Oreo Has Diabetes

ginny

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I won't even go into the guilt issues, but I do feel guilty.

He threw up one day last week. That was odd. Never saw him do that before. Then on Monday night this week, he threw up about 6 or 7 times after I fed them their dinner. Very odd and so not like him. He still tried to eat though! So it's not like he was anorexic.

Oreo's and his cousin's diet over the course of the last 13 years that I've had them has changed a numer of times. Years ago Oreo had scabs covering his back which he licked at constantly until they oozed blood. The vet gave him a cortisone shot 2 months in a row and the scabs went away, until the drug wore off, then it came right back just as bad as before. Then when I eliminated gluten from their diet, I noticed all of his scabs healed within a short time.

In the past few years I've learned more about their nutritional needs and have tried to steer them in the direction of all canned food and have even tried some raw food with various levels of acceptance, from none to eh, I'll eat it so I wont' starve. They've mostly been getting Fancy Feast classic and Friskies pate. And they are now eating Nature's Variety Instinct freeze dried raw coating kibble. It has 25% carbs.

So now Oreo is on ProZinc insulin 3 units every 12 hours. I'd like to get him off this completely but it's not going to be easy. He's a carboholic and loves his kibble. When I put it in his bowl, he practically knocks the scoop out of his way so he can eat.

While he's on insulin, of course I can't just take all of his carb sources away from him or else he will crash with low blood sugar. So I'll probably have to stop his insulin when I can finally wean him down off his kibble, but as I do so, I'll have to wean his insulin too.

Just so you know, his vet doesn't recommend testing his blood sugar before giving the insulin. I think this is bad advice. As a human nurse, it's insane to blindly give insulin without testing first. Dangerous too. So I plan to get a glucometer for him once I can determine which one to get and the appropriate strips to get too. Apparently there is a special strip for cats and dogs.

Anyone else have a kitty on insulin and trying to get them off it with low carb diet? Any tips or knowledge you can give would be appreciated!

{I realize I've left out a lot of info in this OP so if anyone asks, I will gladly fill in the blanks. Right now I'm really tired from too little sleep this week.}
 
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ginny

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Disclaimer:

I would not recommend that anyone start insulin and then stop it without the advice of a vet who is checking your pet's blood glucose. Diabetes is the mother of all diseases, or so we were taught back in nursing school almost 30 years ago. Type 2 is preventable and can be reversed with diet alone. Insulin is a drug that needs to be used only with vet supervision as it can be dangerous or deadly if given to a pet who is not eating or is in the process of switching over to a low carb diet while on it. An abundance of caution must be used.
 

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I don't have any suggestions about meds, but IMO you have to get him off kibble, because they're all very carby. I can tell you it's very possible to transition stubborn kibble addicts to wet or raw food. It just takes time and patients. They won't starve, and there are lots of tricks you can use to do it. Trust me, i transitioned a very stubborn kibble addicted 12 year old (at the time) to almost all raw, he does get a little canned and freeze dried raw, but at the time i transitioned him he refused all canned food. I had the best luck with freeze dried foods crumbling it up and drizzling tiny amounts of water on top to "trick" him into eating wet food. You can even crush up some kibble on top of wet or raw food, or use fortiflora.
 

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Have you asked for advice as well on the FelineDiabetes.com message board? If not, it's a great resource for diabetic cat owners for advice and support from other experienced owners.

Many vets dont' recommend blood glucose testing but it is absolutely a must, just like it is for Human diabetics. There are many published studies in well respected veterinary journals that support home blood glucose testing if you wish to share some with the vet. You don't need the vet's permission to test your cat's blood glucose levels at home. Make sure to keep a log of your cat's blood glucose levels so you can easily see any trends. The FDMB board has a great Google-based spreadsheet you can use and even share it with the vet as many members do.

A pet specific meter isn't necessary, IMO. The major downside is that the test strips are not sold in any store so you have to keep an unexpired supply on hand and order more well before you run out. You can use up a lot of test strips during a hypo episode. Some people like to keep a Human meter and test strips on hand as a back up just in case. You do have to remember to check the test strips regularly and make sure they aren't expired.

