New here, please help Agatha + me figure things out!

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by AggyBear, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Hey everyone, my kitty Agatha was diagnosed with diabetes Jan 7th, a week ago. I'm exhausted. All I've done is read read read and watch YouTube videos the last week. I want to run past y'all what I've been doing and solicit any advice or suggestions to help my Agatha.

    For starters, here's the note I gave my vet: Agatha Born April 2007, 13¾yo. Agatha's sister Edward (litter mate at 7yo had cancer) died August 2014, she had feeding tube in November 2014, and again needed feeding tube (due to stress from my younger cat antagonizing her in October 2018) and fully recovered.

    3 weeks ago noticed I need to fill up the water bowl more frequently (around the same time switched diet FROM Blue Buffalo Basics TO 4Health Wilderness + Adult Pet Supermarket wet food). Jan 30th noticed huge increase of urine in litter box, seems like it smelled sour? (I do have 2 cats but it was very abnormal), January 3rd noticed again Agatha very insistent for water (bowl was dry). Separated cats. January 4: made appt for January 7th at 1:30pm. Jan 5: feels like she's losing weight but still eating, vomited large amount of water followed by clear bile.

    The vet ran a CBC blood test + urine analysis and found a little blood in the urine + gave her a shot of Convenia. She weighs 13.2lbs. He sold me an AlphaTrak 2 Blood Glucose Monitor with only 25 testing strips + lancets and syringes. I have kept records of her blood glucose test results. After realizing 3 days after diagnosis (facepalm) that testings needed to come first + not after feeding and insulin testings + feedings have been about 12 hours apart. Around 12pm + 12am I have been testing, then feeding + lastly giving the prescribed 1 unit of Vetsulin insulin. Starting January 10 I was able to start feeding her Wysong Epigen 90 with a bit of wet food. Her appetite remains good + she appears to feel well/is behaving normally.

    Her BG readings are high + I'm trying to be patient as her treatment has really only been consistent for 4 days. My hope is that long-term the drastic diet change itself will help her go into remission + not use the insulin once things normalize. I have several questions.

    1) I read poor or irregular absorption of insulin may happen with long-lasting insulins or injections in the scruff. I am giving it in her scruff. Where would be a more ideal place to give the shot?

    2) Now that I have already purchased the AlphaTrak 2 starter kit for $75 (facepalm) I'm aware that human monitors will also work. I feel delirious with the amount of research I have done and I'm having trouble making decisions. Which monitors work well + are economic? I don't know how long I will have to continue monitoring her but the test strips for this model are at least $1/strip!

    3) Are there any options for texting or private messaging friends on the message board for one on one help or is the public message board best?

    4) Is there anything I can do to help her get better faster? I also came across some supplements for feline diabetes. Has anyone else used these with success?

    Here are the links to her current food + the supplement I am referring to:

    https://www.chewy.com/wysong-epigen-90-starch-free-formula/dp/103307

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MUEFQCK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_Kr7.FbVA4TETK?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

    I am new to this and will probably think of more questions as soon as I hit send. Thank you all so much in advance. -Samantha
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
    Panic likes this.
  2. Panic

    Panic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Hello Agatha's mom! I'll try to address everything for you. There's a lot to take in as you're already aware so if you need to take a step back, do so. You won't learn it all overnight so don't stress about it!

    Yes, I have heard this too, not sure how much truth is in it as many people still use the scruff. You can use ANY area where you can get under the skin, my favorite spot was between the shoulder blades. I say go where the most skin is, and remember to alternate spots so the skin doesn't develop scar tissue.

    You're in the US, so the ideal one is ReliOn Prime - you can get them from Walmart, $9 for a meter, $18 for 100 strips. It is Walmart's brand and probably the cheapest around.

    You can private message members here however the rule is that we cannot give dosing advice through private messaging - reason being in case someone is giving incorrect advice, others need to be able to step in and correct them.

    Most of the time, just testing, low-carb food, and patience is what it takes. There are supplements if she has neuropathy (walking on her hocks) but if she doesn't have that problem then it's not needed. Regulation is mainly what will help her feel better.

