UK owner, new diagnosis in elderly cat

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by LisaLQ, Jan 24, 2020.

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  1. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Hi guys,

    Hello from the UK!

    I've currently got two rescue cats, one of which (Mork) is 14ish, and has just been diagnosed diabetic today. He lost weight starting at Christmas (and has subsequently gone from just over 5kg to 3.6kg so he's fairly skeletal), and the vets were at a loss as his previous glucose tests were fine, he was tested for thyroid issues and FELV/FIV, and went in today for a scan to test for cancer (as his liver results were raised). However, his fructosamine came back today and it was over 400, so the scan was cancelled and we were given his initial diagnosis. The vets still think there may be more going on, and can't rule out autoimmune issues or cancer still, but this is what we're going to run with for now.

    I'm currently on a low income, so luckily get PDSA (UK low cost vet charity) treatment (I've been paying something towards his care, as I don't want to be a burden on them). I'd already switched his food to grain free dry food (Porta 21 Sensible), which he tolerates but doesn't eat much of, and supplement with Ferringa wet food (which I believe is low carb). I'd say he was 70% wet 30% dry at the mo, but purely because he's not over keen on the Porta! However, I've only been able to do this thanks to my student loan, so would appreciate any advice on cheaper options (although I'll sell my own organs to provide for him if there are none!)...

    I have been told to take the weekend to decide whether I want to go ahead with treating him (I said yes straight away but they sent me away anyway!), and I'm trying to research things like the best foods (so far I'm reading - 100% wet low carb), treatment plans, testing etc, and how much this may cost once I'm working again (I graduate this year).

    Please don't judge, my circumstances were very different when I adopted him 10 years ago (I'm now widowed and a lone parent), and I could not keep up with his insurance, although I'm more than kicking myself right now, I'm feeling like the worst owner on the planet.

    Any advice for a member with a newly diagnosed elderly cat, on a low income, much MUCH appreciated.

    Lisa (and Mork)
    xx
     
  2. Charlotte’s mom

    Charlotte’s mom Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2019
    Welcome Lisa and Mork!! Not a senior advisor here but here to welcome you anyway. Hindsight is the world’s greatest teacher but since we can’t go back in time, we pick up the pieces and move on as best we can in life. It is difficult with an elderly cat as they can encounter more issues with their body as they grow older but you do the best that you can possibly do. This board loves for their members to use wet only pate type food as it is the best at controlling the sugars in our sugar babies. The gravy, shreds etc typically have a higher carb content and are usually used to rescue our kitties if their sugars have dropped too much with the insulin. They also will want you to test frequently, if possible, to get a better picture as to what is going on with your kitty. Have you read all the sticky notes posted? They are very helpful in explaining common things that go along with diabetes.

    Is it possible for you to just try a few weeks with low carb wet foods to see the effects it has on Mork?? I know you had mentioned the fructosamine was high but I’m not sure if you’ve been checking BGs at home at all.

    Considering we are an older cat, I think I would consider the scan as well bc your Mork may have multiple things occurring at the same time. If the scan could be done for free or at a lower cost, I think I’d do that first as weight loss can be seen with a lot of things other than diabetes. Usually an elderly cat that becomes a true diabetic without any cancer in the picture or kidney issues was at one point obese. Was your Mork obese at some point?
     
  3. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Thanks Charlotte's Mom - I really appreciate you taking the time to respond :)

    Mork wasn't obese, he has always been a tall/long cat and had a saggy tummy, but more of a saggy skin thing than fat. He's never been classed as obese by the vet, I called him fat once and was reprimanded by my old vet - who said he was 'purr-fect' (I had to reprimand him for his dad-joke!). He's not the most active cat though. He's been neutered since before I adopted him, and his idea of hunting outside is bringing home creatures that have been dead for weeks, he's just not very fast. He is very big for a domestic cat though - we get comments on him being more of a panther than a domestic mog!

    However, I did have him on food that I was sure was good quality, but after doing more research, at about 35% meat content (dry food) I know now it was the cat equivalent of McDonalds. Just in the UK, these so called premium brands are promoted as better than supermarket brands (which are about 4% meat if that).

    Also - his scan today wasn't cancelled due to funds, it was because they're concerned he wouldn't cope with the anaesthetic in his current condition, especially now they know he's diabetic. The plan is to see how he goes with the insulin and do further tests as he gets stronger, if he does (obviously, if he doesn't improve we'll have to work out why too - so either way, that scan will probably happen).

