New Member Marie: Confused & Worried

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by riebejamen, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. riebejamen

    riebejamen New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2020
    Hello Everybody,

    My name is Marie, and my diabetic kitty is Oliver. Oliver Henry. (because he can be VERY helpful) Oliver is one of a pair, his brother is Simon. Simon Henry. For the same reason). Oliver is an all black 13 year old big "fraidy cat. I mean that literally. He and Simon came from an abusive home, where I am fairly sure the husband beat the wife. It usually starts with the animals. He & Simon are terrified of men, and most interaction, outside mom and dad, sudden sounds, sudden movements. He weighs in at 15 lbs. He is not fat, he's big. He & Simon were a solidly bonded pair, until COVID. Husband now working from home.Without going into detail, Simon has been mostly hiding, starting mid-March. Which primarily left Oliver w/o a snuggle buddy, play buddy, hanging out buddy. At the time, I had 5 cats. Penny was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to be put to sleep Easter weekend. She was a mostly reformed resource guarder. Household dynamics have drastically changed.

    Oliver went into vet when I found a loose tooth in late April. Loose, as in had fallen out. Vet feels Oliver needs to have complete teeth removal. Bad gingivitis. Made sense, he's had bad breathe for a while. As part of pre-op procedure, his blood-work showed diabetes. We're now at four glucose curves at the vet, and a dosage of 2.5 units of Pro Zinc, twice a day. He is definitely stressed at the clinic; he has a prescription for gabapentin that I give him 1 1/2 - 2 hours before appointment time for curves. His numbers range between 66 to 689. Last curve, vet felt we were getting closer to correct dosage. She also acknowledged that his values could be stress related, and is considering a fructosamine test.

    I've read, maybe too much, the info sheets she sent home, and various websites; taking consideration that some are borderline quackery. After the first glucose curve, he came home wobbly, lethargic, like he was drunk and one of his back legs dragged occasionally. I'd given him some kibble on the way home, and he rebounded. I didn't think anything of it, only that he hadn't eaten in 9 hours. I free feed my critters. Oliver's diet has been a combo of Hill's Weight Management, Oral Care, Youthful Vitality and when he can steal it, Royal Canin s/o (dry kidney - for sibling). Occasional Fancy Feast pate flavors. Oliver has been very good at letting me giving him shots. To help facilitate his cooperation, when I started injections, I gave him a dozen of the Royal Canin kibbles. Vet suggested I needed to feed him before insulin shot. Considering his teeth/gums, I switched to Fancy Feast pate flavors. He's share half a can with a sibling. Vet says the Fancy Feast is not good for him. Gave us a prescription for glucose Hill's m/d dry or wet. I've been including it in the mix of the dry flavors. He seems to like it. However, I've researched the FF pate, and several studies indicate that it is good for diabetic cats.

    I've ignored the Vet's "no Fancy Feast'. Last few days, Oliver got a different flavor: Beef and liver. He'd primarily been on fish flavors, no preference on my part. Sunday morning he was wobbly, like after the first glucose curve. Gut feeling that he didn't need insulin, so I skipped his dosage. He seemed fine by evening, so I fed him FF and he got his shot. This morning, he was wobbly again, fed him FF beef/liver and did not give insulin shot. Several hours later, he was worse, he'd fall over, walk and fall over. Shake his head and fall over. He was not vocal (he tends to be a talker). I gave him 1/8 cup of the Royal Canin s/o. Two hours later, he comes to get me. Is walking much more normal, and vocalizing. I give him more food, he takes a nap. Two hours later, he is talking at me, and wanting to be fed. I have not given him his insulin tonight. Based on my research, what is happening is low blood sugar. I don't have a glucometer, yet. Vet didn't feel it was necessary. Yet. She has concerns that results may not match those at the clinic and doesn't think we are at "that point."