    Have you read Dr. Pierson's food chart? She has a list of all wet foods and the carb amounts (you want something less than 10%, ideally less than 5%. Fancy Feast Classics and Friskies Pate are popular choices). She added a disclaimer about the food you are using:

    The other thing you can do right now is get her on a better insulin. Vetsulin is designed for dogs and while it's not IMPOSSIBLE and we've certainly had cats go into remission on it, it's not a good insulin to use in felines. The recommended insulin from the 2018 AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines only recommends Prozinc or Lantus for felines. Prozinc is about $120 on Chewy, Lantus is extremely expensive in the US so most of us use Marks Marine Pharmacy in Canada. The upfront cost is higher (about $160 last I checked) however it will give you 5 pens that can last 1-2 years so it's actually cheaper than Vetsulin.

    A couple things, ignore it if you already know, but Vetsulin is a very harsh insulin. Food must be given 30 minutes prior to insulin. It also has a poor duration, usually only lasting 3-5 hours, so it drops hard and fast and doesn't last the full 12 hours so all around just isn't very good. You also want to be offering snacks of their regular food every hour the first few hours to keep the BG from dropping too low. I see you said you feed every 12 hours but everyone here feeds upwards of 4-8 meals per cycle. Every 12 hours (they need food during the night as well because BG drops lower then, most of us use a Petsafe 5 autofeeder to achieve this). I would recommend getting tests in the first 1 or 2 on Vetsulin when your schedule permits to keep Agatha safe.
     
  3. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    You get get more strips on amazon or eBay or www.adwdiabetes.com . Don't run out. These are my favorite lancets. Cheap and sharp TruePlus Sterile Lancets, 28 Guage, 3 Boxes of 100 (300 Total) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E4MOK5Q/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_N3caGbKB2XA31

    I feed epigen 90 to my non diabetics along with wet and just use it as a special treat for my diabetic. Diabetics are prone to dehydration. Make it be just a treat and the wet low carb be the main diet. Most people are feeding fancy feast classic or Friskies pate foods. I feed weruva foods because she needs low phosphorus.


    It's a marathon. My cat didn't see a number under 300 for about 10 weeks. But we can help you with dosing since you are testing. Here is info on how to set up the spreadsheet like the ones you see in our signatures. https://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    I looked at your log and it's very typical looking for starting out.... And you've already gotten a couple of decent numbers. You are doing a great job and your cat is so lucky to have you. Diabetes is not a death sentence and they can live long healthy lives with it.
     
  4. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Thank you so much for your advice! I will read Dr. Pierson's food chart asap + look into what I can add to help balance her diet. I was not aware that Vetsulin was one of the harsh ones. I will see if I can switch to Prozinc or Lantus. He mentioned if things couldn't get regulated we would try a different insulin. Why didn't my vet give me one to begin with? (facepalm) I also looked up the Walmart monitor + strips and will try to buy this evening when I get home, I have to leave for work now. I was happy with her 275 reading!

    You said everyone here feeds 4-8 meals per cycle, a cycle being 12 hours? Does anyone free feed or just give for to the cat or use the autofeeder? If her recommended food is about ¾c wouldn't that just be a few pieces of kibble at a time? Again, thank you so much!
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Since you already have the vetsulin you could use it up and then decide when it's time to get more if you want to switch. My cat did well on vetsulin and went into remission after 4 months.... So you never know.
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  6. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I feed four time per day. I let them graze all day. Just no food 2 hours prior to the preshot test
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  7. Panic

    Panic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Free feeding is a great option! Some cats can't due to being scarfers or you're in a multi-animal household so free feeding isn't possible but if it is it's even better than scheduled meals. And yes, I would give minimum 4 meals every 12 hours (she was a scarfer + multi-pet household lol).

    Most vets treat dogs and assume what works for them works for cats. It's sad, but common. My vet had my girl on NPH (the worst insulin) and switched her to Vetsulin (second worst) when her numbers didn't improve. Then I wanted to switch to Prozinc and she wanted me to wait until the vial was empty "to save money" but I told her it was already a waste of money since it wasn't helping her any. Depends on the kitty of course.

    As far as recommended amount of food ... first thing you will notice is there are no dry foods listed on Dr. Pierson's chart. There are currently two dry foods that are diabetic-friendly (Young Again and Dr. Elsey's Clean Protein) but they are expensive. Aside from those two, all dry food is too high in carbs for diabetics - plus wet is healthier due to the water content. A regular cat needs about 20 calories per lb of ideal weight. Unregulated diabetics tend to need more, up to 1.5 to 2x the regular amount. If Agatha is underweight, I would not limit feeding at all until she starts picking up the weight again.
     
  8. erinlebeau

    erinlebeau Guest


    Hi there Panic, this is Samantha, Agatha’s mom. Can you please give me your email address? I have had to create two separate accounts to try to contact you back. The forum keeps telling me my messages have spam-like content. I’ve been trying to write back since Wednesday. Now I’m using a friend’s device and email address.

