Sunday, April 29, 2018

New Vet... again

Well.... everything with Pippin is going good.  For the first time ever I recently completely forgot to give Pippin his shot.  I've never forgotten.  Sometimes, I've been late.  But this time I remembered in the middle of the night at like 12:30 am and just let it go because my husband gives him his shot at 4:00 am.  So I just thought it was best to keep the next shot at 4 am and get back on track from there.  I felt terrible. After that I set a reminder on my phone at 5:30 PM just incase I forget again.

I recently sent Pippin's glucose numbers to my vet office (not that anyone there is really checking up on him, or paying attention).  After sending the numbers over I did get an email back from the veterinarian I use stating that she was leaving and going back into emergency care.  I'm so disappointed in this. I know that the people at the office are like whatever because it's one of those offices where they have like 5 or 6 vets.  I hate that.  I kept staying with the dame Dr whenever I go in for an appointment and when emailing in.  I did ask her for a recommendation in the office of someone who could be my go to but she never answered me back.  I hate to change vets and go to an office with one Dr because I'd have to pay $100 some bucks for that first initial visit and explain and go over everything about Pippin all over again. So I'll just stick with this vet and deal with it.  I'm really surprised though that I lost another vet.  If the Dr was going to a different practice I would follow her there but since she's going into emergency I can't.  I do miss my old vet office.  They would check in with how Pippin was doing at least once a month and review his glucose numbers with me... the new vet office (though I've been there like 2 years now) just doesn't take as much interest.

Pippin is 15 now.  He sleeps soooo much.  I can tell that he is starting to feel his age.  We recently moved into a new house and it's taken him a little while to adjust.  He used to love to sit outside at the old house and this house it's taking a little longer.  He has finally started sitting out on the patio just for a little while. He never sits in the windows... he just likes to mostly be in his bed or sitting on a chair with me. It's hard to see my boy age.  His diabetes is doing really well though and that's what's important.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Diabetic Cats- Cat Bed

There is nothing worse then having a diabetic cat and finding you left the insulin out.  NOTHING. The knowledge that you just wasted $100 on a vial of Prozinc is awful.   I came home from going out to dinner tonight to find that the insulin was still on the counter.  Luckily it was only out two hours in the dark so I'm hoping that it is still a good vial.  The only way to know is to take glucose measurements tomorrow and just hope they go down.  It's the first time we have only left the insulin out a few hours rather then 12 hours so I'm really hoping it's good.  Plus it was still foggy inside the liquid which I guess is a sign it's still good. I've looked all over the internet whether or not Prozinc can be left out for 2 hours and most say yes.  I saw several comments saying that it's OK to leave it out even for 12 hours.  I have found that this is false.  Anytime we've left insulin out for 12 hours and checked glucose on our cats their glucose numbers are super high and it's obvious the insulin wasn't working anymore. 

I recently had to waste money taking Pippin into the vet.  The new vet wanted to "see" him (get $60 and blood work) since his glucose was a little higher then usual.  My old vet would just adjust insulin amounts... so that kind of sucked.  Then she wanted to put him on an antibiotic just incase but I didn't pick that up because he's fine just needed a insulin adjustment. So complicated.

We sold our house so we've been staying with a friend until we get a new one.  Pippin has done well.  He has the run of two bedrooms and one bathroom.  My friend has two cats of his own and Pippin just doesn't want to mingle with them.  So he's enjoying his time upstairs in his own territory. Though I know he's ready to get into his own house again. 

We have still been buying our needles and food online.  Much cheaper then the store.  Diabetes hasn't got any easier but Pippin is still doing well and hopefully lives another 5 years. We bought him a new bed finally.  All these years he and Merry slept in these tiny circle beds we bought them when we first adopted them.  I bought them a bigger bed once before but they completely ignored it.  I was then in Petsmart and saw a superhero section (for dogs) and there was a Superman bed! I bought it and he ignored it at first.  For a long time actually and now I can't get him out.  Since we are staying in our friend's house we had Pippin's bed and food next to each other.  This picture shows him not even bothering to get out of bed to eat.  He's just leaning over to his food bowl.. so lazy!!


