New Member, This is a Horror Show, Don't Know How Much More I Can Take

Discussion in 'Caninsulin / Vetsulin and N / NPH' started by Sara&Grrr, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. Sara&Grrr

    Sara&Grrr New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2021
    Diagnosed in August after 4 months of feeling just awful and going to the vet for many undiagnosed visits, but that was just the start of not doing right by such a sweet, sweet cat.

    EVERY piece of equipment we have used on Grrr has completely failed (2 meters, lancing devices, his ears, needles, everything) and now I have to wonder if our Vetsulin is even any good. Nothing works.

    And our vet is furious that I increased slowly from 2u twice a day to her recommended 3u twice a day, and even though we're now at the 3u, after constructing the spreadsheet, I see little difference from diagnosis with no insulin to today at 6u per day.

    My cat spends 50% of his life over 450 according to the Libre, and based on Grrr's history, most of that is also over 600, although the Libre will not report over 500 so I cannot be certain.

    And no, we can't get blood out of his ears, and no, it is not just me that can no longer obtain a sample, it's the whole household- and everyone on here keeps saying he'll bleed more, but the truth is that his ears bled less & less every time to almost zero so we have to depend on a cgm. He also flinches when insulin is given and no one else here reports that either. We do not move the needle around and have decreased to a 31g but it is little comfort to him.

    It is so sad because he really wants to live and trusts us, and we are trusting people & equipment that have done nothing but fail us repeatedly. What have other owners done when they are already at a dangerous 3u of Vetsulin and it doesn't help?

    The vet believes that Vetsulin is top-notch for cats and stated last week that my cat has not been on it long enough to work (one month). I don't know about that after reading so many things here. All I do know is this cat doesn't deserve all the bad things that have surrounded him with this disease. I can't take the thought of putting him down, I just can't, and can't take the thought of continuing with completely useless medicine & tools. What do people do?
     
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I'm sorry to hear you're struggling. In what way have the meters failed? Is it just error messages or they won't turn on? Don't bother with a lancing device.... You don't need it and most cats don't like the sound. The ears will be easier to test once the capillaries grow in.... DON'T GIVE UP. How are the needles failing? Vetsulin works for some, but for others it doesn't last long enough. It worked on for me in the beginning. Sounds like a switch would be good. Ask for ProZinc or lantus.


    Your vet is raising the dose much too fast.

    Do you have a copy of the lab reports you could post? I'm wondering is there an infection brewing or dental issue?

    You said he's flinching at injection. Are you pointing the bevel up? You also tenting the skin and only inserting the tip of the needle, correct?
    your vet is incorrect. Vetsulin is made for dogs. Cats have a faster metabolism than dogs which is why it doesn't last long enough. The best insulin for cats is ProZinc or lantus.
     
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  3. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I also see you are feeding dry food treats. Definitly eliminate that.

    Also it may be hard to get a sample if the cat is dehydrated. I'd love to see a recent lab report.
     
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  4. Bama Kitty Mom

    Bama Kitty Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2018
    @Sara&Grrr

    I am sorry this is all so frustrating. So much to learn all at once and you would like to see some success, that all your efforts are getting Grrr to a good place.

    This is what I do when I get ready to test: heat a “rice sock” in the microwave for 30 seconds, pour some warm—almost hot—water into an empty vitamin pill bottle that is covered with a footy sock. Lay a towel in the floor and place all supplies on it— rice sock, warm water bottle, size 26 gauge lancet, bottle of bg strips, meter, and half a cotton round. Put cat next to me and get him comfy. Talk soothingly. Sing. Warm one ear flap by placing rice sock then pill bottle against it for a few seconds. Not long. Don’t want any burns. You can also massage it a little. Place a strip inside the meter until it clicks and starts it’s countdown. Uncap the lancet and turn until bezel is on the top. Place the cotton round behind the ear flap, poke a spot between the vein and ear edge. Maybe squeeze a little until the blood beads. Hold edge of strip to blood so that is sucks blood into the window. Watch meter count down and give reading. Don’t forget to fold the cotton round over the pricked spot and press to stop the flow.

