DIABETES forum: Welcome to the diabetes forum!

 
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ImagesylviaNDcity
Feb 5, 2010 12:45 PM CST
Name: Sylvia Butler
Dallas TX 8a
Here is the diabetes forum.
ImageMaridell
Feb 7, 2010 7:38 PM CST
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA
enjoy the moment
Hi, We have not had a cat with diabetes for a couple years but my husband and I know the trials, tribulations, and triumps. Our cat Zoe lived with diabetes AND hyperthyroid AND heart problems. And when I say they were good years - they truely were. Getting the right dosing of meds, having patience, all came together and gave our little girl six years of doing all the stuff she loved to do...including attacking a few trees and running tight circles around my husband in the back yard.

Thumbnail by Maridell

ImageStephGTx
Feb 7, 2010 7:51 PM CST
Name: Stephanie Gonzales
Texas
Zoe was beautiful.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
ImageMaridell
Feb 7, 2010 8:13 PM CST
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA
enjoy the moment
Thank you Stephanie, She also had pretty blue eyes.Your kitty looks like a sweetie, what an unusual face mark!
ImageStephGTx
Feb 7, 2010 8:34 PM CST
Name: Stephanie Gonzales
Texas
Thank you. He is a sweet boy.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
ImagesylviaNDcity
Feb 13, 2010 11:48 PM CST
Name: Sylvia Butler
Dallas TX 8a
So Marigold you have been going through this for six years? I hope I am lucky enough to keep Sedric around that long, he will be eighteen or nineteen years old by then.
At times I get so upset with my self when I dont give him his shots on time, today it was two oclock so I will stay up until two in the morning to give him the second one. I take him to the vet Monday morning for a glucose test and he has to be fasting.
ImageMaridell
Feb 16, 2010 4:51 PM CST
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA
enjoy the moment
Hi Sylvia, our Zoe died about 3 years ago. She was 17 or 18 when she died. That last week she really went down hill and we knew it was time to help her "move on". Other than that she really did quite well through it all. Generally speaking we kept up on her shots at 7 in the morning and at night, but stuff happens sometimes and you just do the best you can! I hope Sedric's appointment is early so he doesn't start begging for breakfast!
Imagesunfarm
Mar 30, 2010 7:23 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
We just lost our diabetic cat Mitts last week. No it was not the illness that took him. He had lived with diabetes since 2006 and had done well on insulin since then. He was 20 years old when he passed. I was quite upset when he was first diagnosed, but we learned to deal with his illness and I swear he understood that the daily injections made him feel better. He did not mind the needles at all (they are tiny) but did not like to have his blood drawn.
I found it easiest to just watch his behavior to give signs his insulin dosage needed to be adjusted. Twice he had low blood sugar episodes (hypoglycemia) that were very scary, but I figured out what was going on and gave him oral glucose (Karo syrup) and he pulled right out within a very short time. He was very frail in his final months, but lived more than 6 weeks after his last hypoglycemic episode. I was sure we had lost him that night!

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageMaridell
Mar 30, 2010 6:38 PM CST
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA
enjoy the moment
Hi Sunfarm, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Mitts has such a sweet face. Twenty years old is really impressive, Mitts was well taken care of for sure.
Imagesunfarm
Mar 31, 2010 11:26 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Thanks for your condolences. It seems strange not to have him around and not have to arrange my schedule around his injections. He was a smart cat. If I was late he would remind me that it was time for his insulin. He would plant himself in my path and stare at me until I figured out what he needed. I swear this is true!

BTW, we kept tabs on his sugar with urine test strips. Perhaps they were not as accurate as blood tests, but I knew he was OK as long as they were negative and saved him a lot of stress by not taking blood frequently. Getting a urine sample was not as difficult as one might think. I kept a spoon (dedicated to the task, of course) near the litter box and stuck it under his behind when he was squatting. Didn't bother him a bit.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageMaridell
Mar 31, 2010 3:38 PM CST
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA
enjoy the moment
We know how it is to not have the kitty there...house felt darn empty without our little girl. I totally believe you that your Mitts would remind you if your were late on a shot. Our Zoe did not do this but I have heard of other people that have had that experience. We did not test Zoe after we got her insulin levels in line. We would go in about every six months to get her tested, they sometimes had a hard time deciding if her insulin was really off or if she was just stressed...she REALLY did not like going to the vet even though she was very mellow and compliant.

