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Diabetes in Pets

Case:Jock

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Jock:Feline
Male Smoke Furpoint Sphynx
280px-Jock pretty

Champion Apaws Jocularity of Shaineh

Born Apr-1996
Dx Aug-2004
Oral meds Glipizide:FAILED.
Regulated May-2005

Regulated between 3.5 (63) and 8.0 (144)

Currently held between 3.5mmol and 8.0mmol all day long with 0.7U BID of Levemir plus 0.2U Novolin N at shot time

Remission Mar 24-2008
Insulin Novolin N, Levemir

Jocularity Dx 25 Aug 2004. Age 9.5 Tightly regulated on 0.5-0.9U bid Levemir (detemir) (First feline Levemir Patient). Neuropathy cured. No Ketones. Free-feeds on Felix in Jelly MJAU all-meat canned Raw ground chicken and bones. Other problems: Asthma. Overweight.

IntroEdit

Jocularity (born April 1996) is a rare Sphynx (Canadian Hairless) cat. He's a retired showcat. (Ever wonder where they go?) He was a Champion in Toronto in April 1997, (see his page[1]) and he's been diabetic since August 2004. Jock's real name is "Champion Apaws Jocularity of Shaineh". He was always thin and athletic, though in the past couple years his weight crept up a bit, he was still the thinnest of the three. We sure were surprised to see him drop half his weight before our eyes and start drinking constantly, you know the story.

Just to share Jock's own experience, I think everyone can benefit from skipping a lot of the wrong moves we made.

Jock was diagnosed in August 2004 in Stockholm, Sweden, with diabetes, and prescribed Glipizide and no food recommendations in particular. He was eating Hill's Science Diet Light, and the vets didn't see any problem with that. These were all disastrous choices. These vets also suggested we check glucose but only with urine testing stix. Also a bad idea. The vets who didn't know what to do, by the way, were at Alvik.

Second vetEdit

It took us over 2 months to realize that Glipizide (most common diabetes pill) wasn't working (we didn't know about the pancreatic damage issue then) and by then Jock was skeletal, (50% of previous body weight) dehydrated, and, when brought into a better vet's office, not moving. He might have had DKA; we think so because he had ketone breath.

This vet (Dr. Gränström at Djurakuten) was able to save him (actually, fluids and insulin and he was perky the next morning) and he had some experience with Feline Diabetes. But not nearly enough. He was good enough to recommend on Dec. 20 2004 that we home test for blood glucose, and better still, he suggested that we go online and recommended some web sites for us. (Not the Feline Diabetes Message board[2], unfortunately, but we did find it eventually.) He was a pretty good vet.

He prescribed Humulin N insulin (a poor choice!), and a diet of "either Hill's M/D or W/D dry" (M/D is inadequate, W/D is awful). When we told him we were already feeding Hills SDL, he said that would do fine. (Very Wrong!)

Switched to Levemir Feb 20, 2005Edit

We were massively overdosing, over 11 units bid at one point, on Novolin N ("Insulatard" in Europe, Humulin N in USA) After about 2 months (and 2 hypo events, one hospitalized!) we realized on our own that we needed a longer-acting insulin and insisted on it (we chose Levemir, and it turned out that we were the first ones, worldwide, using it on a cat.). We found it by calling Novo Nordisk's customer service line, and asking what they made that was longer-lasting than Insulatard. Here's what happened when we switched to the longer, smoother Levemir:

Longterm insulin

Jock switches from NPH to Levemir

Sometime in February we found Sugarcats.com (thanks to our vet) and later, the FDMB[3] and started reading, and things started coming together. I started the wikipedia:Diabetes in cats and dogs page Mar 4 as a scratchpad for trying to understand everything at once. (The usual method on wikipedia is to post what you know and expect more knowledgeable folks to fix and expand.) We then started posting to the FDMB hoping to learn more, on March 9.

The eureka moment was when we realized that the vet was capable of being wrong. (Thanks to the good folks at the FDMB!) Within a short time we had dropped the dry food and changed to a low-carb canned diet. At that point (Mar 10) our dosage dropped (over one weekend) from 6.5 units BID Levemir to 2.5 units. Then we started zeroing in on a regulation plan for Jock. By mid-may he was regulated ( always below 300 ) and 10 days after that we had him tightly regulated ( always below 180 ).

