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365714 tn?1292199108

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.
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242912 tn?1660619837
COMMUNITY LEADER
Great news, MJ!  I don't know for sure if the wet food has anything to do with the diabetes remission, but it will definitely keep Waldo from getting crystals again.  Will help that situation immensely!  What a relief you no longer have to give those shots.  Keep us posted on his progress.  You must continue to test him to make sure his levels are where they should be?  
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365714 tn?1292199108
It was hypoglycemia no doubt about it. He was requiring five units because his levels were through the roof when we started. At some point recently something changed.  Well anyways the test today on his blood sugar levels came out normal. This is without giving him insulin this week.

It appears Waldo's diabetes has gone into remission so far. I don't know how long. I guess we just have to keep an eye on him.  I think it helped switching his diet to all wet food and keeping dry food out of his diet.
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Avatar universal
Hi - It sounds like he had hypoglycemia (too much insulin).  Five units is a lot of insulin, but your Vet must have felt he needed this dose,  Eventually once the cat starts getting regulated, the dose is is rediced.  If we don't know what the cat's glucose is before giving insulin, it  is like shooting blind.  My kitty has come out of remission and I am now giving her insulin again.  Fortunately, I had someone come over to the house and instruct me.  Not all Vets encourage home testing, as it's a complicated process.  That is great if the Vet feels he may be going into remission and no longer will need insulin.  Here is a link explaining feline hypoglycemia.

http://www.type2diabetesguide.com/hypoglycemia-in-cats.shtml
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365714 tn?1292199108
Long belated update. After a recent emergency this week we had to take him to the vet. His body temperature was as low as 97 degrees and his blood sugar dropped to somewhere in the 30's.  Because of other circumstances we ended up having to leave him at the vet for a couple days. They claimed that his blood sugar levels were only slightly elevated without insulin.

We are taking him off insulin for the weekend and then having his levels rechecked. It could be possible his diabetes has gone into remission, though I'm more a realist than an optimist. If he can get by with less than the 5 units we've been giving him for the last few months all the better.
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365714 tn?1292199108
Sorry for the late post. Not much has changed. He is still on 5 units. Physically about the same.  He may be peeing less and using the litter box a little less.

As far as feeding them, I am trying to switch them both to an all wet diet, but my grandma insists they get their dry food too, so she feeds them dry food whenever I am away. I'm not sure how to approach her on that.
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Avatar universal
Oh  sorry I meant to call your regular Vet; I forget about the different time changes as I live in southern California.   I, too,  use Miralax on Maggie as she gets constipated, and it works every time.  I hope Waldo is feeling better.  Have a nice day.
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365714 tn?1292199108
I'll have to wait until tomorrow.  I'm not calling the after hours emergency vet if I can avoid it.  The last time we did that with Sahib, I left with an empty carrier. :( I fear the bloating may be a serious concern, but when I looked up possible causes, the most serious causes would also come with loss of appetitive, which I haven't seen with Waldo, at least not yet.  It could be he is constipated again and needing an enema.  I hope not...  We've been giving him miralax along with all the other stuff we have to do around his meal time.
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Avatar universal
Hi MJ.
I'm glad you got some help on food from the pet store for Waldo.  You really don't need to buy the Vet's meter, as you're right, it's about $200.00 for the kit and can get very expensive with testing.  You can use a human meter, and the numbers will just be in a different range than with the Vet meter.  If I were you, I would call the Vet anyway and mention the bloating and other symptoms of lethargy.  It can't hurt, and your Vet should call return your call.  Or ask for one of the Vet Techs you feel comfortable with and and give her the info to relay to the Vet.    Is Waldo urinating normally, as diabetic kitties are prone to urinary tract infections, and this can make them ill and lack of appetite.
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365714 tn?1292199108
Something I'm noticing, yesterday and today, Waldo seems to be very bloated.
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365714 tn?1292199108
The vet wanted to get his levels stabilized first before considering the home testing kit.  They weren't willing to sell it right away.  It would cost $200, and I might have to get one from the pharmacy geared towards people.  I will bring it up again the next time I see them.  They wanted to wait two weeks from the last visit, so I'll be planning to take him next Tuesday.  I did ask them yesterday when I stopped to pick up the syringes. They seem to think it is because he may need more insulin.

