Newly diagnosed today

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Mandy S, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. Mandy S

    Mandy S Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    My Sissy Kitty has had rough year. Last year she started licking her food off. Ruled out fleas or stress and they wanted us to try an rx food for food allergies. She'd been eating Fancy Feast for years. We opted to try a few limited ingredient foods first. Finally in late February this year we caved and did the Hills z/d prescription for food allergies. Her hair grew back in just a few months, but around the same time she started not wanting to eat or drink. She's always been a heavy drinker/pee'r but her blood work was always fine. We ended up in the ER on May4th because she wouldn't eat and wasn't urinating but once in 24 hours. She was also doing a weird twitching thing. They did blood work, again was fine. But they said she did have significant arthritis in her hips and spine on the x ray and also a build up of what looked like would be diarrhea when she did go. That she had some yeast overgrowth on a swab of her vulva that looked matted and had discharge. They sent her home with abx and a topical for the yeast. The next day the diarrhea started and lasted 2 months. The vet had us try different meds for that and nothing worked til we tried benefiber on her food. She seemed to perk up a bit the last several weeks then spiraled again. I told them she wouldn't eat much and that I felt likes she had lost weight, her coat looks bad and she felt bony on her spine and shoulders...they had me try an appetite stimulant, finally I said she has to be seen, they worked us in, she's lost 1.5 pounds and her blood work they took yesterday shows she's diabetic with blood sugar over 400. They were going to order a serum test and the dr mentioned the curve and some kind of monitor that some cats tolerate to do the curve? She seemed distracted. I'm hoping I can get more answers and an actual plan tomorrow. I feel like she should have been seen before this and I should have pushed harder, they just kept saying that cats that had digestion issues are hard to snap out of it at times. I felt like it was more I should have pushed. I asked the vet today how much of the can chicken she can eat because she does seem to like it a lot, she said she'd figure how many calories she needs and leave that and a hand out about diabetes for us to pick up this afternoon and when we got there she had left and not left anything for us, so the girl at the desk said we could get it tomorrow. In the mean time, I can tell Sissy doesn't feel good, she's been in my daughter's room all evening, she's eating the can chicken and drinking but the vet gave us no instruction on what to look for or to do or anything. I'm really stressed and overwhelmed and sort of angry because after reading here how serious it is I feel like we should have had more instruction today. :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  2. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Welcome to the FDMB Mandy! Glad you finally got your post to go through!

    It sounds like Sissy Kitty may have some IBD....has your vet ever mentioned that? It can be pretty frustrating to deal with!

    The serum test sounds like a fructosamine. The only time it's a good test to get is to confirm the diabetes diagnosis because it shows the blood glucose average over the past 2-3 weeks.

    Regular blood glucose tests that are done at the vet's office can be unreliable due to vet stress which can raise it up to 200 points so the fructosamine takes the possibility of stress related numbers out of the picture.

    I'm thinking the monitor your vet is talking about is the Freestyle Libre. You've probably seen it advertised on TV for humans. It's a tiny implant that you "scan" instead of having to do actual blood glucose testing but it's NOT a substitute for regular testing either! They would have to shave a patch for the implant and then implant the device. The Libre itself isn't exactly cheap and then you either have to buy a special reader for it or hope your smartphone is able to use the app they have that can scan for you.

    We've heard a lot of complaints about it here...mostly from people who spent the money and then their cat got it off within an hour, a day or a few days.....it can't be re-implanted so instead of getting 14 days of tests, you get whatever your cat lets you. Also, some cats react badly to the glue they use to stick it on. Even if it does stay on, it also seems to stop working before the 14 days is up a lot of times so it's really up to you if you want to try it.

    Most of us just buy the Relion Prime from WalMart ($9), 100 strips ($17.88) and a box of lancets ($2-12 depending on brand).

    Your vet may tell you that you can't use a human meter...that you must use a "pet" meter (usually the Alpha Trak)....this makes zero sense to most of us since the Libre they all want to use all the sudden is a human meter too! So why are the readings on the human Libre any better than the readings on the human glucometer?? The strips for the AlphaTrak are about $1 each!

