Overwhelmed!

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Fit_Jan, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Fit_Jan

    Fit_Jan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    I rescued Linus, who was a kitten living outdoors, from North Carolina while visiting a friend during Thanksgiving 2004. He had a bad upper respiratory infection and needed vet care from the start. He has been a great companion for me and my son (single mom) over the years. We have had several health issues to manage with Linus, he has had a majority of his teeth removed as one example.

    At this point in time, I am working 60 hour weeks on average and my son is now in college full time with all those costs. We are away from the house well over 12 hours each day. Linus was diagnosed with diabetes in April, and the vet bill was staggering. He had a kidney infection, all kinds of lab work done, and we got sent home with the expensive Purina prescription diet food. Each set of tests that they do for him cost over $150.00. I have spent over $600.00 since his diagnosis and that does not include the over due test that I haven't gotten or the $400.00 + bottle of insulin + what ever supplies and follow up testing that may be required.

    I'm sad to say this, but we have run out of time and resources for Linus. I know that with pet ownership comes responsibilities, however our life circumstances have changed vastly over the years. I don't have the time or the money right now to give him, based on all of the attention and treatment that he needs. When I read here about all the testing and follow that is required to care for a diabetic cat, I am simply overwhelmed.

    Right now we are feeding him the prescription diet, and he seems so lethargic. I spent a lot of money on that food to find out that it is not actually the best option for the cat from what I'm reading.

    I am also currently working through my own stress related health challenges at this time.

    I'm at wits, end. I really would like someone to adopt Linus, someone with the time and resources to care for a cat with special needs.

    I'm posting because I'm at wits end. I'm not up to the fight based on my current energy, focus, and financial circumstances. Don't judge but I had some one suggest that we have him put down.

    Sad
     
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    no one is going to judge you here. ((hugs)) we do have suggestions for managing the cost if you decide to keep him, but if ultimately you decide to rehome, then the DCIN (Diabetic Cats in Need) organization may be able to help.

    1. the diet... as you mentioned you have found the prescription food is not needed... nor is it ideal. That's a GOOD thing. You can return the unused cans you got... most vets will take them back. Most here feed regular grocery store fancy feast or friskies pate. :)

    2. The $150 curves are totally unnecessary if you start testing at home. The relion meter at walmart is $17, 100 test strips (about a month's worth) are $35, and lancets are about $1-10 for a box of 100 depending on the brand you get. Once i started testing at home my cat never went back to the vet. I just emailed her a copy of my cat's spreadsheet every other week or so so she could be in the loop. Testing isn't as hard as you would think. I have a video of how I test my cat in my signature if you want to see. You would want to grab a quick test before the shot, so 2 tests minimum, then if you could get a mid cycle one, or do curves on days off that will give a clearer picture on if the dose you are using is the most effective ... or if it's too much or too little.

    3. Is the insulin you need Lantus? Many on this board buy from Mark's Marine Pharmacy in Canada and have it shipped to the states. You can get 5 lantus 3ML pens for about $150.... that's about a year supply depending on your dose.

    you definitely do need to think about what's best for yourself too... but we can help if you want it.
     
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  3. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    It is evident you love your cat and want to give him the care he needs. My heart goes out to you. We can help you keep the costs for treatment of the diabetes down but there is also a small time commitment. It really sounds a lot more intense than it is. We have many folks working full time and some who even travel for work managing their diabetic cats but each person's situation is different and you have to make the decision that is best for you. No one is going to judge you if you decide to rehome Linus. DCIN may be able to assist with costs for equipment and insulin if you decide to keep Linus or they will assist you to find another loving home if that is ultimately the decision you make. :bighug::bighug:
     
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  4. Fit_Jan

    Fit_Jan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Thank you, thank you. I am so glad I posted! I know there must be some reasonable answer. My son is overwhelmed too because his first year of college didn't go as well as he would have liked. I think we are both attention drained. I need to take a deep breath and read what you are saying Janet and and Mr's Mom.

    I don't know what type of insulin they are suggesting because I was supposed to go back for additional testing this month. I don't have another $150.00 to give to the vet. Also I purchased the prescription food from Chewy.com, I was hoping it would be the answer. I am not sure of their return policies. I will look into that now because I just purchased a case + dry food from them. I was hoping that would be the answer. <sigh>

    So I never received a prescription yet, I haven't been back to the vet, I haven't paid for my last bill yet. Can't keep letting these costs stack up, it will be $1,000.00 before I know it!
     
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Chewy is great with returns. Just say your cat wouldn't eat it. Low carb food is important, but really insulin is necessary 99% of the time as their bodies aren't producing enough.