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

New Carpet and other news

Hello all. I haven't updated on Pippin for a while.  Which is always a good thing.  In May over the holiday my husband accidentally left Pippin's Prozinc (insulin) out for about 3-4 hours.  Just in that time the insulin went bad.  Of course it was a Saturday morning.  So we gave him his normal shot Saturday night and his insulin stayed high.  So we realized right away that the insulin went bad.  Well... of course it was a holiday weekend so the vet office wasn't open on Monday. I was very worried about the glucose numbers so Monday morning we went ahead and called one of the local emergency vets who said they had insulin and that we would just have to come in and pay $100 for the vet appointment and they would sell us insulin because they had a full pharmacy.  So I drove Pippin all the way out to the vet.  We got totally wrong information.  I get there and I tell them where his numbers were sitting at (which if I remember correctly was about 450). I say he is on Prozinc.  The vet tech was like... well I've never heard of that, they only have human insulin.  UGHHHH!  I didn't want to switch Pippin's insulin which I thought would be worse then having him on no insulin.  Plus, human insulin doesn't really work on cats.  I then asked if maybe they had vetsulin and she said she would check.  She was gone for a very long time.  Finally, a totally different person comes in and says they just don't think there is anything they can do for me. Annoying.  Why when we called did they act like they could help???  They didn't charge me anything and I left.

So Tuesday I called my normal vet and explained what was going on and why I needed to come pick up insulin right then and there.  They were nice.  I got up there an hour later when they told me to come and it wasn't ready, but I told them I had to wait because he really needed it.  So he got back on his insulin again and has been fine ever since.

We are about to sell our house and buy a new one, so we installed new carpet everywhere in the house.  Prior to having it installed we personally pulled up all the areas where the cats had peed. There is no better time to get under that carpet.  If your cats pee a lot in certain spots it will stink no matter how much you shampoo that carpet.  So we pulled up the carpet and put down Kilz in all these spots. The carpet installers still threw out the carpet we pulled up.  The new carpet is amazing and smells amazing! HAHAH!  Diabetic cats will pee a lot before you discover they are diabetic and will keep peeing in the spots that smell like their pee.  Also, the year before Merry passed away he couldn't make it down to the basement so having the little box in the living room pretty much stopped both cats from peeing anywhere else.



I'm nervous about selling the house with a cat.  I plan on taking him with me every time the house gets shown.  I don't want to leave him here with strangers coming in and out.  We'll see how that adventure goes and I'll update here with any advice for those of you who might also be trying to sell a house with a kitty living there.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Updates.. dental, diabetes, artwork

It's been a while since I posted.  Since Merry passed away actually.  I just never really felt up to it. I thought I'd give some updates on Pippin.  He's doing fantastic now.  At first when Merry was gone he would meow for him.  Especially when he went out to sit on the deck (they aren't outdoor cats, only in door but can go on the deck).  Even writing this post and thinking about Merry is sad.  Right after it happened I found myself getting two scoops of food, or hearing his nails tapping on the floor, every now and then I hear him meow.  I still haven't removed his picture from my Facebook's profile picture.  I just can't take it down yet.  It's like he's really gone, or I've really decided that I'm over him.  I don't know when I'll take down his picture if ever. It's been very difficult.  Actually, actress Felicia Day just posted something about this on her Facebook:

SERIOUS QUESTION:
I have a picture of my dog Cubby on my phone lock screen. He passed away 2 years ago next month. I have a baby now and want to put her on the lock screen, but I feel INCREDIBLY GUILTY about removing his little face so I can't make myself do it. It feels disloyal, like I won't see him every day to remind me of how much I loved him and maybe I'll forget him. How do I overcome the guilt?!?! IS THERE ANOTHER SOLUTION?!?!

