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Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Summer and Susie, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2020
  2. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Summer,
    On your previous thread you mentioned waiting for a Genteel lancing device. Just wondering whether you did get that, and what you think of it? I heard of someone else who got this recently and would be interested in your opinion of it.

    Eliz
     
  3. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

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    Dec 20, 2020
    I did get the device but I have never used it. Sorry. I am more comfortable using just the lancets. It is bigger than the AlphaTrac 2 device and I just didn't feel I had enough control.
     
  4. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    @Elizabeth and Bertie and @Critter Mom: after tonight’s cycle, it will be a full 7 days at this dose. While I’m still concerned about what might be going on up to +4 at night, what are your thoughts on a dose increase tomorrow to 1.5u if Summer was willing to start doing a preshot test every cycle?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  5. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    @Marje and Gracie -

    I'd like to have more info on what's happening on the PM cycles before looking at a dose increase, Marje, particularly as the nadir on the PM cycle of 11 January was down to 104 (Alphatrak), and for a Vetsulin cat - especially at this early stage of treatment - that's quite low. I recognise that the preshots are on the high side, especially in the mornings, but the recent PM cycle data shows that Susie is capable of rather spectacular drops - even by Vetsulin standards - between PM+1 and +2 and that response style might be feeding into the red AM preshot readings. (A snack at PM+1 might be something to consider.) I think the nadir BGs should carry much more weight in dosing decisions.

    One specific concern I have is whether a dose increase would be more likely to cause more precipitous drops and possibly too-low nadirs rather than improve the preshot BGs. Indeed, if that proved to be the case it could potentially lead to higher preshot BGs at times.

    I'm glad that Summer is already considering the possibility of switching to an insulin with a gentler action profile, as it might do more to even out Susie's levels, and the expected greater duration of effect would also be welcome.


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
    Reason for edit: Meter type.
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  6. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Thank you. I value your analysis and agree with your observations.
     
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  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    @Summer and Susie -

    It's great that you're starting to get more preshot and PM tests, Summer! It was also nice to read in her spreadsheet that Susie has been active and playful today. :cat:

    I note from your previous threads that there are times when you need to rest. Looking at Susie's daytime data, she seems to be having a quite typical response to her Vetsulin in that the dose appears to wear off in the latter part of the cycle. As long as she's in nice safe numbers by AM+8/+9, that might be a good time to put your feet up for a while, and it might make getting the evening cycle tests a bit easier for you. :)

    To help you get a better feel for the mode of action of Vetsulin in cats, here's a graphic that illustrates what an 'ideal' cycle (not bounce-influenced!) might look like:

    [​IMG]

    As the graphic shows - and as you're starting to see better as you gather more data for Susie - Vetsulin gets to work really early in the cycle and glucose level starts dropping soon after, sometimes quite steeply. Between around +3 and +6 - the period of peak effect of Vetsulin - BG levels are held down for a while. In the latter part of the cycle, the dose starts to wear off and BG levels typically then climb up again round the +7 mark, producing a typical 'bucket-shaped' curve. Note that if a kitty's BGs are a bit 'bouncy', the shape of the curve will not match the 'ideal' version (e.g. higher preshot BGs on one cycle, shorter time in lower levels, a shallower 'bucket', higher spikes when having a big bounce on some cycles, etc., higher spikes for a short time until the bounce clears).

    I hope that the above diagram will help to reassure you a little that variation over the course of a cycle is normal and to be expected. You're not doing anything wrong. :)



    Mogs
    .
     
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  8. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

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    Dec 20, 2020
    Mogs, I actually look forward to going to bed at night and sleeping 8 hours. I don't know how people stay up all night to test their cats. I am not trying to get her into remission. I am trying to get her down to numbers in the low 100's so I don't have to worry about the BG being too high or in the "nail biting" greens of less than 68 - or in my case on the Vetsulin - less than 90. I'm sorry if I don't sound as committed as the rest of the group but I have other stressors in my life and need to be able to sleep at night. The most I will do is check her blood around the +2 after her nighttime shot. If it is low I may give her food so I don't have to worry about her going lower during the night. I appreciate the chart and the information and the support. I signed on for information and advice but I did not want to be a part of a "control group".
     
