, because there aren't a lot of other things that could be. Most of the symptoms on your list could just be a result of the IBD+diabetes, but it's good to keep on top of all the possibilities.

    So glad you have been testing BG! 60 on a pet meter is nothing to fool around with, I'm glad you caught that. I'll be interested to see where he is at the next test!
     
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  5. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Skin tears in Cushings cats are sometimes a later stage condition. We've seen people with Cushings cats go quite a while without the tears, though the skin can still be thin.

    Is your kitty taking any medication for the IBD?
     
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  6. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Also if you decide to use a different brand of B12 than Zobaline, it needs to be methylcobalamin or Methyl B12. Cyanocobalamin does not work for neuropathy. I believe the other brand we recommend is Vitacost.


    It will take a few weeks before you may see some improvement. When I adopted Spot, her neuropathy was probably just as severe as your cat's. Within a few weeks there was significant improvement. She was able to walk and started jumping. After 6 months you would have never guessed how bad her neuropathy had been, she had no signs of having it.
     
  7. Rocky1710

    Rocky1710 New Member

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    Feb 2, 2020
    No, he is not taking any medication action for it. He was on a prescription food but that was stopped as his diabetes developed.
     
  8. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Your first thread here, for history and reference.
    New Member: new diagnosis and management in difficult case

    Recapping what you said.
    • Prozinc
    • 2.5U
    • Completely switched to low carb food this past weekend. (2/7-2/9)
    • BG's now too low to shoot.
    • meter is a pet meter, Advocate (not the Alphatrak but still a pet meter)
    Switching from a high carb to low carb wet food can sharply reduce the blood glucose levels and therefore the need for insulin. More than 100 basis points or more is not unheard of.

    Are you testing the urine for ketones? Essential if you have stopped the insulin.
    Any pain meds for the diabetic neuropathy? Gabapentin is one option. Please talk to your vet about pain management for your cat.

    Nerve pain is excruciating and debilitating. It can effect the smallest of daily tasks such as using the litter box. It involves not only weakness in the legs, but pain when squatting. Hind end weakness can be so bad, the cat can barely hold himself up to squat and poop.

    Neuropathy can be reversed. Completely in many cases. It did for my Wink. He went from walking on his hocks, only being able to take a few steps, not being able to jump, barely being able to negotiate the stairs. To a complete recovery in about 6-8 weeks after the blood glucose was back to normal non-diabetic levels. Wink was probably in worse overall shape than what you describe for your cat.

    Is your cat eating well? Good appetite?

    BG numbers are creeping up today 2/12/20. Your cat will likely need a bit more insulin, but not that full 2.5U your vet prescribed. (You went from 1 to 2 to 3 to 2.5 units as far as I can find in your history)

    There is hope for your cat. Hope.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    Reason for edit: fixed meter comment
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  9. Rocky1710

    Rocky1710 New Member

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    Thank you for your reply! I just can't get over how low his blood sugars were this morning! I guess making the switch from dry food to wet food really does make a huge difference. I will he texting my vet his BG level before his dinner tonight and she will decide on whether or not he needs insulin. I will post the BG here. Thanks for your input. He does seem a little perkier today...maybe because his blood sugars are more normal?
     
  10. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    High blood sugars (high BG levels) can make a cat feel lethargic and want to sleep more. Although, cats sleep so much already, it can be tricky to tell the difference.

    This is where "Know Thy Cat" comes into play. You know and have observed him more than we will ever be able to. ECID Every Cat is Different

    Besides the blood glucose tests, there are other observational items you can check. We sometimes call them the "5 P's (purring, playing, pooping, peeing, preening). Combining these with what you observe about his appetite, can be a simply assessment of how your cat is doing.

    So how are the 5 P's doing?

    There are so many parallels between what you are seeing in your cat and what I went through with my diabetic cat Wink it amazes me. He lived for 4.5 years after the diabetes diagnosis and was in the same awful shape you are describing.

    p.s. I don't think you ever told us your first name or your cat's name.
     
