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365714 tn?1292202708

Diabetic shots for an old cat w/ kidney trouble

In this last year, our cat Waldo has fallen apart. We are treating him for hyperthyroidism for about a year now.  Recently his kidneys have started to give way.  I switched his diet to something for kidney health.  He was still not improving, so we scheduled another appointment earlier than the three months they advised to check his levels.

Now he's developed diabetes. His other levels seem to be stable. We're given two options on what type of shots we want to give him. One is designed for cats, but costs a lot more. The other is designed for human but can be used on cats.  I'm not sure what option would be better.  I'm also left with a decision, if this doesn't work how long I should give it before deciding to let him go.
69 Responses
242912 tn?1402547092
COMMUNITY LEADER
Glad you posted here, MJ.  I didn't check the forum before I commented on your journal.  I hope someone posts before you leave...

We are all struggling with finances and if I were in your shoes, I'd go with the human one since less expensive.  

Good luck!  I hope the shot, whichever you choose, will help Waldo to feel better right away!
365714 tn?1292202708
I went with the cat one as it sounds like it worked better with most of the cats the vet knew.  Thankfully I have my grandma to help back me with some of the expenses. We're starting off with the vets directions, to give him just a tiny bit for the first week, then see them in another week and then see where to go from there.  Let's hope he only needs a little bit of insulin to regulate him.

Grandma seemed to think he looked better already, but I'm not so excited until I see more time pass.  How he looked these last few weeks was really sad.
Avatar universal
Hi,
My 11 year old kitty was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus just this past January, and the Vet put her on Lantus insulin.  It's a human insulin and was an excellent choice for my kitty.  Maggie is now in remission since July 12 and taking no insulin.  I did home testing and took her blood glucose myself.  I check her blood glucose every so often to make sure she's okay.  

Good luck with the insulin; what is the name of this insulin?  It sounds like you have a good Vet  who will work with you.  Starting out on a small dose is the best thing to see how your kitty reacts.  It sounds like it was caught early, too.  Keep us posted.
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
Oh to look after a diabetic cat requires alot of love and commitment you are both very dedicated ppl. I'm sorry I can't offer any suggestions MJ, I'm happy you have a good Vet that has treated this before and knows what to advise...I do wish Waldo all our love and wishes that he may soon feel so much better once again...

I did find this website that has Q&A on diabetic cats....perhaps it will give you both some info.
www.yourdiabeticcat.com

Maddie, isn't that great news that Maggie is in remission, didn't know that was possible with diabetes?....
Does she allow you to ***** her (where) to get a small dab of blood for testing?
You'll have to tell us more.

all the best to you both and to your kitties, please keep us posted

♥Opus
242912 tn?1402547092
COMMUNITY LEADER
How's Waldo looking to you today, MJ?  Any better?  As ill as he was, I would think the insulin would help immediately or you would at least see some improvement.  

I'm happy to hear Grandma will help you with the financial aspect.  

Oh look at that - Opus cussing again LOL
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
OMG....It wasn't meant as a cuss word!! so sorry, the word I was using there I guess got **** out, I guess it could be confused with a cuss word(?)

I'll reword it....does Waldo allow you to PIERCE him to get a dab of blood???
there see if that's acceptable..-(    lol.
242912 tn?1402547092
COMMUNITY LEADER
Opus...oh no no no...I was just teasing...and now it's gonna bug me, trying to imagine what word you used. I can't come up with anything that would be considered a cuss word to fit that sentence.  
996946 tn?1503252712
I think it rhymes with stick....I'm getting ready to PM you ;)
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
LOL.....you got it Linda!!!
242912 tn?1402547092
COMMUNITY LEADER
OOOOHH, right, LOL!

Avatar universal
Hi Opus,
Ha, ha, yes, Maggie allowed me to *****her ear vein to get a drop of blood.  You are so funny!  You're right as it was a lot of time and dedication, but I loved her so much I wanted to do everything I could to help her.  It's amazing how they kitties will let you ***** the tip of the ear to get a blood sample.  I would reward her with 1/2 teaspoon of stage 2 Gerber chicken baby food.  She would even jump up onto the sofa where I tested her when I called her.  Yes, it is possible for them to go into remission.  The Vet said sometimes it doesn't last and to watch for symptoms like drinking excessive water, urinating a lot, etc.  A good website is www.felinediabetes.com where other owners of pets with diabetes can offer help.  I really learned alot from this message forum on home testing and how the Lantus works, also other insulins.

MJIthewriter, how is your kitty doing today?
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
well now that we got all that *** business figured out..ha ha.
I understand how much we can love an animal Maddie, I too had my Opus, he fought so hard for 3 long years with CRF and high BP, medicated him 2x a day....so for 3 yrs I went NO where. One time he got into problems with dehydration and I worked night shifts coming home every 3 hrs (quickly) to give him more fluids............ah those were tough times. But I'd do it all over again.
We learn and they adapt, I think they instinctively know we are doing this to save them....than therefore they abide, sometimes reluctantly!!...My Opus was such a grump, a darling grump....I still miss him after 5 yrs.
So I do understand your commitment Maddie, and I hope your dear sweet Maggie stays healthy for a long long time.