  9. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    No probs, Summer. I was just interested because of a couple of others who've tried it relatively recently. Someone said they found it much easier to get a blood sample using this device. But to my eyes it looked like a big thing to position on the edge of the ear. Hence my asking if you had any opinion on it.
    It sounds like you are getting used to using the Alphatrak. It is a nice meter (although very expensive to use!).
     
  10. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    That's a perfectly normal and reasonable treatment objective. However, you have at times expressed great distress at seeing Susie at high BG levels and I was endeavouring in my earlier posts on this thread to illustrate that it is not unusual to see higher numbers at certain points in the day relative to when insulin is administered - especially in the early stages of treatment. I was attempting to reassure you, not dictate what your treatment objectives should be. As I posted on your previous thread, decisions on treatment choices and objectives are purely the preserve of the caregiver.

    With respect, Summer, per my posts above I expressed concern about a nadir that was just over 100, and I also recognised your need for rest. It saddens me that you cannot seem to see that I am concerned about your particular circumstances. I myself have had severe problems with chronic fatigue and chronic anxiety for many, many years so I truly understand how other factors influence the choices a caregiver makes about the management of their cat's diabetes.

    I don't understand what you mean by 'control group' but it doesn't sound very nice, and I think you may have completely misconstrued my attempts to help you. I am not wont to 'group' people. Were you to search my posting history here, I would hope that it would become self-evident that I work on the basis that not only is every cat different, but so is every caregiver.

    While at times I may apply general principles when endeavouring to help other caregivers of diabetic cats - something unavoidable by virtue of the fact that different insulins work in particular ways and the nature of a body's response to endogenous insulin treatment tends to follow certain general patterns - I have always done my level best to try to help other members here in a way that is very much tailored to the needs of the individual cat AND their caregiver(s) based on the information provided on their threads. I feel quite upset that you don't appear to recognise this. I think perhaps our communication styles may be too different so, with regret, I think it best for me to now step back so that others might perhaps provide support to you that you find more acceptable.

    I wish you and Susie the very best going forward.


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
    Reason for edit: Name correction.
  11. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

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    Dec 20, 2020
    I am getting used to the AlphaTrac 2, and the Vetsulin, but the strips are very expensive. Everyone here wants me to change to Lantus and a human meter but I am just getting comfortable with the system I am using so not quite ready to change. The Genteel is a large lancing device and I never got comfortable with the smaller Alphatrak device.
     
  12. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    @Summer and Susie, I agree with Mogs' advice to NOT increase the dose at this point. Her advice is sensible and kind, and she always tries to consider the needs of both the caregiver and the cat.
    For newcomers to Vetsulin/Caninsulin, or those who don't yet have a lot of blood test data, it's always advisable to not have the blood glucose drop below 90 - 100, and Susie has got pretty close to dropping to 100. So, in the circumstances it seems safer to stick to the current dose for the time being.
     
  13. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

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    Dec 20, 2020
    Mogs, I knew you would be upset with my response but it was not meant to upset you. I am coming from a point of honesty. I am extremely grateful to everyone on this site. I guess I am trying to live with this horrible disease the best I can - for my cat and for myself. I am thinking, if this group can get cats into remission, into low, healing numbers, then can it not help me to achieve the low 100's so I don't have to worry every day about high glucose numbers or low glucose numbers? It is the testing during the night that bothers me. It takes up the only time of the day when I can truly relax and sleep. Can I make this work to where I don't have to worry all night? I'm so sorry about your chronic fatigue. I also have chronic anxiety and have for a long time. I don't know how you were able to handle the nighttime test. This whole diagnosis has just made my anxiety worse and that is why my nighttime sleep and my late morning nap are crucial to me. Can you help me get Susie to a point where her numbers are stable, in the low 100's, and I don't have to worry all the time about the constant nighttime testing? I will try to do better with my AMPS testing. Getting up around 5:00 every morning and having to deal with an "unruly" foxhound sometimes makes even the smallest break in my routine great. Susie is a handfull at 5:00 in the morning and always upset that I want to test her before her breakfast. Don't give up on me. Please help me achieve the low 100's and be consistent with that.
     
  14. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Summer, I liked the Alphatrak, but just couldn't justify the cost the cost of the test strips. My current diabetic now has multiple health issues and her blood glucose is very erratic, so I test a lot and get though a lot of test strips... So, I use a human meter. But if I could afford the Alphatrak I might well have continued to use that instead.