1 year after diagnosis, Jock is now happy, playing, leaping to the top of 6-foot structures, symptom-free, and as healthy as a cat can get, except a bit overweight. His insulin dose keeps slowly decreasing. I still suspect that if we'd got to the right advice in the first month, and skipped the months on Glipizide and crap food, we could have him in remission by now.

The first 7 months of flailing and endangering Jock's health and life were totally unnecessary and I hope you can skip them and go straight to the good part.

RegulationEdit

The good parts start here: Mar 10, 2005 The latest news is that Levemir has a smooth and slow curve on Jock, but his own BG reading variations appear to dominate those from the insulin. He's staying nicely within a range of 13-21mmol, but that's still too high, and his dosage is 6.5u BID! And the changes from 5 units, to 6, to 6.5, appeared to have no effect on his highs and lows. This is so puzzling that we're changing his diet instead of raising his insulin further. He's going on the Catkins diet this week, thanks to Dr. Lisa and Dr. Greco:[4].


Update March 18: A week later, a change to canned food (Whiskas, at carbs rating 22), has made a dramatic change to Jock's variations -- he's now between 15 and 16.7, and his numbers are flat as an ironing board! He's at a sharply reduced dose of 4u BID, and just moved up to 5u BID, in an attempt to bring him down into the 10-12 range. (180-216 in US). Dr. Lisa recommends trying to lower his carb intake further instead of adding insulin, and that would be best, I agree. Some kitten foods have carb ratings of only 3/100g.

We've found the local brand MJAU, here's Janet & Binky's analysis:

In 100 grams:

Protein 10.5 grams * 3.5 = 36.75
Fat 5 grams * 8.5 = 42.5
Carbs .3 grams * 3.5 = 1.05

Total Calories: 80.3

% from protein: 36.75/80.3 = 45.8%
% from fat: 42.5 / 80.3 = 52.9%
% from carbs: 1.05 / 80.3 = 1.3%

Extra stuff:

Water 82 g
Ash 1.7 g
Fiber .5 grams

Total 100 grams

-- Janet 

Retrospective April 1: (added later to fill in the record) Jock's numbers are getting nicer, though still not quite predictable. We're still experimenting with different doses. His numbers range from 150 to 350, but not on any regular curve. We started Methylcobalamin, 5mg tablet once a day, today, and he really needs something for his legs, which are too weak for him to stand on.


April 26 Latest update -- Jock's preshots are all around 15 (270 to 360) now and we're so happy! He's acting quite normal now, and the neuropathy, while still there, is definitely improving with the methylcobalamin. His current insulin dose is exactly 2U BID, and we'll have a curve to show you all shortly. Once we have a curve under 300 all day, with both endpoints about the same, we'll announce that he's regulated! Detemir/Levemir rocks! If you can't get it in the US yet, just wait till you can (The FDA approved it "conditionally" in 2003, so it's just a matter of letting the wheels grind)

Jock is also a bit asthmatic, as I mentioned on the community board. The vets have told us it's not bad enough to treat, and they reccommend leaving him be, and that's what we're doing right now. Since the usual "best" treatment I've found (reading the feline asthma support groups) is inhaled steroids, I think we'll pass on that until the diabetes is definitively under control.


May 14: Officially regulated on 3.0U levemir bid and low-carb (Felix) food. Preshots generally around 240, ranging from 180 to 280.

May 18: Jock's neuropathy is officially recovered! He jumped to the top of the six-foot cat tree today. I credit the Methylcobalamin at least as much as the regulation, since it started working visibly on the second day, (April 2) even though there wasn't much regulation until this week.

OverlapEdit

May 24: After experimenting with a single SID dose one day and lots of side experiments for peak time and duration, doing lots of math, I came up with an overlap plan and dose for Jock, and as of today it's officially working. He's now Tightly Regulated, between 4 and 9 (72 and 162) always, with a much flatter curve (due to overlap). This is the curve that made it all clear:

Jock Levemir 24h

Jock's SID curve on Levemir

June 14:Thanks to those experiments we have Jock TIGHTLY REGULATED! Here are his preshots and spotchecks for a couple weeks:

Preshots Jun05

Tight Regulation on Levemir

July 29 update: Jock's regulated and dose is slowly dropping. He was at 3.0U of levemir bid, then at 2.5, then 2.25, now 2.0, and his latest preshots are:


