Help with diabe supplies

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Angel-007, Aug 7, 2015.

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  1. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    Hi,
    About 3 weeks agomy cat was diagnosed with diabetes then diabetec ketosis. He's been hospitalized since last Thursday and costs are mounting. How do you deal with the expenses of Insulin,diabetec food etc one bag of cat food was 35.00 for a 6 pound bag.
    I've looked on line for agencys however the I haven't had any luck finding one which helps work people who are employed
     
  2. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
  3. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Welcome Angel. You might try www.dcin.info and see if they can help.
     
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  4. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    Once your kitty returns home, it will be very helpful and inexpensive to test for ketones at home. You can buy inexpensive ketones strips anywhere diabetic supplies are sold or stores like Walmart and Target.

    Home testing your cat's BG (blood glucose) levels is very important and will ensure the correct dose of insulin has been given. Expert members here at FDMB will be able to guide you. Plus, you'll spare yourself considerable time and money running back and forth to the vet to check BG levels. The BG curve, something many vets try to push to do at the vet, can be done at home. Also, with home testing, you'll get more accurate BG #'s than you would at the vet since vet BG #'s tend to be higher, especially with a stressed cat.

    As Larry mentioned, a lot of us use Walmart's ReliOn Micro or Confirm human glucomters and strips. They are inexpensive compared to pet-specific glucometers and strips. Your vet may push you to buy a pet glucometer but there's no need for one. We have an excellent glucometer chart you can show your vet if there's ever an issue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oI_34_EgqeKdpyttFW0oLoG1mbw16IkATAWHhoQD2JU/pub

    Plus, the chart will be a good reference for you to have on hand when you give insulin.

    Has your cat been hospitalized since yesterday or Thursday of last week?

    Welcome and glad you found us. You'll be in good hands with FDMB.
     
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  5. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB, the best place you never wanted to be.

    There are 4 things you'll need to manage your kitty's diabetes:
    - You - without your commitment, the following won't work.
    - Home blood glucose monitoring with an inexpensive human glucometer such as the WalMart Relion Confirm or Target Up and Up (the pet ones will break your budget!). This saves you the cost of going to the vet for curves and done regularly, removes the need for a fructosamine test.
    - Low carb over the counter canned or raw diet, such as many Friskies pates. See Cat Info for more info. If already on insulin, you must be home testing before changing the diet. Food changes should be gradual to avoid GI upsets - 20-25% different food each day until switched. There are 2 low carb, dry, over the counter foods in the US - Evo Cat and Kitten dry found at pet specialty stores and Young Again 0 Carb found online.
    - A long-lasting insulin such as ProZinc, Lantus, BCP PZI, or Levemir. No insulin lasts 24 hours in the cat, so giving it every 12 hours is optimal for control.
     
  6. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    I'm using Humlin...its several hundred dollars and its what the vrt recommended. I'm feeding him Purina DM dry n wetfood.
     
  7. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    Hi,
    Thank you for responding. I will seek out the dry food you mentioned. He is on Humlin insulin twice daily...it's very expensive,several hundred dollars.
     
  8. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Where do you live? Humulin NPH is fairly cheap in the continental US.
     
  9. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Dry food is not recommended for diabetic cats. Please see the links we gave you above. Diabetic cats need wet food in their diets.

    Humulin/Novolin is cheap to purchase in the U.S. They are short-acting and fast-acting so at most, your cat may get up to 6 to 8 hours of benefit, not 12 hours. IT can be quite harsh on cats.
     
  10. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    The vet said I could use the dry food. I didn't know it was harsh. Where I live it's 400.00
     
  11. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    I live in New York
     
  12. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Humulin is Eli Lilly's trade name for a family of Recombinant DNA origin insulins. They include N (sometimes called NPH), and R (very fast actions) and mixture of the two. Only N/NPH is OK, but not that good, for cats.
    Novolin is Novo Nordisk's trade name for a family of Recombinant DNA origin insulins. They include N (sometimes called NPH), and R (very fast actions) and mixture of the two. Only N/NPH is OK, but not that good, for cats.
    Novo Nordisk's Novolin insulin is typically less expensive that Eli Lilly's Humilin
    Walmart also the same insulin under there house brand of Relion and it less expensive than Humulin and Novolin
    Enter you location i the following to find prices near you
    http://www.goodrx.com/novolin-n
     
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  13. pevsfreedom

    pevsfreedom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    I buy lancets off eBay, 300 for $10 delivered, test strips from Amazon, 300 for $50 or $25 for 50, syringes from ADW diabetes, I bought 600 for $110, and Friskies Pate food 48 cans for $25 from costco, and lantus insulin from a canadian pharmacy, 1000units for $150 shipped. Shopping around is basically required with FD but it's manageable, doing all this I save literally thousands on supplies over the year.
     
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  14. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    This link many of us use is helpful in explaining why feeding dry food for cats isn't good: http://catinfo.org

    Many vets are unfortunately unfamiliar with feline diabetes, diets and insulins. That's why we have wonderful FDMB. There are lots of members here with tons of knowledge and experience in managing feline diabetes.