    And not 'everyone' wants you to change to Lantus. ...If it turns out that Vetsulin works for Susie then that's great. It 'does' work for some cats. And 'if' it works then there is no reason to change to any other insulin. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'....
    But if she doesn't do well on Vetsulin then you at least know that there are alternatives that you can try. You have three good alternatives to consider in that case, Prozinc, Lantus, or Levemir.

    At the moment you are just finding out how Vetsulin is working in your kitty, and it's still early days in that regard.

    BTW, I see that Susie is 8 years old. My first diabetic, Bertie, was also 8 when he became diabetic. We really struggled at first. But he was diabetic for 12 and a half years and lived to be 20. Things got a lot easier over time. He finally went into remission after nearly 11 years on insulin, which is pretty unusual. But 'every cat is different'...

    Eliz
     
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  15. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

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    Dec 20, 2020
    Yes, and Susie dropped to 92 on 1/6. That was very strange considering all her other numbers. I do not want want to change the dose right now.
     
  16. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

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    Dec 20, 2020
    You are very fortunate to have had a diabetic cat live to 20. That is my hope, too, but were you up every night, all night, testing to get Bertie to that point? That is my fear. I am hopeing that Susie's body will eventually adjust to the insulin and maybe we can level her off to good numbers without the worry of hypoglycemia ever night. Thanks, Liz. I appreciate your kind responses. Bertie was a very pretty kitty, Elizabeth. Reminds me of my Simon who I lost two years ago to CKD. I am in shock about these two devastating diseases in the last two years when I have owned cats all my life and never had these problems. It must be the food we are feeding them.
     
  17. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

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    Dec 20, 2020
    Elizabeth, if Vetsulin is considered "fast acting" why is Susie's BG test results going up shortly after the shot? Within the hour. I'm not so sure that Vetsulin is fast acting but I do believe it is short acting. I will need some help transitioning to Lantus. I will need to know if I can use my ReliOn supplies. I really can't afford the Vetsulin test strips. I think I spent about $60 on my last order of 50. I have about a week left of the test strips for Vetsulin. If I switch to Lantus can I use my RelioOn meter?
     
  18. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    I don’t know what you mean about Vetsulin test strips....do you mean Alpha Trak? The type of meter you use has nothing to do with the type of insulin you use so the ReliOn can be used with Vetsulin, Normalin, Prozinc, or Lantus/Levemir as can the AT.


    Every member has this same wish that if they might not be able to get their cat into remission, the 100s would be fine. I wished it. But it’s not that easy and even for those whose kitties have stopped bouncing and are pretty flat, are not able to “not worry” about low numbers as long as their cat is on insulin.

    I have seen some members over time, whose cats were on Lantus or Levemir, get their cats fairly flat around 100 but it’s not even that easy with the L insulins which are known for their flat curves. Mogs or Eliz will have to tell you how often that happens with Vetsulin; I’ve seen a couple but knowing what I do about insulin, I’d think it would be a challenge if you look back at the graph Mogs left you regarding the action of the insulin. As Eliz says, it does work for some kitties but my thought is it works for them because of the willingness of the CG to learn about the insulin, understand it’s action, and how it affects their kitty.

    Testing at night is not something anyone wants to do and everyone has some challenge whether it’s their own health, a family member’s health, children, work, etc. Testing at night is hard on everyone who does it. After Gracie passed, it literally took me three years for my adrenals to start working correctly again. It’s really your decision how you approach Susie’s diabetes.

    What has amazed me over the years is the number of experienced members, whether their diabetic kitty is still alive or not, who will stay up all night online with another member who needs help or company while their cat is in low numbers. They do it out of the kindness of their heart, their love of cats, and their understanding of how stressful it can be to be dealing with low numbers at night. And all these people are volunteers. In fact, every single person on this forum, including the webmaster and Moderators, are all volunteers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  19. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Summer, there were certainly times when I was up during the night dealing with lower than expected numbers. But it wasn't 'every night' and it wasn't 'all night'. It was just occasionally.
    The test I did a couple of hours after his PM shot usually clued me in to how the rest of cycle might go. And if I was concerned I'd do another test a bit later and take things from there. That test either reassured me that I could go to sleep, or alerted me to the need to test a bit longer. There was no need to test all night. I just tested until I knew we were past the peak of the insulin cycle.