    I'll have a read of the sticky notes, thank you, sorry for blasting you with information - just Mork means so much to me, he's been with us through some incredibly tough times (losing my husband and having to start over, plus I have two kids with additional needs), and it's been a rollercoaster of a month - we've gone from being sure it was his thyroid, to being told it wasn't and might be autoimmune, then to being told his liver results were raised, and then to consider cancer, and now this - and in the meantime he's had no real treatment plan - just test after test. I just want my old man to get better xxx
     
    Charlotte’s mom likes this.
  4. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi Lisa, welcome to the board, the very best place to get help and support for you and Mork. First, nobody here will judge you and you are most certainly not the worst owner on the planet! Many of us have been where you are, worried sick about our beloved kitties and kicking ourselves over something or other, most often for no reason at all. You are very obviously a caring kitty parent and we will try to help as much as we can.

    Ok...you're already feeding mainly wet food so that's a good start. If you can eliminate any dry food and treats from his diet, that would probably lower blood glucose itself. I would try that for a couple of weeks and then get some further info in the form of blood glucose tests that you can do at home with a human glucose monitor - some cats don't need insulin treatment if their bg goes down sufficiently when dry food is cut out. If bg is still higher than ideal, you'll need to start on insulin regime which is normally two injections a day, spaced at equal intervals, eg 7am and 7pm. Then, by continuing to monitor bg at certain points within the cycle, you can see how the dose of insulin is working and tweak it up or down accordingly.

    So my suggestions would be cut out the dry food, get a glucose monitor and practise with it, get a few tests in when you can, keep a note of the numbers you get, and see what bg is like in a week or two. When we know if you really are treating a diabetic cat we can give you more support.

    As far as costs go, there may be cheaper foods available than those you're feeding but they may not be such good quality and it's important to make sure Mork eats well. Is he hungry all the time? Many diabetic cats are ravenous because their bodies can't process the food properly, so feed him as much as he wants, especially as it sounds as if he needs to put on weight. Ongoing costs are the insulin (which you may get at a good price through your PDSA help) and bg monitoring supplies which can be pricey but we can point you in the direction of the best places to buy from.

    Theres a lot more we could say but if you're reading up here I don't want to bombard you with too much info... but I'll link a couple of docs that might be useful and also tag a couple of other UKers who I'm sure will be very helpful - we all understand where you're coming from and will help you every step of the way!

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...-vit-b12-and-other-need-to-know-stuff.137376/

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1J5JpMe6TDXrHq_aTl9hUtHy6Gs9oRBqlz4nPGKxtySA/pubhtml#

    @Georgiana & Perlutz @Kate & Toby
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  5. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Hello Lisa and Mork! I agree with our other members. As long as Mork is not in any imminent danger, and it sounds like he is not, you could absolutely try his new diet for a couple weeks, see where he stands, and then decide about the insulin. Since money is tight (and boy haven't we all been there) it might be a good plan. It's also easier and safer to switch that diet over before starting insulin, and give the cat's body time to adjust. Switching to low carb food can lower blood sugar levels by over 100 points, and so sudden a change can cause dangerous hypoglycemic events while on insulin. So this isn't just a suggestion to save money, it's a strategy that might work well for Mork.

    There's an awesome canned food chart here for folks in the UK. It shows the carb content in the yellow column. It isn't necessary to buy expensive cat food brands. My Billy is headed into remission and doing awesomely, and he's eating Fancy Feast and Friskies Pates (Very inexpensive grocery store brands.) The thing is, even inexpensive canned food can give Mork what he needs most-- more protein, less carbs, more moisture. So, look over the list and see what brands are a good option for you.

    Less than 10% calories from carbs is recommended. Since Mork is not on insulin yet, you might try a little lower, say less than 5% colories from carbs, and see what effect that has on his next blood test.

    I was feeding my boy a very expensive recommended dry food. I had no idea how much better canned food was for a cat's health. Even cheaper grocery food brands. Don't beat yourself up about it. You're here now, learning hos to help Mork, and you will help him. You are awesome!
     
