Hi from Natalie and Flea

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Natalieee, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Hi, my name is Natalie and I have a 14 year old black cat named Flea. Over a year ago he was diagnosed with diabetes. Here's our story:

    Overall Health
    Flea has always been very lean. He weighs 10 lb. He is an indoor cat, but allowed on the patio with a leash (he's totally cool about it too). Urination and bowel movements are good, occasionally he has an accident. No issues with hydration.

    Medication
    Flea started on 2.0 Vetsulin 1x a day when he was diagnosed in June 2019. I work in tv production (12-16 hour work days) so the vet said we could try giving him insulin once a day. In January I joined FDMB. Flea was at 3.0 units 1x day. I learned (through this forum) that Flea should be receiving insulin 2x daily and contacted our vet to discuss switching to 2x a day. We started with 3.0, but in July 2020 increased to 3.5 units. Since Flea requires 2x daily insulin, he is currently living with my mom.

    Eating Habits
    Flea is fed 1/2 can of wet food twice a day, with his insulin shot. We give him 1 can of Halo wet food (low carb, high protein) per day. He sometimes get some egg whites or chicken around noon. Some days we give him about 1/4 cup of Orijen dry food as a "treat" in his cat treat ball or we toss one piece at a time across the room so he gets a work out. This was approved by his vet.

    Since the diabetes Flea is constantly hungry.
    If you leave any food out, he will grab it. He has been checked for thyroid issues and his levels are normal.

    Grooming
    Flea lets us groom him daily. His dander has gotten worse with diabetes (air quality at home is fine, I know this can sometimes be the cause). We stopped giving him fish oil because it caused diarrhea. Our vet informed us if we wanted to give him fish oil again it would have to be every day or it could negatively effect his insulin levels. We use cat shampoo or bathe him with baby shampoo when needed. If you have any remedies for controlling dander, please share.

    Thanks for reading. Sending love and good health to all the other diabetic cats in this forum.

    IMG_4520.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
    Reason for edit: Medication update.
  2. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Hiya there! Welcome! Can you first work on writing Flea's Signature Info in the equivalent form as you see my Simba's Signature info is underneath at bottom of my reply?
    You go to your User Name and under there it say Signature.


    To quick address Flea's background info.

    1. Do you hometest his blood sugar at home?

    2. Diabetes associated dandruff occurs when the body is in imbalance, and are best treated with getting him in balance first and then with vet animal prescripted cat medical dandruff schampoos.


    Let's start with your Signature though and if you blood glucose home test.


    :bighug:
     
  3. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Sure, but I don't understand most of the information provided in your signature. Is this a requirement on the forum? I thought I read all the rules, yet there seems to be more rules.

    1. I thought the urine test strip was testing his blood sugar, but I guess not so I am looking into the ear prick testing.

    2. Makes sense. Just not sure where to start on getting him more "balanced"
     
  4. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Hello and welcome!

    How did you get to 3.5U? Did you start with a lower dose? Did the vet do in-office tests to see how Flea was doing?

    If Flea is "very lean" and "hungry all the time" since his diabetes diagnosis, it's OK to feed him more. The 2x/day feeding schedule is something that works well for diabetic dogs, I think, not so much for cats. I think you could add some extra mini-meals during the day.

    I'm sorry, I don't have any cat dander suggestions, but I wonder if getting Flea better regulated might help that?
     
  5. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    @Natalieee
    Let's take One step at the time.

    The Signature Helps us all with a short, quick, and current updated Flea, 14 yrs, Diabetic since date/year, Weight, Food, Hometesting, e.t.c med info.
     
  6. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Hello Natalie! WELCOME TO FDMB
    The info Ann was talking about can be found here
    Suggestions, Tech Support & Testing Area
    The spread sheet will record your test number plus any extra points about Flea.
    Your signature tells our experts at a glance, name, insulin used, breed...all the little particulars pertaining to Flea:D

    Again welcome to the best darn site to learn everything there is to know about feline diabetes and then some! welcome to our family:bighug:
    jeanne
     
  7. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Here’s what we typically like to see in the signature:

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

    Thank you!
     