I know how she feels.  Though I don't have children. Anyways... Pippin was doing well till a few weeks ago.  On a Sunday I saw something by his food bowl but honestly I thought it was trash.  Like a garlic clove or something.  I got around to picking it up on Tuesday and thought it was so odd.  When I first looked at it I thought maybe one of his claws came out.  I handed it to my husband and was like... "what is this!  I think he lost his nail! "  My husband was like.. "um .. this is a tooth."  So I grabbed it and sure enough it was Pippin's FANG! Oh my God! I felt so bad.  I immediately called the vet. She put him on antibiotics and a week later he got his teeth cleaned.  It had only been 14 months since his last cleaning so I have no idea why this tooth fell out!

Tooth I found! 
And... when he went in to have his teeth cleaned (this is a new vet.. see previous posts) it was taking a long time for them to call with an update.  So I called up there and they told me there were having a tough time but everything was fine.  I come to find out that the previous vet LEFT the roots in for 3 teeth that they had pulled at his last teeth cleaning.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME.  The rear right molar was giving the new vet a hard time.  The root had rotted and slipped under his jaw bone into an area where I guess blood and tissue gather and she had to get it out of that.  I am pretty furious about this but what can I do.  He was hurting for a while and had to go on pain meds for two weeks.  He's great now and really spunky.  It's so hard to know if pet's mouth's are hurting.  I felt so bad when all this happened. 

Pippin's diabetes is really doing great.  He's on 4 units of Prozinc twice a day, his steroid at night, and after Merry passed we decided to start giving Pippin Cosequin to help with his bones.  We've also done a lot of research (of course this is after years and years of paying high prices at the vet) and now order his prescription cat food through Petsmart.  We set up auto refills and so we get an additional 15% off the food.  Needles are the same.  Insulin and the steroid cost the same from the vet so we still get those there.  

I did have one of my favorite cat artists do a portrait of my cats for me.  Apofiss does amazing artwork.. especially of cats. They rarely do commissions so I was so lucky to be able to get one.  PLUS lucky that he would do both cats.  I told him if he couldn't do Merry and Pippin then I wasn't interested in the commission.  Can't have one cat without the other.  He did a great job.  I sent him several pictures of them for him to use as a reference and this was the result:


Be sure to check out Apofiss' work! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Merry

In the month of November my husband and I made the difficult decision to euthanize Merry.  It was tough but he was getting really old.  His arthritis was just getting to where he didn't really move from one spot in the living room.  When he would go up and down the stairs it was clear it was so painful. One time I sat him on top of a box and he fell off.  When I say he fell, he just fell.  No trying to save himself or land on his feet.  I also knew that if when I looked at him and felt sad for him it was time. We used an amazing service for him. We had a veterinarian come to the house to euthanize him.  The man we used, Dr Humphries with Home with Dignity really made a huge difference. He came to the house and first game Merry a mini exam and did tell us that he thought we were doing the right thing. This made me feel better because I kept going back and forth all week if I was doing it too soon. The vet then gave Merry some medicine that was pain killer and also a drug to help him sleep.  We got to hold him the whole time.  After a few minutes when we were ready he then gave him a shot of the medicine that sent Merry over the rainbow bridge.  My husband then took a blanket the vet had brought in at the end and carried him out to the vet's car.  It was so dignified.  I will always use in home euthanize.  Now my Pippin is an only kitty. I miss Merry so much and can't believe he is gone.  Life will never be the same.