July 23 8pm 5.8  (104)
July 24 8am 4.7  ( 85)
July 24 8pm 5.5  ( 99)
July 25 8am 6.9  (124)  (all worried the dose wasn't enough... but)
July 25 8pm 5.6  (101)
July 26 8am 5.3  (95)
July 26 8pm 5.3  (95)
July 27 8am 6.9  (124) Creeping up but gave normal dose  (why creeping?)
July 27 6pm 16.4!(295) Should have stopped him!  Boosters + extra 1/4u.
July 28 8am 4.1  (74)  Stabilizing again, bit low from the 1/4u
July 28 8pm 4.9  (88)  Back in the groove
July 29 8am 15.1 (277) What the ....?
July 29 8pm 5.2  (93)  Ok back again

Aug 10 Jock's dose has dropped again, down to about 1.8U bid. But now it's very sensitive to variation. If we give a bit much (like 1.9), he has low preshots (under 5) and we have to wait to shoot. If we give a bit too little (like 1.75), his numbers rise into the high 200's by mid-day. We've discussed this with others and think that the lowering doses are more likely a reduction in insulin resistance, not a regeneration of the pancreas.

August 31: Jock's dose keeps dropping slowly, and he's a bit less finicky about dosage. His current dose is about 1.3 units bid. He can handle up to 1.4 but goes too low and hangs low a bit too long. 1.5 caused a rebound today.

Sept 10: Not much change from last time, really. He's been on Whiskas instead of his usual Felix (aka Pussi), because of a bad batch of food, and so his ideal dose seems to be about 1.4U instead of 1.3. Sometimes he stays around 5 to 6 (90 to 108) all day, other times he starts rising rapidly a couple of hours before shot time, and when we catch that, we shoot a booster of "N", depending how high he's gone. (he goes up as high as 18 (324) sometimes, but 1.5 units of "N" brings him back in line.) He hasn't lowered his dose lately, but that could be the change in food and/or the occasional high numbers that stop him from improving.

DifficultiesEdit

Sept 15: Since Sept 10, Jock's numbers have been creeping higher, and yesterday we tossed the old insulin cartridge (after over 10 weeks, nearly empty) and started a new one. We've continued to get very high BG (often 20 / 360 ), but we've seen occasional very low numbers too, so we're assuming the new insulin is stronger and he's rebounding. Adjusting dose downward, trying 1.0 today.

Sept 25: We've got a new batch of Levemir to replace the other new batch. We changed our minds about the rebound and decided to try more insulin, but keep up the "N" boosters in the meantime to keep Jock safe. This has been successful! At first we shot "N" up to every 4 hours, while starting on a low (1.0U) dose of Levemir. We continued raising the Levemir dose by 0.2 units every day, while shooting smaller and less frequent boosters. For example, today his preshot was still a bit high, 14.7mmol (265), and his dose yesterday had been 2.0U BID so: Dose raised again to 2.2U, and a starting booster of 1U "N". +6 spotcheck gave 7.8 (140) so it's working pretty good, but a lot of that is still the booster, which lasts 8-10 hours too. Suspect he'll need 2.4 or 2.5 Levemir to drop the boosters, i.e. back to his original regulation dose.

Oct 1: Still at 2.2 units and it's settling nicely. He seems to like this dose, and this morning rewarded us with a preshot of just 8.1 (146). Yesterday's was nearly as good. We'll stay here a few more days and then raise to 2.3 if needed to get him back into Tight Regulation numbers.


November 2005Edit

Wiki begins.

Blinkie
November 2005.


ProtocolEdit

How we regulate Jock now:

It's not easy to find shooting strategies for tightly-regulated kitties on the internet, so Sabina suggested I make this one public for the record. Jock is happy to be tightly regulated, but since he started trying to make his own insulin just a bit, he's been much harder to predict. Instead of his previous 60-160 range, he's now up to 90-180 because of that unpredictability.

First reaction, as I posted before, was to shoot at different times when necessary (somewhere between +11 and +16 as required.) We will still do that when necessary, but we've refined it a bit so it doesn't happen so often. Also, sometimes he goes high for no apparent reason, and the protocol handles that too. Here's the latest "protocol", some of it lifted from what I posted to Angela today in Health. I think some variation of it may be helpful to Lantus users too:

First note: Levemir, in Jock, peaks at about 11 to 12 hours. We are shooting just after peak in all cases, so we are using maximum overlap. Consequently we see a pretty level day without much peak, between 5 and 10 (90 and 180 US) when all goes well.