    A curve is just testing the blood glucose every 2 hours for 12 hours.

    If Sissy Kitty doesn't have any signs of ketones, there's no huge rush to start insulin immediately. You can choose to take a few days to see what kind of foods she'll tolerate (she needs to be eating a low carb canned or raw diet) and take those few days to learn to home test.
     
  3. Mandy S

    Mandy S Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Thank you for your reply!
    No, the vet hasn't mentioned IBD, I will look it up. :/

    I'm sure that Libre is what she meant. She said it would be more convenient then us having to come in every couple hours to test her because we live 20 minutes away from them. She said nothing about us testing at home. I honestly can't see Sissy tolerating anything like what you describe with the Libre.

    How do we know if she has ketones? They didn't get urine yesterday, she said they tried to get some but couldn't or she didn't have any? I just know she said they didn't get it, that's how they test for ketones, right?

    Sissy has been really hard to get to eat the last week or two. Right now she's eating canned chicken or canned baby food chicken, chicken as the only ingredient and then we have her bowl of hills z/d out because she's boycotting the wet z/d even more now than before the chicken because she wants the chicken. She's eating the z/d more than she was...I read either here on or the fb page not to just take that away from them because it can cause a drop, which I wouldn't know because I don't have a monitor or anything yet. They didn't tell me to get one one so maybe she's a vet that doesn't have you monitor at home. We live about 40 minutes from an emergency vet so I hope she is really okay for now.

    I forgot to mention in the original post that over the last month or so she's had episodes of a lot of lip licking and some bile vomit here and there. They gave us some kind of pill to give her for nausea. This last time I called last week to say she wasn't eating again and licking her lips a lot I wanted her to be seen but they said try that first...so I did, but 3 days and nothing was better. It worked the last time she was on it, so I think it was a different thing last time. :/
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  4. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    There are urine ketones and blood ketones. If they ran a complete blood panel, it should include that (but some don't...depends on the lab and the exact test they run)

    We hear a lot of vets that either don't discuss it at all or tell you some nonsense like you can't test at home, you'll ruin your relationship, your cat will hate you forever....I could go on.....but if this were your child and their pediatrician told you to just give X units of insulin and come back in a month, they'd be guilty of malpractice! Why should it be different for our furkids?

    You don't need your vet's permission or blessing to home test....and if you spend a little time looking around here, you'll see there are hundreds of us doing it! And our cats still love us! The relationship you develop between you and your sugarcat will be more special than you can even imagine right now. I had thought I loved China as much as anybody could love a cat...then she was diagnosed diabetic and I learned how much deeper that love can be. Of course it also means it hurts that much more when they leave us.

    By home testing, you are much less likely to ever need to drive to that ER vet!!

    For nausea, you were probably given Cerenia. There's an injectable form that can sometimes work better (but it stings so your vet needs to give it). There's also another drug called Ondansetron (Zofran) that's used in humans who are nauseous from chemotherapy that can work very well in cats. Sometimes you may need to use both! (they work in different ways)
     
  5. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    If she used to eat Fancy Feast and likes chicken, have you tried the chicken pate to see if it causes her any problems? It's a low carb option a lot of us use
     
  6. Mandy S

    Mandy S Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Yes, it was Cerenia! I just couldn't think of the name.

    We haven't gone back to the Fancy Feast but after today I will try it. They told us if we didn't want to try the z/d to do limited ingredient foods because there is so much in regular foods that could be an issue. We gave her natural balance limited ingredient chicken cat food at some point recently to try to get her to eat when she wasn't and she did eat it for about a day and a half but she also started licking obsessively too and kind of nibbling at her legs, so we pulled it right away. But so far, none of that with just the chunk chicken. But it's just now been 24 hours she's been eating that so we'll see. She loved Fancy Feast Tender Beef or the beef one mixed with chicken. She ate that for years.