Thursday, November 10, 2016

Skin Cancer

I haven't posted before about my cat Merry's skin cancer.  It started at the beginning of the year. Around April. I noticed a scratch on his nose.  About 6 weeks later it wouldn't heal and was becoming circular. I took him into the vet.  The vet gave me some meds to put on it but said it's probably skin cancer. The way we would know is if the medicine didn't get rid of the cut then it was for sure skin cancer.  He said really there is no reason to take a sample and send it in since I had already decided that I wasn't going to do chemo or radiation.  I also refuse to have Merry's nose removed.  Those are the only options if a cat has skin cancer on their nose. I have no idea why he got skin cancer.  He's not an outdoor cat so there hasn't been that much sun exposure on his nose. When we went to the new vet she felt the same way.  Merry is now 16 years old. Here are pictures from when we first discovered it:




Now that it is November it has progressed a lot since this then.  Most of the year it has only been a superficial wound.  Meaning it was really just eating away the top layer.  I think that now it is finally actually eating through the skin.  Now we must make the painful decision when to call it.  He is walking very slow with a pronounced limp.  Honestly I'm not sure if he will make it past the end of the year. But we'll see.  I try to look at him and see if he still has quality of life.

Pippin my other cat is actually doing pretty fantastic health wise.  We had a scare about a month ago though.  One morning we gave the cats double shots.  It was a scary day.  I got up and gave the cats shots and then my husband got up and gave them shots again.  We had to take a lot of glucose curves that day. The lowest reading Merry had was 54.  After that though his glucose went up.  Just goes to show communication is very important.  The many years we have been giving these cats shots that was only the first time for that mix up to happen.

We will be taking care of another cat come January.  My sister is unfortunately going through a terrible divorce.  Her husband has left here with nothing.  Of course she will fight for child support but she has asked me to take her little kitty.  Toast is about 9 years old. I am of course going to help my sister out and bring Toast to my house.  I am going to do everything in my power to make sure Toast doesn't get diabetes.

Well.... hope all your fur babies are doing amazing


Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Veterinarian Office

A lot has happened since my last blog post, especially with the vet office. We'd been going to my last vet office since 2010.  I was there so often I know most of the staff personally. 3 of the techs have been my cats sitters and even though 2 of them have moved we still texts or talk on facebook about my cats.  I really have great relationships with them. Well... the vet finally was able to retire and sell his business.  The new vet came in and boy were things changed.  She pulled Merry off Metacam first thing which didn't surprise me.  The old vet had him on it for only about 2 months but I know there is a black box warning for cats since it can really hurt their kidneys. The new vet wanted to do laser therapy, acupuncture, a shot for me to take home that inserts gel on his joins, a supplement, and a narcotic. Ughhhh I already pay so much money for his other meds for his diabetes I just couldn't do all that.  I did get the supplement and the pain med.  Merry is really old now, and honestly if his arthritis looks so bad that he can't get around happily then I'll just have to put him down.

Anyways... the new vet ended up requesting that I bring Merry in.  She wanted to do a free consultation.  It was odd to me that she didn't want to see Pippin also since they have pretty much the same issues.  I took Merry in and she was really wanted me to switch their food to wet food.  She said each cat would need 3 cans a day.  So that's 180 cans a month.... I would guess that's going to be at least $150 a month doubling the amount I pay on food now.  Plus Merry is regulated really well on dry food and I'm afraid to switch him.  OK... fine.  So I had already made up my mind that I wasn't going to do that.  Then I did a glucose curve on the cats.  I did it every three hours for a 12 hour period.  Now that they are more regulated my original vet set this was fine to do instead of the every 2 hours for 12 hours.  I emailed the results of this test and then I got a snarky email back about how I did the curve completely wrong and that I needed to poke their ears every hour for 12 hours.  That's 12 pokes in their little ears.  After this email I googled cat glucose curves and the information I found was ever 2-3 hours.  So I was doing it correctly.  Then one of my vet tech friends (who got me my records for the new vet) told me a lot of long term clients are leaving because of the new vet's bedside manner. This tech also told me that the doctor had without insulin refill for another client who had decided to find another vet.  I was shocked at this because insulin is life saving.  Not just some vitamin.  I knew I had to go.