My "scale" with Jock on Levemir goes:

  • Check BG at PS minus 1 hour (in case he's used it up early).
  • If he's really high (over 180) shoot full dose right away. (see below for extras)
  • If not, check again at shot time.
  • At shot time, check BG. If he's higher than previous check, shoot full dose.
  • If he's the same or coming down, and below 180, wait 30-45 min and check again.
  • Repeat checks until you see an up-trend, then shoot full dose, as soon as he's above 90.
  • Otherwise wait a bit more.

That covers all low PS cases. For high Preshots, we add a boosterdose of "N" to bring him down fast, assuming the Levemir will keep him there once it kicks in.

We expect a preshot of about 6-10 (110-180). We add 1 unit of N for PS > 13 (234) , two units for PS > 16 ( 288 ) , three units if PS > 19 (342), and we haven't seen much higher than that fortunately! "N" peaks in 4 hours with Jock. As I mentioned before to Pawprints, we shoot N only around shot time to avoid its peak coinciding with Levemir's.

Note there's no partial dose option for Levemir, they just make things go screwy at this point. I've regretted every single part-dose.

Now he does have a long-term "scale", since the insulin tends to build up a bit over time. So he has two "full-dose" amounts, 2.5U and "Thin" 2.5U. If he seems to be hanging low too long or getting uncomfortably low preshots lately, I'll give the thin dose for a day or two. Otherwise he gets the normal one. Yes there's a difference!


Dec 16, 2005: Just a note to say that Jock loses regulation when changing insulin vials, and has to be re-regulated gradually on the new vial. His dose is always somewhere near 2.0 units BID, but not always the same. Boosters of Insulatard help us figure out where he belongs and keep him at reasonable levels until we understand his new dose.

Food changeEdit

Changed to a new food because of Rorschach's bad stomach. Nina reminded us of MJAU when we'd stopped using it for a long time due to its very low carb content, and the unenthusiastic reception all 3 cats gave it. We went back to the store and found that they have a new "Bitar i gele" (chunks in jelly) beef flavour which the cats all liked, but was too hi-carb for Jock. (About 6% calories from carbs).

We are currently successfully feeding all 3 cats with a half-and-half mixture of "Bitar i gele" and regular Chicken or Turkey MJAU, mushed together indistinguishably with a spoon. The result seems to please them, is only about 4% calories from carbs, and keeps Rorschach's stomach happy too.

We have to mush them together or each cat will cherrypick the parts he likes, leaving an unbalanced diet for the others.

Falling doseEdit


Dec 18-26: Something exciting is happening! Over the last 9 days, Jock has been reducing his dose rather drastically.

Here's his log (in Int'l units.) Regular shot times (bold) are at 08:40 and 20:40. Boosters, where mentioned, are Novolin N:

Log-18-26Dec

Jock's Christmas dose reduction


This curve from Christmas convinced us to lower even faster than before:

Curve-25Dec

2 dose reductions and near-hypo. Click to see full-size.


Dec 27th: 0.5 was not quite enough, and by bedtime he was at 9.6 and rising. So he got a miniscule (<1/4U) booster of Novolin N and that held him until morning.

In the morning he got 0.7U again and that seems to be just right. Spotcheck at 14:20 shows 7.5, right in the zone...


Jan 5th 2006Edit

Well, he inched back up to 1.0U and seems to want just a tad more lately. His preshots are either around 9 to 10 and steady on good days, or 13-15 and rising on bad days, and we can't figure out any reason why one happens rather than the other. Morning of Jan 6th we're trying 1U of a new Levemir vial on the chance the old one is wearing out.

Rapid rises for no reason Edit

Feb 10th: Over the last 2 months, we've seen him show two distinct patterns, and we can't really predict which one he'll be on.

Either he stays low (between 4 and 9) the entire day and night on his regular dose (about 0.6 or 0.7U of Levemir bid)
Or somewhere around +6 he starts to rise rapidly, leaving him at about 16 or 18 at shot time.
Jocks fast rise

Example: Jock experiments with gluceogenesis for fun or profit. Click to enlarge

We asked Dr. Hodgkins about this; she thinks it is glycogenolysis[5] (liver-produced glycogen becoming glucose) due to his liver "panicking" at low (but not dangerously low) blood sugar levels. Her advice is to control his numbers better, between 3 and 8, instead of the 4 to 10 range we've been aiming for lately. She thinks his liver must become accustomed to the lower blood sugar so it won't panic any more.