    There are a number of reasons why the blood glucose can rise immediately following an insulin shot.
    If the blood glucose was rising anyway it will continue to do that until the insulin starts working. The blood glucose may just be rising normally due to loss of duration (the effect of the insulin having worn off). Or it may be rising quickly, bouncing from having dropped too fast or too low earlier in the cycle. It can even be both of these things...
    A rise in blood glucose from food is quite common (but is usually much less with low carb food).
    Sometimes we can just get a wonky test. Maybe the test strip is faulty. Or maybe the test strip is contaminated for some reason (or maybe we forgot to wash our hands before testing - always important). Or maybe there was too little or too much blood on the test strip. A meter that is too cold or too warm may give a wonky test result. Sometimes we get an anomalous test result and have no idea why it happens. ...If you get a 'huh?' number it is always worth retesting to double check.

    Summer's +1 results don't seem to show any clear pattern. Sometimes it's higher than PMPS, sometimes lower, and sometimes pretty much the same.
    But in (I think) all but one of the days where you have data it 'is' dropping by +2, sometimes very steeply.

    There is always going to be 'some' variability in how a cat responds to insulin on a day to day basis. There are lots of things that can affect how a cat's body does or doesn't respond to any given insulin shot. It is pretty rare to see a cat who consistently gets the same numbers on the same dose of insulin, day in, day out... Mostly we are working with patterns and trends in blood glucose levels, and trying to manage those to the best of our ability; adjusting insulin dosage as and when necessary.

    It is really helpful to limit the 'variables' as much as possible. This is particularly the case with diet. It's a sound idea to stick to foods that have a similar carbohydrate content. Varying carb levels in the diet can have a considerable effect on blood glucose levels. So, if the diet is kept consistent, and we can rule that out as a 'variable', then we know we need to look elsewhere for any variability in the numbers.
    If you are feeding different foods then do make a note of this in the remarks column on your SS. You may notice that different foods produce different results...

    One of the main reasons that we test and gather data is so that we have the chance to get to know our cat's patterns. This is very important, and it means we are more likely to be able to predict how our cat will respond to a given dose of insulin. And this makes our cats much safer. But sometimes they can still throw us a low number when we least expect it... We just do the best we can...

    How often you test is up to you. But the more data you can collect, especially initially, the easier it becomes to identify patterns and trends. And that makes general management of diabetes much easier, and also safer for the cat.

    As a bare minimum it's important to test before every insulin shot.
    This test tells us whether the cat's blood glucose is high enough for insulin. Sometimes they surprise us with a lower than expected number...
    After that, we want to know how low the cat's blood glucose is dropping on a given dose of insulin. That's why it's important to get mid cycle tests to see how low the blood glucose typically drops at nadir (the lowest point of the cycle). Insulin dosage is based around the nadir numbers, not the preshot numbers.

    With Vetsulin/Caninsulin it is most useful to focus on the first half of the cycle, even the first few hours sometimes, because this is 'often' where most of the important action happens. Tests after the peak of the cycle, once the blood glucose starts to rise, are not so important. So, once past the peak of the cycle, it's not really necessary to test until the next preshot test.

    Tests in the first hours of a Vetsulin/Caninsulin cycle can tell us important stuff such as; when the insulin typically starts working, how fast the blood glucose typically drops, and when the lowest point (blood glucose nadir/insulin peak) typically occurs. (Again, we are looking for patterns and trends.). Knowing these things enables us to work out the most useful times to do spot check tests during other insulin cycles.

    Eliz
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  20. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

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    Dec 20, 2020
    Elizabeth, if Vetsulin is considered "fast acting" why is Susie's BG test results going up shortly after the shot? Within the hour. I'm not so sure that Vetsulin is fast acting but I do believe it is short acting. I will need some help transitioning to Lantus. I will need to know if I can use my ReliOn supplies. I really can't afford the Vetsulin test strips. I think I spent about $60 on my last order of 50. I have about a week left of the test strips for Vetsulin. If I switch to Lantus can I use my RelioOn meter?
    If you are feeding different foods then do make a note of this in the remarks column on your SS. You may notice that different foods produce different results...
    85% of the time I feed the Fancy Feast Classic. I do have some Royal Canine Glycobalance that I will feed sometimes. Same size can (3 oz). I think most of the Classics have about the same amount of carbs but might note which one I am feeding in the remarks. That might be interesting to follow.

