New Member - Recently diagnosed with diabetes after leg weakness

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Elmo's Mama, Dec 19, 2020.

  1. Elmo's Mama

    Elmo's Mama New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2020
    Introduction
    Hi everyone, I'm so happy I found this site (thanks, Reddit!), I've been perusing posts for the last few hours and I already feel somewhat equipped to handle our Sugar Bunny's (no pun intended) diabetes diagnosis.

    Name: Elmo
    Type: Orange Shorthair, Indoor
    Age: 6 yrs
    Weight: 12 lb. (12/20)

    Diet: Free feed kibble, 2 cans of wet food a day, and about 8 treats in the AM. Too much love.


    Elmo's Health History

    Ear Infections (Sept. 2020)
    Elmo has been lucky enough to have a clean bill of health up until this year (sigh, 2020). In September, he lost weight, had a protruding eyelid, wasn't blinking and slept with his right eye open so off to the vet we went. Vet falsely said he was blind in the right eye and referred us to a cat ophthalmologist. He did, however, find that our Elmo had ear infections in both ears and polyps in the right ear. Vet cleaned the ears and sent us home with Prednisone and some nausea medicine. Soon after, Elmo stopped eating, became lethargic, became even bonier, and dizzy. Vet said it was vestibular disease from the ear infections. Thankfully, our baby recovered almost fully a month later. Eyes are fine.

    Diabetes (Dec. 2020)
    Elmo woke us up at 2am because I heard him throw up. Usually when he hears me get up, he comes running for pets (regardless of time of day). I turned on the lights and found that he couldn't walk! He was dragging his hind legs. He wasn't meowing and didn't seem to be in pain - but he did look rattled that he suddenly lost ability to move his legs. After taking him to the vet in the morning, the vet thought it was Saddle Thrombus (stroke caused by blood clot from Heart Disease). After bloodwork and x-rays, Elmo was diagnosed with diabetes (BG 384) and cystitis. As for the leg issue, the vet isn't sure if it's related to the diabetes or if it's a thromboembolism/stroke. However, within 24 hrs. Elmo has regained feeling in his legs and can walk again. The right leg is still weak so he is limping still.

    The vet sent us home with his Vetsulin and an antibiotic, Amoxi Clavu, for his cystitis. Overall, his prognosis seemed to be optimistic.

    Looking back, his pee has been smelling weirdly sweet for the past few months, he has been drinking a lot of water, eating more than usual, been less active, and his muscle mass has changed. Regretfully, we overlooked all these symptoms as just signs of getting older.

    Moving Forward

    Our goal is to lead Elmo into remission. We have cut out dry food completely. We plan to feed a high protein, low cal diet of wet food (he likes Friskies, never cared for Fancy Feast) 12 hours apart and give him his insulin right after eating. After an initial vet visit for his glucose test, I plan to test at home.


    Questions
    - Should I ask my vet for Lantus once the Vetsulin is finished? I read that most of you use it.
    - Is there a better way to throw away insulin needles? My vet gave us a biohazard box to bring back once full, charging $35 each time.
    - How often should I be testing his blood glucose?

    Lastly, any tips or insight you have for a mom of a newly diabetic furkitty is greatly appreciated. How do you manage cat health anxiety? I'm nervous about him having hypoglycemia when no one is home. I've been reading that this new normal will get time to get used to, so here's to hoping for good health and many long years of life! ​

    Diagnostic Results (high):
    ALT: 180
    GLU: 384
    RBC: 10.62+
    HCT: 54.95+
     
    phakewishard likes this.
  2. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Hi. Nice Introduction.

    First - You shouldn't aim for remission as your sole goal. You should aim for keeping the bg under the renal threshold to start with, which is under 230.

    Secondly - An evenly spread out wet food, 4 to 6 times for every 12 hour cycle is better.

    Thirdly - You should set up a Spreadsheet were you fill in all daily bg's, Insulin type, Insulin dose, Blood tests, Side notes https://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    That is one sure way to be in charge of your 'anxiety' - be on top of everything and leaving nothing to chance.

    Then - Yes you can ask the vet for Lantus. All us in U.S and Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany have no problem getting it by the vets. With one big difference in U.S vs Nordics, the price for Lantus in U.S. The U.S Lantus users buy it from pharmacies in Canada instead which are cheaper.

    And - BD syringe brand makes smaller needle tip cutters, which once full we simply hand in to a pharmacy, and the plastic parts goes in the plastic recycling trash at home for burning.
     