    As Larry and Kitties pointed out, you can buy Novolin N at Walmart under their ReliOn brand but it isn't the best insulin for cats. Last time I checked, the price was under $25 for a vial. It is the same as Humulin, just under a different manufacturer. Humulin is indeed more expensive simply because it is sold by another manufacturer.

    Yes, Humulin can be quite harsh on a cat. To get optimum benefit, you'd likely have to give it every 8 hours instead of 12 hours if your cat is bouncing a lot, which is common with Novolin and Humulin.
     
  15. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    When you have a moment, could you add a few tidbits to your signature? It will help us give you feedback.

    Editing your Signature

    In the upper right corner of the screen, within the dark blue bar, you will see ID, Inbox, and Alerts

    Click on your ID.

    On the left, under Settings, Click on Signature.
    This is where you will put information that helps us give you feedback.
    This is where you paste the link for your spreadsheet, once it is set up.
    Add any other text, such as
    your name,
    cat's name,
    date of Dx (diagnosis)
    insulin
    meter
    general location (COUNTRY, city and state/province)
    any other pertinent issues like if there are any food issues, history of DKA, hepatic lipidosis, pancreatitis, allergies, IBD, etc.

    You can have only 2 hard returns, so separate pieces of info with some spaces and |
    Click the Save Changes button at the bottom.

    Always click the Save Changes button at the bottom when you have changed anything.
     
  16. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    Thanks a million.
    As I write this I am very sad. His levels dropped last night & he wouldn't...he had a seizure... so I took him to the emergency vet. They gave hin medcine & feed hin tuna. The MD recommends tranferring him to another vet on Sunday because my normal vet is closed today.
     
  17. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    @Angel-007, I am very sorry to hear about your kitty. How old is he and what is his name? Does your kitty have other medical conditions?

    Were you able to get into to another vet today? How is your kitty today? Keep us posted, please.
     
  18. Meya14

    Meya14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    So sorry to hear about your kitty. DKA is a pretty expensive illness to treat, and takes some time to recover from. The best way to keep your cat from having more complications from it is to home test the blood sugar. This will save you $ and vet visits, as you'll be able to spot and respond to problems right away. It's not difficult, and the supplies to home test will cost about $30 only to get started. See if your vet is able to show you how, otherwise, we can show you here through videos.
     
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  19. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
  20. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Angel,

    I'm very sorry to hear about the tough time your little kitty's having at the moment. I'm glad you've found FDMB. We'll do everything we can to help you both. :)

    I see that you're feeding some dry food. If you decide to switch to wet low-carb food only, I recommend strongly that you don't do this change until you are home testing your kitty's blood glucose. Diet changes can result in blood glucose levels going lower. If a kitty is on insulin this may mean that his dose needs reducing as his carbohydrate intake gets less. Home testing will allow you to keep tabs on any lowering of your kitty's blood glucose levels during a food change, and that will keep him safe because you will be able to tell if his insulin dose needs to be reduced during the transition.

    Please ask as many questions as you need, both here and at your vet's, especially if you're not sure about anything. Has your vet given you instructions on when to feed kitty to suit the insulin you're currently using? If you let us know what instructions the vet has given you, we can maybe add supportive information to help you through these early days of your kitty's diabetes treatment? And as you've already seen, we'll be able to share lots of tips on how to save money on supplies, etc.

    I hope your kitty feels much better soon. Please keep us updated on his progress. The first while after diagnosis can be quite challenging: it's important to look after yourself as well as your kitty. If your kitty needs to stay at the vets for a little bit, try to get as much rest as you can while he's there.


    Mogs
    .
     
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  21. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    Honey is his name. He is 10 years old and one month. The vet said since he glocuse levels were ok I could bring him home. She said do not give him insulun or sub Q fluids.

    He will not eat. I brought the fancy feast food and tuna since the vet feed it to him last night. He does not have any other medical conditions..thank goodness.

    He walks different than usual..thw vettech said he has diabetec neuropathy which causes him to walk differently. She also said he won't be able to jump on things anymore..counters etc.

    Tomorrow, I'm taking off work to take him to the normalvet.

    What type of glucose meter is good? Do I get one for animals or humans?
     
  22. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    The vet tech said maybe he won't eat because he doesn't feel well. Is this normal for diabetic cats?
     
  23. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Angel,

    Thanks for the update. Honey is a perfect name for your little sugar cat. I'm sorry to hear he's not eating properly. I know how worrying that is. :bighug: I am sure he is glad to be at home with you right now.

    What sort of number range is Honey's blood glucose in at the moment? And did the emergency vet test him for ketones?
    .
     
  24. Meya14

    Meya14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    If your cat had ketones, it's actually important that he is able to get insulin, however, it has to be done safely and with frequent testing. It's not safe to give it right now if you aren't testing. As for eating, cats can have nausea with the ketones, so there are a couple medications that your vet can give you to help with nausea. You can also use a baby syringe to force feed wet food that you add a little water to. A cat really can't go for more than a day or two without eating, so it helps to do the syringe feeding. It will help him get stronger so he can eat on his own.