I didn't make it out to petco tonight (to say the weather is terrible is a huge understatement) but I did find a closer place. I can't remember the name, whether it was "Happy Dog" or something that is geared towards holistic pet health food.  The people at the shop claimed their shop kitty has the same exact problems Waldo has, so I took their recommendations.  They recommended Merrick's Grammy's pot pie (canned food) and when I asked them they also found some dehydrated food named Prowl to be helpful.  If this diet is any good, it is cheaper than the Royal Canon, I believe.
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Avatar universal
Hi MJ,
If Waldo is lethargic and not feeling well, he could be getting too much insulin and he could get low blood sugar.  They get low blood sugar when too much insulin is given.  Here is a link explaining what can happen and how to treat the symptoms.  

http://www.felinediabetes.com/hypogly.htm

I don't know how to get the links to work so you can click on them.

The only way to tell what's going on is to get his  blood glucose.  I believe you are using a different insulin than the one I was using (Lantus Insulin), so I had a different protocol.  Has the Vet mentioned any more about home testing so you will know what his blood glucose is before giving insulin.  I think a lot of Vets don't recommend home testing because they might feel it to be too difficult for the owner, but it's the only way to know how the kitty is doing.   I don't want to bombard you with too much info or interfere with what your Vet is doing, but this is a good link just to learn more about feline diabetes.  

www.feline diabetes.com

I would place a call to your Vet and mention Waldo's symptoms if you feel he's not getting any better.  Let us know how Waldo is doing.  I can see how much you love Waldo and tthe other cat and you're trying to do everything to help them.  Take care.
Helpful - 0
365714 tn?1292199108
I think it is the dog food that is being recalled.  Will keep an eye out on the cat dry food as well.  So far it is only the female cat that I'm feeding the Blue Buffalo spa select dry to. Waldo is still on the royal canon dry and wet food.  I don't like that pork byproducts are RC's main meat source.  I'll look into Tikki, if I go to Petco. If not I'll check them out online.

The raw food I was looking at was on a website, Natures variety or some similar brand. There was a site offering samples for about $20. I would not prepare my own, because I don't feel confident enough, plus having to keep track of all the needed vitamins. I had to reboot my computer, so I lost the links I had up.  The vet was against the idea of changing Waldo's diet when I brought up the idea.  They want to stabilize his blood sugar first before changing his diet, but I'm getting frustrated because it doesn't seem to be stabilizing.  Their last test was encouraging, but Waldo is still rather lethargic and just doesn't seem happy.
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874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi...just going on the fact they had recalls too just a few weeks ago, just the dog food I think? you can read about it on the dog forum
EVO is good, just transition slowly and it won't be such a problem.
I remember a member donnayav with a CRF cat feeding TIKKI brand and it had excellent ingredients, she said it was sold at petco and the price was resonable.
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365714 tn?1292199108
I forgot to ask, why blue buffalo cat food is considered a bad brand? I gave up on nutro as soon as they had all the recalls. In my last post I was listing the stuff we've fed Waldo over the years we had him.
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365714 tn?1292199108
I asked the vet about the idea, and they would like me to stick on the royal canon diet I have him on.  I'm phasing out the dry food and going to continue with the cans.

I just feel it is so darn expensive and wondering if it is doing any good for him.  I'm trying a can of evo for the other cat (gave her a couple spoonfulls), but she scorned it at first.
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874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
sorry hon but I have to disagree with much of your post....ANY canned food is better than dry especially for a CRF cat...and nutro and blue buffalo aren't good brand names they are no different than store bought one. Wellness is good and so is EVO by INNOVA...so is TIKKI to name a few.
Its now understood that protein is alright for CRF cats as long as its good quality protein and not the by products like you find in the store bought brands.....and as long as you feed chicken or turkey as the protein because they are lower in phosphorus.!!!!
Raw or cooked diet has many many challanges, safety for one and also getting just the right supplements otherwise you can cause more problems than what you are trying to correct!!!
It took me weeks of research to learn the correct balance of nutrients and supplements such as tauine, calcium, vitamin A&D&E, trace minerals etc etc......and not only how much to give but which brand name of each is SAFE for use for cats.....
Honey I recommend you stick to a GOOD brand of commercial food, cans NOT dry.
I see NO reason why you cannot feed the Royal Canin for an extended time, although there are much better choices in foods.
When changing a cat from dry to wet you have to do the transition slowly.....the change alone will cause vomiting or diarrhea, do it slow add 50/50 to begin with....smaller meals thoughout the day is a good way to feed.
good luck.♥
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365714 tn?1292199108
Yeah I've been feeding Waldo mostly dry food. I tried to get the better quality brands, Nutro, wellness, and blue buffalo to name a few. It is convenient,and that is about the only good to it. That may have also led to Sahib's dimise as well.  We would give them moist (grandma insisted upon special kitty)  (Waldo's previous owners, who had him the first 9 years, fed him alley cat and those moist packet cat foods.)

