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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-11 09:29 AM
Original message
Anyone here with diabetic cats?
I am afraid my cat is becoming diabetic -- he is exhibiting some classic signs. I would like to know your experience with diabetic cats and whether anyone has had any luck in managing the symptoms with diet.
Are there any alternatives to spending $150 per month on insulin?
I can't afford a vet visit, never mind the medication.

Please don't criticize me that I can't afford vet care. When I got my cats more than 11 years ago, I was considered upper middle class. I never thought I'd be in a situation where I am fortunate to have just enough money to cover food and rent.
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-11 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. I had a small dog
that I gave twice daily insulin shots to for several months before his death earlier this year. His blood sugar problems were thought to be secondary to Cushings. He was a senior dog that already had significant heart enlargement.

A vial of insulin ran me about $25 at Sam's Club (same vial was nearly $50 at Walgreens) and I would get a box of 100 needles at Walgreens for about $15. I did have some lancets, a meter and testing strips but rarely used them. A vial of insulin typically lasted about 2 months. I used each needle twice within a 12 hour period and before reusing it I would disinfect it.

While diet did affect his glucose levels, it did not allievate his symptoms.

Shop your area vets to find out what fees and expenses they charge. Vets are quite familiar with the financial difficulties people are facing these days and are also affected by them. Some are more willing than others to consider alternative and off-label treatments - and to forego various diagnostic measures. My vet was familiar with me and my dog and was willing to treat my dog based on his elevated blood sugar levels and a glucose curve. Even though he displayed symptoms of Cushings, we never tested him because we knew he could not tolerate the treatment - a decison that saved me $$$.

Some vets are facing their own financial problems and are willing to work with you regarding services, fees and payments. I've known a few folks that have worked off vet fees by answering phones, working a receptionist desk or cleaning kennels and floors.

Also, consider seeking out alternatives for vet care. We have a local pet store that regularly brings in vets from the city pound to provide significantly reduced cost treatment. While they are limited in what they are able to do they can and do provide some diagnostic and treatment services.

Best to you and your furkid.
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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-17-11 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thank you for your thoughtful response
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-11 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. When I moved into my house, a couple of cats already lived in this big
Edited on Sun Oct-16-11 11:52 PM by roody
yard. They had belonged to the former tenant who had died. So they became my cats. We were not close, but I love all animals. About five years ago, the male started losing weight. I took him for bloodwork. I told the vet I just wanted to know what he was dying from. He had diabetes. There was no way that I could make a commitment to "Boy Kitty" to do daily injections. So I told Kitty that I would make him as comfortable as I could for the rest of his life. My yard is cat heaven. All he had to do was lay around on the deck and eat. He lived about 3 more years. He looked so skinny but his life was worth living. I fed him a lot---Wellness brand canned Turkey, 95% human grade meat. I mashed it with warm water and also put in dry cat food to get soft in the hot water. Someone at DU called me cruel for not giving him insulin, but it was just not going to happen. I petted him a lot. He finally stopped eating and would not lie down in a relaxed way. He sat like the Sphinx. I finally took him took get euthanized---he was like a living dead being. I loved him, and he is buried in the back yard.
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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-17-11 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Thank you for your thoughtful response
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ceile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-17-11 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. Oh, yes. One of my babies has been diabetic for 10 years.


This is Ambrose, he's been diabetic since he was 3. Started with excessive peeing and drinking. He went from 14lb to 9lb in less than a month. He would sleep in the bathroom sink to be closer to the water. His is not manageable by diet. He gets 2 units in the morning and 3 at night.
Insulin: I spend $60 once, maybe twice a year on a bottle of insulin (I don't know where you heard $150- that's crazy expensive!). Humulin N is the most common type and you can purchase it at your local pharmacy without a scrip. Syringes are about $4 for a bag of 10 or $30-$40 for an entire box. Purchasing syringes can be tricky (if you need to go that route because diet doesn't work). In TX you don't need a scrip to purchase them, but some pharmacies do require one, I suppose for liability issues. Shop around.
Food: Ambrose was on Science Diet WD for years! Now I have him on Felidae Platinum (more meat less grain) and it works just as well. I buy if from my local feed store for about $23 for a 15lb bag. All my cats eat it- it's like kitty crack. Wet food is the same brand- again kitty crack. You will need to put your kitty on some kind of wet food to be sure he's getting enough water. Even some flavors of Fancy Feast are diabetic friendly. Look for the beef, chicken and turkey kinds- they have less fillers and are mostly meat. I looked into this when I decided to change his food. He was getting too fat on the Science Diet and then he crashed one day and I spent 3 hours and $300 at the vet trying to get him stabalized.
Feel free to PM me if you want specifics about dosages if you need to put him on insulin.
I totally understand about the money. It can be hard sometimes. I hope I've helped put your mind at ease a little bit about the cost. Let us know how he's doing!
:hug:
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Blue Gardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. Glipizide
My vet tried it because she knew insulin was not in my budget. It's work great for my cat.
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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
7. Update
I put both of my cats (I suspect only one is diabetic) on human food, following a recipe I found online. Both are doing better on it.
The suspected diabetic cat is now more active, not throwing up, and feeling well enough to pick a fight with the other cat. Other improvements: his poop doesn't stink, his stool is solid, he's drinking less water, his fur feels silkier and looks shinier.

Please send me positive vibes that I find a full time job soon so that I can take Oliver to the vet.

Thanks all for your responses and understanding.
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ceile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Great news!
Fingers crossed for you and the cats!
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hamsterjill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Sending you warm wishes.
I hope your situation improves very quickly! Thank you so much for caring about these kiddos.
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