New Here- over grooming frustration

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Holly C, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    I am new to the site, but have learned alot from reading here over the last few days. Currently in tears and exhausted because I have to stay up with my newly diabetic cat. We're stressed, she's stressed, its a viscous cycle of stress. I have to stay up all night to monitor het so she doesn't scratch and lick herself to death. I am at my wits end with little to no sleep this past week. Help. Its 4 am now and I have given up. She is licking herself uncontrollably while I type this. I am at a loss.
     
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  2. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Holly and welcome. I’m sorry you are having trouble. It can be stressful in the beginning.
    I’m sorry I have to disappear and feed my family dinner right now but I promise I will come back and talk to you in about 1/2 to 1 hour.
    hang in there. Bron
     
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  3. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    In the meantime can you tell us a little bit about your kitty.... name, type and dose of insulin, any other illnesses, what you are feeding her, and how long has she been scratching like this. :bighug:
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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  4. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    She is our baby. Her name is Sentinel- we met her at our previous apartment standing guard over the dumpster where she lived. After months of talking to and feeding her, she chose us to be her forever family.
    She is an 8 yr old Calico and was diagnosed 3 weeks ago. She has always had bad skin allergies and was getting steroid shots which we believe led to the diabetes.
    She is on a 1 every 12 hours. Her stress with this and vet visits and shots and disruptions to her life have put things in overdrive.
    We feed her the zero carb fancy feast chicken/chicken tuna. In the afternoonw her allergy pill and catlax, she gets a piece of shredded chicken and 2 temptation treats that are vet approved. She is no longer our happy playful cat and it breaks our hearts. We hate this new normal for her.
     
  5. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Holly just letting you know I am back again and I'll answer your questions as best I can. Back soon:)
     
  6. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    Thank you so much!
     
  7. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Ok, first of all, I am sure you are stressed out with the diagnosis and worried about Sentinel......would love to see a photo of her!
    The first few weeks are a steep learning curve as you and Sentinel learn to navigate feline diabetes.
    I remember when I first found out that Sheba had FD...I didn't even know that cats could get it! But it soon became much more of a routine and we settled down to our new routine.

    Cats pick up on human emotions quickly so try and be as calm around her as you can..I know...easier said than done....try humming a tune or singing. You must try and get more sleep because you need to take care of yourself first so you can then take care of Sentinel. And it is so hard to make any decisions when you are exhausted and things seem insurmountable.


    Yes the steroid injections would have led to the FD. Is she still getting the steroid injections?
    If the scratching has got worse since the diagnosis, it could be the food you see feeding. Did you change the food?
    Have you checked that she doesn't have any fleas or mites that could be causing her to compulsively scratch and groom?

    Have you tried giving her a Zyrtec tablet for the itch? It is safe to give 1/2 Zyrtec tablet (5mg) once a day.
    One of my cats had a terrible itch a few years ago along with runny eyes. She was put on Zyrtec 5 mg daily for months and it made a huge difference. She only needs it during certain seasons now for a few days. We never found out the cause of the allergy. You get the Zyrtec from a pharmacy...it is a human drug.

    Do you have to go back to the vet often?
    As far as the diabetes goes, if you test the blood sugars at home, you would not have to take her to the vet for any curves or anything to do with tHe diabetes. We all home test the blood sugars here and adjust the dose of insulin as needed, and our cats are much happier as most hate going to the vet.
    Sentinel will not hate you for testing her....in fact she will love you more. It doesn't hurt them and you know exactly where you are with the blood sugars. Anyway you can think about that.

