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cat diabeties question

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello! My cat was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago, and not too long after that, we had it under control. We stopped giving her insulin shots, and the doctor advised us to only check her levels once a month, which until now were around 100. I checked it the other day, and it came up in the 130's which is higher than usual. I checked it the next night, and it was in the 180's and today it was 190. I called the vet the other night, and she advised not to give shots unless it's past 300.

I was curious what people thought of these levels. Are they anything to be concerned about? I should mention that we recently (about a month ago) brought home a cat, and she hates him. Could the stress of this situation raise her levels?
post #2 of 21
The stress can most definitely effect blood sugar levels, but with them climbing like that I would certainly be concerned. Also, with her BS going up, it will effect her attitude as well. Part of her unhappiness could be health related and not just because of the other cat.

I think I'd stay on it and get her checked out. Good luck and keep us posted.
post #3 of 21
My Eric has had high blood glucose since January. It has ranged from a high of 297 to a low of 149. The testing was done at the vet's office because I don't have a home glucometer. The vet doesn't want to make a firm diagnosis of diabetes unless his blood glucose stays in the 300s. So far I've controlled his levels by diet.

I would be concerned that her glucose levels have risen steadily. I know you don't want her to lose that good control she had. And, yes, from what I read about diabetes stress can cause a rise in blood glucose. Here's a link to a web site that discusses that issue.

May I ask what brand of glucometer you use and what technique do you use to obtain a blood sample? I've read recommendations and explanations of the ear prick on a few web sites but I'd be interested in what a TCS member has to say. I really need to start monitoring Eric at home. Thanks for any information. Feel free to PM me if you want to.

Good luck to you and your kitty in getting her glucose levels down.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info.

I use a One Touch ultra meter for my cat. The vet told us at the time that it required the least amount of blood compared to others. As far as testing at home, it (for us at least) sounds scarier than it actually is. We do the ear prick, and I think she is more upset with being held down, rather than the prick of the ear. Luckily, I have my girlfriend to help so I hold her down, and she does the prick. It's harder with one person, but I'm sure you will get the hang of it quick.

Also, I'm not sure what you are feeding your cat, but we were buying my cat the diabetes food from Science Diet I believe, and they were working well on her levels, but one day we ran out so we picked up something from the local pet store we thought would hold us over for the weekend. It turned out to bring her levels down to normal almost instantly! It was Innova Evo food and I'm not sure what specific kind of Innova it is, but it's in a brown can. You might want to check it out.
post #5 of 21
Thank you for the information about testing. The One Touch Ultra is the meter I've seen recommended most often.

My vet wanted to put Eric on the Science Diet RX food for diabetes. I was not impressed with the ingredients and did my own research regarding the appropriate diet for diabetic cats. Eric was initially eating a mix of canned foods including EVO. After a few weeks he decided he didn't like EVO. He also developed struvite crystals, for the second time. At that point I eliminated foods with fish from his diet. He now eats Wellness and Natural Balance grain and fish free foods. I want to start home testing his glucose because of the problems in finding a diet that is appropriate both for diabetes and FLUTD.

Here is a link to the site I used for most of my research on diabetic diets.

The entire site is very informative. Follow the link to Feline Diabetes and Carbohydrates for specific information. It will confirm what you learned when you switched your cat to EVO.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. Do you think I should possibly try changing her food? I'm not quite sure what, if anything, I should do.
post #7 of 21
I use the One Touch Fast Take on Scully, his is now way down at a steady 120ish and we only test once a week.

As far as raised levels, I once got very upset at a vet (who was replacing my regular vet while he was on vacation) because without looking at Scully's file he said that raise levels over a few days were not harmful (they had spiked by 120 overnight). It turned out he had a nasty tooth infection and after having the tooth pulled he was fine again.

Scully has done very well on EVO and Orijen (a Canadian equivalent) but I would discuss any food changes with your vet.

The stress could definitely be a factor, and you may want to separate them to see if it helps with the levels and reintroduce them slowly once the levels have settled.

As far as the ear prick, Scully never bothered me, he just looks at me with big sad eyes as if to say 'why are you doing this to me' but he doesn't even rub his ear afterwards so I don't think it actually hurts him
post #8 of 21
For the One Touch Ultra, is it something you can buy on the street or you need to get it from the vet?
post #9 of 21
Originally Posted by Goo View Post
For the One Touch Ultra, is it something you can buy on the street or you need to get it from the vet?
If you or anyone you know sees an internest or endocrinologist regularly then ask the dog for a meter and sample box of test strips. Docs that deal with diabetic patients regularly are flooded with meters and strips from the drug reps wanting their products pushed.

You can also buy a meter at any drug store. They will be near the drop off and pick up windows. They go from fairly inexpensive to somewht costly. What yhou wou8ld want to focus on is the easiest to handle and cost of strips required for the meters, not all the fancy features it has. The companies really make their money on the strips. The machines that use them are pretty incidental in my opinion.

I say this from experience since I have spent money on the "top of the line" meters that I can input several forms of info and download the readings to my computer to fax to the doc. I rarely use any of those fancy features.

The docs office always uses the simplest meter with good, fast and accurate readings. I think that's the real way to go.
post #10 of 21
I have a one touch ultra that I got free from upgrading from fast take (diabetes runs in my family so I keep an eye on my own too) and I got a new pack of lancets for the fast take and used that for Scully rather than buy a new one.