  6. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Lisa amd Mork and welcome to FDMB.
    Lots of good advice given so far. I just wanted to mention that if you are not going to start the insulin for a week or two, I would test for ketones in the urine. Did the vet mention ketones at all at diagnosis? Diabetic cats need insulin to stop ketones forming. While it is probably fine for you to try the changeover to low carb food first, as an added precaution it is best to test for ketones at the same time.
    To test for ketones it is a simple test. You just need to buy a bottle of Ketostix from a pharmacy ......not expensive....then collect a Urine sample from Mork. Dip the test strip into the urine then read the result against the colours on the side of the bottle exactly 15 seconds later. Anything above a trace would need vet attention and you would need to start the insulin.

    Also if you would like to post the blood results that Mork got from the vet, we have someone who can read and interpret them very well and they can comment on the liver results for you. If you haven't got the results from the vet, you can ask for a copy as you paid for them and they are yours.

    Cats often lose weight at the beginning of their diabetic journey. My Sheba got very thin but regained all the weight and more! It happens because they can't absorb all the nutrients in the food without the insulin.. Once you start treatment, he should start to regain weight. Feed him throughout the day and evening.

    Do you know what type of insulin the vet will prescribe?. A longer acting insulin like Lantus or Prozinc is much better than caninsulin so try and get one of those prescribed. Mork should start off with a dose around 1 unit twice a day so please do come back and let us know what the vet prescribes and how much.

    Here is a link to some useful info for new members. Ask lots of questions, we are happy to help and know that there is a lot to learn in the beginning
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/new-how-you-can-help-us-help-you.216696/
    Bron
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  7. Georgiana & Perlutz

    Georgiana & Perlutz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Hi Lisa and Mork,

    Welcome to the FDMB family, hugs to you and :cat: from Berkshire, UK :bighug: Rest assured no one will judge you, on the contrary, we all think you’re amazing for wanting to help Mork get better. And he will get better!

    As you’ve already been advised above, it would be great if you could get a glucose monitor and start testing at home even if you’re not giving insulin at the moment. If you are looking at starting home testing, my suggestion would be to get a human monitor rather than a pet specific one. There is only one pet specific monitor and while the monitor itself is not much more expensive than human ones, the supplies for it are! Many members here use human monitors and I think the most popular ones in UK are AccuCheck and SD Codefree.

    If Monk does get prescribed insulin, you will most likely be prescribed Caninsulin or ProZinc (in UK a vet must first prescribe a pet specific insulin before being able to prescribe a human one like Lantus or Levemir). I would strongly advise you to try and push for ProZinc, it’s a longer lasting insulin than Caninsulin and it’s gentler too. The Royal Veterinary College in UK ran a Feline Diabetes Clinic few years ago and they’ve found ProZinc to have higher rates of remission than Caninsulin and they recommend any newly diagnosed cat to be prescribed with
    ProZinc.

    You’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed, there’s a lot of information to go through at the beginning and some things can seem complicated, but I promise it does get easier and we will always be here to help if you have questions (I’m not super experienced like other members, but I’ve been around for a year now and I think I know the basics and can help with some UK specific matters).

    Georgiana
     
    Diane Tyler's Mom likes this.
  8. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Be kind to yourself. We all have circumstances that are beyond our control. Taking care of two kids plus your diabetic Mork must seem overwhelming.

    My best suggestions?
    • Mindfulness breathing. To relieve stress, concentrate on your breath and block out all other thoughts. Deep breath, hold, release, focus your mind, deep breath, hold, release, focus on your breath only.......................................
    • Read back through everything that people have written. There is a lot of information there.
    • Keep asking questions.
    • Stay in this one thread, so people helping you can do a quick review of past info.
    In the meantime, keep on loving your kitty Mork and we'll try to help you with your budget. You already have a couple of people from the UK helping you out. Both Diana&Tom and Georgiana & Perlutz are from your neck of the woods.

    They may be able to help your with lower cost options for food, glucose meters, test strips. I have no idea what things cost there in the UK.
     
  9. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2019
    Hi Lisa,
    I am UK South Coast, welcome, this is best place ever for us and our sugary cats, you will find so much help and support, please stick around and keep asking questions, there is no judgement whatsoever, just a mutual love of our cats and a desire to help and share our knowledge.
    You have already had some brilliant advice from our members, I would agree wholeheartedly regarding getting Mork off the dry food, you would be surprised how many cats don't need insulin once the diet is sorted. There is absolutely no need to buy expensive special food, Toby has Sheba fine flakes, they are in all super markets and they are super low carbs, he has put on weight on this too, if you are worried about Mork being thin you can also look out for a kitten food which is usually higher in fat. generally speaking grain free and in jelly and you cant go wrong, but check out the food lists as tagged above.