  8. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Welcome Natalie and Flea! :bighug::bighug:

    we see a lot of vets here that treat diabetic cats like they would dogs and the 2 are not the same. I’m thinking that’s the case with your vet given that he prescribed Vetsulin, also known as caninsulin because it was made for canines, and the 2 meals a day which is also better for dogs not cats who have higher metabolisms. Most of us here feed the bulk of the meals around shot time and then smaller meals throughout the day. It’s important with Vetsulin to feed at least 30 minutes before the shots since it’s a fast acting insulin and it hits hard and fast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a few more meals. It’s actually easier in the cat’s pancreas to do so.

    my main concern is that I think you should be feeding Flea more. Diabetic cats can’t process the nutrients in food well that’s what they’re always hungry and usually lose a lot of weight. They also burn calories just by peeing since there’s sugar in their urine. A good rule of thumb is ideal weight x 20 to get the daily calorie intake you should be feeding. So if his ideal weight is the 10 pounds then that means you should be feeding him at least 200 calories a day and I don’t think you’re anywhere near that. Has he lost weight lately? Underfed diabetic cats are at risk for developing ketones and you’re certainly want to avoid that! So please start feeding him more

    I can’t offer any help with the dandruff so I’ll let others speak to that.

    Again welcome! Flea looks a lot like my Bobo :cat:
     
  9. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    About home testing, I’m not sure what urine strips you’re talking about, but i don’t think it gives you the BG number right?

    It’s a lot like treating a diabetic human. They prick their finger and test their BG in their blood before shooting the insulin to make sure it’s a safe number for the current dose. Same thing with cats only we have to do it for them. It’s important to test before each shot so you know if the BG and the dose are compatible or if you have to adjust. I’d strongly recommend doing that and most of us use a human meter with affordable test strips, no need to get a pet meter with super expensive strips as you’ll do through them fast. It’s a lot of info we’re throwing at you so I hope you’re not feeling overwhelmed. Please keep asking questions so we know how to better help you! :)
     
  10. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Trouble had terrible dandruff. Once his numbers went down to lower levels the dandruff cleared up on its own.
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  11. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Welcome, Natalie and Flea. :)

    Glad to see you both here. That's a lovely photo of him. He's a very handsome and content-looking boy. :cool:

    You've been doing great with Flea for the past year but I see you're still concerned about his hungriness, his weight and his coat condition. All of those issues point to the possibility that there may be room for manoeuvre in working to further optimise Flea's blood glucose regulation.

    It's a bit overwhelming getting hit with a wall of "can you provide us with this data and that info" upon joining the community here, but it's only because everyone's so keen to help your little sugar cat get the best result from his insulin treatment as rapid fashion as possible.

    The poor hair coat condition and somewhat intense appetite are hints that there are experiences we can share with you to help Flea do even better, particularly when it comes to improving BG regulation, and they'll be pointers that you'll be able to apply to meet Flea's speific needs. :)

    I see that you're already exploring the possibility of testing Flea's BG at home. That's a great first step on the next stage of your diabetes journey together. It's a sort of way for our kitties to 'speak' to us about things they need.

    Fingers and paws crossed that soon his coat will return to all its pre-FD glory in the near future. There's a wealth here - sometimes a somewhat overwhelming wealth :oops: - of shared experience that you'll be able to use to add to your existing knowledge, and things will get even better for you both.

    Forgive us if we get a little 'overenthusiastic' in our requests for info from you. By all means supply it at your own pace. It's just sometimes we get all carried away in our desire to help you as quickly as possible, and the info you give us helps us to help you better. I guess that sometimes one can have too much enthusiasm... :rolleyes::oops: ;)

    I hope you and Flea will find your travels here informative, educational, and enjoyable. :)


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  12. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Thanks Mogs Ive been having computer issues all day this heat wave is horrible.
     
