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Just diagnosed with diabetes...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My 13 year old queen of the house was just diagnosed with diabetes. The vet has recommended that she go on PZI shots and Science Diet M/D dry food. Does anyone know of any place to get rebates or coupons for any of these products? I want to do right by my Sambucca and the diabetes diagnosis has scared me.

She's so skinny and little now, I am almost afraid to pick her up and squeeze her. Can anyone give some advice on how to care for a diabetic feline? Or know anywhere to get great information?
post #2 of 15
First I want to commend you on taking care of your baby despite the diabetes. You would not believe how many people just don't want to deal with it and have their cats put to sleep because of this very treatable illness.

Here is a FABULOUS website that should be able to help you with basically everything you need to know - www.felinediabetes.com.

We have a diabetic cat in our rescue right now and he is eating the special hills science diet food and is really doing fabulous. He is happy and healthy and no one would ever in a million years believe he was ill in any sort of way.

So, if you have any questions or need help with anything and can't find it on that website let me know and I can certainly give you the name of the director of my rescue who is taking care of the diabetic cat. I believe she is even in a support group.

We just put out our Fall newsletter with an article on Feline Diabetes. I have pasted a copy for you with the links in it on other helpful places.



Sugarcat: Your Kitty’s SO sweet!
By Maureen Dell’Olio

At first, you’re happy that your fat cat is losing some weight, since kitty’s generous girth has rather concerned you, and you’ve read about the health risks of obesity in cats. Shortly though, you also notice that your kitty seems to always be hungry and thirsty. This is the first indication to you that something is amiss. Your cat is always eating and drinking, but is still losing weight. Litter box problems were never an issue, but now you are dismayed that your formerly perfectly mannered cat is urinating in inappropriate areas. Or, perhaps, kitty is still using the box, but seems to be flooding it on a daily basis. You become alarmed because the initial weight loss that initially pleased you now terrifies you. Your fat cat is losing far too much weight. You bring your kitty to your veterinarian, where you receive a diagnosis that frightens and alarms you – your kitty has Diabetes.

So many concerns run through your mind. How long will your cat live? What quality of life can your cat possibly enjoy now? Won’t all the daily insulin needles and blood tests hurt? Will you ever be able to live a normal life with your cat again? Will blood testing, insulin, dietary regulations and costly vet visits imprison you for the rest of your life?

Relax. Breathe. Diabetes is not a death sentence, nor is it dooming you and your pet to a pain-filled, expensive, troublesome coexistence. Diabetes is as manageable for your cat as it is for humans. You encounter diabetic humans all around you daily, and probably never realize it. Likewise, your diabetic kitty can again have the life you always enjoyed together. With some inexpensive changes that are easy to adjust to and easy to manage, your kitty can again enjoy a life filled with sunny spots to nap in, toys to play with, dogs to tease and mischief to create.

Diabetes management doesn’t require a fat bank account either. Feline Diabetes is often managed and treated inexpensively and quite well by thousands of humans every day. Their cats enjoy a normal lifespan with their care. There is friendly, helpful and skilled support available free of charge just a click away at www.felinediabetes.com, www.petdiabetes.org, www.petdiabetes.com, www.sugarcatsimon.com and www.sugarcats.net You will find all the knowledge, help and support you need at these specialized online sites. They will teach you how to affordably meet your diabetic cat’s dietary needs. They will teach you how to monitor your cat’s blood glucose levels, pain and stress free, in the comfort of your own home. They will help you learn how your cat’s insulin works with its body. They will become your lifeline and friends. And they understand.

We have firsthand experience living with a diabetic pet at the Catnip Cottage. One of our own adoptable cats, Chuckles, is a "sugarcat". A personal visit to the Catnip Cottage won't give you a clue as to which feline is the sugarcat however, because you won’t be able to tell from appearance. Unless you are looking for the sweet-faced, active, affectionate, friendly, playful, curious, muscular and lively cat with a gleaming coat that is soft as bunny fur. Then you’ll have found Chuckles.


--I hope this info helps!! And again, you are truly a wonderful person to do this for your kitty!!
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindela
My 13 year old queen of the house was just diagnosed with diabetes. The vet has recommended that she go on PZI shots and Science Diet M/D dry food. Does anyone know of any place to get rebates or coupons for any of these products? I want to do right by my Sambucca and the diabetes diagnosis has scared me.

She's so skinny and little now, I am almost afraid to pick her up and squeeze her. Can anyone give some advice on how to care for a diabetic feline? Or know anywhere to get great information?
Hi there...I can heartily recommend this site gorbzilla dot com as my favorite place on the 'net for info and links, and food charts - there is more than one option out there!
I wish you all the best, and suspect that you'll have a fair number of responses, other members here have or have had kitties with diabetes (I have one, but it's very early, we are just treating via diet).
post #4 of 15
I was buying Humulin-U insulin from the Walmart pharmacy, and just recently, I was told that they wouldn't be selling this brand anymore because the store felt there wasn't enough market for it. I understand now that the drug companies are taking it off the market. I have two diabetic cats who have been set up for this brand. This brand is reasonably priced but after I have used up my supply, I will be forced to use another brand (I forget its generic name) endorsed by my vet and much more expensive. My kitties will then have to go through more rigorous testing at the vet's office to determine how much dosage they must receive from this new insulin. This is not fair to my kitties or to my limited bank account.