    What type of insulin are you giving and what food are you feeding?
    Just reread your post and see what you are feeding thanks.
    Bron
     
  8. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    I wish I could sleep, but since I am home (city shut down due to corona virus) i have to stay up at night to keep her from licking while husband sleeps to go to work. We try to put her in a onesie, but she is smart and can escape it. We have topical meds for the hot spots, but as soon as it wears off, she licks
    She is on prozinc. We just started giving her benedryl (vet approved) nut as soon as it wears off.....intense scratching and licking.
    Her injections are ok with her....the glucometer terrifies her. The loud noise makes her jump and cry. She runs from is when she sees us now- hard for me since she used to snuggle in bed with us. We feel like all we do now is spend the day drugging our cat.
    Sorry- lack of sleep and emotional
     
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  9. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    My baby in her onesie
     

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  10. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    I will try the zyrtec. Hate the side effect of foaming drool. Any side effects with the zyrtec? Thank you so much for the information.
     
  11. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    It's ok to be emotional...we all understand here as most of us have been there!

    Sentinel is gorgeous! And I see she is in a onesie. There have been a few people who have used onesies for itching and post ops...I am trying to remember who used them. I remember them talking about the cats escaping them and what they did.
    I'm pretty sure @Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey used them. Not sure she is online much now but let's see.
    If you change your subject line to 'new here, cat scratching and licking herself..HELP' you will get more replies about this part.

    Has the Benadryl done any good. I would try the Zyrtec. It lasts 24 hours until the next tablet. But you can't give the Benadryl and the Zyrtec together. I think it's worth a try.

    Are you saying the noise from the lancet when it clips is terrifying her?
    When you test we suggest you always test in the same spot every time and you always give a treat every time, even if you are not successful with the test. She will soon become to associate a treat with the test. Sheba used to run to me as soon as she heard me at the testing kit because she knew she would get a treat.
    Try rubbing her ears several times a day and clicking the lancet and give her a treat in the spot you have chosen. I don't mean when you are testing ....just at other times to desensitise her and get her to associate the noise and the touching of the ears with a treat. You could also try pricking her ear without the lancet device...just the lancet itself...some people do it that way.
    Rubbing her ears and clicking the lancet device is your homework for the next few days!;) Don't forget s treat every time.

    Here is a link to home testing
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/

    Are you tracking the blood glucose levels (BGLevels)?
    Here is a link to the Prozinc information
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...-the-prozinc-basics-please-start-here.164995/

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/prozinc-dosing-methods.225629/

    And here is a link for new members....oops more homework!
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/new-how-you-can-help-us-help-you.216696/

    Lots more to tell you but I don't want to overwhelm you. Knowledge is power!
    Keep asking lots of questions. We are a very supportive and knowledgeable community here and if you need to have a rant or a cry that's fine!

    I have not found any side effects from the Zyrtec. It doesn't make them drowsy and it didn't make Clover drool at all.
     
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  12. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Try placing the meds in a gelatin capsule and then pilling Sentinel. I know that benadryl is nasty and does cause foaming.
    What were you feeding Sentinel before? The change in food may be the cause of the now frequent scratching.
     
  13. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Is the afternoon allergy pill the Benadryl or something else? Because you would not give the Zyrtec and something else...just the one medication.
     
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  14. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I did not see it if you responded already, but did you recently switch foods. What you are describing sounds very much like what happened with my dog Sculley (GA). It took some time but determined her allergies were caused by fish products in her dog food. If possible try switching to a food with limited ingredients and a single protein, such as duck or lamb.
     
  15. Bama Kitty Mom (AL)

    Bama Kitty Mom (AL) Member

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    Jul 16, 2018
    What brand and model is your glucometer? Some can be adjusted to turn off the sound. You can just look at the screen to get the status without being alerted by sound. I recently picked up the new Relion Premier Compact meter and as far as I can tell, there is no way to turn off the beep. It is not too loud and I think Bama is getting used to the sound. You might try desensitizing Sentinel to the sound and other aspects of the blood draw and insulin shot by giving treats. Go through the motions without actually sticking her but just getting the glucometer to beep first from across the room. Beep then treat. Gradually get closer. Beep then treat. Pet and praise her. As she becomes more comfortable with the noise, she will learn the beeps are nothing to be afraid of and result in treats for her if she doesn't run away.
     
