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Old 10-19-2008, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

I am worried about my parents' cat. They think he may be diabetic but they won't find out until Monday. I talked to my mom and she said they cannot afford to care for a diabetic cat since they will need insulin and special food. She said that if it comes back that their cat is diabetic, that they will put him to sleep. I am very upset because they could at the very least find him a new home. My mom insists that nobody would want to adopt a diabetic cat, but I don't think that is necessarily true. Besides, there is a no-kill cat rescue in town. I'm sure they would take him. I think the sad truth is that my mom is selfish and would rather have the cat put to sleep than to care for him or give him away to someone who can. Sorry this is so long. I was just wondering how much it costs per month to care for a diabetic cat.
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Old 10-19-2008, 05:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

Well if cost is a big issue, so much of a issue that a cat will be put down, then it would be in your best interest to figure out if there is a possibility that diabetes can be managed through a specific diet. With the diet I am thinking up there is a good chance that even if he is diabetic, no insulin will need to be given and no special food. But the insulin part will need to be discussed with a knowledgeable vet. Research and see if feeding a cat ultra low to no carbohydrates will help out the diabetic problem.

Sorry this wasn't really the answer to your question.

Take care
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

A cat is so small that a very small amount of insulin will needed on a daily basis.
The bigger cost is going to be the test strips, which are IMO way overpriced. Don't look at the cost of the meter, look at the cost of the test strips.

I know that there are resources to help diabetic people without insurance pay for their supplies, I'm not sure if it applies to pets.
Call the Diabetic Educator at your local hospital or children's hopital and see what they suggest. They get a lot of freebies from the drug companies and may be able to help you with start up costs.

My son's cat was diagnosed as prediabetic and was put on Purina DM. It's around a 1.25 a can from my vet, it may be cheaper elsewhere. She eats 1 1/2 cans a day ideally, usually one can daily. I've heard that Fancy Feast pounches, without gravey, are actually a good food for diabetic cats.

Search for diabetic cat forums and see what they suggest. Take everything with a grain of salt, but they may have some suggestions that work.
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

So nobody knows roughly how much it would cost? I'm just trying to convince my mom that it might not be as expensive as she thinks. She is afraid is it going to cost hundreds of dollars extra per month.
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

I'm also a bit confused as to how the vet came to this conclusion. He doesn't have any of the typical signs of diabetes. The only symptoms he has was vomiting, icky/bloody poo, difficulty urinating, and lethargy. I had originally thought that he had swallowed something and it was causing an obstruction. That is why I urged my parents to take him to the vet.
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

I'm going to assume that the vet did the testing to verify that the cat does have diabetes.

Costs vary so much around the country that you will have to do your own research

First, ask the vet what the cost with be for the initial set up done at the vets. The cat (or dog) usually stays for a couple of days to have frequent blood sugar tests done and get regulated on the correct dose of insulin. This is going to be the most expensive part. Then you will know how much insulin and how often - very important for the cost estimate.

Insulin is good for 30 days, once it is opened. The big cost factor is going to be the type of insulin used. There are long-lasting types given and short-acting for immediate corrections.
Insulin syringes, one for each injection (a minimum of twice a day).
Lancets to get the drop of blood for blood sugar testing before each insulin dose and as needed. I know that they can be reused in humans, not sure about felines.
Testing strips - one fore each blood sugar, at least twice a day. This may be the most expensive part, but look at the cost of the strips before you buy a meter. Meters are pretty cheap in comparison.

Plan on more frequent vet visits for followup, usually one every 3 months, though it may be more often at first until everyone is comfortable with how things are going.
Diabetes causes the blood to be higher than normal, which is a wonderful source of food for bacteria and viruses. So the cat may be ill more often, though not always.

Visit the local pharmacy and check out the prices. And talk to the pharmacist about the price for paying cash for the suppies. They may be able to cut you a deal for not having insurance or may know of some resources.
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

Mom of 4 - Thank you for responding. They have done the tests but they will not find out if he is actually diabetic until tomorrow (Monday). But his symptoms do seem pretty strange so I'm not sure why the vet immediately thought the cat was diabetic. I talked to my mom today and she got mad at me when I told her she could take him to a cat rescue or something. It seems as though she has already given him a death sentence and they don't even know his true diagnosis yet. It is really frustrating for me because she keeps coming up with excuses about how the cat wouldn't like eating canned food and that he wouldn't like the injections and that he wouldn't like having his blood sugar tested. The truth is, or at least I think, is that my mom is just using these excuses because she doesn't want to admit that they don't want to pay the money required to manage the diabetes if that is truly what he has. So she would rather use the excuses that focus on blaming the cat to justify having him put to sleep. I know this probably sounds strange to you all, but this is just how my mom is. This wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened.
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

When we found out that Bosco was diabetic it was do to a massive loss in his weight. He was obese and suddenly starting dropping weight but still eating large amounts so I brought him into work and had them do a urine test to find out what was going on.