    I also want to say that it's not uncommon for a cat to go into remission! With home monitoring you have a lot more contol over your dose... If you can get your cat into healing numbers, many cats (not all) can regain insulin production and not need the shots! Many cats can heal enough to eventually become diet controlled. (Remission can last week's to years.). My cat went into remission after 4 months and has stayed in remission for the past 9 months. We can help with dosing advice (most vets suck at it we have found).
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
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  6. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    You could try applying to the diabetic cats in need and see if you qualify for assistance.
     
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  7. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Here's a link to Dr. Lisa's food chart....it's very helpful. Just pick something under 10% carbs. Fancy Feast classic or Friskies pate are lower cost options all under 10%.

    http://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf


    If the dr. Perscribes lantus, you can sometimes get Walmart to sell you a single lantus pen (then you can use a syringe in it just like the 10 ml vial) until you can save up to make an order from Marks. I think a single pen of it at Walmart is something like $89.... Better than the $300 the vet will charge for the 10 ml vial.
     
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  8. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    If the vet quoted you $400+ for the insulin, and you are located in the US, then Lantus is likely what he is suggesting. For some reason, vets don't seem to know that buying the small vials that human diabetics use with an insulin pen, can be used with a syringe for cats and results in little to no waste. There are other insulin options that may be less expensive as far as initial financial output is concerned but I'm not sure if they are cheaper to use over time or not. The last time I calculated based on Cdn. costs, the difference over time was minimal.

    Just a suggestion.....start Linus on a low carb wet diet right away. I see Janet has supplied the link to the latest food list! :D Change Linus' diet over a few days to a week to prevent any GI upset. That alone may make a big difference in his BG levels and some cats have actually gone into remission just with a dietary change. Give that a try for a week or two unless the vet tells you there is some urgency to starting insulin. In the meantime, here is a webpage with information about DCIN so you can see what they are about and how to contact them.

    http://fdmb-cin.blogspot.ca/p/our-missionactivitiespeople.html
     
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  9. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    i have to ask... does Linus have a blue blanket? ;)
     
  10. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    One more request from me.....Can you please remove the "GA" from your message title? In our jargon here, that stands for "gone ahead" and Linus is very much still with us! :D To change the title, go to the upper right hand screen area and click on "THREAD TOOLS", then on "Edit Title". At the left of the title box, you can take the "GA" prefix off. Thank you! :)
     
  11. Teresa & Buddy

    Teresa & Buddy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    My heart goes out to you, we all love our kitty's and want what is best for them. Listen to these ladies they know more about dosing, insulin's and food for your kitty than most vets do. One thing is for sure, if you get insulin do not give your doctor's dose amount without checking here first, they will always tell you too much. Go to Walmart and buy your kitty some FF or Friskies, he will probably like it better. I hope that maybe some of the fog surrounding this diagnosis is starting to clear.
     
  12. Fit_Jan

    Fit_Jan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Oh my gosh! I thought that GA stood for Georgia!!! Eeek!! Changing it now!
     
  13. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I thought it ment "general audience" when I first started here. Lol
     
  14. Fit_Jan

    Fit_Jan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Linus is currently eating
    Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DM Dietetic Management Formula Adult Cat Food canned food. He has been on that food for about 1 month now. He has been eating with no problems, his pee bricks in the litter box are not as huge as they used to be.
    He's still drinking a good bit of water but nothing like before, he was obsessed with water before we took him to the vet, we had muddy cat litter paw prints everywhere! We had to move the water bowl and close all the lids on the toilets!!


    I just opened a new case of the Purina DM today, I wonder if Chewy will take back a partial case. If I'm understanding correctly, the foods in the list is better than the DM, and much expensive (even better!)?
     
  15. Fit_Jan

    Fit_Jan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    The vet sold me the dry food and I bought more from Chewy! :banghead:

    I have a healthy younger cat named O'Bonnie, he is eating the dry kibbles. I thought I was doing right by him having him eat the DM kibbles. I'm a mess. I bought him a different kind of low carb expensive canned food trying to do right by him.

    I'm so glad I found this site and all of you angles. Prayer works!

    So I have a lot of the wrong food on my hands now. Not to mention the half case of the Trader Joe's cat food that I thought was the bee's-knees.

    Bonnie has a sensitive GI, I tried some commercial brands with him and he thew up before he ever even ate a bite! He didn't throw up on the Trader Joe's brand so I thought it was a superior product. I was also feeding them the Costco dry cat food. Oy...
     
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  16. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Ok No beating yourself up here! We've all been there and recovered!

    I'm not sure what the DM canned food carb load is but it is definitely considerably more expensive than Fancy Feast Classics or Friskies both of which are perfectly good alternatives. Chewy's should take back the cans you have left in the case. After all you have to try one can to figure out kitty doesn't like it! :rolleyes: The DM dry food is 18% carbs which is far too high for Linus. Ideally you would feed food under 10% and most are feeding 5% and under here. There are two or three dry food alternatives available to you in the US (you are in the US right?) and you could try to transition your other furkid to the lower carb that is OK for Linus too.