  16. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Beep , treat, beep, treat... this is what we did. Took a while but he finally got use to it. I know what you mean. It was a rough start for us too. But honestly IT WILL GET BETTER .
    Sending you :bighug: and calming vines to wrap you in comfort.

    You HAVE already done the best thing for Sentinel... You've found FDMB!
     
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  17. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    Everyone has been so helpful! I contacted the vet again and got a recommendation for a cat dermatologist. Didn't know there was such a dr! IDK if they will take on new patients right now, but will try.

    I will try lick treat lick treat. She is stubborn. After 6 years, she is still terrified of the vacuum.

    I am worried about food allergies. Trying to find anything she is allowed to eat that she will eat is a struggle. But we will cross that bridge if we come to it.

    I am in a much calmer place now. Thank you all.
     
  18. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Chicken and fish are common food allergies for cats. Has she always been a scratcher? What was she eating before the diabetes diagnosis? You may have to try a novel protein like lamb, venison, duck, etc.
    As far as I know, all temptations are very high carb. In fact, we have people here who use them to bring their cats out of low numbers. You can buy freeze dried pure meat treats, also in different proteins that are just the 1 ingredient. Most cats go crazy for the freeze dried meat treats.
     
  19. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Freeze dried chicken is a great low carb treat. Look in the dog treat section of the pet store for them.
     
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  20. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    She became a scratcher when we moved from Georgia to Kentucky. Vet said her skin allergies are weather related. She was on apoquel for a year, that stopped working. We just started benedryl yesterday but will switch to zyrtec if we can get our hands on any. She is not fond of fish, but loves birds (chicken and turkey). We have tried freeze dried chicken, duck, lamb and venison...wont eat any of it.
    Before diagnosis she was on grain free dry food and ate what we give her now as special snacks.
     
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  21. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

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    Feb 28, 2012
    What protein was in the grain free dry food she used to eat? Bummer on the weather related allergies if that's what it is. I hope it means she'd get better in other seasons.

    Hmm, have you tried wild boar? Heard of some cats that would die for those.
     
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  22. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Clover gets a flare up of her allergies in the spring. The Zyrtec does the trick very quickly for her. She was also bad when she was with my daughter in a new apartment when it initially started. She was only 7 or 8 months old then.
    When she came to live with us she was much better....same city, different suburb and building. I did wonder if it was something to do with the new carpets or something in the apartment which was new, or some sort of tree/plants that were growing there. However we have new carpets here and she is fine most of the time.
    She eats a raw diet with a variety of meats so I don't think it is food related, because she is fine most of the time except when she's not which is mostly in spring.
     
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  23. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

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    Dec 31, 2009
  24. Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey

    Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey Well-Known Member

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Hi Holly,

    So sorry to hear your baby is having such a problem with itching. My first diabetic kitty, Cinco (my avatar), had hot spots all the time. We never did figure out what caused them. I could usually keep him from licking them by putting him in a surgical garment. You mentioned a onesie. Is it a baby onesie or one made for cats and dogs? I used the CoverMe by Tui. They come in long or short sleeves. I found it had to fit kind of tight to keep him from getting it off, so even though his measurements said Large, I put him in a medium. There is also a garment called a Suitical, but I don't think they have sleeves, so if she is itching on her legs that wouldn't help. Another option is a soft collar, again depending on where she is itching. I used to turn it backwards to make it easier for him to eat.

    You mentioned Benedyl makes her foam at the mouth. Are you giving pills or liquid? I tried to give the liquid to my civvie, Sasha, and it ended up all over the bathroom but she still foamed at the mouth. If you are giving liquid, try the pills. If you are already doing pills, get some clear gelatin capsules and put the pill inside one - sizes 3,4 and 5 are good for cats, with 5 being the smallest. Use the smallest one that will hold the pill - sometimes you need to cut the pill in half. That way it won't start to dissolve before she swallows it and she won't taste it.