  3. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    • when you get a chance ,It would be helpful if you can set up your signature so we don't have to ask you the same questions over again. Members will look at this first .
    • It appears after each post in gray, look at mine,



    • On the left, under Settings, Click on Signature. This is where you will put information that helps us give you feedback.
      • There is a limit of two lines which may include two links; you may separate pieces with commas, dashes, | etc. This is where you paste the link for your spreadsheet, once it is set up.
      • Add any other text, such as
      • Caregiver & kitty's name (optional)
      • DX: Date
      • Name of Insulin
      • Name of your meter
      • Diet: "LC wet" or "dry food" or "combo"
      • Dosing: TR or SLGS or Custom (if applicable)
      • DKA or other recent health issue (if applicable)
      • Acro, IAA, or Cushings (if applicable)
      • Spreadsheet link. Please put the signature link on the bottom line of your signature information, on its own, so it is easy to find.
      • Please do not put any information about your location in the signature for security reasons. If you wish to add your country location, please add it to your profile.
    Be sure to click the 'Save Changes' button at the bottom. If you need help urgently it is important we know these things at a glance. We don’t want to waste valuable time finding out information.


    tap on your avatar where it says your name ,then hit profile page ,tap on that ,then go up to the very top, upper right hand side and tap on your name ,it will bring down a drop box, tap on signature, the signature will be under settings, tap on the signature then and you can start to add what I posted above, make sure you hit save ,
    Welcome to the best place you could ever be and an awesome group of people

    The signature appears after everyone's post at the end in grey
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  4. phakewishard

    phakewishard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2020
    So, I don't know if all vets do it or if it's just mine, but because of Lantus being so expensive they used a sterile vial and put a couple months worth of insulin in it. That way I didn't have to worry about it going to waste, and didn't have to spend an insane amount of money. They charged me about $40 for the vial. Again, I don't know if that's a common practice.
     
  5. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    How many ml in the vial? One can usually purchase a single pen (3ml) of Lantus for about $90 or so. One can usually use up the whole 3ml before it goes bad.
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  6. phakewishard

    phakewishard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2020
    If it's on the vial I can let you know once I get home from work!
     
  7. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Welcome, with Vetsulin, you should test every AMPS ( AM pre shot, first thing in the morning make sure his BG number is sa iffe to give him the insulin)

    Then feed and WAIT 30 MINUTES after eating then give Vetsulin, to make sure their is food on board


    It's a harsh insulin and will drop his numbers quickly.
    You should go out and asap and buy a meter and start testing.

    Did your vet test for ketones?
    Does Elmo seem to be in any pain

    Do you live in the US?
    Most of us use human meters from Walmart
    The Relion Prime costs 9 dollars or The Relion Premier
    17.88 for 100 test strips
    Buy 26 or 28 gauge lancets they will make a bigger hole so Elmo bleeds better
    Cotton rounds to put behind his ear just in case you poke yourself
    Then hold it on his ear and press gently for about 10 -20 seconds to stop the bleeding
    Some test using the lancing device, I like to freehand just using the lancet
    I can see better where you are poking. Buying from Walmart you can run into there
    and buy them instead of ordering on line and have to wait for them.


    I'll post a diagram for you

    Always have honey or Karo on hand in case he ever drops to low and you need to
    get his numbers back up to safe levels


    You said he likes Friskies , I will post a link of the food chart, we like to stay under 10% carbs
    Friskies Pate will be fine


    Also pick up some Friskies in gravy medium carbs and high carbs in case he drops too low.


    This is what you need to feed if he ever drops to low, don't have want a hypo
    Such as

    You should always have a few can of these on hand in case you need to bring up


    Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Gourmet Beef Feast in Gravy 20% High Carbs


    Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Gourmet Chicken Feast in Gravy. 15% Med Carbs




    Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Turkey Feast in Gravy. 15% Med Carbs


    Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Chicken and Beef Feast in Gravy 15% Med Carbs

    It's mostly the gravy that has the higher carbs in it

    Look at the food link I gave you , for Friskies in Gravy with the same amount of carbs as the Fancy Feast. I just listed these for you to show you what high and med percentages are

    Also the treats you are feeding what are they?
    Want to make sure they are low carb
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  8. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Here is BD's small needle tip clipper

    8E28D028-B09F-4C98-B2DF-2F58F2B0FF3E.jpeg


    And the small Lantus cartridges, 5 in one pack, 1 small cartridge is hardly used in a month due to the small doses the 0,5 - 2,5 U is.

    62C67336-A274-4316-A004-0008E60D34B1.jpeg


    And different syringes. Mine all BD's. Short needle 8 millimeter, with 0,5 Units marks on.
     
  9. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    If you want to switch to Lantus you would need U-100 syringes preferably the ones with half unit markings. When we increase or decrease the dose he do it
    by 0.25 units. It will make it easier to do this.

