How to get tested

Discussion in 'Acromegaly / IAA / Cushings Cats' started by Carla and Squirrel, May 18, 2017.

  1. Carla and Squirrel

    Carla and Squirrel New Member

    Apr 10, 2017
    I have the link to the MSU site for testing IGF-1 and IAA, but it doesn't look like you can submit it yourself. My vet's office is wanting to charge $330 and $117 respectively.
    I took Squirrel in for a GI Panel ($435) and a quick ultrasound yesterday and now my vet wants the Acromegaly and IAA tests along with some liver function tests, but I can't swing the pricing at the clinic.
    Does everyone go through their vet to get these tests done or is there another way?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    From my understanding, you now have to go through the vet to get these tests done. You used to be able to arrange shipping yourself. That does seem like a rather large markup. There is the charge for the blood draw and shipping on top of the MSU charges. I think I've seen others quote lower prices recently. @Bronx's dad @saltycat

    Has the vet said why they want to do the IGF-1 and IAA tests? We usually wait until people are up to 6 units a dose before suggesting the tests get done. And he might do better with a longer lasting insulin like Lantus or Levemir.
  3. Carla and Squirrel

    Carla and Squirrel New Member

    Apr 10, 2017
    I have suspected it for a few weeks and she thinks it is more likely than EPI or gastro related after the ultrasound. His liver and stomach are both enlarged. I'd like to increase his dose faster but she wants to wait for the results of the Gastro panel just to make sure. I know his dosing isn't as high yet as you guys normally see but he's fading really fast since the first bad pancreatitis flare in March so I'm looking for anything else that might help him get quality of life back sooner.
    My vet is open to other insulins but not before we have some direction. She worries about hypo and the specialist thinks we might miss a magic dose if we increase sooner than once a week. Additionally, I have a rough work schedule and can only do curves on weekends with +2 and an occasional +4 on weekday evenings.
  4. Bronx's dad

    Bronx's dad Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2016
    That is awfully high. My "expensive" internal medicine vet charged me $222 total for both tests. I heard others paid as little as $150 for both tests. I started a trial drug and had to get subsequent IGF-1 tests and found a vet willing to do it for $110 if I did not have to see her for a visit and just have the tech draw the blood. Shop around, $447 is insanely high. I never researched or asked about sending it in myself, I think MSU requires the blood to be frozen when shipped. These members recently had both tests done, maybe they can chime in for what they paid: @Adrian and Chino @Jadi & Tiffany
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  5. saltycat

    saltycat Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2016
    That seems steep to me as well, unless maybe you are in downtown NYC or another very high cost of living area. I got the testing done July of last year. Total cost was around $225-250, don't recall the exact number. That was for blood draw, shipping and cost for MSU to run tests. I think shipping alone was around $75, since it needed to be over-nighted and frozen. It also included a followup call with the vet after she spoke with a tech at MSU. The vet I use would probably be considered middle of the road cost wise in my area and I live in a huge suburban area so lots of choices.

    I agree with Wendy, getting the tests done while only at 3u might be a little early. I also like the idea of switching to lantus/levemir. My doc was a little hesitant as well until she did a little research on vetmed and agreed to write a script for Levemir.

    The SLGS protocol would be the best fit your schedule and specialist's concerns well. With the SLGS method, you do a weekly curve and adjust slowly based on the curve. I like that your specialist is aware that it can be easy to miss that "just right" dose when increasing too fast.

    It took me a while to convince my vet that I wasn't just listening to some internet quacks when it came to caring for my pet. I came to vet visits with printouts from IDEXX or Vetmed and did my homework. I was able to show her the spreadsheet we keep which helped as well. Each vet is different, some are more open to new ideas then others.

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