    I ordered the ReliOn monitor and strips but am trying to find info on how they work for cats? Thank you so much! -Samantha
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2021
  9. erinlebeau

    erinlebeau Guest

    Also I forgot to mention that when I went to private message you I kept getting the same error message that my text had spam like content. There is a link at the bottom of the page that says contact an administrator and I did that but I have yet to hear back from anyone. If anyone knows how to help me get out of the situation I would greatly appreciate it. I had my original account and then created a new one with a separate email address and cannot post or private message anyone with these two accounts. I’m just worried that I have not seen a number below 300, they are always in the upper 300 numbers. I hope that I’m doing things right and if I just need to be patient then tell me! Thank you all again so much! I should get my ReliOn monitor on Monday. Are there any links on here that explain how to use them for cats? Agatha seems to be doing well and appetite remains good. Thank you all! -Samantha
     
  10. Panic

    Panic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Tagging the mods to see what's going on with your messages @Wendy&Neko @Sienne and Gabby (GA) @Marje and Gracie

    I have saved your email address and will reach out to you there in a moment for general help (as stated above, we can't discuss dosing privately, but hopefully the mods will figure out what's causing the spam-content issue). You'll need to remove your email now, as I believe you're not allowed to have it posted publicly (due to spammers ironically).

    The ReliOn Prime does not need to be calibrated for cats, it's very simple and just requires you to insert the strip for it to be ready. The numbers will run lower on human meters than Alphatrak - there is no conversion between the two. The higher the number, the further apart the meters will be (ex. a 500 on Alphatrak may read 400 on ReliOn) but the lower the number the closer they will be (ex. a 68 on Alphatrak may read 50 on ReliOn). This works for us because the accuracy of the lower numbers is far more important than accuracy of high (too high is too high)!
     
    AggyBear likes this.
  11. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    I removed your email addresss....we have hackers that get into this site. It’s for your protection.:)

    Also...can you please clarify for me.....is it just the PMs you aren’t able to send because I can see you are able to post? I will contact the webmaster as Mods can’t fix this occasional issue. What has happened, I believe, is you’ve used a combo of letters/words that the system picks up as spam.

    It’s probably best for him to delete one of these accounts when he fixes the issue. I sent him a message and asked him to fix the issue and delete the second user ID so you can keep AggyBear. So sorry I’m not able to fix it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
    Critter Mom and AggyBear like this.
  12. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Long posts from.new members are sometimes flagged as spam. Split the message up.
     
    Robert and Echo likes this.
  13. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    That’s not it. :)
     
  14. Panic

    Panic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Thank you Marje!
     
    AggyBear likes this.
  15. Lizzee

    Lizzee Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2020
    Hi there!

    I'm not as seasoned as other lovely members on this forum, but if I could give you any advice it would be to just breathe!! You will eventually get the hang of things even though it seems so overwhelming at first. Like Janet said, it's a marathon with highs and lows. There is so much to learn about feline diabetes, and be kind to yourself if you make mistakes. Each kitty is different and although some can be regulated fairly quickly, some take a little bit longer and a lot of patience to get there. If you have any questions, the people here are kind and full of knowledge.

    I can really only answer about giving it in the scruff, as I give my furbaby her insulin there. I split it up into 6 zones (upper left, upper middle, upper right, lower left, lower middle, lower right) so im not consistently shooting in the same spot. You have to be careful and keep the needle at EXACTLY 90 degrees, or you risk injecting into muscle and making for a very cranky kitty (which is why it takes 2 of us to give insulin now). Some people follow the hour clock method. I personally have never had a problem otherwise injecting into the scruff and she seems to take the insulin well. The flank and stomach are not an option for me because she is VERY sensitive to these areas and will probably murder me in my sleep if I touch it regularly, let alone inject something into it.

    All the best on your feline diabetes journey <3
     
    Critter Mom, AggyBear and Pookie like this.
  16. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Thank you all for your help. It looks like I can post again and private message!
     
    Critter Mom and JanetNJ like this.
  17. Robert and Echo

    Robert and Echo Administrator Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Yes. Post less links and less long during your first few messages. Glad you're back working fine now. We do that for spam reasons - too many links is a "red flag" for new users.

    I've deleted your two extra accounts.


    Welcome!!! Let us know any other issues!
     
  18. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Thanks Robert!
     