    Sissy is the last of my 3 bottle babies I got at 1 day old. I lost one brother, Nummy, at 10 years old to pancreatic cancer and we just lost the other brother, Tiger, in September to what was probably cancer. He got sick and we had x rays done and he had tons of calcifications in his lungs. We were going to start some more tests when he threw a clot and paralyzed his front leg, and by the time we got to the vet he'd thrown one in the brain and they though lung, it was the worst thing. When I got them I was very pregnant with my now 13 year old and the kittens slept on my belly all the time. When my daughter was born, she was born with special needs and Tiger latched on to her and for 13 years they were inseparable. He had to be with her all the time and and if she was sitting he was touching he in some way, slept on her head or wrapped around her head every night, their bond was incredible. So when we lost him, it was so devastating in more ways than usual because of the added grief it has caused my daughter. Now Sissy is sick and we want to do everything we can to help her and prolong her life. My other cat lived 21 years, I thought I'd have more time with these babies...but it never turns out the way you think I guess. I'm very ignorant when it comes to diabetes, it's not something we've had to deal with in people or pets so this is all totally new, but I'm well versed in other medical issues thanks to my daughter, and not squeamish when it comes to shots or blood so I know that I just need to educate myself and learn from everyone here and do the best I can.

    Sissy is our "camping queen"...sung to the tune of "dancing queen". lol She comes in the camper with us and our two dogs. We have reservations for a short camping trip leaving this Saturday, back Tuesday, and with this kind of hanging over us, I'm a little stressed about it. We'll have a couple days to get a handle on some things with her, but I don't think we can cancel now without losing the entire amount of money.
     
  7. Mandy S

    Mandy S Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    I also forgot something else that they said about he x rays from May 4th, the original trip to the ER. They said she had some kind of mass that was pushing her organs to the side. They said it looked fatty but they weren't sure. They sent the pictures of to be read and they too said it was a fatty mass and unlikely to cause any issues.
    Just another little detail about her.


    The blood they did yesterday was for a full senior panel. Maybe the ketones were included in that.
     
  8. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    No need to cancel! We've had lots of sugarcats go on vacations and even camping! Here's something written by another member "Traveling with diabetic kitties" and here's another one "Traveling/Camping with a special needs kitty"

    As for not having any experience with diabetic cats....Guess what? Neither did anybody else here until they had one! This board has been around since 1996 with plain ol' people helping each other learn. There aren't any vets here. We're all just sugarcat moms and dads passing on what we've learned from the people that came before us!

    You can do this!

    Sissy Kitty sounds like a very special baby. Hopefully she'll have many more years of love to share with your family.
     
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  9. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I echo Chris. YOU CAN DO THIS! Diabetes takes a little discipline and yes sometimes nerves of steal ... but those nerves grow to become strong. You and Sissy have found a safe place to land. We will help you learn how to navigate this disease to keep Sissy safe.

    WELCOME to the best site darn site to help you help Sissy get back to feeling her best.:bighug:
    jeanne
     
  10. Hercule's mum

    Hercule's mum Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2020
    Hey! I am also new. Just wanted to let you know that a few weeks in, the insulin shooting and blood testing is becoming much easier and I was totally scared of it. If I can do it, you can do it! :)
     
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  11. jt and trouble (GA)

    jt and trouble (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
  12. MamaLovesMomo

    MamaLovesMomo Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2020
    Hello @Mandy S

    So sorry to hear what Sissy had been going through. I read you were asking how to check her ketones. You could buy a Bayer Diastix that tests the ketones.
    When she pees - you just dip that.. there is also a blood meter that measures the ketones.. you can google it also..
    The trick to get a urine... This is what I did and it worked for my cat.. The first time I ever did it ... I bought a small pack of sand that does not absorb in Amazon.. it so happened that they were very little amount and when I put them.. looks like a cup of sand already.. So, when my MM pee... all here urine went to the sides of the littler box..
    After that - I got an idea --- I just take most of the litter from her litter box - and put very little portion at the center... in the beginning, she was wondering .. she was looking, investigating like a CIA... then maybe she cannot hold it anymore, then boom... she pees, and everything went to the sides... then BINGO.. saves my money...
    About her stomach -- my MM's internist gave her Fortiflora.. but each cat is different.. maybe ask the vet..
    About the food - I started my MM with ground boiled chicken ( I did myself.. her Purina DM makes her BG very high).

    Hope it helps..

    Thanks
     
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