What are your vet cost cause I feel like I'm getting pinched.

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Tidus, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Tidus

    Tidus New Member

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    Feb 10, 2020
    Hello, just found out my cat has diabetes this week and have been back n' forth to the vet 3 times this week. One for the blood work, one to show me how to do the injection and today I have to bring him in for his first injection under observation cause they're not sure how he'll react to the insulin and suggested I let them do it there. Since I'll be at work and family will be in and out all day. So he'll be there for a few hours I guess.

    Insulin PZI U40 10mL $138
    Syringes U40 .5mL 29Gx0.6in 100ct $60

    Blood work / glucose check / heart worm check / urine sample - $578

    Prescription m/d food $50 for 24 cans (this one I know I got bamboozled)

    No idea how much it's going to cost to keep him there all morning while they observe him during his first injection but my wallet took a beating this week and the little guy definitely had a rough week as well. Wondering if pet health insurance my help? Thanks for any replies.

    (Edit: I live south of Los Angeles)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  2. SullivansDad

    SullivansDad Member

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    Jan 17, 2020
    Insulin: not sure; we started with Vetsulin which was around $55 for the vial, now on Lantus which was $340.

    Syringes: that seems very high. We got 100 syringes for $9 (from our local grocery store pharmacy).

    Testing: that's about twice what my current vet charges (and about 3 times higher than what our old vet charged). Heck, it didn't even cost that much for 4 nights of hospitalization with 24-hour supervision at our old vet.

    Those are high prices, but the area and level of care do come into play. Our old vet was in a rural area and very cheap. New one is pricier (but closer and better).
     
  3. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi, welcome to FDMB, we're glad you're here as you'll get all the help and advice you need for treating every aspect of FD.

    Vets are expensive and there's no short-cutting some things such as essential tests that can only be done there. But on an ongoing basis you should be able to source supplies at much better prices than a vet's. I'm not sure where you are in the world, sounds like the US or Canada? - there are people here that can point you in the direction of reputable websites where you'll be able to buy the necessary items without breaking the bank.

    Not sure if you're asking if it would help to take out a pet insurance policy if you haven't already, or if you have an existing policy and are wondering if you could claim on that? The answer to the first is that it's almost certainly too late to take out a new policy and hope to claim on it, as most insurers will stipulate no pre-existing conditions. The answer to the second is that you'd have to check the policy and ring the insurers to ask what's covered... some policies will cover the initial diagnostic tests and ongoing supplies for a limited period of time, eg a year, other (more expensive) policies may give whole life cover.

    Don't despair! Once you've got these preliminary tests etc done you should be able to manage at home... stick around here, read as much as you can, ask questions, and it should soon fall into place. Good luck!
     
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  4. Tidus

    Tidus New Member

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    Feb 10, 2020
    Yeah I guess that's true, I live south of LA. But even that feels a bit high. I would have liked to shop around for lower prices of course but feeling like this is an emergency situation I just said ok to literally everything they suggested.
     
  5. Tidus

    Tidus New Member

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    Feb 10, 2020
    Thank you I figured this should be the worst of it... hopefully and things get easier from here. I didn't think about the pre-existing condition thing. Geez that's sad they also do that to animals too.

    I live south of LA which everything is expensive here. Just feels even high for this area. I already did some reading around here and saw suggestions for setting up your own glucose readings so I'll look into that. This site has been very helpful.
     
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  6. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    Our initial costs were very similar to yours, but ongoing expenses have been much easier to handle. We gave the prescription food back to the vet. You should be able to get a refund for unopened cans if you decide to go with a different food choice. Since out initial visit, the only thing we've been back to the vet for is a fructosamine test. We do BGL testing and curves at home. Our vet wanted us to bring Billy in for an all day curve at first, but we said no. We knew it would be more accurate at home, since if he was at the vet, he would be stressed and wouldn't eat. There are many ways to cut costs safely while treating feline diabetes. Food choices, ordering insulin from Canada, using a human meter with cheaper test strips, getting supplies like syringes from a pharmacy instead of the vet's office, are some of the things you can do.
     
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  7. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    You can easily refuse the "prescription" food. There are far better quality foods at less cost than what the vet is selling. Frankly, Fancy Feast Classics are what many people here feed their kitties. You can buy a gourmet cat food that is lower in carbohydrates and less expensive than M/D. Take a look at the information on this page on feline nutrition to learn more about food and this is a food chart you may find helpful. You want foods that are less than 10% carb. And, preferably, canned cat food. The dry stuff is generally very high in carbs.

    We are very big fans of home testing. It saves you going to the vet for curves. More importantly, it is the best way possible to insure your cat is safe. It gives you a great deal of control over managing your kitty's diabetes. We have lots of resources to help you to lean how to home test. Let us know when you're ready.

    Also, let us know if your have questions. We're here to help.
     
