new diabetic cat diagnosis - need encouragement

tobyo

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Greetings. It's been a while since I've posted here but I got such great help when we first adopted Frankie that I'm back for more :)

Over the summer we noticed that Frankie was drinking lots of water, very unusual for him. Then he started losing weight so we took him to the vet and he was pre-diabetic so we started him on new food and cut the carbs from his diet. He's always been finicky so we weren't surprised that the first day he did not want this wet food. He was eating Royal Canin Urinary SO because he had crystals in his urine.

The next day he did finally eat and loved it!! When the next shipment of the food came they had changed the label but it was the same food, but Frankie would not eat it at first. Did he notice the new label or something? 🤷‍♀️ We were going out to eat so we left him with the food and when we returned he had eaten all of it. After 3 weeks of being on this diet we did a re-check. Glucose and the other one (sounds like fructose?) were both still high. Vet is calling him borderline diabetic which I guess is good?

Tomorrow we start the injections and we're both pretty nervous. As you can see from the photos below, Frankie has lots of fur. How are we going to see if there is blood in the syringe when we can barely see his skin? This is the part where you pull back to ensure you didn't hit a ....and now I can remember the term the tech used, maybe corpuscle? She said if you see blood in the syringe to try another spot? Which brings another question that I didn't think of when we were given the demonstration on how to give shots: if there is blood in the syringe do we start over with the insulin and a different syringe? Maybe not since the tech didn't say to do that? She just told us to find a different spot for the injection.

Thanks in advance for any encouragement. This is a new chapter we're about to enter and we're both (hubby and me) a bit nervous.

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silent meowlook

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Hi. This is manageable and many cats that are diabetic go into complete remission.
A couple of questions. Do you know how high his glucose was? Do you know what his frutosamine was?
Did they set you up with a monitor and teach you how to do blood glucose checks at home?
Whst kind of insulin and how much are you supposed to give?
 
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tobyo

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Hi. This is manageable and many cats that are diabetic go into complete remission.
A couple of questions. Do you know how high his glucose was? Do you know what his frutosamine was?
Did they set you up with a monitor and teach you how to do blood glucose checks at home?
Whst kind of insulin and how much are you supposed to give?
Hubby usually takes their calls and he said the glucose was in the high 300s and not sure about the fructosamine number. They showed us a monitor that we can use at home. It's Pro Zinc insulin and we're to give him one unit twice a day.
 

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I have had two diabetic cats on insulin. The second one was on ProZinc and I was happy with it. Both cats were rescued ferals, inside only, and the first one was somewhat fractious at times, but accepted the insulin with no problem. I don't think that I ever saw blood in the syringe at any time with either cat. Neither cat reacted to the administration of the insulin as it is not like an injection with a standard needle.

Feline Diabetes Message Board - FDMB
This is a very helpful site which is dedicated entirely to diabetic cats. I did join with the second cat and they were very helpful.

Many vets here are using Free Style Libre, which I think is the most commonly used CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) system for cats.
 
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tobyo

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I have had two diabetic cats on insulin. The second one was on ProZinc and I was happy with it. Both cats were rescued ferals, inside only, and the first one was somewhat fractious at times, but accepted the insulin with no problem. I don't think that I ever saw blood in the syringe at any time with either cat. Neither cat reacted to the administration of the insulin as it is not like an injection with a standard needle.

Feline Diabetes Message Board - FDMB
This is a very helpful site which is dedicated entirely to diabetic cats. I did join with the second cat and they were very helpful.

Many vets here are using Free Style Libre, which I think is the most commonly used CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) system for cats.
Thank you. I did see that message board when I was looking around here and checked it out a little bit.
 

Tobermory

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You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to give the shot after you administer it a few times. I think we all dread it at first. But the needle is tiny and short, and our Max barely paid any attention to it. Once you pull up the skin on his shoulder to form a small tent, you should be able to see skin. Then it’s just a quick slanted insert (I shot it through the other side a couple of times which made my vet laugh and say she’s done it before too :) ), a push of the plunger, and you’re done!

I found it more difficult to check his glucose, but it’s important to do that. Before I learned how, I made him hypoglycemic a couple of times and had to very quickly get some Karo corn syrup into his mouth to bring his blood glucose back up. The site that fionasmom fionasmom recommended is full of experienced cat folks who will provide lots of advice and support.
 