    Not familiar with the Trader Joe's. Check the food list and see if it's under 10% carbs. :)
     
  17. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Finish up the dry....it's not a bad thing to have some higher carb food on hand for if your cat goes low and you need to raise the numbers. Maybe someone can do the carb count on the trader Joe's.... Can you snap a picture of the lable with the ingredients and nutrition facts?

    The canned perscription food is fine, just expensive.... So either use it up or call and send it back.

    Please remember we were all a mess at this in the beginning. I went through two cases of perscription canned and two bags of dry before I came here and learned I didn't need it. And lord knows I shed a lot of scared and frustrated tears in the beginning.... It will get easier and you have a lot of folks here to help!
     
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  18. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Wait which trader joes do you have? Several of the flavors are listed on the food chart and are OK (under 10%)... Look IMG_4803.PNG
     
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  19. Fit_Jan

    Fit_Jan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    You are so very kind!!!
    I'm going out of town next weekend to attend a family reunion. So if I am going to start a food switch, I need to start it today.

    I'm not going to be able to digest that entire food list today (no pun intended)

    I gathered Dr. Pierson likes food with liver, Linus used to love Fancy Feast, the kind with gravy (which is a no-no) of course! I will go find him some Fancy Feast Classics Liver and Chicken.

    I will look at switching out or discontinuing the dry food when we get back from our trip.
     
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  20. Fit_Jan

    Fit_Jan Member

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    Jun 16, 2017
    We have the Trader Joe's Turkey and Rice. It's just over the line. Thanks for posting that snap shot!
     
  21. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    We the turkey one is ok. You can certainly feed it to your other kitty. The tuna is ok
     
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  22. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Well save it for when you need to steer up, or feed it to your other kitty. :)
     
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  23. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    So glad to know I wasn't the only one who walked through my house leaving a trail of tear drops in the early days! I think a lot of us do it and now we look back and wonder why we got into such a state. Baby steps, one day at a time and we (kitties and humans) come out the other side of the initial cloud just fine!

    If Linus liked the Gravy Lovers Fancy Feast, you can try mixing a bit of water into the pates to make it more gravy like. Might help entice him.
     
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  24. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    The DM pate wet food is around 6% carbs and the "savory selects" is around 10%.
     
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  25. Fit_Jan

    Fit_Jan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    I feel so much better than I did this morning!!

    {{{{{{{{{Hugs to everyone here}}}}}}}}}}

    I have to run some errands related to my trip next weekend, but I will be check back here as soon as we get settled.

    Looks like I have to build up the courage to start testing Linus. I do not want to take another $100.00+ to the vet if Linus does indeed need insulin. I never actually received the prescription from her, she wanted me to bring him back for testing last week. I think I read somewhere, perhaps here, that someone didn't go back to the vet, just reported back to the vet. Please let me know your thoughts on this. I don't know how to approach the vet to get the prescription. I'm sure she will say she needs to test him again before she writes. She's a nice lady, I know she's running a business but my expenses are high, I can not keep taking $100's of dollars to her.

    We are at an impasse.

    I am in the Atlanta, GA area, USA.
     
  26. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I promise you after the first few days testing is not difficult.
     
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  27. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Here's the my thoughts.

    If you can get a human glucometer (Relion Micro or Confirm are commonly used here) and test Linus without food for 2 hours and then randomly a few times, you can just show the vet the numbers you are getting at home. She may want to do a random test but there is no need for her to do a curve (multiple readings over an 8 to 12 hour period). Make sure she knows you are using a human glucometer and that the normal on your human meter is 50 to 120. Your vet may use a pet meter which will read higher. 50 on a human meter is the equivalent to 68 on a pet meter and the normal range on a pet meter is 68 to 150. The difference between the meters is generally larger the higher the BG is. As an informed caregiver, just tell the vet, you decided to test Linus at home because you understand that stress can raise BG and give artificially raised values. Get the vet to write you a prescription but DO NOT tell her you plan to order your insulin from Canada. Tell her you are going to check local pharmacies for best price. If you tell her you are going to order from Canada she could refuse to give you the prescription.

    As Janet indicated, testing is easy. It may take a few tries but it's not hard and it will save you a ton of money and Linus a ton of stress. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    Reason for edit: corrected "over 8 to 12 hour period" typo!
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  28. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Hello and welcome to the board Jan and Linus!
    Now that you've introduced yourself and Linus, we would like to invite you to post over on Health - (The Main Forum) where you'll have the benefit of having more than a few member's eyes on your questions and concerns.
    Hope to see you posting often! :)
     
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