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Urgent diabeties question!!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello! I recently found out that my cat is a diabetic, and today we went to the vet to learn how to give her insulin shots. When we were there, they did a reading, and it have a number around 400. The vet said if it drops below 150, to not give her insulin and to call.

When we got home, we tested her about an hour ago, the time we were told to. The meter gave a reading of only 120. We waited an hour and checked again, and it said 115. Is this huge change normal? I guess I shouldn't give her insulin tonight? Any help would be greatly appreciated! As soon as possible?! Thanks!
post #2 of 10
Why not call like the vet suggested? They probably have an emergency number.

If you do see your cat getting woozy, or out of balance, or walking into walls, or any strange behavior like that, put a few drops of corn syrup or other syrup on his/her tongue. But I would suggest calling the vet and find out what level for your cat is too low.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi! The vet closes at 5 or 6 and she didn't give us any emergency number. She seens OK now as far as I can tell. Thanks for the quick reply!
post #4 of 10
If you're still there, I would look up the local emergency vet number and ask them to be sure-it could continue to drop during the night. Or simply call your vet and listen to see if they have an emergency number on an answering machine or service- some vets have the local emergency number on their machine. Has she eaten since the 115 reading? Insulin can be a matter of trial and error-that's why the blood sugar has to be monitored so well. I would definitely call a vet if it continues to drop tonight, especially after she eats. I don't mean to scare you-I just know people who have had very low blood sugar overnight and their spouses have had to call 911 because of diabetic coma, and I really don't want anything bad to happen to your kitty, and have you wonder if you should have called the vet-the old "better safe than sorry" bit. and you won't have to go through this again, because you'll have answer already. Prayers and best wishes-you're very good kitty parents to take this on!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello! You were right, I called the answering machine and there was an emergency number. I spoke to a very kind woman who told me what to do. We gave her another reading and it was at 269, so we were told to let her eat, and then we gave her her shot. I guess there was no real easy answer for this, hopefully we will work our way into a groove. Thanks!
post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by matttt
When we got home, we tested her about an hour ago, the time we were told to. The meter gave a reading of only 120. We waited an hour and checked again, and it said 115. Is this huge change normal? I guess I shouldn't give her insulin tonight? Any help would be greatly appreciated! As soon as possible?! Thanks!
Because Cat's sugar level will rocket high under stress(ala visiting vet). it is possible. Keep your eye close to the cat.
post #7 of 10
A blood sugar reading of 115 is well within normal limits so it's nothing to worry about in itself. But if you give more insulin, it could cause hypoglycemic shock which is very serious.

In general, an elevated blood sugar reading (in the 200-300 range) will not do any harm in the short term. But low blood sugar can cause seizures and possibly even worse in a very short time (as in an hour or less). So it's always, always better to err on the side of too high than too low.

Your experiences are just part of figuring out how to regulate your cat's diabetes. Every cat is different so it takes some trial and error. But since you have gotten her BG into the normal range, it means you're getting close to finding her optimal dose.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I called the vet and gave her the numbers, and she said that it's doing what it's supposed to, and to drop the insulin amount by half, so I guess that's good news. Her reading was 225 this morning, and I think that we are getting a hang of the shots. Thanks everyone!
post #9 of 10
There are quite a few threads about diabetic cats here, and one discusses using a low-carb, high-protein diet, which I would whole-heartedly support. I'm a diabetic human, and it works wonders (of course, I'm a tad bit more disciplined with the eating than a cat). Dr. Bernstein's online forum is full of people who follow LC-management for diabetes - and a few with diabetic cats for patients too. If you're cat is skinny, an LC diet might cause problems if it is TOO low-carb - I don't know about cats, but in humans, insulin is neccessary to gain fat, as insulin supresses the enzyme which breaks down fat for energy instead of storage (lipase) - at least in humans - cats are probably slightly different.

A cat's normal range as far as I know is the same as a human's which is 70-90 mg/dl (although a cat's can apparently be much wider - all the way to 400 at times I think). I had my cat's BG checked when I though it might be diabetic (it had been acting a bit more lethargic than usual..), and it was normal at 72.

The human version of the LC-diet is low-carb, MODERATE-protein, high-FAT (about 10-40-50 %). The fat will break down into ketones, which can be used as metabolic fuel by (most of) the brain, the heart, and probably most other vital organs. In humans at least, this appears to lower the threshold of "severe hypoglycemia" (seizures, loss of conscieousness) a LOT - I can go down to 30 mg/dl (normal is 83), and still be functional and lucid. The danger here is ketoacidosis - which I assume would be greater for cats as you can't monitor them as much as people. As long as insulin is adequate and blood glucose is kept normal, ketoacidosis will not occur - but that might be hard with a cat. As long as insulin is adequate to prevent BG from rising too far, this should not occur - I'd think the easiest way to do this would be a long-acting basal insulin such as NPH or Lantus I'm not sure if NPH will work safely in a cat though. NPH also has a pronounced peak unless the dose is very small - I assume, I don't use NPH.

So I don't know if a high-fat diet would really be appropriate for a cat.. I'm told taht most diabetic cat's are similar to human Type 2 (so there is little if any beta-cell deficit), and many will somehow go into remission after about a year (humans apparently got short-shrift when it came to our regeneratory systems). A low-carb diet of any kind will help this, as it puts less stress on what beta-cells are there.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello, and thanks for the info! My cat has inflamitory bowel disease (the medicine for this was what gave her diabeties) so we have to keep her on a special food.

When we first had her tested it read somewhere in the 400's. That night it was 120! I called the vet the next day and she said to cut the insulin dosage by half. Today, both readings were in the 300's. The second around 380! Is this normal? Should she be on a higher dosage? It's hard to get a hold of my vet, and I wouldn't change anything without her concent, but I would like to know if my cat is OK at these levels. Thanks!
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