    A tip on trying a new food - start by adding just a little to the food she likes, and increase the percentage of new food each day. Eventually she will be eating just the new food and she won't know what hit her!

    In case you didn't know, the test that is in blue is a link to take you to a site where you can order the item mentioned. You obviously don't have to order it from the site I linked, but it will give you an idea of what I am talking about and how much it costs.

    Please don't hesitate to keep posting and asking questions. Read as much as you can of the info in the stickies. This is the best possible place to get help for you and for your precious girl. The people here are wonderful and they saved my Cinco's life.

    Hang in there! :bighug:
     
  25. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
  26. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    Ooooooo- i will look for that!
     
  27. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    Thank you all!
    And about the slow intro to new food...lol.my baby is a pro at separating it. We tried that and she will eat around it or scoop and spit out the new stuff. When she gets her pill, she will pretend to swallow it and where she is missing a tooth, she will shoot it out while we are keeping her mouth closed by gently petting mouth and throat area. I laugh and want to strangle her at the same time. I will definitely be getting gel covers
     
  28. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    They are very smart aren't they?
     
  29. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    The gel caps are awesome! We got vegan ones that do the trick!!
     
  30. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    How are things with Sentinel?
    Have things improved and what are you giving her for her scratching and licking?
     
  31. Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey

    Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey Well-Known Member

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    Jul 18, 2011
    You might also try a pill popper. It's much easier to get the pill far enough down their throat that they have to swallow it. I usually follow it with a little water from a small syringe.
     
  32. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    We are sticking with benedryl chopped up and putting them in capsules. Lol i feel like I'm in Breaking Bad hunched over with a pill cutter. She is doing alot better.only spot left is her poor booty. Cant Get her to stop. Hard to tell cleaning from over grooming that area
     
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  33. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    I'm glad things are calming down for her. How are the diabetes numbers doing?
     
  34. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    Things have been going well with diabetes until this past week. I'm not sure what is gong on. I have become pretty good at giving the insulin shot until now. Now she cries out and jerks away when I try to give her the shot. I end up in tears and sometimes, the shot doesn't happen. I have watched multiple videos and can't figure out what has changed. I have a sad kitty now that doesnt trust her mom. Breaks my heart.
     
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  35. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    are you doing bevel up? Switching spots? Tenting skin?
     
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  36. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    This is strange...something has changed. Could she be picking up on your stress? Cold insulin can sting has that changed? We'll get this figured out. ;)

    Are you up for starting a spread sheet and setting up a signature.Both of those could prove helpful.
    Suggestions, Tech Support & Testing Area
    jeanne
     
  37. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    Yes to all.
     
  38. Holly C

    Holly C New Member

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    Mar 28, 2020
    I can try. I have this on my phone so not sure. I'm sure she can sense my stress now. My husband is doing shots for now since she runs from me if she sees the syringe in my hand which is upsetting.
     
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  39. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    There are folks here who can help with the phone set up. I think @Chris & China (GA) can.

    As for testing....we have all been there and back. I know what you mean I felt like a monster. Trouble never did get use to testing but I do think he...knew... He knew it was something important. It took two of us. I was just lucky Hubbys shop was only 5 mins away!
    Treats ARE the key. You want to be consistent. Trouble knew if he came to his "spot" he'd get a treat. (In our case the only treat he craved was temptations):rolleyes: We went with them because he was easier to handle. I AM NOT condoning the use of high carb treats. Trouble would run right after his test but slowly got use to the idea, that there was only one(or two) poke. the shot he never even felt.
    You will find the way that works for you. I promise you. The BEST feeling is when you get that first drop of blood and you KNOW whats going on with Sentinel. Hopefully one day you can celebrate remission. Took us a couple of years (some never do) but we did get there.

    Good luck! You will need some but it is ALL worth it in the end!
    jeanne
     

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