To the diet question, a slow reduction in carbs is a must while the cat is on insulin to prevent crashing. With my previous cat who was a diabetic, I originally started with Hills D/M dry per the vet. My cat wasn't on it for very long (week or two, tops) before I found the FDMB and realized how horrible the D/M food was. So I siwtched him to NV Originals, both dry and canned. I was starting to hometest at the time. When I got the hang of hometesting, I decreased the dry and increased the canned while carefully monitoring blood glucose levels. My cat never crashed so I ended up putting him only on canned food. The whole transition from D/M to low carb canned took only a few weeks.
 
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ginny

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I don't have any suggestions about meds, but IMO you have to get him off kibble, because they're all very carby. I can tell you it's very possible to transition stubborn kibble addicts to wet or raw food. It just takes time and patients. They won't starve, and there are lots of tricks you can use to do it. Trust me, i transitioned a very stubborn kibble addicted 12 year old (at the time) to almost all raw, he does get a little canned and freeze dried raw, but at the time i transitioned him he refused all canned food. I had the best luck with freeze dried foods crumbling it up and drizzling tiny amounts of water on top to "trick" him into eating wet food. You can even crush up some kibble on top of wet or raw food, or use fortiflora.

They all like wet and dry food, so that's half the battle. Oreo is an alpha kitty and usually gets most of the kibble. He will be a tough one. I've still got some fortiflora and want to try those Bonita flakes too.

I'm going to start weighing him to make sure he doesn't lose too fast. He's already lost about 2 or 3 pounds over the past 4 months. But he's a small frame kitty at 16 pounds. I'm concerned he will lose too fast by abruptly cutting off the kibble. He even loves on the bag, rubbing his cheek on the sides of it. Boy can he stare me down when he wants food. I'll just have to be strong. I don't want him on insulin.

Do you think there is enough fat in his diet? I'd still like to give him an occasional people tuna (Tongol from the health food store) but it has Zero fat. Should I add a little bit to increase satiety? If so, what kind of fat and how much? I tried adding one Salmon oil capsule to the tuna the other day, he wouldn't touch it. Maybe fortiflora or Bonita flakes would help. I don't want to take tuna completely away just yet while reducing kibble.

Thank you for the tips! I didn't think about crushing kibble and using it as a topper. This is going to take a while.
 
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ginny

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Have you asked for advice as well on the FelineDiabetes.com message board? If not, it's a great resource for diabetic cat owners for advice and support from other experienced owners.

Many vets dont' recommend blood glucose testing but it is absolutely a must, just like it is for Human diabetics. There are many published studies in well respected veterinary journals that support home blood glucose testing if you wish to share some with the vet. You don't need the vet's permission to test your cat's blood glucose levels at home. Make sure to keep a log of your cat's blood glucose levels so you can easily see any trends. The FDMB board has a great Google-based spreadsheet you can use and even share it with the vet as many members do.

A pet specific meter isn't necessary, IMO. The major downside is that the test strips are not sold in any store so you have to keep an unexpired supply on hand and order more well before you run out. You can use up a lot of test strips during a hypo episode. Some people like to keep a Human meter and test strips on hand as a back up just in case. You do have to remember to check the test strips regularly and make sure they aren't expired.

To the diet question, a slow reduction in carbs is a must while the cat is on insulin to prevent crashing. With my previous cat who was a diabetic, I originally started with Hills D/M dry per the vet. My cat wasn't on it for very long (week or two, tops) before I found the FDMB and realized how horrible the D/M food was. So I siwtched him to NV Originals, both dry and canned. I was starting to hometest at the time. When I got the hang of hometesting, I decreased the dry and increased the canned while carefully monitoring blood glucose levels. My cat never crashed so I ended up putting him only on canned food. The whole transition from D/M to low carb canned took only a few weeks.

Is your cat now off insulin? I was kinda shocked when the vet came in to give the first dose of insulin based on his result at the ER less than 12 hrs before. I asked if she'd recheck his sugar and she and her techs stared at me like I had 3 heads.

I know I don't need her permission to test him, I just hoped she would tell me what brand and what strips to get. I've heard that it does matter what kind you get from someone at the yourdiabeticcat site, but mostly the strips have to be for animals. Gosh I'm getting anxious hearing different opinions on this. I'm wondering if I should visit that site you linked but I guess I do need to get several opinions first. Thank you for sending it.

I also wonder just how much of his blood sugar was simply due to stress? He was very stressed both times it was tested. He's a 2nd generation feral. It was over 400 at the vets office Tuesday and then 462 on Wed night at ER. His home number might be lower due to less stress, not just because of the insulin. (Which is just one reason WHY he needs to be tested before injecting). Jacqui at your diabetic cat site told me 3 units Pro Zinc is high to start off with. Can't wait to get a Glucometer. Does Chewy's sell them and the strips?
 