    I meant that the AlphaTrac test strips were expensive. I have the ReliOn Prime meter and strips and might go to that if I find the strips are less expensive. I am looking into the Lantus. It is more expensive than the Vetsulin but if the ReliOn strips are cheaper I will transition to that with my ReliOn meter. I assume I can use the Lantus with the ReliOn. Hoping that the Lantus syringes have "quarter" marks on them as it is difficult to give 1.25 units with the Vetsulin syringes.

    Good information about how the insulin doses are based on nadir numbers. I was thinking it was the preshot numbers. Thank you for all the information! I will have more questions about transitioning to Lantus when I get a little closer. Is the Lantus what you would recommend or do you have a different personal choice? I don't want to have to transition again. Also, do you think the ReliOn Prime is a good metering system?
     
  21. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Just chiming in here...

    Vetsulin/Caninsulin is almost always fast-acting, ie it drops bg soon after it is given. The thing is though, because this insulin also almost always has short duration, bg may well be rising at the +12 point and so the insulin dose is going to be working on that PS number before it can get to work to lower bg further.

    As has probably already been said (sorry, haven’t read every post) you can use any meter with any insulin. The two are not related. Human meters are invariably cheaper to run than the Alphatrak which can cost a fortune in strips if you’re testing a lot.

    If you’re looking to switch to Lantus it might be helpful to look at the Lantus forum and acquaint yourself with how things are done... maybe start a thread asking how other people transitioned to this insulin and if they have any tips for starting out with it.
     
  22. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2020
    Thank you. So I can use the ReliOn Prime meter with the Lantus? Good to know. I just looked on the web and the ReliOn Prime test strips are SO much less that the AlphaTrak 2 test strips. I also looked on line and Vetsulin is much cheaper than Lantus. Someone sent me the link to Mark's Pharmacy in Canada and they sell the Lantus much cheaper that here in the US.

    [​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 Cartridges 5x3ml per box (temp. gauge. ice pack, express-air mail) Brand 100u/ml 15 ml $159.99 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
    [​IMG]

    Does this mean if I want to buy the vial, at $110.99 USD, I will get 10 bottles for this price or just one bottle? I guess I could contact the pharmacy to find out. Anyway, my plan is to switch to the ReliOn Prime Meter and test strips and transition to the Lantus if you, and others on this site, feel this is a good step. Thanks! I do have information, from your site, on "Treatment for cats - Glargine (Lantus)", Will look at the Lantus forum too. Thank you.
     
  23. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    There is no 'best' insulin. There is a saying here that, 'the best insulin is the one that works best for the cat'. Unfortunately, none of us knows in advance which insulin that is going to be.
    If Susie doesn't do well on Vetsulin then you have three options, Prozinc, Lantus, or Levemir. They are all slightly different. ...If you have difficulty giving shots 12 hourly then Prozinc 'may' offer more flexibility. Lantus is very popular here and has been promoted here for years so there is a lot of experience of it. Levemir is gaining in popularity, and tends to 'typically' produce the flattest curves.
    With my first boy it was actually the third insulin that we tried that got the best results. With my current girl the first insulin we tried got her into remission. 'Every cat is different...'

    Since Susie is still quite recently diagnosed my best advice would be to gather blood test data and get a good picture of how she is doing on Vetsulin before switching to another insulin. IMHO, sometimes people change insulins 'too' quickly, without first seeing what the insulin they are using can actually achieve. Even if you do change insulin, the experience you've had with Vetsulin will not be wasted. You've learned how to test, which is brilliant. And testing will enable you to collect and assess data. All that will be really useful if you do switch to another insulin. ...But it 'may' be that Susie is one of those who responds well to Vetsulin. If she is one of those who responds well to Vetsulin then you should see 'some' indication of that relatively quickly.

    Once you have more data it will be easier to see how Susie is responding to the insulin.
     
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  24. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

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    Dec 20, 2020
    I would prefer to stick with the Vetsulin for now but have received a few responses saying I should switch to the Lantus. I will stay with the Vetsulin for now and switch to the RelioOn Prime meter to save money on the testing. Thank you, Elizabeth. By the way, you have had TWO cats with diabetes? How unfortunate or did you rescue/adopt a diabetic cat intentionally because you knew you could help her.
     
