New Member - two cats - when to see changes

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by bobjoh, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. bobjoh

    bobjoh Member

    Jan 23, 2021

    I am a new member, and two of my cats started Lantus on Sunday (1/24/2021). I'm using an AlphaTrak2 meter.

    Gryphen has been 'pre-diabetic' for a while, no other health issues. Switching food did not keep her from becoming diabetic; she's on Purina DM (dry and pate). I am looking into switching food now, based on the suggestions I've been seeing in some of the posts. She is on one unit of Lantis AM/PM. Here numbers are quite steady, and the AM reading have been consistently dropping.

    Alphyne was just diagnosed in October, and we also tried the food change with her (DM also), which was also unsuccessful. She is on two units of Lanus AM/PM. Her numbers are all over the place, and the AM readings are going up.

    AM: 290, 267, 246
    PM: 268, 251, 253

    AM: 398, 407, 449
    PM: 326, 310, 373

    I did do a few other tests between the AM/PM, and Gryphen been down to 105, but is typically in the 140-160 range. Alphyne has had a low of 191, but is typically in the lower 300s.

    Honestly, prior to October, Alphy has always has very normal or low BG ranges, even when stressed (she hates the vet). I feel like her problems started when she began eating the DM food, although the vet says that's a coincidence. She was about 17 pounds in 2019, and is now at 13.5. She is on 2.5 ml of Lactulose for constipation, given in the AM, and one capsule of Cosequin for arthritis near her tail.

    In any case, I know it's too early to see any real results, and I need to give it some time. I'm just stressed since both cats are reacting so differently, and I absolutely did not expect to see Alphy's numbers go up!

    Can someone perhaps just give me a little reassurance that I should not be stressing out (so much) just yet? Or should I? (Note: I am working on setting up a spreadsheet for them.)

    I had diabetic cats in the past, but that was 20 years ago, and things are SO different now!

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  2. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi and welcome Bobbi, Gryphen and Alphyne to the forum .
    I’m sure you are busy with two kitties with FD but you have absolutely come to the best place to get advice and support as you go through this journey with them. It can be overwhelming in the beginning but it will get better. It looks like you are doing a good job with them and trying to learn more to help them which is fantastic.

    We have a saying here ...every cat is different (ECID) and you are seeing that with your two.
    If you can get the SS for each of them set up and put in all the numbers you have for the last 3 or 4 weeks that will be able to help you. We are very data driven here and always look at the SS before we help you.

    Definitely get them onto a low carb wet diet. That could make a difference.
    When you change the food you need to be testing frequently because the BGs can drop up to 100 points with a change of food from high carb to low carb.

    Want type of meter are you using...human or pet? We recommend using the human meter as out dosing methods are based on the human meter numbers.

    We recommend you test before every dose of insulin to make sure it is safe to give the dose.
    And test again during the cycle to see how low the dose is taking your kitties.
    If you are unsure about anything post and ask for help but make sure you change the subject line to reflect the problem.

    Here is a link to information about setting up the signature and hypo box and shooting lower numbers.

    Keep asking questions ......have I missed answering anything.?

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
    Reason for edit: Added about type of meters
    bobjoh likes this.
  3. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    Just wanted to add that the responses to the insulin for Gryphen and Alphyne will not necessarily be the same. Some cats have a food bump after they eat their main meals and others don’t. It is hard to comment on the numbers when I don’t know how long after their dose they were taken .
    Some cats can bounce a bit as well if they have dropped down to lower numbers earlier.
    So seeing all the numbers on a spreadsheet will make it much easier to answer your questions about where the numbers are up to.
    Does that make sense?
    I know how stressful it is in the beginning. I felt like you do at the moment in the beginning, but it will get easier as you learn about FD. Just know you are doing a really good job looking after them, you are looking into better food, and have reached out for more help.
    Absolutely unsuitable food can raise the BGs so if you think that Alphyne’s BG went up when the DM was started, then it probably was the food.
  4. bobjoh

    bobjoh Member

    Jan 23, 2021
    Thank you! I'm only 3 days in to this this journey, and having two of them start insulin together is very nerve-wracking!

    I'm particularly upset about the food. You think you are doing what's best, based on advice you trust (and DM is prescription and not cheap). DM was supposed to help Gryphen (her BG did drop a small amount), but then Alphy's just skyrocketed. I should mention Alphy was eating the DM for a full year; she started when Gryphen did, but she was not on a strict DM diet until she was diagnosed. She was allowed to eat Orijen, which my other cats eat. She just preferred thd DM, and my vet said that was fine.

    I'll get working on the spreadsheets. I did notice the ranges my vet recommends are not the same as the spreadsheet, so I may need to tweak a bit.

    Thanks again for your responses!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
    Reason for edit: Orijen/DM comment
  5. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    Only three days you are doing very well! And two kitties!

    There are many low carb canned foods that are perfectly fine to give a diabetic cat. The prescription foods are nothing special except they are mostly higher carb and more expensive. Vets often suggest prescription foods but they can be counterproductive if they are high in carbs.
    We don’t commend any dry foods as they are almost all high carb and have very little moisture in them.
    Click on this link for a list of suitable foods

    Vets usually give higher numbers because most people don’t home test and they like to be cautious.
    The numbers 50-120 are the normal range for non diabetic cats and if a diabetic cat is properly regulated they are in those numbers.
    If you are home testing you are in control......there is no guesswork......and you can control the BGs with food.
    Are you feeding snacks during the cycles as well as the meals before the shots?
    A good plan is to give the main meal then a couple of snacks during the am and the pm cycles. Eg at +3 and 5 or at +2 and +4 or what times you like. Better to feed them during the first half of the cycle when the insulin is strongest but time will tell what works best for you your two kitties.
    If you have any issues with the SS just let me know and I can tag someone to help you.
    Did I ask you if you are using a human or a pet meter? As there are two different SS for them
    Critter Mom likes this.
  6. bobjoh

    bobjoh Member

    Jan 23, 2021
    That is good info about the numbers!

    I'm using an AlphaTrak 2. I did see the suggestions for the human meters, but stocked up on some supplies, so may switch when these run out. LOL!

    I did feed a wet food, called Snappy Tom, on weekends. It's Tuna & Pumpkin, similar to Tiki Cat. I have an email in to them to get more info; they only have the crude/guaranteed info on the website. Where I live we have the chain stores, but not a lot of variety, so I have to order a lot online.

    I test at 5:30 am/pm, then feed, then give the shots. My girls eat small meals throughout the day. Gryphen throws up if she doesn't eat for several hours; she's always been that way, so it became the norm for everyone (I have 4). Main feeding times are never a problem.

    I did write some of the food companies I saw in the boards and they are sending me some food samples; most likely I'll use those for treats if I can find one they like. They hate everything freeze dried, and won't eat people food (like chicken). Of course, they adore the Friskies treats, so I have those on hand in case of emergency. Ha!

    I appreciate your responses so much. I feel calmer already!!
  7. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    If you are using the alphatrak meter the BG is different for normal numbers. We don’t have a comparison number really as none have been published to my knowledge but the BG you need to take action is 68 on the alphatrak meter. That is the number you reduce the dose. If it drops under 68 you need to give high carb food or honey to bring up the BG.
    Which country are you in? I know we have Snappy Tom in Australia

    if you are thinking about swapping over to a human meter when your supplies run out, that’s a good idea
    bobjoh likes this.
  8. bobjoh

    bobjoh Member

    Jan 23, 2021
    I am in the USA.
    Bron and Sheba (GA) likes this.

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