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They all like wet and dry food, so that's half the battle. Oreo is an alpha kitty and usually gets most of the kibble. He will be a tough one. I've still got some fortiflora and want to try those Bonita flakes too.

I'm going to start weighing him to make sure he doesn't lose too fast. He's already lost about 2 or 3 pounds over the past 4 months. But he's a small frame kitty at 16 pounds. I'm concerned he will lose too fast by abruptly cutting off the kibble. He even loves on the bag, rubbing his cheek on the sides of it. Boy can he stare me down when he wants food. I'll just have to be strong. I don't want him on insulin.

Do you think there is enough fat in his diet? I'd still like to give him an occasional people tuna (Tongol from the health food store) but it has Zero fat. Should I add a little bit to increase satiety? If so, what kind of fat and how much? I tried adding one Salmon oil capsule to the tuna the other day, he wouldn't touch it. Maybe fortiflora or Bonita flakes would help. I don't want to take tuna completely away just yet while reducing kibble.

Thank you for the tips! I didn't think about crushing kibble and using it as a topper. This is going to take a while.
I like to use a little bacon fat when I want to add more fat to the diet. I just save the drippings from bacon and drizzling a little on top of whatever I'm feeding. Most cats like it! You could also try feeding some higher fat wet foods like duck or beef. Yes for sure reduce the kibble slowly, esp. with diabetes you don't want to make an abrupt changes. Honestly it took me maybe a year to ween my kibble addict entirely off kibble.
 
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ginny

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I didn't even think of bacon fat, that's a great suggestion! I hope Oreo feels the same way. I just think a little fat with the protein goes a long way.

I think I'll be slowly weaning him for a while. I've got a new 15 pound bag just opened and I figured, or HOPE, that it will be the last bag of dry food I will ever buy.
 

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Is your cat now off insulin? I was kinda shocked when the vet came in to give the first dose of insulin based on his result at the ER less than 12 hrs before. I asked if she'd recheck his sugar and she and her techs stared at me like I had 3 heads.
No, my cat never got off insulin but he was happy and more or less healthy and that was really all that matter to me. He passed away 4 years after the diabetes diagnosis from sudden health issues.

I know I don't need her permission to test him, I just hoped she would tell me what brand and what strips to get. I've heard that it does matter what kind you get from someone at the yourdiabeticcat site, but mostly the strips have to be for animals. Gosh I'm getting anxious hearing different opinions on this. I'm wondering if I should visit that site you linked but I guess I do need to get several opinions first. Thank you for sending it.
Any Human brand of meter works. I used the old basic AccuChek Aviva, not the new fancy Aviva that is available now. One Touch, ReliOn, Contour, etc are all popular brands. A bare basic meter is all you need since you won't ever need the features like meal tracking and graphing and other bells and whistles some meters have for Human diabetics to use. The test strips can be costly so many people just buy a brand that has affordable test strips. Some test strips require a pretty big drop of blood so some people also take that into consideration. A 3 ul drop is really tiny and easily obtainable. Something more like 15 ul is a pretty big drop and newbies often can't get that much blood even with warming and "milking" the vein.


I also wonder just how much of his blood sugar was simply due to stress? He was very stressed both times it was tested. He's a 2nd generation feral. It was over 400 at the vets office Tuesday and then 462 on Wed night at ER. His home number might be lower due to less stress, not just because of the insulin. (Which is just one reason WHY he needs to be tested before injecting). Jacqui at your diabetic cat site told me 3 units Pro Zinc is high to start off with. Can't wait to get a Glucometer. Does Chewy's sell them and the strips?
I'd ask the vet to run a fructosamine test. That is similar to the AC1 test for Human diabetics and is the test that gives the official diagnosis of diabetes, along with common diabetic symptoms. The blood glucose test included with routine blood work is a simple one that only tells what the level is at the moment the blood was taken. Stress can affect blood glucose levels a lot.

Chewy.com does not sell diabetic supplies for pets. AmericanDiabetesWholesale.com is a popular place among FDMB members for all sorts of diabetic supplies: insulin syringes, test strips, lancets, etc. I believe the web site also sells some anmal specific meters and test strips as well as the U40 insulin syringes (a pet only type syringe) you need for ProZinc. There is a way to use U100 insulin syringes with ProZinc but I'd hold off on figuring out the correct dose conversion until you have a handle on your new diabetic cat.