We are doing this (when we're home) by doing a test around +6 twice daily, and giving very small Novolin N boosters (about a quarter-unit) only if he has gone over 10.0 This is usually enough to keep his numbers below 10 for the rest of the cycle. We don't want to increase the Levemir dose because he can easily use that to remain below 4 all day and past the next shot time. We still don't shoot Levemir on preshots below 4.5.

Feb 18Edit

Further refinements: We're now testing at Preshot, +8, and Preshot. At +8 we can tell if he's going to be rising up to about 15 (270) and needs a booster, or not. If not, he generally stays under 7.0 (126) all the way to the next shot. If his +8 check is over 10.0 (180), he gets a booster of between 0 and 0.25 units as shown on the syringe, of Novolin N/Insulatard. (0 units as measured on the syringe is a bit more than 0, it's about 1/5 unit on our syringes.) Yes, the zero-unit booster is quite effective! Jock's becoming quite a low-dose kitty.

He's going down noticeably every month in Levemir dose, and his Insulatard booster dosage goes down in proportion. Someday he's gotta just stop needing it, right? He was first regulated at 2.5U bid, (in May 2005) so this must be a good sign.

Problem is with these low doses it's hard to be accurate, and he's very sensitive to inaccurate dosing. Too much or too little and he rides around 14 to 16 all day. A couple of days of that and he starts to need more insulin, which makes guessing even harder. We're becoming artists with that little syringe! And we had to stop using the Novopen Junior since a half-unit is just too much now.


Mar 24Edit

We tried something interesting around Mar 7 -- we noticed that, even with the boosters, Jock was having trouble staying in his Tight Regulation range (4.0 to 8.5), though he could often do it for 24 or 48 hours, he would always bounce back up eventually. We decided that since Levemir is so much smoother than Insulatard, maybe we could just try lots of smooth Levemir instead. So we've now been dosing Levemir only, no boosters, but 3 times a day, sometimes 2, sometimes 4. Basically the rule is:

  • Test at 07:30, (11:30), 15:30, (19:30), 23:30 (optional tests when dose is changing)
  • If he's below 4.5 (81) don't shoot
  • If he's over that, shoot his normal dose for that day (which slowly varies over time)
  • If he's over 8.5 (153), raise his normal dose by 0.1 or 0.2 units, and check again in 4 hours.
  • If he skips more than one shot, lower his normal dose by 0.1 or 0.2 units.

The amazing thing is that this method is getting MUCH flatter curves, between 3.5 and 8.5 for days at a time. We haven't used boosters in 2 weeks and Jock doesn't miss them. Curve over a couple of weeks coming soon. His "normal dose" has gone from 0.5 up to 0.9 and back down to 0.4 over 2 weeks. It's currently 0.5. When he goes out of the range, it's much less dramatic -- up to 10.0, not 16.0 as he was doing before on the Levemir+booster plan. He has not dipped below 3.5 at all.

First half of March:

Mar1-17Settling

Blood glucose tests with TID method, Mar 1-17

Second half of March:

Veryflat Mar15-30

Blood glucose tests with TID method, Mar 15-30


April 16Edit

Jock makes a honeymoon attempt. After 6 weeks of tight regulation and a BID dose down to 0.2U, Jock tried to go it alone. The good news was, he definitely was able to bring his numbers down after eating. The bad news: It wasn't enough -- He still needs insulin. The worse news -- he totally lost regulation for weeks after this attempt...

Some details: [6]

June 11Edit

Ok, we've been gradually bringing him back into line. After April 17 he needed more and more insulin until we caught up to him around May 15 at 1.5U BID. Since then we've been bringing him down back into range gradually, from 1.5 to 1.4, to 1.2 to 1.1. Just yesterday we lowered from 1.1 to 1.0. He's now at 1.0U BID again and here's today's curve, the first in a while:

08:30  PS   3.6  (64)   (delay shot)
09:30  PS   4.7  (84)   (shot 1U Levemir)
12:00 +2.5  3.8  (68)   (about right for Levemir to start)
13:30 +4    4.2  (75)
15:00 +5.5  2.8  (50)   (lower than expected, fed locarb)
17:00 +7.5  2.6  (46)   (fed chicken wings)
18:30 +9    3.3  (59)   (coming back up)
20:00 +10.5 5.0  (90)   (and up)
20:40 +11   5.6  (101)  (0.9U Levemir shot early to bring time back for tomorrow)
...
08:30 +12   6.6  (119)  (looks like 0.9U was perfect last night.)