    I am confused and frustrated. I will email his vet (the easiest way to communicate with her), about the last few days behavior/events. Oliver's recent drunken/wobblyness really scares me. It triggers my biggest fears about my critters: That I waited too long for medical intervention and I indirectly/directly caused it. I still feel guilt about a cat I had to put to sleep in 2004.
    How likely is it that he would be in remission after not-quite two months of insulin? Is it possible the glucose reading from original blood-work is incorrect? That he was stress diabetic? I am also wondering if the minor change in diet (Hilll's w/d) is enough to send him into remission? Could the infected gums (and not eating enough) cause a diabetic diagnosis? I feel like I am missing something.....maybe I need more education......Where do Oliver and I go from here?
    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. NoahFL

    NoahFL Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    Hello and welcome. No expert here, I’m sure others will chime in. My first sugar kitty went into remission in a few weeks and no longer needed insulin. We managed it through a low carb diet. Vet readings do tend to be a bit higher due to stress. Can you get a human meter to monitor him at home? It does sound like his BG may be getting too low. I don’t have any experience with human meter readings, but most folks here do use them. I use the Alpha Trak 2 pet meter. I have learned from this group that wet food exclusively is best. FF pate is widely used as its very low carb. Why did the vet prescribe gabapentin?
     
  3. riebejamen

    riebejamen New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2020
    Why did the vet prescribe gabapentin?

    The gabapentin is being used off-label for Oliver's highly stressful vet visits.

    Do I see a spreadsheet for your kitty? Ironically, my mother was diabetic. Unless they no longer work properly, is there a life limit on using a human meter?
     
  4. NoahFL

    NoahFL Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2020
    My SS link is in my signature. I’m not sure on the life limit of a meter. I’m sure some one here could answer that. I do know the human meters do read lower than the pet meters. I bought an inexpensive human meter at CVS when my strips were delayed being mailed to me. It’s my emergency backup.

    My first sugar kitty was on gabapentin during her bout with neuropathy, so I wasn’t sure if that was the case with yours.
     
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  5. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    It's possible, but not likely if he was just getting 2.5 units of ProZinc

    Stress from the vet visit can raise the blood glucose up to 200 points...so yes, it's possible! That's why home testing is so vitally important. It's the only way to really know what's going on. Despite what your vet says, you can use a human meter too. The Relion Prime from WalMart is a favorite here because it's only $9 and the strips are only $17.88/100.

    All our dosing methods here were developed using human meters....because the "pet" meters are actually fairly new to the scene! Before somebody put the pictures of a cat and dog on the box and overcharged for the strips, the only meter anybody could use was a human meter because that's all they had! When this board was started back in 1996, there was no such thing as a "pet meter".

    No....especially not the kibble. Both D/M and W/D are very high in carbs and the ingredients are pretty lousy too (especially my personal pet peeve ingredient they laughingly call "powdered cellulose"...that's a fancy word for sawdust. All kibble is a bad choice for cats. They are desert creatures and designed to get their water from their prey. A mouse is about 80% water....just like a can of cat food!

    My first thought is that either your cat isn't diabetic at all, or the 2.5U dose is too much for him.

    The Fancy Feast Classics are much better than any of the "prescription" foods.....also, Friskies pates and 9-Lives ground are popular here. They're under 10% carbs, easy to find and affordable.

    Any infection, inflammation or pain can raise the blood glucose, so yes, it's a possibility

    Go to WalMart and get a meter, strips, a box of lancets and (if you want) a lancet device (a lot of us just freehand the lancet and don't use the device...matter of personal preference)

    Start testing at home to see what kind of results you get. Do NOT change the food right away if you are giving insulin. Dropping the amount of carbs can drastically reduce the need for insulin. Slowly replace the high carb kibble with low carb canned (and watch his numbers start to drop!)

    Hang in there! You're in the right place now!
     