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  13. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    I do not envy you that heat, Jeanne. :bighug:

    .
     
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  14. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Hi, Flea started on 2.0 Vetsulin 1x a day when he was diagnosed in June 2019. I work in tv production (12-16 hour work days) so the vet said we could try giving him insulin once a day. In January I joined FDMB. Flea was at 3.0 units 1x day. I learned (through this forum) that Flea should be receiving insulin 2x daily and contacted our vet to discuss switching to 2x a day. We started with 3.0, but in July 2020 increased to 3.5 units. Since Flea requires 2x daily insulin, he is currently living with my mom. Yes, the vet sees him regularly to check on his levels.
     
    Nan & Amber (GA) likes this.
  15. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Got it, thanks!
     
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  16. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
  17. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Thank you for the information about my signature, very helpful and appreciated.

    I'm not sure why our vet told us to administer the insulin with the food. I will ask next time I speak with her. I always notice Flea is lethargic afterwards. We are going to switch to feeding 30 minutes before shots today.

    He's always been 10 lbs, give or take an ounce. No weight loss. We will also increase his wet food and give him more food during shot time. Flea will be very happy about that.
     
  18. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Overwhelmed, but grateful.

    I'm learning urine strips are not the same as BG testing. Member "Bron and Sheba" recommended ReliOn Prime, so I will be ordering that asap.
     
  19. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Thank you Mogs for your beautiful message! I am so grateful for this forum. I've had Flea since he was a 1.5 lb kitten covered in fleas. I want to provide him with the best care, so if it means spending hours on feline diabetes forums-- it's worth it.
     
  20. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Good morning!
    Hmmm.... I kind of suspect that the dose was increased in big jumps, which can miss the ideal dose. This:

    also worries me that he might be getting too much insulin right now.

    Some extra mini-meals during the day will help to keep him safe while we sort this out, though. And yeah, I'm sure you'll get no complaints from Flea :woot:!

    Since he's with your mom now for the shots, do you think she might be willing to learn to home-test Flea's blood glucose? It's the best way to both keep him safe during the day, and also figure out the proper dose for him. We can help with getting that started (although it's a little harder to do when the info is transmitted through a second person-- do you think your mom would also be willing to use the forum to chat directly with us if she's having issues?).

    He sure is a cutie! :cat:

    P.S. I noticed you went back and edited the original post to add more info. While it's really nice to have the whole story in one place, the problem is that most people who are already reading the thread will never see it-- the forum software takes you to the "first unread" message every time, most people don't go back to re-read the older ones. And then it also sometimes makes the thread confusing to read for brand-new people when the answers seem to be coming before the questions :confused:! So it's usually easier to just put the new info into a new message in the thread, which you also did :), to keep the whole thing one conversation.
     
  21. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Mom is willing to home test BG. I just order all the testing supplies (photos of what I ordered below). I am visiting her this week to help her get set up. Mom isn't tech savvy, so she prefers I handle the forum discussions for now.

    Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 9.39.14 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 9.43.01 AM.png
     
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  22. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    I'm not sure if this is helpful, but here are Flea's labs from June 2019 (when he was diagnosed) and June 2020 (his latest check up). I made sure to remove any personal information.

    Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 9.55.46 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 9.56.35 AM.png
     
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  23. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Natalie.

    That's not uncommon and tends to be triggered by onset of the insulin dose.

    The degree and duration of the lethargy can vary between insulins. Could you tell us how lethargic Flea gets and also for how long, i.e. does he brighten up later in the cycle? If yes, how many hours after the dose was given does he tend to perk up?


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  24. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Glad to hear Mom's on board!

    Supplies look good, the only thing I would say is that the 30 gauge lancets may be too small to use at first. If you can find 26 or 28 (thicker gauge) to start with, it will be easier to get a good blood drop (you can save the 30's for later after the ears "learn to bleed" by growing more capillaries).
     