    Diabetes is an expensive thing to deal with so if you can try the diet changes first that would be great, also by home testing you can avoid not only the upset for Mork of vet visit but also the costs of vet visit's. Have a look on Ebay for a testing meter, or post on the Facebook Group (The UK one) and see if someone has recently lost their cat and would be willing to let you have / have cheaply the meter. I would recommend getting a human meter as the cost will be lower, again, post on here with a new thread and you will get some help with regards to which one to go for(I use a pet meter and its a total rip off!).

    We are here for you whenever you come across something new, so do please hang in there and let us guide you through this.

    Sending you and Mork much love xx
     
  10. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Thanks guys, sorry for the late reply. Just to let you know that Mork started insulin yesterday, he's on 1.5 units once a day for now to see how he goes, then he should go up to twice a day. The vet was concerned about how poorly he was yesterday, but personally I think he's already looking better. She's tried to prepare me that treatment might not work, and she still thinks there's other things going on too, but we're going to play it by ear. I checked that she would tell me if I was pushing too hard to keep him going, but she said as it is now - she's fine with my choice to treat him, but if he gets any worse I have to think about letting him go. Having said that, he's only two injections in, and he's already more active and has had a wash, and has even jumped onto my bed for the first time in weeks (he had taken to sleeping on the landing). Yesterday he got up onto the windowsill and watched the birds outside! He's on a course of antibiotics too just in case he has a UTI. The plan is to go back tomorrow and learn how to give the injection myself, then I'll bring his insulin home with me. He's already on low carb wet food (Feringa), so no diet changes need to be made now (the dried food I had been giving him previously is off the menu, but he wasn't eating it anyway). I asked about testing his glucose at home, they said not to bother yet as they're going to be keeping a close eye on him, but it is something we'll talk about once he's settled. Thanks for all the help xx

    Ps. Sorry for the late reply and quick/concise message, I will get back to you all individually when I get a chance, just I've been poorly too (I have a kidney infection and my blood pressure is very high) and have work and uni deadlines too xxx
     
  11. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Ps. It's caninsulin he's on, its the only one they use there, but if it works - I'm happy x
     
  12. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    How soon do you go back to the vet for a BG curve?

    Many people learn to home test their diabetic cats.
    To make sure the BG levels are not too low before they give insulin.
    Keeps your cat safer.
    Not sure if any of the UK members live close enough to you to teach you to home test.
     
  13. Georgiana & Perlutz

    Georgiana & Perlutz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for updating us and I'm glad to hear Mork is feeling better already. Cats are tough little creatures, with the right treatment and lots of love, you will hopefully only have to prepare yourself for years of cuddles with him. Some cats go into diabetic remission, other live a normal life for years with insulin.

    Generally cats have better results with insulin twice a day, 12 hours apart. Caninsulin being a fast acting insulin as well, I think twice a day would work better at keeping his blood glucose levels lower for longer. Did your vet say anything about why he/she recommended it only once a day?

    Would you be willing to get a glucose meter and learn testing at home? It has great benefits and it saves a lot of money you would have to pay for glucose curves at the vet. Testing at home is more accurate as well as most cats are stressed at the vet so the blood glucose is higher. Meters are not too expensive and testing is not difficult (for most) and not too invasive for Mork. You can give him a treat every time you test him so he will associate pokie time with a treat and not be too bothered about it (works with most cats). And most importantly, we test at home before every insulin shot to make sure the glucose levels are high enough to need an insulin shot, sometimes it's lower and we either lower the insulin dose, or not give any at all. If you want to home test, don't worry about what your vet says, at the end of the day, Mork is your cat and you deserve to have a say in his treatment.

    Take care, hope you feel better soon!
     
  14. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Hi guys, thanks for the replies x

    I didn't see the vet today, just the vet nurse, who was also confused as to why it was only once a day - she went out back to check with one of the vets, and came back and said it's definitely just once a day, and I said is that because he's been so poorly, and she said yes. She said the dose will increase once we know how he goes on it. I'll ask tomorrow when I go back again.