Changing vets is not easy if you have special needs cats.  You have already established records at the old vet.  When you switch vets you have to do a whole new wellness visit.  So there went $120 for both cats.  Then since Pippin's glucose is high and he's already on 6 units of Prozinc the new vet wanted to get some more current blood work on him just to see if something is triggering it, another $140.  The results came back just find so now we are going to try Pippin on 7 units of Prozinc. So $260 to switch vets.  Another unexpected cost of having diabetic cats. I never imagined it would be as expensive as it is.  I am happy with the new vet office.  I am already more comfortable there then I was so that's good.  I recommend if you ever feel it in your gut to switch vets just do it. In the end it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cat Paw Prints Framed

My cats are my world.  I would never abandon them.. even if I was moving, they were sick (see previous posts), or for any reason really.  They are getting older so I've been thinking more about ways to enjoy them and be able to remember them.  Sooooo I started thinking about making their paw prints into cute art.  I looked all over the internet to find out how.  Pinterest and blogs all gave some great advice.  All the posts I saw were for dogs and the paw prints always looked perfect.  That certainly was not the case.



I got my supplies together first.  I ran by IKEA the other day and picked up some frames (I can't find the frames on their website... they have them in stores only $2.99) and then I went ahead and grabbed some popsicle prints that were .99 cents that are supposed to go in the 2.99 frames (found here). Honestly those .99 cent prints were way cheaper then any card board stock I could find in a store.  I then went by Michaels and bought some paint and stickers.  Then paint was $1.69 Crayola Brand Washable Kids' Paint. You want your paint to be washable and you want it to be nontoxic.  Believe me!  The paint will get everywhere (so you want it washable) and your cat will lick their paws even after you wash their paws so you want to make sure it is nontoxic.  I did see some people use acrylic paint but I was worried about using that. The stickers were in the scrapbook section and were $4.99 but I used the Michaels' app and got 50% off those.  I have horrible handwriting so that's why I used stickers.  If you have nice handwriting maybe paint their names on the print.

Supplies:
Frames
Strong Paper for the art work (card stock)
Paint
Cat
Paper towels
Scratch Paper to practice





Get ready to begin.  Corral your cat into the location you want to do this.  Don't do it on carpet. I brought in a tray thinking I was going to have them stand on it to get the print but I found it easier to just have Merry and Pippin lay down and hold the paper up to their foot once the paint is on it.  Also... originally I had painted his entire foot. Don't do this.  Try to use a paint brush and only get the paint on the paw pads and none on the fur. If you do get a lot of it on their fur you may end up with a blob of paint rather then a paw print.  There were five of the popsicle prints from IKEA so I only had five shots at getting a good print so I practiced some.

Merry
Trying out a few paw prints on scratch paper

Chose your favorite paw print

Pippin wants out of the bathroom!

After you push their paws onto the paper get their paws washed off right away.  Not only so the paint doesn't get everywhere, but also so they don't have a chance to lick their paws. I have no idea how people get a perfect paw print.  I did read some people were using ink pads but I like the look of paint better.  The advice for this project I can give you is have fun and don't worry about perfection.  I do believe that cat paws are going to be harder then dog paws because they are smaller.  Luckily my cats are short hair too because cats with long fur in their paws might be messy to wash off!




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Homemade Cat Box

So you may have read on my previous post that Merry has arthritis and it's getting advanced.  So he does have a harder time getting up and down stairs to use the litter box and was even having a few accidents.  I knew I needed to move a litter box up into the living room but really hated the idea because litter gets everywhere.  One night my husband went out in the garage and created a box he had seen online.  I wanted to wait and post about it after we sanded it and painted it but we still haven't got around to that so ... I'll post what it looks like now.  It's still pretty.. but I would like it to be painted white.








