Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chandler and his leg


I do have to say that Chandler is starting to remind me a bit of Leader Otis..
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Doing the sugar dance - treating diabetic cats

Abby
Sadly I still haven't been able to take a decent photo of Abby. She has such an incredibly expressive face, it really is quite a trip.  Sadly most of the time she looks like she is freaking right out, expecting me to be yelling at her or worse.. I can only imagine what she went through in her old house..

Anyway.. When you give a cat insulin, it helps to know what their blood glucose (BGs) levels are to start with.  I've run across a lot of vets who do not think this information is important... to me it is vital. I can not imagine giving insulin with out knowing what the BGs are. How would you ever know if the cat is running low for some reason and giving insulin when BGs are low is dangerous if not deadly.

We are dosing with PZI, a 12 hour insulin.  This means at about 6 hours after giving the dose the BGs would be the lowest, with the highest levels being at the time you give the insulin.  If you chart it out, you should have a nice 'rolling hill' curve over time. Most vets will have you drop off your cat to do a 'curve' to see how low the insulin drops the BGs, and they do that by testing the BGs every two hours until they start going back up

Abby's BGs:

Sat PM:    329 (1unit)  
Sun AM:   367 (1 unit)
Sun +6     290
Sun PM:    373 (2 unit)
Mon AM:  360 (2 unit)
Mon +8    344  
Mon PM:  396 (2 unit)
Tue AM:  376 (2)
Tue +6     325
Tue PM:  393 (1)
Tue +6     247
Wed AM:  397 (1.25)
Wed PM:  400  (1.25)
Thur AM:   355 (1.25)
Thur PM:  326 (1.25)

It seems counter intuitive that more insulin would produce less of a drop in the BGs but the liver does start to over compensate when insulin levels drop too much or there is an excess of insulin in the system.  This is why the 'start low and go slow' protocol works so well... and this is why the 5 units that the vet prescribed is far too much.  I was sorely tempted to go to 1.5 instead of 1.25 since 1 unit produced a nice drop in BGs, but 1.25 wasn't keeping it down (still hitting the 400 target) but notice that with time the top level of the curve is starting to come down.  Today I will be able to do another midday test, and I will try to do a curve over the weekend and see exactly what is going on..

Chandler
Chandler finally started slowing down on the need for food. His BGs have a better range.. remember that a normal BG is under 100... 100 is a target we aim for when reducing BGs artificially.  You can aim for a lower number, but it can be risky, and I don't go there.

Sat mid afternoon at the shelter 59
Sat PM 157 (no insulin given)
Sun AM 221 (no insulin given) (I probably could have given some insulin)
Sun +6 240
Sun PM 261 (1 unit)
Mon AM 211 (1)
Mon PM 91 (0)
Tue AM 209 (1)
Tue +6 242
Tue PM 237 (.5)
Tue +6 157
Wed AM  177 (.5)
Wed PM 199 (.5)
Thur AM 174 (.5)
Thur PM 200 (.5)

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's data from Chandler as well.  I find it very interesting that he is 25 points lower in the AM  vs the PM in the last couple of days.  I'm tempted to go a little lower in the insulin to see what that does, but at this point I need another +6 number to see what is going on..
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Make Mine Chocolate - repost

I am reposting last year's post for "Make Mine Chocolate" because I've been a little overwhelmed with things here for the past few weeks to do a new post justice.

without further ado..

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Having been a rabbit owner for almost 15 years (would have been longer - Bri died way too young) "Make Mine Chocolate" is a cause dear to my heart.

Easter is a wonderful time; full of thoughts of Spring, and chicks and rabbits and candy and fun.  It is also a time of renewal and reflection and reverence.  Easter is the celebration of the rise of Jesus after the crucifixion, but like Christmas it has been "watered down" with pagan symbols to make it more palatable to non Christians in hopes that it would make converting them easier... hence the eggs, the chicks and the bunnies.

Sometimes people think this would be a great time to introduce a rabbit into the household.  They aren't completely wrong. It can be done if done right, especially if it is a life lesson for those involved and everyone wants the animal.

But all too often it is done with out considering the lifetime commitment a pet rabbit needs.  Pet store rabbits are NOT wild rabbits, and should not be just let free once the novelty of owning a rabbit has warn off, doing so pretty much ensures that it dies a horrible death.


Rabbits are not 'easy' pets.  They do need room to roam and hop around.  They have a fairly specific diet that includes lots of hay, minimal pellets and a good variety of greens.  They need to chew constantly to help keep their teeth worn down so they can continue to eat, and they need to dig in order to wear down their claws.  Even when given appropriate toys to chew on, they will often go for inappropriate items such as electrical cords and baseboards.  If teeth and claws are not worn down naturally, they will need to be trimmed - which is not easy because bunnies are prey animals and as such have a fear of being held down, let alone having a paw held to trim claws.  They also need to eat constantly to stay healthy, so they need hay all of the time.  As a result of eating constantly, they poop continually.  Fortunately their stool is very dry and 'pellet' formed so they are easy to clean up but they will be everywhere.  Rabbits can be trained to urinate in a litter box which is nice, but their urine is quite strong smelling and with out constant maintenance your rabbit's home can quickly smell pretty badly.


I do believe rabbits are wonderful pets, but they are also very fragile.  My Brianna passed away quite suddenly from a simple respiratory issue that is easily treatable in my cats.  It was measured in hours from the time she was healthy until she was gone.  They can easily break their own back trying to get away (they have very powerful back legs) and you should not only read up on the subject, but talk to a bun owner to see if owning a bunny is really for you.  What a wonderful project to take on with your kids and have them make the decision - there is even an online quiz to get you started.



Previous posts on the subject:
2012: "Make Mine Chocolate"
2011: Rabbits and Easter
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