Here's the graph: (Shot at 09:30 and 20:40) Graph June11

Comments:

  • Jock is riding rather low all day because 1.0U was actually a bit much for him. (it wasn't last week, so this is good news.) So tonight I lowered to 0.9U.
  • We shot again just after +11 because he was on his way up fast, and we want to shoot at 08:30 tomorrow, not 09:30.
  • If he follows his usual pattern, he will continue reducing dose for the next few weeks. Possibly culminating in another honeymoon attempt...


July 1Edit

We're now giving a small booster of "N" along with the Levemir shots, to keep the curves flatter. He's under good control mostly ( we've had two spikes, both apparently caused by NOT giving a little booster at shot time ). Dose gradually coming down again:

  • May: 1.5U BID + 0.3 to 0.5U "N" at shot time (booster size depends on preshot).
  • June: 1.0U BID + 0.2 to 0.4U "N" at shot time.
  • July: 0.7U BID + 0.1 to 0.3U "N" at shot time.

The "N" booster is to smooth the transition from the old Levemir dose to the new one. The old one starts wearing off at around +11, and by +12 his BG is rising very fast, and accelerating (See chart Feb 10, above). The new Levemir dose takes about 3 hours to bring things back down to the preshot value (and that's if it can!) If BG's rise above about 8-9, the new Levemir dose may not be able to bring them back into range at all. So we avoid this by boosting at shot time.

Curves for Levemir and Insulatard (Novolin N) Edit

Now that the Levemir seems to wear off more dramatically than before (as in Jan 7 curve), Jock's usual Levemir curve for 13 hours looks like this Jock Levemir usual curve

When you catch that one on the way up before it gets too high, the repeated curve looks like this: (with green bars=shots at 12 hour intervals:)

Jock Levemir usual curve rpt

Novolin N (Insulatard) peaks after about 4 hours, in a full dose in Jock:

Jock N usual curve

So we give a full dose of Levemir, combined with about a half dose of Novolin N. Here's what a half dose of Novolin N does:

Jock N Smaller curve

And here they are combined: Jock Combined usual curve rpt

So the Novolin N is taking effect just as he would be going high on the worn-out Levemir, and wearing off just after the Levemir kicks in. The resulting curve you can imagine, it's flattish around the preshot level for the first 5 hours, then flattish at the lower level Levemir prefers for the next 5 hours, then rising again. Basically what's shown at June 11 above. Here it is again:Graph June11

October 2006Edit

Jock's at it again! His dose has been a consistent 1.5 to 1.7U (varies week to week) of Levemir up until early this week. Then we noticed he was complaining about shots between the shoulder blades, where he's built up quite a fat padding lately. So we switched to abdomen shots. No complaints. Don't know if this is related to the new location or not, but wow, something's happening:

http://www.felinediabetes.com/phorum5/read.php?8,497230 http://www.felinediabetes.com/phorum5/read.php?14,496988

In American numbers (mg/dL) here are Jock's numbers for Oct 25 and onward:

Oct 25
8am PS 63 no shot
9am 52 (more food)
12pm 67
3:30pm 81
6:15pm 88
8:15pm (+24) 88 no shot
10:15pm: (+26) 92 (Next test Oct 26)
12:15am: 182 Shot 1.2ULev (3/4 usual dose) + 0.3U N
+2: 195
+4: 76 (that little booster was about right)
+9: 72 (so was the Levemir so far...)
+12 67  *no shot*
+15 3:15  (4.4) 72
+18 5:45  (6.5) 117  
+19 6:45  (8.9) 142 SHOT 1U L 0.2U N 
+5 12:15  (9.3) 167 SHOT .3U L 0.3U N

Over the next few days his dose gradually came back up to 1.6U BID.

November 2006Edit

Jock's BG control is quite good at 1.6U BID Levemir -- he's normally between 3.0 and 4.0 (54 and 72) all day long, until just before shot time when he starts to rise, usually to somewhere between 5.5 and 8.0. (100 to 144).

We adjust dose up or down by 0.1 when necessary to keep him this way.

But lately I've been wondering -- he seems awfully sleepy most of the day, and that can't be helping his weight problem. He's usually hyper at certain times of day, and when tested, he's over 4.0 (72) at those times.

So for the last week we've tried an experiment -- we're going to try to keep him over 4.0 (72) all day (and still under 6.0 (108) where possible) and see what happens to his energy * 23 18:40 7.3level.