3 units of any insulin is a high dose to start with for most cats. It's safer to start at a very low dose of 1 unit or even half a unit twice a day and increase slowly as needed than to start too high and risk a hypo. Insulin can pack a punch.

I find that the FDMB board is a lot more nicer and patient with newbies than the YDC board. Feel free to post on whichever board you feel most comfortable with or even post on both.
 

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~ I am very popular at my home whenever I steam chicken breast. I am lucky if I get any at all ! I save the water for chicken stock but skim the fat off the top for the cats. I also give them the skin and soft gristle .
Maybe Oreo would like this ?
 
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ginny

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No, my cat never got off insulin but he was happy and more or less healthy and that was really all that matter to me. He passed away 4 years after the diabetes diagnosis from sudden health issues.



Any Human brand of meter works. I used the old basic AccuChek Aviva, not the new fancy Aviva that is available now. One Touch, ReliOn, Contour, etc are all popular brands. A bare basic meter is all you need since you won't ever need the features like meal tracking and graphing and other bells and whistles some meters have for Human diabetics to use. The test strips can be costly so many people just buy a brand that has affordable test strips. Some test strips require a pretty big drop of blood so some people also take that into consideration. A 3 ul drop is really tiny and easily obtainable. Something more like 15 ul is a pretty big drop and newbies often can't get that much blood even with warming and "milking" the vein.




I'd ask the vet to run a fructosamine test. That is similar to the AC1 test for Human diabetics and is the test that gives the official diagnosis of diabetes, along with common diabetic symptoms. The blood glucose test included with routine blood work is a simple one that only tells what the level is at the moment the blood was taken. Stress can affect blood glucose levels a lot.

Chewy.com does not sell diabetic supplies for pets. AmericanDiabetesWholesale.com is a popular place among FDMB members for all sorts of diabetic supplies: insulin syringes, test strips, lancets, etc. I believe the web site also sells some anmal specific meters and test strips as well as the U40 insulin syringes (a pet only type syringe) you need for ProZinc. There is a way to use U100 insulin syringes with ProZinc but I'd hold off on figuring out the correct dose conversion until you have a handle on your new diabetic cat.

3 units of any insulin is a high dose to start with for most cats. It's safer to start at a very low dose of 1 unit or even half a unit twice a day and increase slowly as needed than to start too high and risk a hypo. Insulin can pack a punch.

I find that the FDMB board is a lot more nicer and patient with newbies than the YDC board. Feel free to post on whichever board you feel most comfortable with or even post on both.
Yeah I've heard YDC is very strict and won't tolerate any dissension but so far I'm in sync with the person I'm talking to. I'm glad I didn't give Oreo his 3 units this morning. I had to work all day and wouldn't be there to keep an eye on him so I gave 1.5. I came in and he was fine. He wanted food but not ravenous. He ate well tonight. Should I only give him 1 every 12 hrs until I get the meter to be safe? I didn't realize 3 was such a large dose. I don't think the vet ran a fructosamine test. That would be essential for a proper diagnosis. I'll pick up all his labs on Monday.

One more question. So I don't need special strips for animals? The office techs said I did.
 
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ginny

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~ I am very popular at my home whenever I steam chicken breast. I am lucky if I get any at all ! I save the water for chicken stock but skim the fat off the top for the cats. I also give them the skin and soft gristle .
Maybe Oreo would like this ?
Lol, I bet you are! One Christmas I came home with a Boston Butt and sat it down on the counter. I swear I only turned my back a few seconds, and when I turned back around I caught Nat stealing a big ole hunk, lol! He carried it away with him to eat in peace. I wasn't going to eat the whole thing anyway.

Oreo is not too particular about food which is good. I haven't tried chicken fat and skin, that's a good idea thanks!
 

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One more question. So I don't need special strips for animals? The office techs said I did.
The test strips for a blood glucose meter? No you don't need those unless you want them. It's just a lot more convenient and less expensive to buy a Human blood glucose meter and matching test strips. I know on the FDMB board people have brought their Human meter they use at home with the cat to the vet's office and compared the Human meter to the vet's animal meter with the exact same drop of the cat's blood and there was no difference. Something like a few points off in either direction is acceptable.

