New member, newly diagnosed kitty

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Susan K, Dec 26, 2020.

  1. Susan K

    Susan K New Member

    Dec 26, 2020
    I am new to this forum which was recommended by the animal emergency vet. My kitty's name is Clara, she is a 4-1/2 year old Siamese who has just been diagnosed with diabetes! I am a nurse (for humans), didn't even know that cats could have diabetes. I have an idea what is involved, and it's kind of scary thinking about giving her twice daily injections of insulin and once for glucose testing. She doesn't like to be fiddled with, so I'm thinking of getting some kevlar gloves! I can't imaging having a pet with this diagnosis and not being a nurse. My hats off to those who have been through that.

    I've already put away the kibble, but saving it until her blood glucose is stable in case she has hypoglycemia - I can imagine there may be better solutions for this. I had no idea that kibble has a high carb content - this feels like of like a stab in the back from the cat foot manufacturing company. However, she's never had grain and has always been fed a Blue Buffalo dry food, and canned I and Love and You which I now know is lower in carbs. She had to spend the night in the hospital because of an accident when testing her urine for confirmation of the diagnosis, but she came home on Christmas morning and is doing MUCH better already, even without the insulin.

    Our first vet appointment for training isn't until the 5th, that is the earliest that they have available, but since she is no longer vomiting and urinating on the bed and drinking so much water, and her appetite is back, I feel like that is probably okay. If her symptoms return in the meantime I'll take her back to emergency.

    I am so grateful for this forum, and will just let you all know in advance that this is my first experience with social media!
    Susan K.
  2. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to FDMB!!

    You are absolutely correct. The first few weeks of learning how to manage Clara's diabetes (FD = feline diabetes) will be a bit overwhelming. The good news is your nursing background will put you ahead of the game when it comes to understanding how diabetes works. We're also here to lend a hand. Our members are from all over the world so it's rare that there's not someone around if you have a question.

    There are a few things you can do that will help us to help you. There is information in this link about how to set up your signature so there's basic information about your cat, the insulin you're using, any other medical issues, etc. There's also information on how to set up a spreadsheet and link it to your signature so you can track Clara's progress and so we can see what's going on and offer feedback or other suggestions. The linked post also has information about hypoglycemia. Holding on to the the dry food isn't a bad idea although dry food takes longer to metabolize and raise blood glucose (BG) levels versus a simple sugar (e.g., corn syrup like Karo, maple syrup, honey) and dry takes longer to clear a cat's system.

    If you've not come across it, there's a wonderful website on feline nutrition. Also on this website is a chart that provides nutritional information on most canned foods available in the US. We suggest feeding your cat a low carb (LC) diet that's less than 10% carb -- although most people feed their cats in the 5% range. (High carb is over 15% and medium carb is 10 -15%). There are lots of options on the chart.

    We also have information and videos on home testing. Hopefully, Clara will get used to the process. Most of our kitties seem to realize what we're doing helps them to feel better. Rather than having a negative impact on your relationship with your cat, it seems to strengthen the bond. (See the link to Gabby's Legacy in my signature -- post #7.) There are any number of people here who will tall you that their cat will readily come to their testing spot and be purring up a storm. Of course, it doesn't hurt that testing gets associated with food and treats!

    Please let us know how we can help. The people here are very generous with their time and knowledge.
    Susan K likes this.
  3. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Feb 28, 2012
    Hello and welcome. Waving "Hi" from just north of the border. First of all, kudos to your animal emergency vet for recommending us! I had a locum vet who referred me to here. Though I was already lurking. :)

    You aren't the only nurse here so you will definitely get the concepts quickly. As for testing, the first few times may be hard, but you will both soon get the hang of things. Spend some time now just rubbing Clara's ears and praising her, maybe even giving her a low carb treat afterwards to start the association. Any freeze dried pure meat treat will work. For some cats, brushing is the "treat" that works. I am definitely NOT a nurse and queezy at the sight of blood, so it was definitely hard at first from me. Fortunately my girl was very food oriented, and pretty soon I had her and my non diabetic cat lined up for treats when the test kit came out.

    You might want to browse the Health Links forum, and see the index. Lots of videos and info that will get you prepared for that first vet visit. Has the vet mentioned which insulin will be recommended?
    Susan K likes this.
  4. Susan K

    Susan K New Member

    Dec 26, 2020
    Thank you so much! This is my holiday project, which I'm happy to do for Clara, and I've been studying all day in an aimless fashion. I really appreciate that you've given me some direction!
    Critter Mom likes this.
  5. Susan K

    Susan K New Member

    Dec 26, 2020

    Thank you so much for this information. I think the big issue will be getting her used to the new routine, and anything that can help her with this is very welcome!
  6. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    Always aim for the sweet spot warm the ears up first, you can put rice in a sock and put it in the microwave, test it on the inside of your wrist to be sure it's not to hot, like you would test a babies bottle. You can fill a pill bottle with warm water and roll it on the ears also
    6. As the ears get used to bleeding and grow more capilares, it gets easier to get the amount of blood you need on the first try. If she won’t stand still, you can get the blood onto a clean finger nail and test from there
  7. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
  8. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    Most of us use the human meter from Walmart The Relion Prime 9 dollars
    Test strips are 17.88 for 100 strips
    Buy 26 or28 gauge lancets
    Most of us test freehand just using the lancets
    Some buy the lancing device
    I find you have more control just using the lancet and can see where you are poking.
    Get some cotton rounds to put behind the ear just in case you poke yourself
    Then just press gently on the ear to stop the bleeding about 10 seconds
    If his ears ever look sore you can put a thin layer of Neosporin Ointment with Pain Relief, make sure it's NOT the Cream
    Have honey or Karo on hand in case he ever drops to low

    Your vet most likely tell you to purchase the Alpha Trak 2 Pet
    Meter. The meter runs about 45.00 -50.00 dollars
    The strips around 54.00 for only 50 strips

    You will be testing a lot in the beginning and going thru a lot of test
    strips. Plus you have to order them on line in case your vet
    doesn't carry them.

    It's up to you what meter you want to use.
    Just tell the vet you can't afford the price for the test strips

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