    Is your method anything like what I do?
     
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  5. Sara&Grrr

    Sara&Grrr New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2021
    Thanks for the support, I just don't know what to do, it's not supposed to be like this.

    Grrr's numbers are worse this week than last week and when I spoke to the vet- twice last week- about changing to Lantus, she did not like the idea whatsoever. I'm sure you have the same issue, but all the vets around here are booked & booked and I can't even get an appt for a month at the emergency specialist a hour from here.

    Meanwhile, both AlphaTrak2s failed in separate ways- one of them reads 130 points too high (compared to the vet's own AlphaTrak) and the other only works when it feels like it. Sometimes it states it needs another new battery, sometimes it gets upset about the strips, and sometimes it just goes blank before 2 minutes is up. I bought 2 human meters but thankfully found out about the Libre cgm and now we're addicted to using it. I was told long ago by a vet that Grrr has really thin ears, and I think that this is causing all his hypersensitivity issues between the ear pokes and the insulin pokes now.

    So, I was lancing Grrr's ears myself because our devices just stopped working at any level, but neither one me nor Grrr could stomach the crunch on the outer flap, as I'd have to go all the way through the ear to get even a 0.5 micron drop. His ears are always very warm and we live in the South, so warming them up should not be an issue.

    I spent many, many years as an IV tech and I'm really very good with needle techniques. I did also spend hours & hours looking up how to get blood from ears and how to shoot insulin into our cat since my experience was only on IV bags & medications, and I still have a bunch of those pages up for reference because I know my technique on an actual living being isn't great, but I have the rudimentary motions in place. That's why all of this is so horrific, I don't think I'm doing anything wrong, I'm just not great at all of it, but he's not responding in a positive way to anything we've done.

    I don't have a copy of Grrr's lab reports, but he has had suspected UTIs. And the only reason they finally caught the diabetes was that I brought him him monthly for a few months with dripping liquipoo & tenesmus around the house. I'm not sure if that counts for anything in the infection arena. Since being on insulin, he has had one bout but it did resolve the next day so I thought things were getting better. Now I'm looking at his numbers from this week compared to last week, and the lows are no longer there. Don't know if that's good because the bouncing is settling or if it's bad because he's not dipping below 400 any longer.
     
  6. Bama Kitty Mom

    Bama Kitty Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2018
    Yes, finding a vet who will work with you or with whom you can work can be a problem. I know nothing about Vetsulin and I am not sure how active this particular forum is so I will tag some of the long term members and mods. @Wendy&Neko @Noah & me (GA) @Diane Tyler's Mom
     
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  7. Heather38

    Heather38 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2021
    I know it is very hard, but don't lose hope!

    My cat is on 3u Vetsulin as well. I think he might need to bump up even more, but he has finally started getting some 300s (pre-shot) to low 100s (nadir) BG days in the past week, so I'm going to do another curve this weekend before calling the vet about his dose.

    My cat, like yours, should have been diagnosed months before he finally was and I feel really guilty about that. I am pretty sure he was showing the first signs 6 months before he was finally diagnosed and I and the vet were just not putting 2 and 2 together because he was having UTIs (why I thought he was thirsty and peeing a lot), he was not losing any weight or looking unhealthy, in fact he was gaining weight, and they could not get urine tests because he would pee in his crate on the way to the vet and he is so fractious at the vet, they assumed his high BG when they tested his blood was just from stress.

    I don't know for sure, but I think my cat going undiagnosed for so long is what is contributing to him needing the higher dose of insulin. I have read some posts of people talking about glucose toxicity. Somehow the cat's body gets used to the high BG levels so you might need to get to a higher dose before it "breaks." I don't know a lot about it myself, but trying searching the forums for it.

