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feline diabetes question - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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feline diabetes question [Sep. 2nd, 2011|10:34 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |concerned parent]
[music |hillary kene: tear in my hand]

Hey folks -- question for those of you with diabetic cats.

Roswell went back to the vet the day before yesterday and her blood sugar was THIRTY SEVEN. Down from 550. (It's supposed to be 200.) So they changed her dose from 4 to 2.

This morning she was running around goofy as usual, but when feeding & injection time came she wasn't interested in the meat paste, she just sat on the sofa while Milla ate her food, so I skipped the shot. I'm wondering if her blood sugar could be just crazy all over the place making her feel lousy very suddenly or if it's something else -- and if so, I'm not sure what I should be doing.

That's one question, I actually have another -- should I get a home blood sugar test kit and start poking her in the ear all the time? Has that (those of you who have one) helped at all?

Thanks.







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[User Picture]From: swingchickie
2011-09-02 02:58 pm (UTC)
awwwww, poor Roswell! i am a huge fan of the home blood sugar testing kit... we test angus twice a day and it really helps us to see the ups and downs of his sugars and adjust his dose accordingly. i don't know how we gave him his shots before it, we rely on those numbers so much now. (we started testing him when he crashed last october... same as roswell, went from the 500s down to low double digits and ended up in the hospital for a week because it knocked him out of sorts.)

have you called her doctor to tell them that she wouldn't eat this morning? good call on not giving her the shot, but if a diabetic kitty isn't eating at all it can be worrisome. try treats, try tuna, just something to get in her, and check with her vet.

good luck!
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[User Picture]From: apel
2011-09-03 07:15 am (UTC)

Anecdote warning

I had a friend in primary school whose mother was diabetic. Every time she had a stomach bug, she'd end up in an ambulance going full tilt to the ER because without eating and food actually being digested, there was no way to keep her blood sugar steady.

So Roswell not showing interest in food seems iffy to me. Do you know what it looks like when a cat is heading in the general direction of a blood sugar crash?

Granted, she's a cat, not a human and diabetes care has gotten much better since the seventies. And I'm neither a doctor, nor a vet.
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[User Picture]From: renegade500
2011-09-02 03:46 pm (UTC)
I would highly recommend testing Roswell before each shot. I had a diabetic cat for years (my icon kitty, Sam), and with changes in his diet, I was able to get him off insulin, something I would not have known had I not been testing him. He got used to the twice daily poke in the ear, and it never really hurt, mostly just annoyed him. But he also knew he was getting fancy feast after I was done poking, so there were times when he'd come running to me when he heard me getting the kit out. Also, with home testing, you can tell if the insulin she is on is effective. I ended up switching Sam to a different insulin, a bovine-based PZI which I got from a compounding veterinarian in Houston (shipped to me), and that made a huge difference for him from Humulin. Unfortunately, Sam got lymphoma, and part of his treatment was steroids every 5 days, and he ended up on insulin again until he died.

Good luck getting Roswell sorted out. I'm sure when her BG is around 500 she cannot feel good.
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[User Picture]From: lostreality
2011-09-02 04:25 pm (UTC)
maybe she is just turning into a normal picky eater cat? :)
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[User Picture]From: ladyinfidel
2011-09-02 04:38 pm (UTC)
can you move her to a more protein diet (though I don't know what you're feeding her)? I have moved Diesel to Nature's Balance canned and Wellness Core dry and I think it's helped. Also, has your vet thought about changing the insulin? We went from on that was for humans to one that was specific to cats and now only have to give him one shot a day.
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[User Picture]From: wallybat
2011-09-02 04:41 pm (UTC)
out diabetic kitty had a huge drop in glucose two weeks ago, we reduced her dose and she wasn't that hungry. it took about a day and a half for her to get her appetite back.

we do have an at home glucometer, it's nice to have especially if she's acting weird and we need confirmation before calling vet.
we're suppossed to do a curve on her every 6 weeks or so and having the glucometer at home saves a lot of $$$

good luck to roswell!
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[User Picture]From: flipping_hades
2011-09-02 04:49 pm (UTC)
Hi, Long time listener, first time caller (I think, I haven't been on the ljs much in a while :)).

My wife and I cared for a diabetic cat for six years, and we took blood sugar readings before every shot. It's very useful for being able to adjust the dosage. Hypoglycemia is one of the biggest risks for a diabetic cat - because they're so small, a too-large insulin dose can do them in pretty quickly. The data is useful to have to track long-term progress too.

