This morning gave me a bit of a shock. I had decided to perform curves on my sugar-boys, Tucker and Neville, today. Starting at six, I took blood samples from them, starting with the Nevsky, and read them in the glucometer. What startled me was Tucker’s: it was 1.8.
The ideal blood-glucose reading is between eight and four. Three is approaching worrisome territory, and two is a danger. Back in March, I took a reading from the roly poly just after I had given him insulin. It was 3.2, and dropped to 2.2 with the effects of insulin. Now, he was below that. I knew that the reading was very likely an accurate measurement because the one I had taken from Nev earlier had put him at 15.9, not far from his other starting points.
I wondered how many times recently had Tucker been so low without my knowledge, yet I had given him his usual dose of insulin? He had survived all of those instances, if there had been any, and this time, of course, I gave him no insulin. This, combined with his behaviour, which in no way indicated trouble, determined that I would not call the animal hospital, as I had in March; without insulin, the Tuckster’s numbers would probably not diminish, and with treatment, they would go up.
I rubbed corn syrup onto his gums several times and gave him food to eat. Fortunately, he was hungry, not having eaten through the night, and I gave him Temptation Treats and also the lower-grade food I provide for the outsider-cats (most of which is stolen by birds) which, as is the way with cheap food, apparently tastes better than the better grade. This prompted Tucker to eat more.
An hour later, Tucker’s blood-glucose number was 2.9, and I felt confident. By nine o’clock, it was 3.4 and at eleven, well on its way to a reading that would be normal if uninfluenced by insulin. Indeed, by the late afternoon, it was 22.1: high, but usual for that time of day, just before his dose of medicine.
I have no idea what may have contributed to such a fall in his blood-sugar rating. Simply not eating through the night would not do it; he usually starts the day with a high number, for which the normal amount of insulin is injected at the normal time. Most factors in a diabetic cat’s life contrive to raise the numbers, not lower it; a diabetic’s numbers are, by the nature of the condition, high.
Also by the nature of the condition, I have discovered, is the often irregular and confounding state of a diabetic’s blood-sugars. Taking readings every day is practicable but not, I think, practical, given the amount of punishment that would be inflicted on a cat’s ears over a short period of time. However, for the next few days, at least, I will be checking Tucker’s numbers in the mornings before any insulin is administered. It will give me peace of mind while I am at work, and Tucker some safety while he is at home.