Friday, April 18, 2014

Doing the sugar dance - treating diabetic cats

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 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..


  1. You are doing such detailed work, getting these kitties on track! Paws up!

  2. I'm learning so much about cats and diabetes and how to treat them on your blog. I hope I never need to use that knowledge but it's good to know.

  3. we got our paws crossed for good results....we know they are in great hands

  4. These kitties are lucky to have you! Diabetes is not something we are familiar with here, so it is interesting to read these posts. Learning new stuff!

  5. We love that you are being so meticulous about getting your cats regulated. Our angel cat Bitsy had diabetes, and it is very difficult stuff to deal with.

  6. We are learning a lot that we wish we had known back when we had Louie and his diabetes!

  7. Wow, that is a lot of numbers! Your kitties are lucky to have such a knowledgeable mama!

  8. You are a dear sweet person taking such exquisite care of these babies. xo

  9. Paw up for you taking such great care of this sweet girl!


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