Love your method for getting urine...made me smile. Us pet lovers are a dedicated bunch!
ImagesylviaNDcity
Jul 17, 2010 2:10 AM CST
Name: Sylvia Butler
Dallas TX 8a
Oh my Sunfarm! What a wonderful source of information you are! I truly hate I haven't been around. Its two in the morning and I haven't given him a shot today. He is suppose to get 12 units a day, I give him 10 because its easier to see on the needle.
Last night I gave him 20 units, because it was so late. I was so scared I just laid there and watched him until he got up.
I really hate it when he floods the litter box, I know I have missed some doses then, I think.
I suppose to take Sedric to the Vet every two weeks for blood work, both of us hate that cutting the veins in his ear. He gets so stressed all his hair start blowing away. I would buy one of those testers I see on the TV if I wasn't scared to use it. I dont always have the money to take him. I love what you do with the strips. I had thought about but had no idea of how to catch his urine. When I had Diabetes my doctor told me the urine is not always a good indicator. Actually that's how he found out I had Diabetes.
I was kind of worried about the hearing part, but all I have to do is poor some food in a dish and he shows up.
I use to cook for him chicken and steak, but I got Sara here and he eats his and Sara too. His test was really good then ... thinking about all this has me worried now.
Imagesunfarm
Jul 17, 2010 9:03 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Glad I could help, Sylvia. The urine test strips are not that precise as the blood tests are, but will tell you if the glucose is very high. My vet/daughter said she would rather see the sugar a bit high than too low. Don't overdo the insulin, as that can lead to hypoglycemia-- with seizures, coma, and even death. Changes in weight (such as Mitts' loss as he got old and frail) can affect insulin requirements, so test more frequently, even if it means an extra trip or more to the vet. Keep a close watch on the cat's behavior; any changes can be a big tipoff to problems.

We gave doses at 9:15 AM and PM which were times 12 hours apart that were generally convenient for me or getting someone else to do the shots. I even used checkmarks on the calendar in case I was distracted and didn;t remember whether I had given him the shots. Part of the secret is just making the shots part of the daily routine.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImagesylviaNDcity
Jul 26, 2010 6:21 PM CST
Name: Sylvia Butler
Dallas TX 8a
Hi!
One thing that has me concerned is Sedric's hearing. I always thought he was just being obstinate. He could laying by the bed and ignore me, but if I pour cat food in the dish he is right there. I dont know if its because he see Sara running to it or what? If I bang on something really loud it scares him. I try not to think about it because if he is deaf, its something that happen in his later. I do watch him closely, the hypoglycemia I can detect, it only happen once and I treated him with a little sugar water. He gets 15 units twice a day, I think he need more because at times he really floods the litter. I am going to start back cooking his food too, it made a big difference before, cat food just have too many carbs in it. Sometimes, i just wonder how much these vets really know or care, he told me he would be able to get Sedric off insulin.




















Thumb of 2010-07-27/sylviaNDcity/e50e68
syrinx
Aug 25, 2010 9:36 AM CST
Name: Pat
Greater Vancouver area, Wester
sylviaNDcity wrote: I hope I am lucky enough to keep Sedric around that long, he will be eighteen or nineteen years old by then.
At times I get so upset with my self when I dont give him his shots on time, today it was two oclock so I will stay up until two in the morning to give him the second one. I take him to the vet Monday morning for a glucose test and he has to be fasting.


Hamlet is 19 this year and has had pancreatic dysfunction due to the attack that caused us to rescue him many years ago. Most of that time is off insulin but his age is betraying him most of the time now, even though the Lantus is great to use:
http://hamletourprince.blogspot.com/

I am writing because first, your vet is WAAAYYY behind the times if using a fasting glucose test for monitoring Sedric. You should be home testing at the low point in the curve created by the insulin shot. There is information on curves at:
http://tamingthecurve.blogspot.com/ in the April 2, 2008 posting.

If you use Lantus, it is so slow acting that you have more leeway between shots although I ALWAYS try to keep Hamlet on a very strict schedule as it encourages the pancreas to develop a rhythm which lowers the demand, allowing the pancreas to heal. If the pancreas improves performance you don't have to maintain insulin shots. Frequent small meals also help this process. Hamlet's performance on Lantus can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/ydebpcm Fasting a cat is like you not eating for 24 hours. Imagine that along with being diabetic?

NEVER would I take any of our cats to a vet that insisted upon needing a cat to "fast" unless the cat was being put under anaesthetic. Even then, only 6 to 8 hours is the required time, depending upon the qualifications of the vet. Cats are designed to eat 12-20 meals per day as they have very short digestive tracts: http://tinyurl.com/29j2fsf

Do you have the ability to look for a cat only vet? Any vet that doesn't understand the fructosamine is what gives an extended picture of what is happening in your cat hasn't been keeping up with workshops and courses that are available. Luckily, Hamlet's vet teaches these courses worldwide, and is often found at conferences giving lectures on both feline diabetes and geriatrics.