  25. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    The rule of thumb with feeding is about 20 calories per pound of ideal weight. If 10 lbs is a good weight for him that means he would need at least 200 calories per day. Diabetics, esp if numbers are above normal, often need more so (200-300 calories) Is say if he's hungry and not overweight, feed him. Maybe an extra half can or more.
     
  26. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Have to agree with this. :(
     
  27. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Just FYI, some people prefer to use the lancets only some prefer the pen. It also depends on your cat. Some get startled with the pen clicking sound. Try it out and see what works best. I have ReliOn too but the Prime. I believe your test strips are going to be a bit more expensive but still better than a pet meter. We can help with testing tips when you’re ready!
     
  28. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    It’s shocking how much we hear here about what vets haven’t said. Mainly they just don’t know that much about feline diabetes. It’s not an area of focus they study in veterinary school. They spend a few hours on it while members here have been studying it for years!
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  29. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Hey Ale just checked the price for the premier test strip same price as the prime 17.88 for 100 strips
     
  30. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    As you test the ears they will grow more cappilaries and testing will become easier
    Aim for the sweet spot , You might want to purchase 28 gauge lancets and do it free hand on a 46 degree angle, eventually more capillaries will grow and it becomes easier
    Start to rub his ears to get him used to it, warm them up first, if need be put some rice in a sock and warm it in the microwave and put it on his ears, make sure its not to hot. You don't want to aim for the vein

    [​IMG]Diabetic Cat Care Home Testing Your Cat’s BG


    [​IMG]
     
  31. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Pick up some cotton rounds also to put behind the ear when testing and then gently press on the ear for about 10 seconds to stop the bleeding.

    Also if think his ears look sore you can put some Neosporin Ointment with pain relief on them, a thin layer, NOT THE CREAM
     
  32. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Wow awesome! I thought it was more. Good to know!!!
     
  33. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    I always do the sock. The warmer I can get her ears the easier to prick less and get more blood out. Sometimes I barely prick her and the blood pours out. Of course, when it’s a heat wave and she’s out in the sun it’s a piece of cake! :p
     
  34. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    We did our first test this evening before eating and again an hour after his insulin. Flea was super chill. He sat on my lap with his paws on arm. Didn’t make a peep or flinch, he buried his head into my arm after it was all done. I will make the spreadsheet once we have internet again (limited resources right now due to recent storm), but for now...

    5:31pm BG tested 361 mg/dL
    5:36pm ate dinner— half can Halo wet
    6:15pm insulin 3.5U
    7:20pm BG tested 389 mg/dL

    We will test again in the morning before eating.
     
  35. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    30 gauge worked! Found the sweet spot.
     
  36. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Congrats on getting in your first test! Welcome to the Vampire Club! :D

    [​IMG]


    Well done to you and your snugglebug, Natalie! :cool:


    Mogs
    .
     
  37. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    How can I tell if Flea is getting too much insulin?
     
  38. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

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    Jan 21, 2020
    Hahaha thanks! Now I just need to teach mom.
     
  39. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
  40. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

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    Jan 21, 2020
    Are there any vets in this group? This forum would be such a great resource for them!
     
  41. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Natalieee and Critter Mom like this.
  42. Natalieee

    Natalieee New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Thank you for this information. I haven’t noticed any of the symptoms listed in that post— Flea is still alert after his insulin, he tends to be mellow and will lie down afterwards. Definitely has the ravenous hunger but that’s an all day sort of thing we deal with— he sleeps by the fridge. *eye roll*
     
  43. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    LOL Flea knows where the good hang out!;):coffee:
     
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  44. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 21, 2019
    A hypo BG number would be lower than 50 in a human meter but ECID so the threshold can vary from cat to cat
     
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  45. Aleluia Grugru & Minnie

    Aleluia Grugru & Minnie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 21, 2019
    And btw, congrats!! That sounds like a dream come true 1st home testing scenario :bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  46. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Ya gotta admire cats. Always have the right priorities. :cat:


    Mogs
    .
     

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