  25. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    I adopted my current girl two years ago as a diabetic. I'd learned a lot from my first boy (who I still had at that time). And diabetics don't do well in shelters, so I thought I'd see if she'd fit in with our current kitty crew. And fortunately she fitted in well.

    Different people have different views, based on their own experience. Ultimately it is up to you to weigh up the different options and make your own choices. I know that's not necessarily 'easy', but that is just 'our job' as kitty caregivers: Our cat, our responsibility...
    If you're undecided about what to do you could consider taking the pressure off by giving yourself a time frame; maybe, for example, committing to doing a bit more testing and reviewing the situation in a month's time? By that time you could have collected a lot of data and should have a much clearer picture of how well (or not) Vetsulin is working for Susie.
     
  26. Pookie

    Pookie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2020
    Hi Summer! I also started out with an Alphatrak and made the switch to the ReliOn. I was able to buy the meter and 200 strips for less than the cost of 50 strips for the AT2. I can afford to stock up on 200 strips because it only costs $36. I can't afford to stock up on 200 strips for the AT2 because it cost $200 (or more)! And equally or more important, the strips are available locally -- I don't have to wait for them to be delivered from an online order.

    Since you're asking about other insulins, I want to share our experience with Prozinc. When Lola was diagnosed, her vet prescribed Prozinc. In inquired about Vetsulin (since it was cheaper), and my vet told me that in her experience cats stood a better chance of remission with Prozinc. Since I'd had a diabetic cat 20 years ago who was on insulin for 10+ years I never imagined that it might happen with Lola, but 5 weeks later Lola was in remission! My vet charged $140 for the vial, but it is also available from Chewy or Petco for around $110 (if I remember correctly). It uses U-40 syringes.

    I can't speak to Lantus because I'm pretty much clueless about it.

    I can tell you, though, that if/when Lola falls out of remission we will definitely go back to Prozinc. I know that every cat is different, and she may have a very different response if there's a next time, but I can't argue with the success we had this time.

    Enid
     
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  27. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2020
    Bless you for adopting another special needs kitty. I have been thinking a lot about what happens to them when they find themselves in shelters and rescues. This experience may also help me to adopt a special needs diabetic kitty in the future. I do worry about the cost of treatment, though. Yes, I will give the Vetsulin more time. I'm not really happy with what I think I am seeing with the duration but will continue to test. Seems to be short acting like everyone says but I want to take this slowly. I still have quite a bit in the bottle. I will be switching to the ReliOn Prime when my AlphaTrac strips get low. I just cannot afford the AT strips and didn't realize how much less the ReliOn costs. Poor Susie, she gets really hungry around 3:00 pm and I try to hold off as long as I can before I feed her dinner. I did follow Marge's advice about giving her a little food around +5 but did not like the BG tests and Susie was still really hungry prior to the 12-hour cycle of when I could feed her. Susie was used to eating both wet and dry food. She grazed on the dry food throughout the day so all of this is a big change for her. My vet said it is important to not cause stress for a diabetic cat. Also, is it possible the Susie is not getting enough carbs everyday? I know that the goal is to reduce carbs but I know our bodies do need them. My husband was diabetic and he always felt bad when his body needed some carbs. The Fancy Feast Classic Pate foods are pretty low in carbs. Could I be denying her from a better supply of low-carb food?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  28. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2020
    I agree. The ReliOn is so much less expensive and I will be switching to it. I think I can get 100 strips for about $18.00 where the AT would have cost me over $100.00. So it sounds like the Prozinc cost about the same as a vial of Lantus from Canada. I am very confused right now about making a switch to a different insulin. I think I will give the Vetsulin a little more time. Amazing that you got your kitty into remission in 5 weeks! I appreciate you sending me this info, Enid. I have a lot to consider. By the way, when you switched to the ReliOn did you find that you only needed a little blood to get a good test? That is what I like about the AlphaTrac. I just need a tiny amount of blood to get a number.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  29. Pookie

    Pookie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2020
    The AT2 needs .3 micro-what'sits and the ReliOn needs .5, so it does require a little bit bigger drop of blood. Fortunately, since I've been regularly testing, Lola's ears are much better at providing decent sample amounts and I'm much better at gauging whether I've got a big enough drop.