    I'd definitely glucose test at home, I might even have an old monitor somewhere (I used to have gestational, then type 2, diabetes but am clear now), but the vet doesn't seem to think I need to at the moment, as they will be testing him regularly - she also says that it isn't as accurate in cats, with their glucose spiking when they're stressed or poorly. She said we could monitor more by seeing how he goes, and regular blood tests at the vets. However, she didn't say she was against it, just that I didn't need to right now. To be honest, I think they have a pretty pessimistic prognosis for him, like they're not expecting him to make it - and that might be why they're not promoting testing. But at home he's showing signs of improving (all be it tiny improvements - like washing himself, and being able to jump onto the furniture), so I don't think they're getting the full picture when they see him. I don't want to be one of those owners who can't accept if their pet is suffering, but while he's clearly poorly, I don't think he's as bad as he was last week. If he gets worse though, I wont be the owner who keeps their cat going for their own needs, I'm one of the 'rather a day too early than a day too late' people. I just don't think we're there yet.

    The vet recommended I feed twice a day, so that I can watch exactly how much he's eating, rather than free feeding. Is that ok? It's going to be hard, as we have another cat who's used to free feeding as she usually waits for Mork to go out or finish his first, as he's much bigger than her and very much the boss! She's feeling a bit left out at the mo, with all the attention he's getting, so I've picked her up some new toys that came today with his food order :)

    Practically speaking - is there anything else I need to do, eg should he wear a special tag in case he escapes, are there any supplements or products you'd recommend to help care for him? Is there anything I can do about the peeing outside of the litter trays? I have 5 trays down now, and while he'll occasionally use them (especially if he sees me watching), he is peeing on the carpet and rugs more often. Or if the kids leave a towel on the floor in the bathroom, he makes a beeline for it!
     
  15. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Oh and regarding the curve, the vet hasn't mentioned doing one at all - I presume they'll be doing both glucose and fructosamine tests when we review next.
     
  16. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Good to hear Mork is feeling better already! It's rather unusual to give insulin once a day only (especially Caninsulin, which won't last 12 hours let alone 24) but if that's what the vet has said, maybe they have their reasons. If you get a chance, ask them why they have said once-daily only?

    Whatever the vet says, it makes sense to test bg at home. You might notice unusual symptoms (not saying you will, just you might) and with a kitty on insulin, being able to check bg is pretty vital, really. I'd dig the monitor out, get some strips that are in date, and start practising asap.

    Twice a day feeding probably isn't enough, it's better to spread food intake over the day and night so he doesn't get too ravenous. Just withhold food for a couple of hours before testing and shooting insulin to be sure bg isn't food influenced. (This really applies when you are testing before shooting, to make sure bg is high enough to warrant insulin.)

    It's up to you if you want to get a special tag - it depends whether he goes out much and roams. If he were to get lost, and anyone finding him could see from his tag that he was diabetic, that could be useful, but it's up to you.

    The inappropriate peeing may stop when bg comes down, or if he does have an infection which is now being treated, that might solve the problem.

    It may be a bit early for a curve, but if you're not testing at home and the vets do a curve, there is no need for a fructo test as well.
     
  17. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Kind of a catch 22 situation. Caninsulin(Vetsulin) doesn't last more than about 10-12 hours in a cat, so then Mork is in high BG numbers all the rest of the day until his insulin shot the next day and feels awful. Remember how you felt when you had diabetes and your BG readings were high? That is happening with Mork too.

    Do you have any BG readings from the vet that you could share with us?

    Unless your cat is one that is very 'chilled out' at the vets and on the trip there, the BG readings will be elevated at the vets too. Cats are usually much calmer in their home environment. It's why we are big advocates of home testing BG's.

    Vets don't promote testing because they don't think a lot of owners will do it. Happy to send you some tips and tricks if you are interested.

    Washing himself and jumping onto furniture again? Those are very nice to see. How are all the 5 P's and Mork's appetite? (peeing, pooping, purring, preening, playing)

    As long as Mork is eating well, then a couple of small meals a day might make him feel better.

    With Vetsulin (Caninsulin) you want to wait about 30 minutes between feeding him his first meal of the 12 hour dosing cycle and giving the insulin shot. So the order is Test, feed, wait 30 minutes, insulin. The delay is so the food starts to get digested and gets into the bloodstream to counteract the quick onset of the Caninsulin (Vetsulin - I'm in the US,same product, different name here). Hopefully Mork will be getting 2 shots a day, so that is why I'm giving you that info now. Still, even only giving insulin once a day, the same sequence of Test, feed, wait 30 minutes, give the insulin applies.