Since you are not yet testing, 1 unit twice a day of insulin would be a much safer dose. It may not help the blood glucose levels very much but that's a lot better than risking a hypo in a few hours when you may not be at home. You should definitely ask the vet before changing the dose. Some vets insist on X dose but you have to be firm about a lower dose if you don't want to risk a hypo.
 
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ginny

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I'd definitely rather risk a higher sugar than a crash while I'm at work, but he also needs to get his sugar down into the normal zone asap. So I'm going to get this glucometer today and test him. Hope he doesn't mind me pricking his ear several times a day! So far he has not minded his shots one bit. And he seems less ravenous for food than he was before. I may start keeping a log of his eating and dosing schedule on this site. Just to compare and see how he's doing.

I had thought test strips come with the glucometer but I suppose not. Will the label say just how big a drop I'll need? Less is better in this case.
 

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I don't mean to take over the thread but I really appreciate all of the responses so far - I am also dealing with a newly diagnosed diabetic cat and my mind is absolutely swirling. She was diagnosed about a month and a half ago - caught it just by chance on her annual wellness exam. I adopted her a year and a half ago and in March of 2016 all of her labs were completely fine so the diabetes just came up ( though it's weird because she's always had a greasy looking coat, even after taking her to the groomers for a good bath to try and help clean her up and also a very bad case of dandruff )
She loves her kibble and also eats canned food 2x per day. I was free feeding the kibble but have since taken that away and only give to her with breakfast or dinner and only a small handful. My concern is also with home testing and the meters. My vet is really pushing the pet meter and test strips however all of the information I have come across on other boards including the diabetic cat board most are using the human meter and strips with no issues. I asked my vet if it would be Ok to use the human one and she wasn't impressed and insisted I use the pet one. I know I'm the owner and it's my choice but I just want to make sure that when I get a meter for home testing that I get one that will suit our needs. We started her on 2 units 2x per day of the Lantus, took her back 10 days later for her 1st curve test and she was still in the 300's so we increased to 3 units 2x per day. ( I feed at 615am and 6:15Pm, I get home usually at 4pm and it's torture watching her circle waiting for her wet food at 6 15 - then I'll put the food down and it's like the ravenous hunger has gone away - don't quite understand that yet ). Vet was happy with the 2nd curve test with 3 units - she said her numbers are almost too good now and to watch for anything that could be hypo yet she doesn't have me home testing yet. That kinda scares me from everything I have read - I feel I should be home testing especially if she thinks her numbers are almost too good now. We're supposed to go back in 3-4 weeks for a final in house curve test and also she will do the first fructosamine test. Does anyone have the link to the google spreadsheet for tracking the glucose readings? How often should I be testing during the week if I am not doing a curve test testing every 2 hours for 1 full day?

Vet also says she's too fat, she's a big cat, muscular and 14 lbs, vet wants her down to 12 lbs and she said she keeps gaining weight in ounces the past 2 times I have taken her for curve test. Vet mentioned diabetic RX diet but I don't see that happening - she's already a fussy pants - no way she would eat that i'm sure. I was feeding rad cat raw for awhile and both my cats loved it but I had to stop that because my 2nd cat with severe allergies is currently on atopica which is an immuno suppressant and the dermo said absolutely no raw food due to risk of toxoplasma. They eat side by side so I really need to give them both the same wet food, it's too hard to feed separately - I like to feed together to get them friendly with each other ( diabetic cat didn't quite like sister when they first came home almost 2 years ago and this has really helped the relationship between the two ). I thought diabetic cats typically loose weight? I'm the only cat momma with a diabetic that keeps gaining? LOL figures!
 
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Maybe since you caught her diabetes early, that's why you didn't see her lose any weight. That's good you caught it early.

I'd definitely recommend getting a human glucometer. I guess they cost about the same as the pet ones, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are more expensive. Humans check their sugar before dosing so I think it's should be the same for our pets too. I just came back from Walgreens with a One Touch monitor. I'll check his BG here is a little bit. I hate the thought of pricking his ear so much, but I'll do what I have to do. He's tolerated all his shots so far without a problem. Oreo is still hungry and first in line for food. That hasn't really changed - his diet hasn't changed that much either yet - but he's LESS hungry than before. More patient, I guess. Oreo weighs 16 pounds, and that's after his weight loss. He's not a large framed kitty so I reckon he probably needs to weigh about 10 or 11 pounds max.