Which insulin is she on?
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[User Picture]From: felician_logic
2011-09-02 05:39 pm (UTC)
There is no way to determine a blood sugar level by watching your cat's behavior. Animals will often mask symptoms depending on their energy levels. And since this a relatively new situation for you guys, I HIGHLY suggest you get the testing kit. It will relieve a lot of stress for you (no more guessing) and it will result in more accurate dosing for Roswell (which will make her feel great).

Each cat is different, so finding the insulin sweet spot for her will be very difficult without testing. Get it. Wonder no more.
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[User Picture]From: elionwyr
2011-09-02 06:00 pm (UTC)
Emailed you some stuff on the Book of Face.
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[User Picture]From: missmorte
2011-09-02 06:56 pm (UTC)
My cat was diagnosed with CRF five months ago and I was certain he would die. I actually found a Yahoo group with others who have sick cats with CRF and there is a vet on it even. I have learned so much from that group and it was their knowledge and advise that allowed me to find the right treatment for Sebastian and even tricks to help him feel better. Once I told these tricks to our vet they agreed but it wasn't something our vet ever suggested. Perhaps you can find a similar group. The CRF group has saved my cats life.
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[User Picture]From: steanne
2011-09-02 07:03 pm (UTC)
I'd say do the testing. More data is always good, unless she seriously objects to it.

On a semi-related note, watch where you store cat meds. I took Tucker's anti-thyroid drug this morning along with my Claritin.
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[User Picture]From: vicious_wench
2011-09-02 08:12 pm (UTC)
(Moved so it wasn't confusingly threaded with someone else's comments.)

Highly recommend testing before each shot -- really, the cat learns to adjust to it pretty quickly, and it makes a huge difference in your ability to manage your cat's diabetes. Knowing what the blood sugar level is at shot-time is useful. You can also do home "blood sugar curves" -- testing every 2 hours or so for 12 hours to know how the insulin's working (sharp dip, even keel, what have you). Which insulin are you using? Different insulins have different activity profiles, and that may make a difference too.

I'd offer to send you a glucometer, but the new ones are way easier to use and require very little blood. I'm also happy to give you an email or phone tutorial on how to test if you need it. We always used the ear, and bribed the cat with his favorite bonito flakes as a treat after -- but really, for him, it ws about the extra attention. Even in the last few weeks of his life (he died of a very invasive cancer), when he didn't want to eat, he still came down the hallway when he heard the testing materials come out.

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[User Picture]From: mmerriam
2011-09-02 09:48 pm (UTC)
It may just be a bad day. The Reverend Selena sometimes hits spells where she will skip a meal or two, then eat as normal. If Roswell skips too many meals it could be a sign of Chronic Renal Failure, which isn't the death sentence that it sounds. What it will mean is giving sub-q fluids, which can be a pain, but can also increase the cats' quality of life. What kind of insulin does Roswell get?
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[User Picture]From: small_chicken
2011-09-02 10:48 pm (UTC)
I also second buying a home glucose monitor and pricking her ear about an hour or two after meals. Like human diabetics, cat blood sugar is not a constant, and dosages may need adjusting over time, especially if your cat is also on a diet and losing weigh. Most vets assume that owners don't want to go through that kind of trouble, so they just give blanket orders. But you're a good cat-dad, and Roswell is lucky to have you!

On a vaguely-related note, I'm just wondering if anybody can help us figure out why the Tweeb has decided to start peeing on our bed. It's NOT a frequent occurence--third time this year, but that's up from once or twice a year the past two years--and seems completely unrelated to anything that's going on. We were going to replace the mattress later this year anyway, but it'd be nice to do it when our funds and the boy's time off coincide.
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[User Picture]From: swingchickie
2011-09-03 09:15 am (UTC)
peeing on the bed usually warrants a vet visit. it could be a behavioral thing (not liking a new brand of litter, etc), but it could also be a sign of a urinary tract infection or something worse...
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[User Picture]From: mrmeval
2011-09-03 12:30 am (UTC)
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes! Get the Kit. Damn they make HUMANS do it Three times a day!

It's tough, wish there was a saliva test or something as cats won't really understand.

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[User Picture]From: humglum
2011-09-03 02:10 am (UTC)

Sophie was always amazingly good about the testing and the shots. Surprising, as she was a habitual face-swiper and had a bit of a grumpy streak.
I had a One-touch (can't remember the brand), and it was very easy to use. I gave it to a shelter that had a diabetic Tonkinese after Sophie died (she was around 18, at the time).
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