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While I have never had a diabetic cat, I have given insulin shots to many, many cats (and dogs) over the years in the pet care business and I've never once seen blood in the syringe. The worst reaction I ever saw from a pet getting a shot was a tiny "twitch" as the needle went in, the needles are very small and seem to cause them no pain.
I do tend to wait until they're about done eating before giving them the shot, to make sure they get the amount of food necessary for the insulin to absorb. :)
 
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tobyo

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You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to give the shot after you administer it a few times. I think we all dread it at first. But the needle is tiny and short, and our Max barely paid any attention to it. Once you pull up the skin on his shoulder to form a small tent, you should be able to see skin. Then it’s just a quick slanted insert (I shot it through the other side a couple of times which made my vet laugh and say she’s done it before too :) ), a push of the plunger, and you’re done!

I found it more difficult to check his glucose, but it’s important to do that. Before I learned how, I made him hypoglycemic a couple of times and had to very quickly get some Karo corn syrup into his mouth to bring his blood glucose back up. The site that fionasmom fionasmom recommended is full of experienced cat folks who will provide lots of advice and support.
Thank you so much!
 
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tobyo

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While I have never had a diabetic cat, I have given insulin shots to many, many cats (and dogs) over the years in the pet care business and I've never once seen blood in the syringe. The worst reaction I ever saw from a pet getting a shot was a tiny "twitch" as the needle went in, the needles are very small and seem to cause them no pain.
I do tend to wait until they're about done eating before giving them the shot, to make sure they get the amount of food necessary for the insulin to absorb. :)
That was my thought too, to wait until he's done eating. Thank you so much.
 
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tobyo

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one thing I forgot to mention was that we're to bring him back after 10 days on insulin and have him checked. so far, he hasn't been acting strangely like the vet says most cats with diabetes she's seen. I guess because he's not "fully" diabetic? Only borderline?

Thanks for all the replies, it definitely helps!
 

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Hi. It is important that you buy the glucometer and learn how to check the BG at home. It is also very important, if you want your cat to go into remission, to feed at the same time every day, twice a day.
Always test, feed and give insulin, in that order. Twice a day. If you get a normal blood glucose reading call your vet for instructions. If ever you get a low reading, don’t panic and reach for the Kari syrup. Instead, feed your cat. If your cat eats and seems fine you should still call your vet but don’t give Kari syrup.
All too often people get concerned when their cats BG is low and they give Kari syrup and cause a spike in the glucose. What goes up, must come down and that’s what happens and the cat will get into a sort of yo yo with their blood sugar. You want a nice even keel of blood sugar avoiding highs and lows.

There is no need to pull back on the syringe to check for blood.Just give it. Make sure you know what 1 unit is. It is literally less than a drop. Shave a tiny spot of hair if you need to visualize what you are doing. Otherwise part the hair and give it that way.
 
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tobyo

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silent meowlook: Our vet tech only mentioned the glucose monitor, not that we had to get one. But you're indicating it's essential. I'm unfortunately on a tight budget and this new expense is not helping. We've already spent $1,000 on this adventure. And his new food is three times the cost of his previous expensive food(for urinary issues). So buying a glucose monitor right now is not a priority, especially since the tech said it was optional. and, I know that when you adopt a pet you're in it for life. I'm really regretting not jumping on the pet insurance offered by AAA this summer before all this began........

Also, the tech said it was important to not give him the shot in the same spot every time so shaving a spot would defeat that purpose. I managed to give myself a migraine due to the stress of giving these shots. Today went okay so hopefully my migraine goes away. I want my mommy 😩

Your post raised another question: how do we know if he goes into remission? Wouldn't we have to stop the insulin to find that out?
 

iPappy

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silent meowlook: Our vet tech only mentioned the glucose monitor, not that we had to get one. But you're indicating it's essential. I'm unfortunately on a tight budget and this new expense is not helping. We've already spent $1,000 on this adventure. And his new food is three times the cost of his previous expensive food(for urinary issues). So buying a glucose monitor right now is not a priority, especially since the tech said it was optional. and, I know that when you adopt a pet you're in it for life. I'm really regretting not jumping on the pet insurance offered by AAA this summer before all this began........