Does anyone know of any pharmacies or stores still selling Humulin-U? I don't know if I want to trust internet mail order. You never know what you're getting.

Thanks,

Brenda
post #5 of 15
I think most places have stopped selling Humulin-U insulin.

My cat is treated by diet - and is doing a lot better now he isn't eating the Hills diabetic food - he doesn't do very well on wet (which is best for diabetic cats) so we feed him Innova Evo and he is doing very well. We had a scare a while back with really high blood glucose but it turned out to be a tooth infection - so the diet seems to be working.

The best advice I can give you is to invest in a blood glucose meter (buy one from your pharmacy - they use the same ones in the vet but charge more!) and test her BG at home yourself if you can so she doesn't go through the trauma of a trip to the vet for testing (and it will save you some $$)
post #6 of 15
I just Googled Humulin-U and came up with DrPetMeds. I'm sure there are other places on the net, too. We buy our people meds by mail, and it's economical. Here's a link:

DrPetMeds

I just looked further and saw that "-U" is Ultralente. At first I thought that "-U" signalled a special kind for animals. As it happens, my partner is a Type I diabetic, so I know a thing or two about insulin. If they're taking it off the market, it's because there are better long-acting insulins developed since ultralente. The latest long-acting favored by Joslin Diabetes Clinic is called Lantus and is made by Aventis. The way it's used in humans is to take one shot of Lantus once a day and to supplement with Humalog ["instant" short-acting] at mealtimes. The Humalog dose is determined by testing blood glucose levels before meals. To give you an idea of the Lantus dosage, a 6-foot 200-pound man takes 22 units as his once-a-day dosage and supplements with Humalog at mealtimes.

Hope this information is helpful.
post #7 of 15
Good luck with taking care of your cat
post #8 of 15
Thank you so much for the information about Humulin-U. I had searched the internet before but couldn't find anything substantial and wasn't so sure I could trust the internet to dispense any decent meds. If you say you can trust this Dr. Meds site, I will give them a trial.

I do have a glucose meter but figured that initially I would have to leave them at the vet for the first check. The only problem with that philosophy is that my little ones get so stressed out, which I have heard increases their blood sugar level and then causes the vet to recommend the wrong dosage.

Thanks to all,

Brenda
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty Ripper
Thank you so much for the information about Humulin-U. I had searched the internet before but couldn't find anything substantial and wasn't so sure I could trust the internet to dispense any decent meds. If you say you can trust this Dr. Meds site, I will give them a trial.


Brenda
All the DrPetMeds medication links seem to link to 1800petmeds -- a well known company. I wouldn't be nervous about ordering from them.
I should have drilled down further into the site -- they apparently don't offer "U" either. You're vet will probably have to prescribe a different brand. Check about the Lantus. Sorry
post #10 of 15
My cat, Mr. Baxter, was diagnosed as having diabetes, and I had to give him an insulin shot every day, and check his blood levels as well. It was scary at first, but not anything insurmountable. The good news was that, after a while, the vet decided to see if he responded to a change in diet, and it worked. We still had to keep an eye on his levels, but didn't have to inject him every day anymore.

In short, it's a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it it's not so bad.

I wish you all the best with your puddy cat.
post #11 of 15
Our 13 yr old was diagnosed with diabetes about 5 yrs ago. We had been giving her one shot of Humulin-U a day, when that was taken off the market, we switched to Humulin-N. Because this insulin is human based she requires two shots a day. We purchase our insulin from Winn Dixie, its about 28.00 but that lasts us nearly 3 months.
post #12 of 15
For some great information & helpful cat lovers (aside from this site ), try www.holisticat.com. They've got TONS of stuff on diabetic kitties. As a former vet tech, I can confirm that PZI insulin can be very costly. Many internet pharmacies have better prices on PZI than vet clinics do, if you're willing to go that route. At my old hospital, they have a policy against OKing prescriptions for internet pharmacies, the official reason being that many of these pharmacies are not licensed & the hospital can't guarantee that they're getting their medications from reputable sources. However, if the client brought in a current computer printout from the web site with the total cost of the medication & the shipping & handleing charges, the hospital's pharmacy would match that price for the good of the owner's pocketbook & the safety of their pet. This was a VCA hospital (they're a national chain); I'm not sure if this is a policy for every VCA or just the one I worked at, but it might be worth a try if you have a VCA in your area.
post #13 of 15
Yeah, PZI is what the vet told us to get. I give my cats, brother and sister 2 shots a day of Humulin-U until our supply runs out. I will note the Humulin-N and check on that as well.

I have heard that the insulin for human is much cheaper. Is there any reason why human insulin is not used for cats or dogs?
post #14 of 15
Insulin is a simple molecule and there is not a huge difference between insulin for humans, insulin for dogs, insulin for cats, etc. But for some cats human insulin (like Humulin) the source of the insulin DOES make a difference. PZI, which comes from beef insulin, is most similar in molecular structure to feline insulin, so many vets believe that this type of insulin helps regulate cats better than Humulin (the old standby that they all used to use). Check out www.felinediabetes.com for a more thorough explaination.
post #15 of 15
Here is a link to a pdf doc of Eli Lily's announcement that they're discontinuing Lente and Ultra Lente. According to them, it should be available until the end of this December.
Eli Lilly discontinue
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