Xavier the cat-needed less insulin in 1 week, honeymooned in 1 month!

Paw Prick BG Test:  link to photos of Xavier getting his BG checked
http://community.webshots.com/album/28580037zPGqbLmGVq

Observations on my sugarcat - Already on Honeymoon ?
Paul, Clarice and Xavier posted on the Feline Diabetes Message Board, Saturday, 5 January 2002, at 2:17 p.m., http://www.felinediabetes.com/fdmb/frames.pl?review=5743#

Hello all..
This post is quite long but I wanted to share all the info, especially to owners of newly diagnosed cats. I promise my next post won't be as lengthy.

Our Big Boy Xavier was diagnosed with diabetes Nov 19, 2001. He's 8 years old and has always been a little on the heavy side.. (24 pounds at one point).. When he started to lose weight, urinate more, walk funny (weak hind legs) and look all around sick we began to worry. I searched the symptoms online and it was obvious what he had, I found this board the 1st day and learned A LOT !!.. (http://www.felinediabetes.com/fdmb/)

Our vet was helpful but it was clear that he didn't have a lot of experience with diabetes.. They had Xavier for the day and we took him home that night.. RX was 4 units of Humulin L twice a day.

I asked about home testing and he didn't recommend it because it's hard to get blood from a cat.. Well, after all my reading, I went ahead and bought the Glucometer anyway. Worth every penny and in my opinion it saved Xavier's life.. 

His BG's were pretty good at 1st but within a week we started having rebound problems, we dropped him down to 3 units twice a day, and when he started dropping too much a week later, we dropped him down to 2 units twice a day. By mid Dec. we had him down to 1 unit twice a day and by Dec 24th we were able to stop giving him insulin altogether !.. his BG's are around 80 pre-meal and the highest we've seen in the last 2 weeks was 190..

Some observations..
1. The vet told us 4 units twice a day and come back in 2 weeks. If we had not bought a glucometer we would have not seen the rebounding and would not have known to reduce the dosage.. we probably would have caused Xavier quite a bit of harm, or worse...

2. My glucometer came with software for tracking, so my wife and I inputted all info and we had graphs to print out and give to the vet. When we brought Xavier back in 2 weeks we gave him the BG graph and the data, and injection info.. I thought he would be offended that we went ahead and home tested but he seemed impressed that we went to all this trouble and really liked the data.

3. We tried to get blood Xavier's ears for the 1st couple of days but it wasn't working too well, and his ears just looked sore.. so we tried testing on the foot pad (the big pad).. and this works great for us.
He's a REALLY docile cat and he usually just sits there and purrs because we run his foot to get it warm.. sometimes I didn't even have to hold him.. I'd be able to take blood while he was just relaxing in his bed..

4. Insulin shots were really easy and he usually didn't even notice..Just make sure properly mix the insulin before filling each syringe.

5. Xavier's neurapathy is improving.. A month ago, he wouldn't even come out of the bathroom where his bed is.. now he's walking around (still a little wobbly) and he's started going up and down the stairs a few times.
He's now jumping on the bed to sleep with us and I even caught him on the back of the couch today (he even jumped down when I told him to get off  :-)

6. Xavier became very accustomed to the BG checks, he would always follow us into the bathroom to get 'pricked'.. It seemed that he started equating the whole procedure to him feeling better.. several times he even woke my wife up in the middle of the night.. when we checked his BG's at these times, he was low... like he knew he needed food.

7. He's active and alert now, and up to about 18 pounds (he dropped to about 14).. he's a big boned cat, so 18 is about right for him.  He interacting normally with our other 4 cats and our 2 dogs, and he seems content. One thing we noticed when his BG's were high was that his coat was thinning and he had a 'sickly look' to his eyes, like he had allergies or a head cold.. now that he's stabilized his eyes are clear and his fur looks better..

I'm surprised that he's having this honeymoon so soon, but we continue to check his BG once every day and we're happy he's feeling better. For any owners with newly diagnosed cats: Read the info, be patient, and enjoy the love of your cat..

Paul