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Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by srh4601, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. srh4601

    srh4601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Hi, my 10-year-old male cat Boo was diagnosed on 1/4/2018. His blood glucose was over 5o0 and vet recommended changing to Fancy Feast canned food (I picked up Fancy Feast Classic - a variety of fish and poultry pate) and starting Lantus or Levemir 2 units twice a day. I have not yet started insulin as I wanted to do the gradual diet change first. I am a low-income single parent and my two cats are my therapy animals. The initial vet visit was $255 and the insulin will be almost $300 for a vial. I am struggling financially and am not sure I will be able to keep Boo. The thought of rehoming him breaks my heart, but I am unsure what to do at this point. I have called many organizations for information and applied for some financial assistance through a local non-profit, but they have no funds at this time. The owner of the non-profit told me to check on Vetsulin, as one of her clients has a diabetic cat who uses Vetsulin and it is much lower in cost. I plan to call my vet on Monday to ask if Vetsulin would be an option for Boo. I do not have a glucose monitor at home, but my cousin is sending me one in the mail. She said it is an older model and I may not be able to find test strips for it. So I guess I'm looking for any advice on obtaining help with the costs of insulin, vet visits, and a glucose monitor. Any other advice or just kind words of support are appreciated. I hope to be able to keep Boo at home. Thanks for reading!
     
  2. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Most of us are buying our Lantus/Levemir from Canada because it's 1/3rd the price!

    Here's the information on buying from Marks Marine Pharmacy

    They are really great and still know the meaning of "customer service!!"......if it weren't for them, I would have had to take my own cat off Lantus too due to the cost!!

    Most of us use the Relion Confirm or Micro meter from WalMart....you do NOT need a special "pet meter" (and the strips are horribly expensive!) It's about $15 and the strips are $35.88/100. It also takes the tiniest sample size.

    Once the ears "learn to bleed", you could even change to the Relion Prime....it's strips are even cheaper (but it takes a larger sample size so it's not a good choice for "new" ears)
     
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  3. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Vetsulin isn't really a good choice for cats. It tends to hit "hard and fast" and then wear off long before the next shot time.

    Lantus or Levemir are much better choices!!

    If you still can't afford the insulin and supplies (even from Canada and WalMart) please contact me by PM. I'm a case manager for DCIN (Diabetic Cats In Need) and if you qualify for our Compassionate Assistance Program, we can help supply you with at least starting supplies/insulin.

    To send me a PM just click on my name and choose "Start Conversation"
     
  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Sorry about the diagnosis. Ordering lantus from Canada is much cheaper. You can get 5 3 unit pens for $150 which should last about a year. Vetsulin is another way to go.... My cat does well on it, some don't. A vial of that is $35 from valleyvet.com and lasts about 3 months. ProZinc is another choice and usually around $130. The initial diagnosis is a lot up front but maintaining isn't super expensive.
     
  5. srh4601

    srh4601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Thank you! I am wondering if Lantus or Levemir is the way to go... also is there a better option between pens and a vial of insulin?
     
  6. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    The pens are a better option. They come as a 5-pack, each pen holding 3 mL of insulin. Any unopened pens in the pack are good until the expiry date, generally two years down the line. A vial will likely likely lose its oomph well before you finish the vial. Not so for the 3 mL pens.
     
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  7. srh4601

    srh4601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Does anyone know if I can get syringes from Marks Marine Pharmacy as well?
     
  8. Fiona & Ruby

    Fiona & Ruby Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    Welcome to you and Boo! The initial outlay of costs can seem overwhelming (I can really relate) but as @JanetNJ shared, it really does lessen over time and you're usually not doling out money at the same time (ie strips run out at different time to syringes etc). I'm so glad you found this place, it has been a life saver for me (and my Ruby girl). I have had great success on Lantus and with a complete diet change to all wet low carb she's done really well. One suggestion I would make is don't hold off starting insulin. If Boo is giving readings in the 500's you'll want to give the pancreas and kidney immediate support (with both insulin and diet). Without this he runs the risk of DKA which can be very costly both health and $. Once you get yourself home testing it will really support you to make some empowered decisions to help Boo.
    You'll get some amazing support from this forum and whilst it can all feel overwhelming trying to get your head around everything....it will get easier.
     
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  9. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Very good point, Fiona.

    @srh4601 - One thing to get hold of ASAP is ketone testing strips (e.g. Ketostix, or Relion ketone strips from Walmart). You'll then be able to keep an eye on Boo's urine to make sure he's ketone-free while you're getting all your ducks in a row on the insulin side of things. More about ketones here:

    Testing your cat for ketones

    Tips for collecting urine samples

    Fingers and paws crossed that Boo will stay ketone-free but it's much safer to do the precautionary tests. As Fiona says above, DKA requires hospital treatment ($$$).


    Mogs
    .
     
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  10. srh4601

    srh4601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    I am waiting to hear back from the Compassionate Assistance Program to see if I qualify to receive insulin. Do any of you still feed small amounts of dry food along with the wet food? My vet says this is ok and has given me a list of dry foods that would be acceptable. My kitty loves his kibble. I am currently transitioning him from dry to wet food but would like to supplement with a small amount of high protein, low carb dry food once per day. What do you think?
     
  11. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    There are a very limited number of dry low enough in carb. Young Again Zero carb, Dr Elseys clean protein chicken, and epigen 90. I leave a small amount of young again available.
     
  12. srh4601

    srh4601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Thank you, Janet. The food brands she listed were Wellness Core, Innova EVO, Nature's Variety Raw Instinct, and Purina Pro Plan. I am going to Petco today to look at what's available. I'll check on the names you listed as well.
     
  13. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Wellness is 18% carb.... Definitely no to that one.

    Evo is 8%carb...no bad if it's small amounts but the company has recently stopped making this, so it may be hard to find.

    Natures Variety is about 9%.... Not bad in small amounts.

    Pro plan kitten is 20% and pro plan adult is 23% carb. Don't feed this at all.


    You want foods under 10%, under 7% is better.

    You can get a free sample of the Young Again Zero carb food if you ask for it at Youngagainpetfood.com. It's not sold in store.

    Dr Elseys clean protein chicken is 5% carb and can be bought on chewy.com. You can also find epigen on chewy.... It's 5-6%.
     
  14. srh4601

    srh4601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Thank you. I will call the number on the Young Again website tomorrow and request a sample. He is 10 years old... do I go with Young Again Zero Mature Health?
     
  15. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Yes, that one or the regular young again. Either is ok.
     
  16. srh4601

    srh4601 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    What about treats? We always give him a few treats after we clip his nails. Do I need to buy a specific kind?
     
  17. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Freeze dried meat or fish treats work well. Many buy the Pure Bites brand in the dog version and break them up - better value. Also very good but pricier are the Orijen brand freeze dried treats, usually available in specialty pet food stores. There are 4 or 5 flavour blends. Some people will poach or roast a plain chicken breast, dice it into small pieces and freeze those. Just take out a day's supply at a time.
     
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  18. Lesliejm

    Lesliejm Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    upload_2018-1-7_16-49-28.png upload_2018-1-7_16-50-4.png Are these okay? You can get them at PetSmart.
     
  19. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016

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