    Walmart should have half unit markings , just make sure they give you the correct ones

    You will probably need a script from your vet.
    35.00 dollars is crazy to buy them from your vet.

    Lantus is expensive in the US so we buy from Marks Marine in Canada
    I'll post the link.
    A 5 pack of pens will probably last you a year depending on the dose.

    Also we have a supply closet here where members will sell supplies when their
    kitties have passed.
    Right now I see someone selling Lantus pens for 125.00 for 5 new pens
    Can't beat that price
     
  10. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    https://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/forums/supply-closet-for-sale-or-free.15/


    Lantus pens for sell
    Discussion in 'Supply Closet - For Sale or Free' started by Steve and Buddy, Dec 7, 2020.

    Unwatch Thread
    1. [​IMG]
      Steve and Buddy
      Joined:
      Jun 25, 2019
      My Buddy passed, and just stocked up on Lantus . A box of 5 unopened pens. A box of 90? Syringes 125 dollars St. Louis area text <phone number removed for privacy by moderator, please message him instead
    Go to the supply closet the link I gave you and tap on his pic and start a conversation about buying the pens
     
  11. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    https://rxcanada4less.com Marks Marine pharmacy

    Here is the link for Canada with the pens we use them like a vial because with the pens you can only increase or decrease by whole units, so you would just take your syringe and stick it in the little grey rubber stopper and just draw the insulin from that







    Lantus Solostar Cartridges 5x3ml per box (temp. gauge. ice pack, express-air mail) Brand 100u/ml 15 ml $159.99 USD
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Lantus Solostar PEN CAN (temp. gauge. ice pack, express-air mail) *single pen open box* Brand 100iu/ml one pen 3 ml $49.99 USD
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Lantus Solostar PENS 5x3ml per box (temp. gauge. ice pack, express-air mail) Brand 100u/ml 15 ml $164.99 USD
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Lantus VIAL Insulin (10ml per vial) (temp. gauge. ice pack, express-air mail) Brand 100u/ml 10 ml $110.99 USD


    Like I said you are better off buying the 5 pack of cartridges or the 5 pack of pens
    They will last you way over a year
    After your vet writes the first script you won't ever need another script.
    Call them and will tell you what to do
    They are very nice people

    Oh when you buy the pens they will have an expiration date on them
    Most likely 2022 or 2023 by now.
    Put them in the frig , a middle shelf
    As long as you don't puncture them they will be good until the expiration date
    So you are actually saving a ton of money
     
  12. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    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
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    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
     
  13. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
  14. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    https://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    Here are instructions to the spreadsheet we use to enter our cats BG.
    In case you need help with dosing, or an emergency we look at your spreadsheet
    to give advice. It's a very useful tool,

    If you have trouble setting it up just hollar and we have 2 wonderful members that
    can do it for you in a minute.
    I suggest you do this as soon as you start testing at home.



    This link explains about the spreadsheet, take a look at mine it's at the end of everyone's post
    Mine says Tyler's spreadsheet. You can look at anyone's spreadsheet

    https://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/understanding-the-spreadsheet-grid.156606/
     
  15. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
  16. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
  17. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    We feed our cats their breakfast, then at least 2-3 times in between until the Night Cycle , and then do the same with the night cycle

    Do not feed any food 2 hours prior to testing both AM and PM tests, you don't want them to be food influenced.
     
  18. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    You talked about his legs, is he walking on his hocks?, like a rabbit, flat footed?
    It could be neuropathy, once you can get him regulated it should get much better.

    A lot if us give Methyl B-12
    I will give you the link






    Here is the link https://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-vitamin-b-12-methylcobalamin-5000-mcg-100-capsules-6

    Alot of members use this , I use it myself you can buy it on line from Vitacost
    Vitamin B-12 Methylcobalamin -- 5000 mcg - 100 Capsules
    It's 17.99 just be sure this is the one you buy.

    Some use Zobaline
    The only difference is the Zobaline has 200 mcgs of folic acid
    So I buy the folic acid at the supermarket and crush it up and add it to the B-12
    If you can't find the 200 mcg get the 400 mcg and cut it in half and crush it up
    The Vitacost brand is a capsule so just open it and pour the powder on the wet food and I always add some water to the wet food.
    Has no taste, no need to crush it up
    The Zobaline is 33.99 for 60 pills, too expensive
    I saw a big improvement I'd say 3 months, could be sooner. One capsule a day.
    Once you get your kitty better regulated the B-12 methyl will help


    Vitamin B-12 Methylcobalamin -- 5000 mcg - 100 Capsules

    • SKU #: 835003001804
    • Shipping Weight: 0.23 lb
    • Servings: 100
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Well that's about all I can tell you if you have any more questions just ask
    Everyone here is amazing, so helpful and very knowledgeable.
    You couldn't have found a better group of people
     
  20. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    You said you were nervous if no one is home about a hypo
    You can get an auto feeder and set it for certain times for Elmo to be fed
     
  21. Elmo's Mama

    Elmo's Mama New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2020
    Wow, I didn't expect so many responses. Thank you all so much!
     