Well, things are moving. I don't know if it's the change in target, or just Jock's own initiative, but as soon as we decided this and lowered his insulin dose (from 1.6U BID to 1.5, then 1.4) he started hanging out in his target range longer! That's right -- instead of rising sharply at day's end, he's just hanging out, with preshot numbers between 70 and 110 instead of the usual 100 to 144.

We're also checking his peak numbers and trying to keep them above 4.0 (72), and so lowering his dose a bit more. He's now down to 1.25U BID and still staying quite flat all day. When we see a peak under 4.0 (72) or a preshot under 4.5 (90) we lower the dose another tad.

If the loosened regulation is responsible, it could be that his alpha cells are relaxing -- maybe the sharp rise at the end of the day was a protest at the 3.0-4.0 (54-72) levels.

If he's just doing it on his own without regard for our machinations, well, good for him!

Oh yes, he hasn't needed any boosters for the last 3 days either!

We're seeing a little more energy from him too, but not as much as I'd hoped. Still, I'll give it time.

Hmmmm. Here's what the loosening began (if it's related):

  • Nov 2: 1.6U
  • Nov 3: 1.5U
  • Nov 4: 1.4U
  • Nov 5: 1.4U
  • Nov 6: 1.25U
  • Nov 7: 1.0U
  • Nov 8: 1.0U
  • Nov 9: 0.75U
  • Nov 10:0.7U
  • Nov 11:0.6U (duration too long)
  • Nov 12:0.6U
  • Nov 13:0.5U

Wooops! Lost it for a while, then got it back Nov 26 at 0.5U

This time will be like the last time we NEARLY made it, except as Pamela says, we won't stop giving insulin until we have to.

We have had several tries at this, and something always goes wrong as the dose gets smaller. But we're learning each time. Lessons learned so far:

  • Keep giving a little insulin all the time until you can't give a smaller dose
  • Smaller doses of Levemir have less duration, so shoot more frequently as the dose decreases. over 0.5 is BID, 0.4 and under, TID, possibly there's a QID limit we haven't seen yet.
  • No boosters when on TID. They always make it worse.
  • No late shots unless forced. Test early and often when in doubt. Shoot early if necessary.
  • Try to keep peaks above 4.0 (72) where possible to avoid mini-rebounds or long durations.

We'll see how it goes. Numbers so far, (x18 for US): 3.5 = 63 7.7 = 138

All shots are at +8 unless otherwise stated.

Nov

  • 26 20:30 3.5 (No shot, previously 0.5U decided to start TID)
  • 27 00:30 4.4 0.4U
  • 27 08:30 5.8 0.4U
  • 27 16:30 4.4 0.4U
  • 28 00:30 6.4 0.3U (mistake, should have been 0.4)
  • 28 08:30 7.7 0.4U (Not too bad though)
  • 28 16:30 6.7 0.4U
  • 28 23:30 3.7 +7 wait
  • 29 00:30 4.2 0.3U (ok, needs a bit less already)
  • 29 08:30 6.7 0.4U (Alternate for now?)
  • 29 16:30 6.7 0.4U (looks consistent?)
  • 30 00:30 8.0 0.4U (early upswing or rebound?)
  • 30 08:15 4.3 +7.75 wait (let's see how fast he's rising)
  • 30 08:45 5.6 +8.25 0.3U (Rising fast -- assuming last night was minirebound)
  • 30 12:00 4.5 +3.5 good!(Dose reduction was a good idea?)
  • 30 15:30 4.8 +7 lovely
  • 30 16:30 5.4 0.3U (Yes 0.3 was the right dose now!)


March 2008Edit

Jock's condition has remained basically the same since November 2006 -- his dose has gone down at times, sometimes as low as the time above, but always ended up rising again as he decided he still needed insulin after all. He remains healthy, emotionally needy, and rather overweight, though we're trying to diet him a bit now.

But this time seems different. For the last month his dose has been consistently falling, from 1.2 units bid to 1.0, to 0.8, then 0.6, then 0.4, then 0.2, and then for the last week dropping rapidly to 0.1, then 0.05 (for just a day), then suddenly he doesn't seem to want any at all.