There are several kinds of insulin out there for diabetic animals. All vary in price. We use Caninsulin as it's cheaper then the others. I don't know the price of the others off the top of my head. But we usually get 6 small viles of the Caninsulin at a time and it cost around $110 somewhere, we also get a discount so its probably higher then that normally.

Special food does help. We had Bosco on Purina DM, which is a vet food for diabetic cats. $55 dollars for a 12lb bag I think it was, which was insane so we switched Bosco to the Hills Prescription WD which just as well for Diabetic cats and costs way less and comes in a larger bag, again we get a discount on the WD so I can't give a price and the prices for everything vary depending on your area and from vet clinic to vet clinic. They don't need to eat just canned food (though canned food is better for cats) Bosco likes canned food but only every once in awhile otherwise he'll chose his Dry WD over his canned.

Your vet will prescribe you an amount of insulin to give for each shot (two shots a day).

Where I am the meters are free, it's the test strips that get you, for a bottle of 100 test trips it's around $100 somewhere. You'll also need a poker (at leats thats what we call it, the little gadget that pricks the skin to draw blood) I don't know if they are free like the meters or not. You'll have to prick the cats ear daily for the first little bit.

Some cats can and have grown out of their diabetes.

In a way we're lucky with Bosco being diabetic as my partner is also diabetic and has insurence to cover his medical needs. So the test strips and needles are covered and he splits up his stock of supplies with Bosco. We only pay for Bosco's insulin and food.

You can use insulin after 30 days as long as it hasn't changed color and has been kept in the fridge.

A site that will help with information is below. It even gives a list of good dry and canned foods that aren't vet foods so may cost less but still works well with diabetic cats.
http://www.felinediabetes.com/

I'm not sure why your vet thinks its diabetes though just from those symptoms unless he did some other tests that suggested it. Signs of diabetes are weight loss, lethargy, increased appetite, poor coat/hair, liver disease, infections becoming more adn more common, polyuria (large volumes of urine), and polydipsia (drinking large amounts of water). From the what we first told the vet she thought it was hyperthyroid which would have been giving him a pill every day for the rest of his life and far cheaper then if he had diabetes but... tests proved otherwise.

And your mother... she needs to suck it up and pay for the cats needs, if it had been you she would have no choice but to pay for it, just because its a cat doesn't mean it doesn't deserve the same rights. Though what she said about nobody wanting a diabetic cat is truth. Diabetic animals rarely get adopted as very few people are willing to pay for their medical needs. if the cat does have this it isn't a death sentance. My partner's mom has a cat who is 14 years old give a little more, this cat had diabetes and eventually just grew out of it, these cats can live long healthy, happy lives.
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Old 10-19-2008, 05:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

If I was diabetic and still a kid, then of course she would have to pay for it. Of course my parents had health insurance back then. The problem is that all of this stuff for the cat will cost money that my parents are not willing or able to spend. I totally agree that what my mom is suggesting is completely wrong. But this would not be the first time she has done something like this. When I was a kid, we had a female cat. Although it is less common for a female cat to get crystals in their urine, this is what happened to her. Instead of paying for treatment, my parents had her put to sleep. I remember coming home from school one day and my kitty was gone. My mom somehow justifies these things in her sick and twisted little mind. It is just the way she is. Really, I can only hope that the test results come back and it shows that the cat does not have diabetes. And if he does and it costs hundreds of dollars every month to care for him, then... well... you know.
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Diabetic Cat - How much does it cost?

I have a diabetic cat that was on insulin for all of three weeks. She has been diet controlled for almost three years now.
I would get the cat off of dry food and onto canned, that will make a big different in blood sugar levels right there. Fancy Feast chicken and livers and Turkey and Giblets are very low carb.
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