I'm nearing the end of his Royal Canin dry food and the moist cans aren't meant to be fed as the only meal for an extended time.  Would raw or home cooked meals work for kidney problems as well?  The kidney health requires low protein, but the diabetes, seems to require something higher...

The next challenge will be dealing with my grandma, as she flat out refused before (concerned about disease and space in the fridge), but perhaps it will be better I order a sample first and then deal with grandma later.

---
About the other cat:
So far the only food she really eats is dry... She seemed to like the LID Natural balance can I tried last, but that was what she threw up. It could be she eats too much. I'm giving her smaller portions of food throughout the day. I think she's grown longer since we found her.
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Avatar universal
Hi Opus,
Hey, that is great the homemade diet made a difference in Nemo's dissolving the urinary crystals.  I'm impressed with the homemade diet for Nemo - one very lucky kitty.  It is hard to get them to drink water, so the canned helps and the diet you are feeding Nemo, too.  I'm glad Nemo is doing so well.  
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874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi Maddie, I agree diet can make a huge difference on the health of our kitties.
changing Nemo's diet to a homemade one(tried all the commercial ones) has completely disolved the urinary crystals he had and lowered his PH, not as good as it should be yet but coming.....the added fluid intake makes a huge difference.
Wellness is an excellent brand, my Nemo wouldn't eat that one either...I tried many before being forced into the homemade route.
Soooo happy to hear how well Maggie is doing, good for you mommy!..........yes PKs ears must be ringin...sure miss her here!

♥Opus
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Avatar universal
Thanks Opus for providing that link on the raw diet to MJ.  I had just joined this forum when I remembered PrettyKitty feeding her cat the raw diet and her cat loving it.  PK's ears must be ringing by now.  My Maggie kitty is looking so good since I've changed her diet to low carb wet, and she's loving the Wellness chicken and turkey.    I hope all this helps MJ.  I've sure had an education on what to feed cats since Maggie having diabetes (now in remission 4 months).    MJ, hang in there, and I hope Waldo is doing okay today.
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874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
Maddie has given you some good advice, I will also add the link to prettykitty's info on the BARF diet (bones and raw food) thats the one she fed her kitty Abby.

http://www.medhelp.org/health_pages/Pets/Cat-Nutrition-BARF-Diet/show/557?cid=2

Chicken/turkey are high in protein that kitties need and poultry is the lowest in phosphorus therefore easier on the kidneys.

I don't feed raw, my Nemo just wouldn't eat, but I do feed him a homemade cooked diet, however he doesn't have CRF or diabetes, so you'll need to do your home work to find out what is safest for those conditions.

Like Maddie said. Wellness canned is a very good food. I wouldn't ever feed a CRF kitty a dry diet!!!

♥Opus
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Avatar universal
Hi MJ,
I feed my diabetic kitty Wellness Chicken and another one called Sophisticat Supreme Chopped Grill.  They are both high protein and low carb.  I'm slowly trying to get her on all Wellness wet canned food.  Wellness Turkey is another good one, and these can be found at Petco or Petsmart.  The dry kibble food, unfortunately, will raise kitty's blood glucose.  The diet for diabetic kitties it has to be high protein, low carbsm, but I hesitated to recommend foods for Waldo as I know he also has kidney issues.  

I've never tried a raw diet for my kitty, but maybe if you start another thread entitled raw diet for cats, you may get more feedback.  I do remember PrettyKitty was feeding her cats a raw diet.  Here is a good website on nutrition for diabetic kitties where you can get some good info.  What kind of insulin is Waldo using?  Maggie was on Lantus Insuulin.  

www.catinfo.org
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365714 tn?1292199108
So far I can't say for sure.  I'm tempted to try changing his diet to a raw diet, but for the life of me, I cannot find any help online whether it is even possible to feed a CRF + diabetic cat such a diet and if it would help my cat's condition.

I'm terribly upset after searching for nearly an hour and only coming up with results that suggest it for diabetic cats (and mention about great recovery stories) but mention nothing about CRF...  Or I get results for CRF mentioning low protein diets, which once again are a bad thing for diabetic cats.

Help!  For this reason, I've been hesitant to get more dry food for Waldo, but I'm coming to the end of the bag, so I'd like to get something this week.  

Our new cat is struggling to put on weight it seems, very picky about moist food, and seems prone to vomiting.
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Avatar universal
Hi,
I'm glad to hear rhe Vet is satisfied with his levels.  Does he seem to be eating and feeling better, too?  Take care.
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