It's easy to clean out and really makes a big difference for Merry going to the bathroom.  He hasn't had an accident since we built it.  I had Merry on only a narcotic (torbegesie) for his arthritis but since it's getting worse I asked the vet to try something different.  He is now on Metacam and was also on Tramadol for pain (Tramadol comes in little tubes and you wipe it in their ears).  Well, turns out that now Tramadol is under control from the FDA so I have to get a prescription and take it to a pharmacy?  That doesn't totally make sense to me because isn't a vet office technically also a pharmacy for pets?  Anyways... it wasn't really working so I was just about to switch him back to Torbegesie.  So when I went to the vet and asked to switch apparently Torbegesie has been on back order for 6 months.  I was like... what are cats getting for pain then if neither one of these meds are available at the vet and they just kind of shrugged.  Annoying.  A new vet takes over the practice tomorrow (see previous posts).  I am kind of excited about it because maybe they will be able to help me get Merry on something better for the pain.

I had to find another cat sitter.  Sigh.  The second one I found is now moving.  So the third one is also from my vet office (this is my third vet tech who will be a cat sitter). I am really comfortable having them sit my cats incase something bad happens. My other cat Pippin has been doing really well.  We did just do a glucose curve and he was a little high so we upped his Prozinc 2 units.  It's scary though since he had that major drop in glucose last summer.

If you ever wonder how to make a cat box like this for your little box be sure to check out Pinterest.  They have a lot of ideas.

Edit:  We added another entryway for us to be able to clean the litter.  It makes a big difference to not have to take everything off of the top every time we scoop.  I tried to get an up-close shot of the hinges being used. Now I just need to paint this thing!



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Updates!! #diabeticcats

Well... next cat (Pippin) was up for a teeth cleaning.  I had been putting it off for a couple years. Merry went in a few years ago and it cost soooo much money.  So I had to wait.  I wish cat teeth cleanings weren't so expensive, maybe more people would do it. Pippin's teeth aren't as bad as Merry's.  Even though diabetes can ruin their teeth Pippin's has stayed pretty good.  In Pippin's 12 years of life I've had his teeth cleaned 5 times. I do think it's well worth it.  We had a cat growing up who passed away because an infection that went from his teeth to his liver.  Plus... have you ever had tooth pain???  Wowsers.  A cat can't even tell you if they have pain so it's pretty important to get their teeth cleaned.  Pippin did have two teeth pulled.  Both had Resorptive Lesion. I had no idea what this was so I had to look it up.  Apparently.. this is where cells will absorb the tooth into the gum until eventually the tooth is gone!   WHAT THE!  It is supposed to be quite painful.  Just goes to show why it is even more important for you to clean your cats teeth.




Merry has been limping a lot, so I contacted the vet office and told them.  I asked if we could try a different medicine to treat it.  My old vet had put him on Torbugesie which I think he's been on now for about 1 1/2 years.  He doesn't seem to be doing great on it.  So now we are trying Metacam (anti-inflammatory) and Tramadol for pain.  I really hope we get him able to not limp as much.  He is still mobile though, gets around the house.  Can get to his food and water.  We noticed he's had a few issues with his bladder (Merry is supposed to be about 15 1/2 years old).  He was sleeping on the couch recently and must've been so comfy didn't bother to get up to pee.  So there was pee on the couch.  We built a litter box cover and moved one of the litter boxes up to the living room which seems to be really helping him.  In my next post, I'm going to show you what it looks like.

My vet office is now going to switch vets.  So if you've read previous posts you would've read that my vet was let go... and ever since she left I haven't really had to see the owner of the vet office.  He's an older man and wanted to pass the vet office onto his niece (the vet who was let go).  Since that didn't happen the office has been up for sale.  On March 1st a new group is going to take over.  I am not sure if they will keep it a cat only veterinarian office or what.  One of my favorite vet techs (and current cat sitter) left before the new company takes over.  I am so sad.  It is hard to find a good vet and now everyone is leaving.  I hope the girl at the front desk doesn't leave, I interact with her a lot.  March 1st we'll see what happens.

How are your diabetic cats???