His numbers as he reduces first to SID (once daily) then to none at all:

* Mar time  BG  Am.   Notes
* 16 23:00  3.9       Skip evening shot: too low.  Reduce from 0.2U to 0.1U

* 17 08:10 11.4       Morning shot: 0.1U (one drop!)
* 17 17:10  6.5

* 18 01:40  6.4       No evening shot
* 18 08:10 12.6       A little high but not bad for 24 hours. Shot 0.1U
* 18 20:10  5.8       No evening shot

* 19 07:40  9.6       Morning shot 0.1U

* 20 06:50 12.2       Morning shot 0.1U
* 20 16:30  3.3       Morning shot was more than really needed
* 20 23:30  7.2       Give evening shot of 0.05U (half a drop)

* 21 16:20  6.1       Still good on last night's half drop
* 21 23:00  4.1       No evening shot

* 22 09:30 11.2       Morning shot again 0.05U
* 22 15:30  7.1       Dosage seems ok
* 22 22:30  7.2       Postpone evening shot 2 hours

* 23 01:00  7.9 142  (0.05 units Levemir (half a drop!))
* 23 08:00  6.3 113   seems adequate
* 23 18:40  7.3 131   seems adequate still!
** Average Mar 23 7.2 129
* 24 01:00  4.7  85  Lower than expected for half a drop 24H ago!
* 24 13:30  8.1 146  (no shot, check in 2 hr)
* 24 15:10  7.1 128  (no shot, he seems to have it handled)
* 24 22:00  7.4 130  (no shot)
** Average Mar 24 6.8 123
* 25 00:30  7.0 126  (no shot)
* 25 08:10  5.8 106  (no shot)
* 25 17:00  5.9 108  (no shot) 
* 25 22:00  4.8  86  (no shot of course, gave him food...)
** Average Mar 25 5.9 106
* 26 00:10  3.6  65  (wow-ee-wa-wa)
* 26 11:00  4.7  84  (note falling average daily...)
* 26 22:10  5.0  90  (still no shot!)
** Average Mar 26 4.4 80
* 27 07:40  3.8  68  He definitely has it sorted on his own...
* 27 22:30  3.3  59
** Average Mar 27 3.5 63
* 28 08:10  4.9  88
* 28 12:00  3.5  63
* 28 22:20  5.0  90
** Average Mar 28 4.5 
* 29 13:00  3.3  59
* 29 18:10  3.9  70
** Average Mar 29 3.6
* 30 12:30  4.8  86
* 30 17:30  4.4  79
** Average Mar 30 4.6
* 31 01:00  2.9  52 He was shouting at us to wake up!  We tested him, fed, put to bed. ok.
* 31 14:00  4.7  84 He's been fine all day.
* Apr time  BG  Am.   Notes
*  1 12:00  4.9  88
*  2 02:00  3.8  68
*  3 01:00  3.9  70
*  4 23:00  3.7
*  5 22:30  5.8
*  6 01:30  5.8       (fed, wonder if he brings it down...)
*  6 03:30  3.6       (oh yes he does!)
*  6 23:00  3.5
*  7 23:00  6.6  113  (today he has a cold!) 
*  8 11:00  4.2       (still has a cold, well done on the BG)
*  8 23:00  4.2       (still has a cold, not bad)
*  9 22:00  6.1       (still sneezing too)
* 10 13:30  4.9       (still with cold)

This looks like a genuine remission attempt on his part, though we have to keep in mind also that long-term diabetic cats can appear to go into remission when they have a nasty cancer too. We'll be checking him out...

Meantime, his falling average indicates either a rapidly healing pancreas, or a serious insulinoma or malignancy. And he is just too damn perky to have serious cancer.

April 2008Edit

The other shoe dropped, but it was a cold and inappetance -- leading to fatty liver! Here are his blood scores:

http://www.felinediabetes.com/phorum5/read.php?8,1038704,1038735

Poor guy! And as his liver got worse, his diabetes came back!

After three weeks on fluid drips and syringe feeding, I managed to get his liver values back to normal and his appetite healthy again though. And then he needed a little skin growth removed. Always something. His diabetes is still out of control, not even regulated any more.

October 2008Edit

Diabetes is back under control, dose slowly falling again -- he's down to half a unit, BID. Liver is fine, skin is fine, I'm trying to help him lose weight, and he's trying to cooperate. We shall see...

Jan 2009Edit

Dose continues to fall, down to the zero line on the syringe now, about 0.15 units twice daily. I've helped him lose a lot of weight but he's still a bit chubby. The less he eats, the more hyper and happy he seems! Seriously hoping that if he goes off the insulin that he doesn't start losing weight too fast again. Will keep an eye on his eating.

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1]
  2. Feline Diabetes Message Board
  3. the Feline Diabetes Message Board
  4. Catkins Diet
  5. glycogenolysis
  6. [2]

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