  19. Luxe

    Luxe Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    I bought the blood sugar gold to give it a try. It smelled awful, couldnt get him to touch it at all. And after trying a few drops in his food (which he didnt eat) it was almost like it made him cautious of eating the rest of the day. Like i was trying to poison him or something. I say waste of money but thats just our experience. Good luck with agatha!
     
    AggyBear likes this.
  20. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Thank you for your experience. I had to give her milk thistle before and she hates it but the only way I could give it was orally with the dropper. I'm undecided on it so I haven't make the purchase. Give OJ a kiss for me!
     
  21. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Tonight I made the transition from the AlphaTrak 2 BG meter to the ReliOn Prime meter. The PMPS readings were 364 + 302, respectively. I know the higher BG numbers are not as accurate and the lower BG readings the more accurate that get- and there's no conversion chart. How do I go about this though, just assume it's higher than it is until it's in the low range? At what point should I send our testing info to the vet for review as he would be expecting to see the AlphaTrak 2 ranges? Will we need to increase the dosage or switch medicines? I hope this makes sense and I appreciate any help with this! -Samantha (p.s. how should test strips be handled... Just how careful do we need to be?)
     
  22. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    There's no conversion. Human meters just run lower than pet meters. They will be similar at lower numbers and farther apart at higher numbers. The ranges you really need to know is normal on a human meter is 50-120 and on a pet meter it's 68-150. As far as them being handled, room temp, don't touch the part the sucks k up the blood, and keep the lid closed which will keep humidity out.
     
    AggyBear and Critter Mom like this.
  23. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    Agatha's preshot number today with the ReliOn Prime meter was 253. The last 2 days her appetite for as far as I can tell seems to not be as strong. My other cat Freya (civilian)- her appetite also seems to have waned + both feel like they've lost weight (and Freya is slender to start with). The last week I have offered the Epigen 90, canned tuna, Friskies pate + sardines. I don't know if it's bc they're used to free feeding or different foods or what. They've never been picky per se. (Tested Freya's BG for the first time now that strips aren't $1 a strip... was 53)
     
  24. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    53 is really low. when was that? You may want to steer that up. under 50 is hypo
     
  25. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    It was right before I posted but since then been watching her and she ate a little bit of kibble. I have to leave home for a couple hours so I'll leave the food out for them and try again with Agatha. I couldn't get her to eat almost anything so I didn't give insulin. Is that right?
     
  26. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    when you have a chance and can set up a spreadsheet for us with the numbers it will be much easier to help you with dosing. It's fine to skip since she was low... goign forward she has earned a reduction so make sure you give her .25 less.
     
    AggyBear likes this.
  27. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    I mentioned my non-diabetic cat's BC and she was the one with the low number. She did eat a bit as I watched so I figured she was ok.

    Good to I was ok to skip Agatha's insulin shot. I think I had to do that once before with her bc she didn't eat anything.

    My point in saying all that about the foods is I don't know what to do to get them to eat!
     
  28. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Oooh. I misunderstood. I didn't realize it was the non diabetic that was 53
     
  29. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Try fancy feast.
     
    AggyBear likes this.
  30. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    I will go to the store and try that too.
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  31. AggyBear

    AggyBear Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2021
    I have not tested ketones. I don't have a monitor or strips for that. I am freaking out. She won't eat. ANYTHING. She only licks her nose + walks away. I'm going to have to call the vet first thing in the morning. She needs something anti-nausea + maybe Mirataz to stimulate her appetite. Do you have any advice with this? Thank you in advance. I'm scared + crying....

    Edit for update: I put in front of her Friskies salmon pate + she ate! Licked at cream too. I think she was full by the time I put cheese in front of her. She's now laying on the heating pad. I'm greatly encouraged by this. It's the most I have seen her be interested in food in several days.

    I still appreciate any + all suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  32. Luxe

    Luxe Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    I dont have any advice on appetite stimulants or anti nausea meds as i've not dealt with that so much. But when my guy wasnt eating i switched him to an elevated feeder and that did the trick. He was acting hungry but then just taking a couple licks and turning away. My nurse friend said being so unregulated and high that maybe lowering his head was making him dizzy. So maybe try that or holding the bowl level so they dont have to bend?
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  33. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    In so glad she ate something. I would pick up the ketone urine strips today. You can get them at any pharmacy. You don’t need a monitor for them. I personally do use a blood ketone monitor because it’s hard to catch my diabetic in the box.
     
  34. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014

Share This Page