Also, the tech said it was important to not give him the shot in the same spot every time so shaving a spot would defeat that purpose. I managed to give myself a migraine due to the stress of giving these shots. Today went okay so hopefully my migraine goes away. I want my mommy 😩

Your post raised another question: how do we know if he goes into remission? Wouldn't we have to stop the insulin to find that out?
I've taken care of several diabetic cats that did not have glucose monitors, but in recent years I'm seeing them more. One day one of the diabetic cats was dropped off for boarding and the owner said "Guess what, he's not diabetic anymore!" All I remember is she switched him to a wet food only diet, kept his feedings regular, and worked with the vet and they were able to determine if he was in remission or not. He did go into remission and stay there, but they did have to communicate with their vet often.
How did he react to the shots that you gave today?
I tend to move the shots around but in the same general area--the area between the shoulder blades or a bit off to the sides. I've found that this prevents a sort of callous from forming which makes it harder to get the needle under. We took care of a little Schnauzer that was very diabetic, and she developed a very hard fatty lump (non-cancerous) along her shoulder blades from having the insulin given in the same area for so many years. We started giving her the shot around her shoulder area below the shoulder blades, she had no problems with it and it seemed the insulin absorbed better. :)
 
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tobyo

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Hi iPappy - thanks for your reply. We gave him his shot near where he eats and he barely noticed!! So, much improved since yesterday. We just form a tent (well hubby does while I hold Frankie) as the tech showed us just anywhere along his back. She didn't mentioned doing it near the shoulder blades so we're doing what she showed us.

I did google blood glucose monitors and they're not as expensive as I thought so still cogitating that. But there are so many of them! Hard to know what to get.
 

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Hi tobyo tobyo !

From the back-and-forths in your thread here, I believe I'm sure you'd reap enormous benefit from the first-hand experience and support available 'over' on the Feline Diabetes Message Board......lots of TCS members have participated on both forums and the reports coming back are that those folks are true "angels".

One of our former "advisors" was a enthusiastic supporter of using the FDMB...............

fionasmom said:
Feline Diabetes Message Board - FDMB
Join this group as soon as you can. They are a wonderful source for all your specific questions about diabetic cats and are highly responsible about answering questions. As you move deeper into managing diabetes for your cat, they can help with the fine points which may arise.
:yeah:
You're welcome to continue posting about general all things cats here on TCS but you won't get much help with the diabetes. It's just not discussed in depth like it is on the FDMB board.
.
 

iPappy

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Hi iPappy - thanks for your reply. We gave him his shot near where he eats and he barely noticed!! So, much improved since yesterday. We just form a tent (well hubby does while I hold Frankie) as the tech showed us just anywhere along his back. She didn't mentioned doing it near the shoulder blades so we're doing what she showed us.

I did google blood glucose monitors and they're not as expensive as I thought so still cogitating that. But there are so many of them! Hard to know what to get.
Ask your vet for recommendations. They would probably be the best person who would have experience with various monitors. :)
I'm glad he didn't put up a fight for his shots. I'm always surprised at how good cats are about their shots, they can be incredibly patient. I only had one cat who gave me "problems" (if you could even call it that), and that was because he was constantly turning and headbutting my hand, so I had to work fast! :lol:
 

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I’ve used the AlphaTRACK 1, 2, and 3. All worked well.
It saves you allot of money to be able to do your own glucose curve at home instead of at the vets.When you figure that a glucose curve is usually 6 tests and the least expensive at a vet I have seen is $20 a test, plus they usually charge an additional Hosp fee and or office fee. It really comes out much more economical.
They have the continuous monitor, but it’s only good for 2 weeks, and in my experience, many cats will not tolerate it. Plus, more expensive.
 
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tobyo

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Hi tobyo tobyo !

From the back-and-forths in your thread here, I believe I'm sure you'd reap enormous benefit from the first-hand experience and support available 'over' on the Feline Diabetes Message Board......lots of TCS members have participated on both forums and the reports coming back are that those folks are true "angels".

One of our former "advisors" was a enthusiastic supporter of using the FDMB...............


.
thanks! I did check it out 🤗
 
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tobyo

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I’ve used the AlphaTRACK 1, 2, and 3. All worked well.
It saves you allot of money to be able to do your own glucose curve at home instead of at the vets.When you figure that a glucose curve is usually 6 tests and the least expensive at a vet I have seen is $20 a test, plus they usually charge an additional Hosp fee and or office fee. It really comes out much more economical.
They have the continuous monitor, but it’s only good for 2 weeks, and in my experience, many cats will not tolerate it. Plus, more expensive.
Thank you!!
 
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