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  8. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    All supplies you buy at the vet will be marked up in price. One of the cheapest and best places I’ve found for buying Prozinc is chewy.com where it’s $106. They also have syringes for cheaper, as does ADW online. Unfortunately the syringes you need for u40 pet insulins are more expensive than the u100 syringes for human insulins :rolleyes: There is a conversion for using u100 syringes with your Prozinc, if you’d like to mess around with that.

    The cost for all the tests does seem high, but that’s going to vary by location and specific vets. I live in a fairly cheap state, so the vet costs here tend to be lower
     
  9. Sam & Esse

    Sam & Esse Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2017
    Hi :)

    I'm in north LA county :D First thing I wanted to address are those syringes...

    Urgh. If they're .5mL, they're going to make dosing so much harder for you. You need U40 3/10cc needles with half unit markings for more accurate dosing. A shame you aren't a bit closer; I have two extra boxes from when Sam was first on Prozinc. If you know anyone near the AV, I'd be happy to hand them off no charge ;) Otherwise, go to ADW to order new syringes. Mine are by Carepoint VET, but there are a couple of U40 options available there -- for a lot less money. They also have really good prices for sharps containers. When mine are full, I drop them off at the Kaiser drop box outside their medical buildings. :p I like free disposal lol!

    Office visits at my vet are $45, and comprehensive labs are right at $200; prices went up this year :banghead: Urinalysis can be tacked on to the labs for about $60 -- but I have no idea on current heartworm testing. A lot of people choose the Relion brand glucose meters available at Walmart because of their pocket-friendly price and ease of buying strips :( I couldn't go that route because all the local Walmarts are usually out of strips, whether their diabetic supplies are on the shelf, locked in a case, or behind the pharmacy counter :banghead: I don't know if you'll have that problem where you're at. Hopefully not!

    I'd say your vet did take a bit of advantage; the one that diagnosed Sam certainly did :mad: That's why I sent out questionnaires to most of the local vets, then chose the one that would best fit the way I treated Sam's diabetes. Now that there is a diabetes diagnoses, any pet insurance you manage to buy more than likely won't cover it. ...Or anything that they can remotely tie to diabetes.

    Best of luck to you both! And best of luck with the vet visit today! :bighug:
     
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  10. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    The insulin price is about normal for ProZinc, which is U40 PZI insulin.
    The syringe price is two high. You can get U40 syringes on the internet for less than 1/2 that price. I do not know if a script is required, it depends upon you state. You can also use human U100 syringes that costs a lot less. You need a conversion
    The blood/urine tests are high but that depends upon where you live.
    Prescription ius a good deal but you do nmot have to use prescription food. Chewy's charges $52
    https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-pl...c_sr23ctMzqdeK9dxkOfQoI5T03M9AAoaAtB0EALw_wcB
     
  11. Tidus

    Tidus New Member

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    Feb 10, 2020
    Really? I had a suspicion that it looks like typical cat food. The info on the can about crude fat, protein, carbs and everything wasn't really much different than his fancy feast classic cans. Maybe I'll do half and half of his favorite flavors and see how that goes. Thanks for that info.

    Yeah it feels that way. I appreciate the offer on the syringes, they have him on 1.0 injects twice a day, I'll give these ones a try and if they're difficult to use I'll look into getting those. He reacted to insulin well, he's home finally. Got to do a lot of reading on this stuff I don't know much of anything about diabetes. Thanks for all the suggestions I was super nervous at first about hearing all this at the vet. Got dizzy actually at one point maybe a mild panic attack... my kitty is handling this better than I am :(

    But the info on here really helps.
     
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  12. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
  13. Tidus

    Tidus New Member

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    Feb 10, 2020
    The calming down is a must yes. I guess I'm lucky on the behavior part though my cat literally follows me around the entire house and sleeps on my chest every night so it should be easy to notice any problems since he's under my nose all the time. I did feel a little embarrassed about the panic attack, I don't think it was a stress induced one. I have aichmophobia so... yeah this is definitely a test to get over my fears. Just watching them get the injection made me sweat and go into tunnel vision. I've calmed down a bit after seeing him react well to the insulin he definitely stopped urinating as much, not drinking tons of water all day anymore and very affectionate today so that's all good signs he's feeling better already. I know it's helping him so I'm not freaking out about giving him his injection anymore.


    I do have one question, they said draw the syringe back a little before pushing in the insulin to check to make sure you don't draw blood? If I pull back what am I pulling into the syringe if it isn't blood?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  14. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx Member

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    Jan 24, 2014
    I get my syringes in a box of 100 for $12.58 at Walmart. A vial of U100 insulin is $25 at Walmart too, and no prescription for either one. Specifically humilin N insulin. Been using it on my cat for 6 years now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  15. Sam & Esse

    Sam & Esse Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
    I never bothered pulling back; there's really not much chance of striking a vein that might be a problem. Most people don't, because the added fussing and time (and maybe pain/pressure) tends to upset a cat much more than the quick shot. :cat: I trust Sam to let me know if I've poked the needle somewhere I shouldn't before I actually push the plunger down. --Plus, from one of the few people I read about that was pulling back, there were a few times they drew back capillary blood, which is pretty much meaningless :confused: No harm, no foul as I understand it.