Yes please let us know how Waldo is doing MJ, I hope you are managing alright, don't get stressed out..it will get easier...

♥Opus
Avatar universal
Hi Opus,
My post did the second**** on its own.  I think I said I poked the ear, but must have used another word.  I'm so sorry about your beloved Opus who passed on.  I can understand after fice years you still miss him, as they leave a big hole in our hearts.  CRF must have been hard to watch with Opus as it eventually takes over. I admire that you were able to give fluids.  I had a difficult time doing it for one of my kitties that crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  I don't know why our kitties have to get all these illnesses; we seem to have them just for such a short time.
365714 tn?1292202708
I've been waiting to make conclusions until I know for sure.  Personally I think he will need a higher dose than what he is receiving.  Grandma seemed to think he is doing better on the first day we gave the shot, but today didn't seem positive. He threw up by his litter box and it still sounds like he is peeing a lot.  He goes through litter so fast, we both are concerned. His mood seemed to be slightly better overall this last week. He's enjoyed more petting than he did earlier.  It could be the weather too. It has cooled down now that summer is past.
Avatar universal
Hi,
My cat still did urinate a lot even after the insulin in the beginning.  It takes a while for them to get stable at first.  Did your Vet mention anything about home testing to find out what Waldo's blood glucose is before administering the insulin.  It's a lot to take in and learn at first, but then it becomes easier once learning how to get a drop of blood.  When my kitty was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was taking her weekly to the Vet for a glucose check, but it's not a true test because some of the kitties get so stressed at the Vet, and it reads a high blood glucose just from the stress.   I may not be suitable for you, but thought I'd mention it to you.  Some Vets discourage the home testing, as they feel it's too difficult for the Owner, and other Vets are pro home testing.  How is Waldo doing today?  
365714 tn?1292202708
I'll try to bring up the home testing question to the vet. If I can't be there at the appointment, then I'll suggest to grandma if she can ask.  I wonder if it would be cheaper and easier on the cat and grandma in the long run.  He is pretty calm at the vet, but it is a little bit hard to get him in the carrier at home, then when he is there to get him out. He was trying to hide under the bench one of the times we took him.

Today I caught him on our kitchen table cleaning a bowl I forgot to put in the sink. We thought that may be a sign he is feeling better. He jumped down as soon I saw him and I removed the bowl. Later I picked him up and put him on the couch and pet him. He really enjoyed it and purred.

Avatar universal
Hi,
It sure looks like a good sign that he is feeling better.  It is cheaper and much better and easier on the cat if you can home test  There is a good website called www.felinediabetes.com that gives good information about home testing.  It's a message board, and they are very helpful with questions on home testing.  

If it's hard to get Waldo in the carrier, he is probably feeling pretty stressed once he gets to the Vet, so his blood glucose would be high.  Good luck to you; I can see how much you and your Grandma love Waldo.  He's a lucky kitty.
365714 tn?1292202708
Anyways an update from the vet. We will be upping his dose a tiny bit. I brought up about home testing kits and they do have them available and plan to discuss about that later with Waldo's treatment.
242912 tn?1402547092
COMMUNITY LEADER
I'm happy to see Waldo has slightly improved.  That's something.  I think with the additional insulin, you'll see even more improvement.  While the home testing might seem overwhelming at first, once you get the hang of it, it'll be simple for you, MJ, and Waldo will get used to it, too.  

You're doing a great job, hon!!!

Oh and MJ, if you implement treats into the session afterwards, this will help Waldo to see what you're doing as a good thing.  We give Jade a treat (it's not a *real* treat, just Fancy Feast hard food she likes, but normally doesn't get unless she's endured a medical procedure :)
Avatar universal
Hi MJlthewriter and Jade,
Adding a treat after a procedure is definitely a great idea.  After I pricked Maggie's ear,  I would give her just a little of the Stage 2 Gerber chicken baby food on a spoon, and she licked it off after the ear thingy to get a drop of blood.  She even seemed to look forward to it and would jump onto the sofa t times when I called her name.  Now that she's in remission, I still give her a treat.  I still have to test her.
365714 tn?1292202708
I don't have the home testing kit yet. So far, Waldo seems okay with the shots, except he must think there's food because he tries to get his mouth up there, sometimes begs when getting ready.  I wonder if his previous owners bottle fed him as a kitten or something.

I haven't seen much difference other than he seems to look happier laying down. He still does a lot laying around but that may me typical for his age.
Avatar universal
I'm glad Waldo is okay with the shots.  Maybe you could try giving him a treat after his insulin shot.  How old is Waldo?  You're doing a good job with him.  I know cats do sleep and lay around a lot, and sometimes I wonder if Maggie is okay with so much sleeping, but they are cats!!  :)  It is typical.
365714 tn?1292202708
To Waldo the shot is a treat. No seriously, he meows at me like crazy when I get the shot set up.  I just have to laugh wondering how many people are afraid of shots and would have the opposite reaction to this cat.

That said we do usually give him a little something, either a little bit of wet food or some dry, just to keep his enthusiasm up.
Avatar universal
That is so cute to hear how Waldo looks forward to the shot!  They really don't feel a thing with the shot going thru the scruff.  They do like the reward, too.
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