    (When I was researching human meters I found a ReliOn meter that required .3, a "compact" model meter, but it wasn't in stock at my Walmart and another member here told me that it is no longer made.)
     
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  30. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2020
    Thanks!
     
  31. Pookie

    Pookie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2020
    BTW, I bought the "Premier" model ($9) because I watched a YouTube review and the reviewer liked it over the others because it uses regular AAA batteries (which I almost always have around the house) instead of the round lithium batteries (which I always have to got out and buy).

    I also like the shape of the test strips -- they're kind of pointy at the end so it's really obvious where the blood goes. (The strips for the ReliOn Prime model are different so be sure you get the ones that are correct for the meter you choose.)
     
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  32. Pookie

    Pookie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2020
    Turns out it's the "micro" meter that requires .3. The "compact" requires .5.

    ReliOn Meters
     
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  33. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2020
    I bought the ReliOn Prime before I even joined this site and before my vet told me to buy the AlphaTrac 2. I hope it is easy to use. I haven't read about it yet but will I be able to stick the strip in part way before I get the blood. I like that because I can just reach over with one hand and push it all the way in to get the test. Also, did you notice any difference in Pookie's numbers when you switched to the ReliOn? I have heard the AlphaTrac tends to read in higher numbers that the human meters? Hope this meter works out because I just can't afford the test strips for the AlphaTrac - especially if I start testing more. Thank you. I'm confused. Your SS says Enid & Lola but your picture says Pookie (cute). I assume you are Enid but what is your cats name?
     
  34. Pookie

    Pookie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2020
    I'm Enid, and my cat is Lola. Pookie is the name I use for my online accounts. (I have only 3 online accounts -- this is the only one in which I've actually provided my real name.) (Pookie was a Golden Retriever I had back in the '90s.)

    Yes, the AT reads higher than human meters because it is calibrated for cat blood. When I made the change to the ReliOn from the AT, Marje & Gracie was kind enough to work her magic on my SS so the scale reads correctly for a human meter. (The big difference being that the hypo range change.)
     
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  35. Summer and Susie

    Summer and Susie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2020
    Now I am confused. Which meter is better for the cats? I want the most accurate blood glucose readings in order to determine the insulin dosages.

    Also, I'm thinking that I should increase her insulin from 1.25 to 1.5 but would want to be on the same meter for this transition. Can you look at Susie's numbers for today and let me know if an increase might be advised? Who would be advising me on that? I will, of course, run it by my vet as well.

    Also, golden retrievers are my favorite dogs. I have had three in the last 20 years and I have one now. Her name is Molly Pop and she is a joy. At almost 12 years old I know I won't have her much longer and will miss her terribly when she is gone. Love the name Pookie for a dog and a cat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  36. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Summer, both meters are 'accurate' but it's important to understand that pet meters and human meters read the blood differently. Pet meters 'usually' read a bit higher than human meters. Human meters 'usually' read a bit lower than pet meters. This difference tends to be greater at higher numbers and closer at lower numbers.
    It's just important to understand the range of numbers for the meter that you are using.
    The majority of people on the forum use human meters, and our dosing protocols all refer to human meter numbers.
    But some people prefer to use pet meters, not least because these are more likely to get similar results to what your vet or a lab result might get.

    What meter you use is entirely up to you.
    But if posting for dosing advice it can be helpful to make clear if you are using a pet meter, just so people know they need to adapt their advice for pet meter numbers.
     
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  37. Pookie

    Pookie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2020
    I can only offer my opinion .... I don't think one is better than the other.

    Even though the AT is calibrated for cat (or dog) blood, I changed to the human meter because the dosing guidelines on this forum are based on readings taken from a human meter. I wanted to be sure that when I was making dosing decisions or, more importantly, dealing with hypo situations, that my meter was would provide readings that comported with the numbers in the guidelines.

    Equally important to me is that the strips for the ReliOn meter are available locally. If I run into a situation where I use a bunch more than I expected to, I can buzz down the road and buy more strips. Not so with the AT. The strips for the AT are not sold locally, so if I ran low I'd have to place an online order and then wait for days for them to arrive. (And because the AT strips cost $1 each it was not likely that I would have a really large stash of strips sitting around. A stash of 200 ReliOn strips only costs me $36, so I buy them 200 at a time.)
     

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