You are right in that you should be more diligent when giving shots as that is what is going to give you more time with your cat, may prevent seizures, and probably will cost you a lot less veterinary expense over the long term.

Pat and all the boys
http://felinenutritionalnotes.blogspot.com/
http://petfoodpitfalls.blogspot.com/
http://eliminationdietforpets.blogspot.com/
syrinx
Aug 25, 2010 9:51 AM CST
Name: Pat
Greater Vancouver area, Wester
sylviaNDcity wrote:Its two in the morning and I haven't given him a shot today. He is suppose to get 12 units a day, I give him 10 because its easier to see on the needle.
Last night I gave him 20 units, because it was so late. I was so scared I just laid there and watched him until he got up.

Hi again, Sylvia;
What kind of insulin and needles are you using? Are you giving once or twice a day?

NEVER increase a dosage of insulin without consulting a veterinarian. If you are concerned that you are giving too much you can lower it until you have a chance to talk to the vet but never, never increase a dosage like that. If you keep causing possible hypoglycemic episodes, which you will do if jumping from "12" to "20" units per day, (or was that b.i.d.), then you are guaranteed to be heading for seizures or a coma. Back when we didn't have a good insulin to use, and Hamlet wasn't eating his night time snacks, (lazy), he went too low a few times and now, although his seizures have recovered, have to keep him on a light night time dose to prevent a recurrance. That will be more expense for you that you don't want to consider.

As for the glucometers, I love the One Touch Mini. Very simple to use and the cheapest strips we find here, (Canada). We are managing to keep Hamlet "within range" 24/7 most of the time, now, which means the diabetes is not causing his one kidney to weaken and the slight murmur in his heart has never increased as a health issue. Learn to use one as it will save you money in the long run. When you get old you might have to give yourself heparin shots in the stomach, or insulin, so practicing on your cat will be much easier to start with now.

Too bad you aren't closer to Texax A&M as I met Deb Zoran, who is great, and I gather there are very good veterinarians there.
syrinx
Aug 25, 2010 11:37 AM CST
Name: Pat
Greater Vancouver area, Wester
sunfarm wrote:Twice he had low blood sugar episodes (hypoglycemia) that were very scary, but I figured out what was going on and gave him oral glucose (Karo syrup) and he pulled right out within a very short time.


Hi Sunfarm and All;

Just a slight correction in terminology here as it does have a major impact when choosing food for diabetic cats to avoid spikes in glucose. Karo (or corn) syrup is fructose, not glucose, and can be absorbed by membranes in the mouth like sublingual meds humans are sometimes given. That is why it is recommended you rub some on the cheek. The fructose is able to go directly to the blood stream by that method, thereby increasing sugar levels and reducing hypos. My assumption is that this is because there is one less chemical in the fructose molecule:
http://cdavies.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/simple-sugars-fructo...

Cats don't have the enzymes to break down simple carbohydrates in their mouths so "glucose" generally is manufactured from diet through the pancreas providing insulin and glucagon, not before. There is a great deal of information on the net about this and it is why fat content in foods, (causing insulin resistance), is much more important to worry about than carbohydrate content of foods, for cats only. There is a lot of research on this such as the following paper:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11714241
"No post-prandial hyperglycaemia was seen in the 10 diabetic cats during a 2-h period following the ingestion of typical cat foods"

Fructose is important to understand because owners of cats who are fed ingredients that include fruits and vegetables often have unstable glucose readings because of the fructose content in the ingredients.
ImageMaridell
Aug 25, 2010 3:37 PM CST
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA
enjoy the moment
Great information Syrinx, we do not currently have a diabetic cat in the house, but it always good to learn new information...yah never know when you'll need it.

Thanks for sharing.
Imagesunfarm
Aug 25, 2010 5:43 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Pat, Thanks for the correction; I had sacrificed precision in an effort to keep things simple. Karo works quickly, almost miraculously, if the cat is hypoglycemic.

I agree completely that the fasting should not be necessary for testing and needlessly stresses the cat.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageJeannie63
Aug 26, 2010 7:04 AM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Pat, I too would like to thank you for the information. I don't have any diabetic cats, but I am diabetic myself. It is interesting to see the differences between humans and cats with diabetes.

If one of my cats does ever develop diabetes, I will be sure *not* to assume I can treat the cat exactly the same as myself.
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss

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