  22. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Vetsulin is also called Caninsulin and was designed for dogs. It is a harsh insulin and hits hard and fast. It is best to feed a main meal 30 minutes before shot time and then snacks through the first half of the cycle.
    So, yes, Lantus is a better, more gentle insulin for cats.

    Do not change the diet until you are hometesting. Just switching to a low carb diet can drop a cat's overall numbers by up to 100. The dose may then be too much for the cat and potentially dangerous.
     
  23. Elmo's Mama

    Elmo's Mama New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2020
    Would you recommend getting drugstore B12?
    [​IMG]

    Also - we are testing BG at home using the Relion meter. How do the numbers translate for cats? Moreover, what is the healthy range using a human meter?

    Thank you a million!
     
  24. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    I not sure but I don't think so I will bump this to the top to see if anyone responds
     
  25. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    You talked about his legs, is he walking on his hocks?, like a rabbit, flat footed?
    It could be neuropathy, once you can get him regulated it should get much better.
    Do you plan on home testing yet
     
  26. JaxBenji

    JaxBenji Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2020
    A lot of us use the ReliOn meters (I use the Prime). There is no conversion between Human Meters and Pet Meters but here are the ranges for regulation:

    50-120 on human meter
    70-150 on pet meter

    Hope that helps!
     
  27. Elmo's Mama

    Elmo's Mama New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2020
    Diane Tyler's Mom, He isn't flat footed, a week ago, he completely lost control of his legs and was dragging them. Since then, he's regained full motion in the legs. However, he struggles to jump still. He's getting better every day, maybe because his diabetes is getting under control!

    JaxBenji, thank you so much! I have the ReliOn Prime and tested for the first time today, but I think there wasn't enough blood on the strip... so the meter didn't give me a number. I'll try again soon!

    Thank you both so much, your support is getting me through this and making me feel strong enough to help my baby!
     
  28. Elmo's Mama

    Elmo's Mama New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2020
    I have few more questions I keep forgetting to ask:

    1. I keep reading conflicting things about when to feed. 12 hours apart or throughout the day? Right now, Elmo's eating about 2 cans of Friskies daily and a little dry food as a snack. Before insulin, he would eat almost 4 a day + free feed dry food.

    2. How do we choose between SLGS or TR? My understanding of these:
    SLGS: Start with a low dose of insulin and keep upping it until control is achieved. No change in diet. Test before insulin. (2x)
    TR: Test every 2 hrs. Only feed before testing, no food throughout the day. Give insulin based on GL.

    3. If he's grazing throughout the day, he won't eat a full meal at insulin time. Is this an issue?

    Unfortunately, my vet doesn't seem to be very knowledgeable about feline diabetes. When we first got his diagnosis, we asked the vet if we needed to change his diet and he told us no.


    Thank you in advance!!!
     
  29. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  30. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    @Elmo's Mama can you please add to your signature that you are using the Relion Prime
     
  31. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    In case you haven't already discovered it yet, here's the link to the FDMB Vetsulin Guidelines.

    With Vetsulin, you need to give a substantial feed before each dose and then wait 30 minutes before administering the injection since this insulin tends to hit hard and fast in the first few hours of each cycle. It's OK to give small snacks later in the cycle, but preferably not after +7 (assuming not in low numbers at this point) since typically the dose starts petering out at that point. You can adjust the size of any snacks to make sure that your kitty has a good enough appetite at preshot time. Remember to lift all grub 2 hours prior to preshot time so that the preshot BG is not influenced by food.

    The SLGS and TR dosing methods are only relevant to users of Lantus/Basaglar and Levemir insulins. (They are depot insulins and work very differently to Vetsulin.)

    The recommendations for feeding, testing, and dose adjustments when using Vetsulin are covered in the guidelines linked above.


    Mogs
    .
     
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  32. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Thank you Mogs :bighug::bighug:
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  33. Elmo's Mama

    Elmo's Mama New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2020
    Thank you :)

    He looks like he's put on little weight since starting the insulin and his appetite is growing again it seems. He is running faster than before, however! I'll try to test again today - hopefully it works this time!
     
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