    Human glucometers are fine, you can pick up the relion from walmart or the Up&Up from target. Both have very cheap strips.
     
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  25. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi again, Angel.

    I'm in the UK and it's very late this side of the Atlantic. I need to give you some info now before I sign off.

    When you take Honey to the vet tomorrow:

    1. Get him tested for ketones.

    2. Get them to check his blood glucose level and make a note of the number.

    3. Let the vet know everything you can about Honey's behaviour around food (no interest, sniffs but won't eat, licks a bit then leaves it, tries to eat a but but then starts unusual lip licking - anything like this can indicate nausea). It is vital that cats don't go very long without food because of the way their metabolisms work. If you see signs of nausea ask your vet for anti-nausea meds (e.g. generic ondansetron (not Zofran, the branded version, which is more expensive) and possibly an appetite stimulant e.g. cyproheptadine. You need to get to the root of what is putting Honey off his food.

    4. It is unclear what Honey's status is insulin-wise at the moment because we need more information. However, it is important for you to know that not having enough food and not having enough insulin puts Honey at risk of going into DKA again. You really need to discuss this with your vet tomorrow and get detailed advice on exactly what to do about insulin while Honey continues to have appetite problems (it may be necessary to give token doses but you need to get veterinary advice on this A.S.A.P.)

    The test strips for veterinary meters are much more expensive than strips for human meters so they're much more expensive to run. Many FDMB US members use the Relion Micro and Relion Confirm human meters. They're available from Walmart and the test strips are reasonably priced. (Note: human meters give lower numbers than the pet meters, but through use of a cat-specific BG reference range human meters are perfectly adequate for home BG monitoring of feline diabetics.)

    Diabetic neuropathy is treatable with daily B12 methylcobalamin oral supplementation. Vitacost B12 methylcobalamin and Zobaline are diabetic-friendly supplements and are available online. Here is a video to show you what a difference methylcobalamin supplementation can make to a diabetic cat.

     
  26. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    I don't know hos glucose levels now. At 2:30 pm at the vet it was 330. I'm going to buy a glucose monitor so I can check his levels.
    I am happy he's home with me!

    My regular vet called. She recommended an abdominal ultrasound on Tuesday to see if there is an underlying issue why he won't eat.

    This is so scary. I've read articles that diabetes can be managed but we are having a hard time. I am reading as much I can to educate myself however I am overwhelmed.
     
  27. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    There were no ketones in his urine when the vet checked..thank goodness!
     
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  28. Meya14

    Meya14 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 2, 2015
    Great for the no ketones! How are his litterbox habits? Diarrhea or straining issues? Has he gone to the litterbox in the past few days?
     
  29. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    Thank goodness he's had no litter box issues!
     
  30. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    That's good news about no ketones and no litter box issues!

    There's a lot to learn here and when I was starting out, I felt so overwhelmed. But it will get easier with guidance from members here!

    Is Honey drinking water on her own? It is very important that Honey eat and stay hydrated. If she's not eating on her own, force feed her via a syringe. When CJ wasn't eating, I forced down Wellness (grain-free).

    If not drinking on her own, force down unflavored pedialyte (found in the baby section of grocery stores, chain stores, etc).

    You can check for dehydration by pulling on Honey's nape (her neck). If it "tents up" and stays that way, she is dehydrated. Another sign of dehydration is checking her gums. Tacky gums is a sign of dehydration.

    Honey is young and has a lot of lives left. You have made the right decision by being here at FDMB. Keep us posted.
     
  31. SpecklesandMe

    SpecklesandMe Member

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    Aug 8, 2015
    Regarding the cost of the insulin (or other meds your cat might need), you can print out a couple of prescription discount cards, like this one: http://unarxcard.com/create-card.php Bring them with you to a participating pharmacy (we use CVS) and sometimes it gets you a nice discount. We save $75 off our cat's desmopressin. As Larry mentioned above, you can compare prices at different pharmacies and then use these cards on top of that to make it cheaper. It may not always give you a discount but it's worth a shot.
     
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  32. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    Thank you very much. I appreciate your advice.
     
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  33. Angel-007

    Angel-007 Member

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    Aug 7, 2015
    Hi,
    You'll see this in the morning when you log on. He was tested for ketones...and it was negative.

    He has no interest in eating or drinking.

    He ate a little on Sunday 12 a.m. On Monday about 10:00 a.m. the Dr showed me how to feed him with a syringe. By 5:00 p.m. he was vomiting.

    Today, his sonogram revealed inflammation(kidney & tummy lining..he may have IBD) Dr. Gave him antinaseu & probotic injections. She also gave me Science Diet ID canned food & medcine to give him @ home. I also give him IV fluids.

    Dr tests his blood glucose...its about 178 now. He cannot have insulin if he's not eTing.
     
  34. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    If his glucose goes up over 300 mg/dL, it can be appropriate to give a token dose of insulin.
     
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  35. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Angel,

    How are you and Honey doing today?

    :bighug:
     
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