    Get some sort of enzyme product to take the smell out of the carpets and rugs, so Mork doesn't smell it and think those are ok places to pee.

    Remember when you were pregnant and the baby was pressing down on your bladder and you had to go ALL the time? Well, that is how Mork is feeling right now, with high blood glucose levels, he is drinking more water to compensate and 'flush' out the excess glucose in his urine. Also, even with 5 litter trays, are they close enough to wherever he spends time or does he have to go to a basement or a place that is too far away for him to hold his pee when he so desperately needs to go. Maybe move one of the litter trays (boxes)?

    Those are some of my thoughts for now. Go back through and read what people have replied before. It's a lot to digest and take in and understand.

    And take good care of yourself too. Sending some hugs your way.:bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  18. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    I can’t see the reasoning at all to only give the insulin once a day. That is leaving 1/2 the day with it untreated.
    And unless there is a serious underlying other illness I can’t see why the prognosis would be poor as feline diabetes is very treatable.
    It does make me wonder if your vet knows much about feline diabetes at all. And it makes me angry that some vets give up so early when diabetes is very very treatable.

    Have you started to test for ketones in the urine as I suggested earlier? The main threat for diabetic cats who are not getting enough insulin (and only being treated once a day is not enough) is developing ketones which can be dangerous. If you test for them daily you can monitor them and prevent them from developing further. Anything above a trace needs vet attention and indicates that more insulin is needed. Please look back at post 6 for details of how to test. It is not hard.
    I would also feed more than twice a day. It is really important that Mork is eating plenty of food.
    You are doing a great job trying to help Mork. He’s lucky to have you. Keep on asking questions and I would push to get the insulin changed to twice a day.
     
  19. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2019
    Hey, great news re Mork feeling better. You've had some great advice so I wont bombard you with more, but I wanted to tell you that 3 separate vets on 3 occasions told me I should consider having Toby put down, ha, if only they could see him now chasing his catnip mouse round, putting on weight, having good glucose numbers and living his best life. So hold on tight, hang on in there and remember you know Mork more than anyone, if he is ready to let go, you as his mummy will know. Sending you love and strength and healing vines xxx
     
  20. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi Lisa, just re-reading yesterday's posts here as I was in a rush yesterday... again, and as we've all said, do query this thing about giving Caninsulin once a day only with your vet. It just doesn't make sense. Insulin is not like a painkiller that you might give, hope it has some effect, and not dose again unnecessarily because the pain has gone. There are some insulins that are long-lasting and build up in the body, but Caninsulin is not one of them - it is designed to be given twice a day to ensure that there is insulin in the system for as long as possible.

    I know how difficult it is to challenge a vet about anything, and I know how some vets frown on "internet experts" but really, I wonder if yours is confused. Maybe he/she thinks that the antibiotics will kick in and reduce bg (if there is an infection) so there is no need for a second dose? - but even that doesn't make sense, it would be the amount of insulin you'd be tweaking, not the number of doses a day.

    Would it help to say to the vet that you've been reading up on Caninsulin and understand that it should be dosed twice daily, and say you're interested to hear exactly why you're doing otherwise? You could print out the beginner's guide to Caninsulin (linked below) and quote that? We are not vets here, but many people have cared for diabetic cats for a good few years and have acquired a lot of experience and knowledge. Dosing once a day without good reason is a mystery to us!

    Best of luck - keep us updated :)

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/beginners-guide-to-caninsulin-vetsulin.186099/
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  21. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Thanks so much everyone, your continued help is very much appreciated!

    Quick update - we saw the vet nurse again today, who taught me how to give him his insulin, and I've now brought it home and we see them again in a week. As of tomorrow he's on two doses a day, as they're happy that he's strong enough to cope with the change. The vet nurse was initially as baffled as me about the one dose a day thing, so she was pleased that the vet approved the increase. I did say I noticed he was perking up after his insulin but then getting lethargic again on an evening, and the nurse said that it was a fast acting insulin and that's why she was confused as to the single dose too - so I know the nurse is on side!