  11. Rocky1710

    Rocky1710 New Member

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    Feb 2, 2020
    Deb and Wink,
    My name is Melanie and my cat's name is Rocky!

    Oddly tonight he seems more awake and with more energy. Like you mentioned his blood sugars were actually quite normal and I'm sure that's why. As far as his normal behavior I can tell that he certainly doesn't feel 100%. He is not cleaning himself and now he has developed the diarrhea again so has left quite a few messes in his room and on his behind. I gave him a bath about an hour ago. He smells and looks much better. . He no longer plays. He used to love the laser pointer and now won't even pay any attention to it. He is, however eating and drinking. It's so hard to tell with cats as they do have pride. I'm anxious to see what this evenings BG will be. Rocky is hungry and is staring at me for food but I need to wait another hour or so. I will post his BG level when I take it. Thank you!
     
  12. Rocky1710

    Rocky1710 New Member

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    I just took Rocky's BG and it was 92!! Perfect! No insulin today. I swear he heard me talking with my vet today about euthanasia and decided to shape up! Hahah. He's definitely not 100% but it makes me happy to see his blood sugars have been normal today. I'm still dealing with the diarrhea and the neuropathy. Hopefully I will see some improvement in that area.
     
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  13. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Hi Melanie! Hi sugardude Rocky!

    Excellent news on the BG at 92.
    Fantastic! 2 steps forward, 1 step back, 2 steps forward, 1/2 a step back, 1 step forward.......
    You are doing the sugardance.
     
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  14. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    You might want to consider trying a probiotic, S. boulardii, to help with your cat's diarrhea. Both ReNew and Florastor are good brands and available on Amazon. You start with 1/4 of a capsule twice a day. You can increase up to 1/2 a capsule twice a day but do so gradually.

    Many IBD cats need to be on a novel protein diet. You may want to consider options like venison, rabbit, lamb or pork.
     
  15. Rocky1710

    Rocky1710 New Member

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    Thank you! I will look into these!
     
  16. Rocky1710

    Rocky1710 New Member

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    Blood sugar on Rocky was 119 mg/dl this morning. Creeping up a tad but still within a good range.
     
  17. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

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    That's good, esp. for a pet meter! Again, he may eventually need a little insulin support for a little while, but he sure is looking good so far!

    How's he feeling this morning?
     
  18. Rocky1710

    Rocky1710 New Member

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    Feb 2, 2020
    He seems more alert, like he feels better. Had some diarrhea (not liquid, just loose). I'm speaking with his vet this afternoon to discuss his diet. Right now he's on the wellness core wet foods. He seems to like them. Blood sugar at 11:00 was 102! Yay!
     
  19. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

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    That is so good to hear!!!! Go Rocky!
     
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  20. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 21, 2019
    My Minnie has IBD too in addition to the diabetes. Ask your vet about Visbiome probiotics. It’s made for people with IBD and it really helped Minnie’s vomiting and lack of apetite. Also helped with the diarrhea. Minnie also takes metronidazole when her diarrhea is too severe and after a few days it regulates. I second what everyone said about b12. It’s done wonders for the neuropathy. I’d look into the gabapentin too I wish I had known about it sooner, but when I asked about pain management my previous vet only suggested CBD oil which I don’t think helps much. The other thing I want to mention for the IBD is aloe Vera juice extract. It’s natural and tasteless and it helps calm the stomach and GI tract. This is the one I get from Amazon as it has to be extract from the leaves only:
    Georges Aloe Vera - 8 fl oz - 100% Aloe Vera - Bitter Free - Free Of Preservatives https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016A01VJ2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_PrdsEbPEQ1H6R
    I give her 1/4 teaspoon mixed with her food twice a day. Good luck and hang in there!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  21. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

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    That’s such a great number!!!!
     
  22. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to post the website where I first read about SEB, probiotics and aloe vera as a resource:
    http://catcentric.org/care-and-heal...ral-supplements-to-manage-nausea-in-your-cat/
     
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