I got his lab work today. Kind of disappointed that the vet did not ask me if I wanted a fructosamine level done to confirm diabetes. It was written right there under his blood sugar results. He should have asked if I wanted that.

Oreo has an appointment for his curve on Thursday but not looking forward to it. I'm wondering if this is not the best idea. He is a 2nd generation feral and was extremely nervous and shaking the whole time he was at the vet the other day. That'll pump up the blood sugar all by itself even in a non-diabetic cat.
 
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ginny

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I guess I'm going to have to take him in on Thursday. He won't let me test him :( I gave up after a few tries. I don't want to teach him to run from me because I stil need to give him his shots. Well, I wanted a glucometer for myself anyway since at last check I was pre-diabetic. So I've got it.
 

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I had thought test strips come with the glucometer but I suppose not. Will the label say just how big a drop I'll need? Less is better in this case.
Some Human meters come with 10 test strips while others don't. You still need to buy a bottle of test strips because 10 strips won't last long. Some pharmacies keep the test strips behind the counter so you have to ask for it.

The instruction boolet or web site for the meter should have the info on how big a drop is needed. Or see this: http://main.diabetes.org/dforg/pdfs/archive/2013-cg-blood-glucose-meters_3.pdf

My diabetic cat was a pincushion:biggrin: I poked his ear multiple times daily to monitor his blood glucose level. He even let me do it while he was sleeping. Testing does take patience for both you and the cat to get used to.

C cat princesses I used the AccuChek Aviva human blood glucose meter with my cat who was also on Lantus. Other people use other brands of Human meters for their Lantus cat. Just find a meter with test strips you can afford and stick with it. See the FelineDiabetes.com board for the Lantus Support Group and the link to the Google spreadsheet with instructions.

This is getting off the topic of nutrition so it may be best to continue it on Health.
 
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ginny

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Tried again for about 45 minutes tonight to just pet Oreo on his head and ears and get him used to that. He doesn't like his ears being touched. :( I may have to go with plan C now which is just remove all the kibble and forget testing for the moment while still trying to get him used to me rubbing his ears. Once he does not mind that maybe I can then warm him up to the idea of being held for about a few seconds. He's a mover and a pacer though. He's come a long way in that he never even liked being petted before and now he likes to rub his cheek on my hand and get side of chin scritches from me. Ears are off limits for now. <sigh>

So I haven't stopped their NVI duck and turkey kibble with the freeze-dried raw coating, yet. Well, all of a sudden today, I noticed they aren't really eating that as much as they were yesterday, so I guess now's my chance to just remove all dry food completely.

I don't know why I'm so nervous about it, other than having to consider that I cannot give oreo his insulin after removing his carbs, and I will need to follow up with the nearest vet (whom I'm not really sold on) to retest his sugar while under duress, which will make his sugar go up. When I got my first kittens a long time ago, the breeder instructed me to feed them only Iams dry and maybe canned food occasionally. Maybe it's just deeply ingrained in me and I feel (not that feelings matter) that I'm failing them even though I don't believe that's true at all. Plus it's a lot of food to just throw away, and not cheap.
 

cat princesses

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Well, I am a big ANTI dry food feeder. Unfortunately, my 1 adopted cat who is also diabetic loves her dry food so she gets both but now I have severely limited the dry food. I truly believe after having a cat who ate almost all dry her entire life that it contributed to her constipation issues later in life as well as her kidney issues. I think wet food provides the best moisture for them especially if they don't drink a ton of water. I usually mix in some bottled water with the wet food and mash it all together and they love that, almost makes it more gravy in consistency. I think with anything, if the cat picks up that we are nervous, then they get nervous. I would try and just take your cat to a small room in your house like a powder room or small bathroom and make it a comfortable experience. I would always use that room that you select as the room for testing or giving fluids or whatever you need to get done and then always reward them with a treat after so they learn hey, if I sit nice for this - I get something in return, make it a win win.
Hang in there - I remember when I first had to give my older cat sub q fluids at home, it was with a huge syringe, the needle was massive and the first time I think I almost passed out but you just have to suck it up, approach them with confidence and just make it part of the routine. Can you have someone come over and help you hold your kitty while you try to get the blood from the ear? I'd try watching you tube videos as well, maybe you can learn some tricks there as well to make it easier for your next attempt.
Hang in there - you'll get this! I have to learn this weekend as well to test at home - nervous!
 

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