    I have ketone strips arriving tomorrow (thanks Amazon Prime!), so will start testing for that - any sign, I'll get him to the vet straight away. I'm also ordering a glucose monitor too, just trying to decide on the best value without losing out on accuracy.

    As for the 5 P's - he is peeing less (although I notice he starts drinking more on an evening too - so this might get better with the two doses) and hasn't peed on the floor once today (woop!), his poops are a bit...mushy (sorry) but I expect that's the antibiotics, he's definitely purring more and coming for cuddles again (when I got home tonight he jumped up onto the armchair and ran into my lap - he's not done that in weeks!), he's not playing and gets annoyed when we try - but he's never been big on toys (other than catnip Kong cushions - but he's ignoring them still), but he is preening/washing again finally - all be it less than he should be, it's still an improvement.

    All in all I can say I've definitely seen an improvement since starting the insulin, I raised my concerns about the single dose and luckily the vet had already said to switch to two doses, so I didn't have to fight too hard ;-)

    And yes please, any advice about glucose testing much appreciated! Sorry if I've missed questions, I've had another mega busy day and I'm trying to catch up quickly so I can get to sleep and get up on time for his first dose at home!

    Love to all - thanks again xxx
     
  22. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Oh I forgot to say - he's gained weight! I know it's probably just food weight but he's gone from 3.5kg to 3.93kg since two days ago. I'd say he had about 200g of food before we went to the vets, but still, it might be a bit of a gain (or am I wishful thinking?) xx
     
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  23. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    So many encouraging signs that your kitty Mork is doing better and starting to resume his old activities.

    Good that you are now giving insulin both in the AM and the PM. That is going to make him feel even better.

    Would you please do something for us? See all those little bits of information appended to the end of our signatures? Would you update your user profile, Signature so we can see that for all your posts? Only takes a minute or 2.

    Directions are in here, along with basic info on diabetes and how to set up our standard format spreadsheet (SS). Save you a lot of time in having to create your own. And the color coding will really help to see patterns. Since you are in the UK, you want to set up the "World" version and enter your data there. Coding behind the scenes will convert and populate the US side of the sheet so us backward Yanks can understand the BG numbes.
    New? How You Can Help Us Help You!
     
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  24. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    I'm so sorry, I've been using my phone a lot to access and the signatures don't show up on there, but now I'm on my laptop, I'll go do that now. Got to admit I'm not great with spreadsheets but I'll get one set up once his glucose monitor arrives x
     
  25. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    There - I've changed my signature and added a profile pic of Mork pretending to be Batman (it's an old pic, but you get a perfect idea of his personality from it lol - he's my evil genius). If there's anything else you think I should add to my signature, please let me know, I've not added BG info yet as I don't have a kit yet.
     
  26. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    You don't have to create a spreadsheet from scratch. We've got a template for one that you copy and save for yourself. Why reinvent the wheel?

    Make a spreadsheet for your kitty following the instructions linked below
    If you are moving from a different diabetes group (online or Facebook) and have a Spreadsheet from that group, you will also need to use the link below to make the spreadsheet that we use in this forum. Members are available who can help you transfer all your data from another spreadsheet type to our spreadsheet.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
     
  27. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Black eared kitties! It can be more difficult to see the blood drop on the ear, as it blends into the dark fur so well. I shaved a teeny tiny bit on the "sweet spot", very gently with a safety razor. When I got better with the "pokes", I let the fur grow back. Testing in nice strong light helped a lot too.

    People with lighter furred cats don't know how lucky they are.
     
  28. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Well, I did not know that the signatures did not show up on people's phones.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  29. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Haha, if only it were Pixie with her blue tortie ears! Mork's are a bit threadbare at the moment, I'll have a look and see what I can see. He's already been shaved on his neck (for blood tests), and in between his shoulder blades (the vet nurse wanted me to be able to see where I was injecting), so he's rocking the punk/dishevelled look and I'm sure he wont mind a shaved ear too ;-) I'll edit my signature to add my location/time zone xxx
     
  30. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Mork is rocking the punk look!;)

    I have a tortie with black ear edges. It's not any easier to see the blood on her ears.
     
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  31. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Thanks for all the help

    Just a quick question - Mork has been sick just now as I’ve come in from work, his insulin was at 6am, but it’s 2.20pm now so I’m guessing it’s not due to that? I really need to get a glucose monitor sorted.