  6. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
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  7. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Oh my you have a lot on your plate! I just want you to know you have landed in a safe place! You WILL get answers AND help here. You've already received excellent advice from some of our very best.
    Please know these folks are not paid and are dedicated to feline diabetes and how to help others, navigate this frustrating and sometimes overwhelming disease, that is diabetes. Again welcome to the best site on the planet to help you help Oliver. :bighug:

    jeanne
     
  8. riebejamen

    riebejamen New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2020
    Is there a sticky that explains the acronyms? I understand #2, 3 and 4, and maybe # 6. Thx
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  9. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
  10. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    LC would be Low carb.;)
     
  11. riebejamen

    riebejamen New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2020
    Oliver Update.....It's late Tuesday night, ....uh early Wed morning. Oliver is back to himself, although a little wobbly at times. I didn't make it to Petsmart for more Fancy Feast; first thing in the am. He's had no insulin since Saturday pm. My thinking is that at this point, high BG readings are better than low. Have not heard response from vet. She is usually prompt. :(
    Got the ReLion Prime glucometer, going to start testing him in the AM. Test strips were easy; the lancets available were confusing. I think I have a better chance at freehand, than with the noise of a pen. Based on what the pharmacy said, I got this pen and box of lancets. It's hard to tell if the second box contains a device with a prepared lancet or what. I know that the lancets don't need to be the same brand as meter. Hopefully, it will make more sense to me in the am.

    I've been thinking about Oliver's reaction(s) over the weekend, and trying to figure out why/how it happened. He's has only been wobbly once, after the first glucose curve. This time, he had the Beef flavored pate two days in a row. He normally gets fish. The beef flavored has the highest carbs of the pate; could insulin dosage have been too high and sent him into hypoglycemia? He's had the fish flavors (and prefers them), which are lower in carbs, but then shouldn't the same insulin dosage REALLY drop his BG? Hubby thinks that Oliver may have eaten the tail off a lizard that snuck into the house. Most of the time, the tails will make them vomit, and little else. And we found no puke. He's been eating the Hills dry m/d, which has carbs of 15, compared to the FF, which vary between 2.6 and 4.9. I feel like I am missing some piece of information. I am going to create a timeline, to see if I can pinpoint where it started. Suggestions WELCOME!
    Thanks!
     
  12. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    giggling here... tails are pure protein. Zoe luvs em:eek::oops::p
     
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  13. riebejamen

    riebejamen New Member

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    Jun 29, 2020
    LOL
     
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  14. riebejamen

    riebejamen New Member

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    Jun 29, 2020
    Overslept today, go figure with recent stress. Thinking more about Oliver's wobbliness....He's been off insulin since Sunday, wobbliness is 80 % better than it was on Monday. Shouldn't he be back to normal, two days later? Now I am wondering if what I think in hypoglycemia was actually a seizure? I've had one kitty that had seizures, she was wobbly, but also became blind. Oliver has incomplete cataracts, and could he be disorientated/out of balance while moving, due to seizure? Not heard from vet.
    Am I barking, ahem meowing, up the wrong tree?
     
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  15. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    No I think you have good cause for thinking that. Let us know what the vet says.
     
  16. riebejamen

    riebejamen New Member

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    Jun 29, 2020
    It's SOOO much fun being frustrated! NOT!
    Sent vet another email, she responded a few minutes later, apologizing that the earlier one did not show up as "new" in her box. This has happened several times before; not sure what to say to her w/o reading as REALLY angry, just angry. <deep breathe>
    She said that it sounds like Oliver may be coming a transient diabetic or some kind of neurological episode. She says to lower his insulin dose from 2.5 to 2 and bring in for a recheck soon, like tomorrow or Friday. She won't be back in office until Tuesday.
    I did my first at home BG test! Not the greatest technique, but I got it. Not being sure when he last ate dry, his BG read as 346. His last insulin dosage was Sat night. I am thinking that I would like to not restart him, and have a fructosamine test done rather than glucose curve. And, in the meantime, do my own curve at home.
    On my way to PetsMart for Fancy Feast, ran out yesterday. :arghh:
    And chocolate.
     
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  17. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    no fancy feast? bad
    Chocolate good...get me some too while youre there.:p

    All kidding aside, I do hope Oliver starts feeling better soon :bighug:
     
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