Most places give the (simpler) meters away for free if you buy the test strips.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just tested her and it was 220! I did test her right after she had eaten, could this be the cause? Should it be that high even right after she has eaten?
post #12 of 21
You need to test at the same time each day to get a good idea of the pattern, one raised level could be from food, stress anything.

Have you joined ? They have an amazing amount of information on diabetic cats.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
I couldn't find a way to join on that website.

I just checked her and she was 238! I don't think she had eaten anytime soon, but I'm not sure. I'm really starting to worry now. At what point do you give insulin. I haven't given it to her in at least a year.

Another thing is, when it was just her, she had pretty much the same eating schedule. But now, with that new cat, I think she hides much of the day (we do keep them separated) , and I think her eating is sporadic and doesn't seem to follow any schedule. Should I schedule a vet appointment?
post #14 of 21
It seems to be down for the most part at the moment, but there are plenty of diabetes in cats websites / mailing lists.
Pet Diabetes
has a load of information and is sorted by category
and the other sugarcats site
As far as when to give insulin, completely up to your vet, with some cats, as low as 200 with others as high as 350.

She needs to follow a feeding schedule to help regulate her BG if it is not being done with insulin, too little food can also result in other problems, so I would definitely check with your vet.

Since it has been a while since you gave insulin, it does have an expiry, do you have an up to date batch? I am not sure about side effects of out of date insulin (or its effectiveness in dealing with the BG levels) but if it is out of date, I certainly wouldn't give her any.

A vet visit seems the best course of action, your vet can help you decide on the best time to test and at what level to give insulin (and give up an up to date script if needed)
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
My girlfriend took her to the vet today, and they want us to keep checking her. They also want us to give her a urine test with these strips, but the store near us is out until tomorrow. Has anyone used these before? How fresh does the urine have to be for the test?

They said she might have to go on a pill as opposed to the shot.
post #16 of 21
Hi. The best site to go to for feline diabetes is There are some very wonderful and experienced people who frequent the forums there.

Also, a low carb canned or raw diet is best for ALL cats, especially diabetics. Yay for someone posting a link to Dr. P's site, She is wonderful and really knows her stuff!

Stress can definitely cause a rise in BGs, but 220 is over the renal threshold, which is when the high glucose leves can start causing damage.

Is she showing signs of high blood glucose levels? Excess water intake and urination?

I have heard from experienced people that usually the pills do not work. If your cat is not producing or using enough insulin, insulin injections are the most effective way to keep BG levels below the renal threshold.

Have you tested your meter with control solution recently to ensure it is reading in the right range?

Did you accidentally open a new container of strips, and forget to change the code on the meter? I only ask cause I have done this, and gotten a high number for Trixter and freaked out before realizing what I had done. lol

Also keep in mind that the glucometers can be 20+ points higher or lower than the actual number.

Hope this helps. will be such a blessing for you and your cat if you decide to check it out and join.

Bless you for taking such good care of your furkids!

ETA: For the urine strips, try to catch kitty in the act of peeing and either somehow get the strip in the stream of pee, or dip it into the urine immediately after she goes.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello, and thank you for the link. I will check it when I get home from work.

We currently feed her innova ( I think I spelled that wrong) wet and dry food. Should we get rid of the dry food entierly?

I think she might be drinking a little more water. It's hard to tell for me. As far as urination, according to my girlfriend, there doesn't seem to be more in the litterbox, but once again it's hard for me to tell.

When we took her to the vet they weighed her, and she's gained an ounce which I guess is a good sign. They took her levels, but didn't tell us what they were, but I imagine they were off because they would have told us if they weren't.

How do I test my meter with a control solution?

Thank you for the info!
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any experience with these urine strips? I'm finding it very hard because as soon as it hits the litter, it clumps, and I can't use it. I dipped it in a few drops that were on the side, but that was a few minutes after and I'm not sure if it was enough. Nothing changed on the test strip, so I'm not sure...

Any tips?
post #19 of 21
Originally Posted by matttt View Post
Does anyone have any experience with these urine strips? I'm finding it very hard because as soon as it hits the litter, it clumps, and I can't use it. I dipped it in a few drops that were on the side, but that was a few minutes after and I'm not sure if it was enough. Nothing changed on the test strip, so I'm not sure...

Any tips?
I've only tried to use the test strips a couple of times so I can't really say I'm experienced at it. I do know that you need a clean catch of the urine to use the strips. The urine cannot be tested after it clumps in the litter.

Read the instructions for the test strips carefully. The instructions for the ones I have say to dip the strip in the urine and read the color of the strip exactly 30 seconds later.

I don't know if your cat will cooperate, but if I catch Eric at the right time I can slip a shallow dish under him while he is in the litter box and collect enough urine for a valid test.

Good luck trying to get a good urine sample.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
I tried twice. Neither time, I got more than a drop or two from her (I had to dip it on the side of the bag in the litterbox where it splashed). One time it changed to the smallest color change, and the second time it didn't change at all. I'm not sure if these readings are accurate, or if I'm not getting enough urine. Man, this is stressful!
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Jean44, I tried slipping a piece of plastic under her while she went and it went great. The reading I got was almost the highest on the chart. The vet said if we have two or more consecutive readings that show up, we should call and get her on the pills. If it's this high, should I still wait for the second reading or just call now?
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