    He’s fine in himself - he’s run to me and jumped up onto the chair I’ve sat in, and he’s attention seeking and purring, so he’s definitely not feeling poorly!
     
  32. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    What do you mean when you say he has been sick?
    Hairball? Food? White or pale yellow spit up?
    Anything included in the 'pile of throw up' to give us clues?

    Does he eat strange stuff like plastic bags? String? Do you have houseplants or cat grass?

    Test and Insulin at 6am is the AMPS
    Times after that are in 1 hour increments. +1 1 hour after shot of insulin, +2 2 hours after , etc.
    So 2:20 - 2:30pm is +8.5 (close enough)

    I realize you don't have a meter to home test yet, but using our + hour system helps us to know when in the 12 hour insulin cycle you are.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  33. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Hi - it’s just undigested food, very solid. No plants, he doesn’t eat non-food items and we don’t have any unsafe foods lying about. It’s literally part of his breakfast as if he’s not digested it. He’s on wet food, it’s Feringa so it’s low carb and high quality meat. Link to it in my signature (for composition/ingredients).

    In fairness, I know our cats can vomit occasionally, and Mork used to vomit occasionally pre-diabetes, so I know I shouldn’t be overly concerned, and he’s fine in himself - he’s even been playing since I posted. Just can’t help worrying when he was so poorly last week!
     
  34. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Is he often sick or is this a new symptom? Has he eaten some food rather quickly perhaps? Or if it looks pale ans foamy it could be acidity in the stomach.
     
  35. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    I was posting just as you did! Sounds like he ate too much too fast.
     
  36. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Yeah he did gobble it down earlier - I’ve just given him a small meal and he’s eaten that, so he’s not off his food.
    Thanks guys I think I’m just over worrying! He’s so much better in every other way; no peeing outside of trays, he’s washing and even playing, and he’s visibly gaining weight now.
     
  37. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    All those little visual signs of improvement are so heartening. The weight gain! The playing! The loving on you again! No peeing outside of the trays (we call them litter boxes where I live)! Mork is preening (washing) himself!

    Such a change from him feeling and acting so poorly last week. Such a relief for you. And a fast turnaround like that can happen once they are on insulin and a good low carb food.

    Over worrying? Have you seen this? Dear Mom/Dad (letter from your kitty)

    You're just being a good cat mom.

    One of my civies (civilian, or non-diabetic) cats would gobble her food too quickly and throw it back up. I finally split her meal into 4 smaller meals for breakfast and dinner. (and a tiny mid-day snack, don't forget a little snack now and then she tells me) So she gets 2 breakfast, 2 dinners and that works most of the time. Still an occasional 'scarf and barf', but rarely.

    You can also try spreading out the food on a large plate or platter, so it takes Mork a bit more time to eat.

    Doesn't sound to me like anything to worry about, since he didn't eat anything to cause his upset tummy.
     
  38. Vintry

    Vintry Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    Hi Lisa,

    I have sent you a message, it's in Conversations (under your Username). Just letting you know because I don't know whether you have seen it or not.
     
  39. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    LisaLQ, Please remove your time zone and country from your user "signature". I mistakenly asked for you to include that info and it should not be there. Thanks and apologies for the confusion.
     
  40. LisaLQ

    LisaLQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Hi guys - thanks, I'll change that now and check my messages!

    Just letting you know that Mork weighed 4kg at his check on Weds afternoon so he's gained half a kilo, he's not due back at the vets for 2 weeks now as they're really pleased with his progress. No ketones in his wee (and I'm testing at home too), but still some glucose so they're going to test again when we go back, and decide if his dose needs to go up (they didn't change it on Weds as the glucose in his wee might have been because I cocked up his morning jab, it squirted out backwards as he moved as I pressed the plunger!).

    I asked about switching to Prozinc, but with me using the charity vets, the only one they can prescribe is Caninsulin, but they do agree Prozinc is better but for now Caninsulin is working. They said when I get a job (I graduate in May/June) they will help me transfer his details to my original vets so that we can do a smooth transition onto Prozinc if I still want to.
     
    Deb & Wink likes this.
  41. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    We call that a 'fur shot'. Everyone does them. Chalk it up to experience. Just be sure you never try to give more insulin until the next cycle, as you are never sure how much of the insulin did get inside Mork.

    Good progress report on Mork!

    p.s. See the signature change. Well done.
     
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