    I do think you are very right that it is time to change something. I wouldn't neccessarily avoid giving above a 3u dose if your kitty needs it. If he needs it, he needs it. But a different insulin altogether might work better.

    Something you might try for low-carb treats are small pieces of a people-food meat he likes. My cat gets very small pieces of tuna for his treats. I break the chunks up ahead of time and put them in a tupperware in the fridge so they are ready to go. Now he come running when he hears me getting his meter and test trips out because he knows he is getting tuna.
     
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  8. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    My girl got up to 5 units of Caninsulin - which is what Vetsulin is called in the rest of the world. Canin = dog, slower metabolism so insulin works great for them. I had to keep working the vet to get her switched to Lantus. Vetsulin just wasn't lasting the full 12 hours, more like 8. The vet wasn't familiar with Lantus in cats so reluctant to have me switch. One day I saw a locum vet, he suggested the switch to Lantus and pointed me to FDMB for dosing! :)

    Is the vet treating the UTI's? Infection can also raise the blood sugars.

    Vetsulin isn't even recommended by the AAHA. Maybe print off this article for the vet? (2018) AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats The best insulin for a cat is the one that works for them. And you also need the right dose, looks like 3.0 units is too low.
     
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  9. Sara&Grrr

    Sara&Grrr New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2021
    Thank you each & everyone for the kind words, it helps so much. I'm just scared for my sweet cat.

    I'm hitting walls in every effort to help him. Yesterday I even called 4 other vet offices to try to find a second opinion and none are available until late next week, some not for a month.

    So back to questions on the small things I am doing since I can't move forward on anything else for him.

    Vetsulin is supposed to be shaken. Super-unusual in the world of vials, but I've been doing it. Last night I noticed that bubbles on the top *never* go away. Is that normal? When I took my vial out of the fridge, there was still a layer of bubbles after the 12 hours of storage from the prior dose. I don't draw up bubbles or air, but they are always at the top. Is that everyone else's experience?

    And, sryinges/needles. My cat was flinching at UltiCare 29g needles, so I got PetTest 31g syringes, hoping that a smaller gauge would help. He still flinches and tries to squirm away when I'm trying to shoot- does anyone else have that experience as well? What are the best syringe/needles (I'll work with a syringe combo or separate needle/syringes)? I've looked at a lot of threads over the past month here but I don't see anyone naming brands, is this just something I'm not supposed to ask?
     
  10. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    I never vigorously shook the Caninsulin, more of a turning up and down motion. As for the needles, are you shooting with the bevel side up? What part of him are you injecting? I know Neko didn't like the 29 g needles I got from the vet for Caninsulin, and was much happier with the 31g ones I used for Lantus. And no worries asking about needle types. It's been almost 10 years for me, I honestly don't remember which ones I used. One trick that helped me was to hold the syringe where the liquid was for 10-15 seconds between my fingers, before shooting, to take the cold edge off.
     
  11. Sara&Grrr

    Sara&Grrr New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2021
    The vet told me to vigorously shake the vial each time, and I read that the manufacturer also recommends shaking. I know with all the other insulins that this is very, very bad, but the manufacturer & our vet said to shake it. This is horrific.

    I am shooting with the bevel side up, and some of the time Grrr doesn't get upset until the injection is being shot. The insulin is not cold by the time I shoot it, but I have been very worried that there is something in the insulin itself that is making him sicker.

    His numbers today are worse than before he was on insulin. None of this is supposed to happen. None of it.
     
  12. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I always just rolled the vial in my hands. Just enough to mix it.
     
  13. Heather38

    Heather38 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2021
    I shake my bottle, but gently, just for a few seconds. The main thing is to make sure it has a uniform milky color.

    My cat also reacts to his shot - sometimes not at all, sometimes when it goes in, sometimes when I push the plunger. I think maybe my technique still leave something to be desired. But try different spots. Luckily my cat seems to forget right away and he isn't avoiding his shots or trying to get away from me. But I still feel bad!
     

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