    Everyone here at FDMB is very home test oriented. And for good reason. My old vet wanted to start Sam on 2u BID, and I argued the dosage down to 1u. If you take a glance at Sam's spreadsheet for 2017 (link in my signature) you can see that the morning after his first dose, his blood glucose was 97 -- then after stalling, was 69. If I'd blindly injected Sam with another 1u, there's a good chance it would have killed him. There's a lot of members with similar stories, and some with very tragic outcomes. Please pick up a glucose monitor as soon as you can :bighug: There's lots of tips and tricks here to help you get started testing.

    Is Tidus your cat's name? I'm glad to hear that there's already been a positive response; we all know about gigantic pees :joyful:
     
  16. Tidus

    Tidus New Member

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    Feb 10, 2020
    Yeah his name is Tidus. Blindly injecting is what I'm worried about. The alphatrak is in the mail and should be here soon. Luckily the vet checked his level throughout the day and it went from 500 to 160 then up to 220 when I picked him up so they said the bouncing should be fine for tonight they doubt it will drop below 80. I'm not so sure about the morning though. I tried to talk my way into a single injection of 1.0 a day but no luck.
     
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  17. Sam & Esse

    Sam & Esse Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
    Welcome to you and extra-sweet Tidus! :bighug: (By any chance was he named from FFX?)

    I'm so glad to hear you're getting the AT2 soon! But wow! That was quite a response Tidus had to the 1u dose today! I can see why the vet thinks he'll bounce, but that can't always be counted on. I'm tempted to think the starting dose of 1u is too high. You might want to try a .5u dose BID. That's where the syringes with half unit markings come in handy ;) Especially since dosing is usually increased and decreased by .25u. Insulin works best dosed twice a day in cats, because their metabolisms are so fast/high.

    If you haven't been there already, there's lots of good information in the Prozinc/PZI ISG found here. To get you started there's a beginner's guide here and dosing guidelines here.

    It's good that Tidus sleeps with you. Check tonight as you can that his ears and paws stay relatively warm, and that he doesn't become hard to rouse. If Tidus shows any signs of hypo, please post for help immediately! Hypo links, just in case. The first night after insulin is a tough one. :bighug:
     
  18. Tidus

    Tidus New Member

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    Feb 10, 2020
    Yes he is no one gets that reference usually! We chose two names Cait was my suggestion if it was a girl and wife went with Tidus for boy. Not my favorite character from FF but it also means sun in Japanese so that fits lol.

    But yeah I'm debating on giving him a half injection tonight since I can't read his blood yet. 1.0 twice a day wouldn't scare me so much if I had the alphatrak. But it's coming in the mail.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  19. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    @zzyzzx the NPH insulins are not recommended for cats. They do not last long enough, 6-8 hours, they drop the BG (blood glucose) levels like a rock, risk of hypoglycemia is much higher, very difficult to get a cat regulated with NPH insulins like the Humulin N you used for your cat, chnaces of getting a cat diet controlled are extremely low with the NPH insulins. The only thing they have going for them is the cheap cost.

    Prozinc, Lantus, Levimir are the best insulins for cats. Vetsulin/Caninsulin is often prescribed by vets in Europe (and some vets in the US and Canada) and is much better than the NPH insulins for cats.

    Maybe you can show us a spreadsheet for your cat, and we can see how well your cat is doing on the NPH insulin.
     
  20. Sam & Esse

    Sam & Esse Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2017
    :D Well over a decade ago I made a Yuna costume for my mom. She wore it to the Halloween Treat at California Adventure -- and she was adorable. :p Possibly the oldest Yuna cosplayer around, but she lit up when people kept wanting pictures with her.

    I hope Tidus had a nice, quiet night :cat: I agree that the 1u will be a lot easier to shoot once you have the AT2 for peace of mind. I don't know if you plan on using the forum for advice; if you are, I can post a link on how to set up a spread sheet. If not, that's okay, too :) Although the spread sheet is a great tool for personal use as well.
     
  21. Tidus

    Tidus New Member

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    Feb 10, 2020
    That's awesome! I went as Geralt once but that was it. It's a tough hobby. Fun but lot of work, used green Gatorade for his potions.

    He seemed to have a pretty okay night. Hungry in the morning, not acting out of the ordinary so he's handling things well. The first injection was nerve wrecking. To the point I looked up alternatives... I heard they're developing a pill that could get rid of injections someday, coated with a microneedle or something that releases the insulin in the stomach wall where there's no pain nerves so won't feel a thing. If that ends up working and they make that, I'll be holding out hope for a pet version. Would make life so much easier for everyone.
     

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