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Diabetes Discussion: Your Dog Anything related to your diabetic dog.

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:05 PM
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Wilbur Wilbur is offline
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Default My heart or my purse

My dog Willie was diagnosed 3 weeks ago and we are still working at regulating his insulin levels which means every 2 wks at the vet to check blood levels at $54 dollars each time. We have only had Willie for a couple of months at the time he was not diabetic but was on Prednisone from his previous owner for allergies. We took him off the steroid but the vet seems to think that was the catalyst for the diabetes. Anyway, we now have this responsibility. I am totally in love with this dog but my husband while he likes Willie seems to think we are going to be indebted for thousands of dollars trying to regulate this. He doesn't feel this is worth it and wants us to put Willie down. I WILL NOT do this. What I am asking is for people on this forum to give me a run down on how much this cost in the long run for you to regulate and maintain your pet. I would love any advice anyone can give me.
Broken heart
Dawn
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:20 PM
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CraigM CraigM is offline
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Default Re: My heart or my purse

Welcome to the forum.
Can't really tell you how much diabetes will cost, every dog and situation will be different. The good thing is that you are here asking questions early.

Tell us about Willy. What breed, weight, current insulin, insulin dosage, other medical conditions / medications?

Are you thinking about home testing his blood glucose? Most of us would be lost without home testing, plus it would be too expensive to rely 100% on testing at the vet clinic for many of us.

Craig & Annie
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Annie was an 18 pound Lhasa Apso that crossed the rainbow bridge on 10-5-17. She was nearly 17 years old and diabetic for 9 years.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:35 PM
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Wilbur Wilbur is offline
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Default Re: My heart or my purse

Hi and thank you for responding. Willie is a 6 yr old Cockapoo, 33 lbs, 7U twice a day. His last reading at the vet at 2pm was 540. We check him again at the vet next Friday. I did order a in home meter based on the recommedations here on the site and will begin charting his levels to bring to the vet. I also saw the chart of insulin and their effectiveness and think he may need to go on Novolin N NPH or Novolin Premixed as I can just tell when he peaks. He is on Humilin N right now. Even having him for a short time I know I will do anything to get this right for him. I currently have him on Beneful Salmon, Rice & veggies for his diet and he eats twice a day almost 12 hrs apart. We both work so that varies between 1 to 2 hrs. He was on a very strict diet of Lamb & Rice due to said allergies but I wanted to incorporate more fiber with the veggies in his diet and he seems to be doing well on the food however, I notice that when we feed him at 4pm he begins to drink alot of water at around 11pm and then again at 2am and needs to go to the bathroom. Right now with being at work he snarfs his water bowl and really needs to pee resulting in accidents in the house during the day.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:54 PM
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CraigM CraigM is offline
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Default Re: My heart or my purse

Great, he sounds like a great pup! 7 units is a normal starting dosage for a 33 pound, and the vet will likely increase the dosage at the next visit. It's very important to go slow, sometimes it will seem too slow, but you need to let each dose change settle in for typically 5 days when starting.

The next hint would be as consistent as possible. Exactly the same food, exactly the same amount, 12 hours apart. Yes, there are several here that don't have this schedule, but they have months,or years, of experience. To be exact in my Annie's meals I use a kitchen food scale to weigh out her foods. In Annie, just 0.1 ounce change in her meals would likely mess with her blood glucose (BG).

About the insulin, you might want to switch to Novolin-N before you go to far. The best (cheapest) place for most diabetes supplies is Walmart. Walmart sells Novolin-N for $25, lots better than the $75-85 you are probably paying for the Humulin-N. Syringes are also low cost there: about $13 for 100.

Time for me to test Annie's blood. I'll check back later this evening.
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Annie was an 18 pound Lhasa Apso that crossed the rainbow bridge on 10-5-17. She was nearly 17 years old and diabetic for 9 years.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: My heart or my purse

Welcome to you and Wilbur!!!

Like Craig said, every dog is different so some will spend so much more than others. Really can't tell until you start the journey

One very important way to save some big$$$$$$$ is to home test. That way you won't have to have the BG checked at the vet AND you can do your own curves at home and just email the results to the vet for a consult if they're agreeable to it. The initial cost would be a meter and of course the test strips. I personally use a One Touch Ultra, $20 on amazon. I get my test strips on eBay for $45-50 for 100 strips. You can get less expensive meters and strips and more expensive as well. Craig is our resident authority on meters around here..... He loves to experiment and test

My own personal experience with this journey..... I have spent less tha 500 on vet bills with my Tiggy for her diabetes. I'm a control freak and did a ton of research, found this forum and after that have managed this on my own without the help of the vet..... Basically because I didn't agree with their outlook OR the way they wanted to handle it AND we have been VERY lucky with no other major complications There are others on here that have spent thousands for one reason or another to maintain the health of their babies

Sandy
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:12 PM
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Wilbur Wilbur is offline
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Default Re: My heart or my purse

Thanks again. Yes I am going to put a call into my vet to perhaps change him to Novolin N. I use a measuring cup to measure his food and he also gets a teaspoon of canned food for flavor that he seems to enjoy. I know I must be patient. He is so worth it to me but my husband is reluctant to continue this even in the early stages. But I love him so and want him to be healthy.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:17 PM
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momofdecker momofdecker is offline
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Default Re: My heart or my purse

It's a tough situation when budget dictates what you can provide for an animal you love. Experiencing that situation myself with my boy. His spirit is strong but a neck lesion is slowly robbing him of his mobility.

Every dog and experience is different so it's impossible to say how much it may cost you.

Here are a few examples of some ways we've saved on costs... home testing. We do the curves at home and email them to the vet for a consult. At the beginning we were given a meter and enough test strips to get us through eight months. Since then I bought a one touch ultra. I work with a great group of people. The husband of one of my secretaries as well as my director are diabetic. They happen to both use the One Touch meter and have been very kind in sharing any extra test strips they have. It really has saved us a lot of money. They've also passed along extra lancets and batteries for the meter. We've also purchased a Bayer Contour meter. Find it to read a bit low but still reliable in terms of consistancy. My father in law uses that meter and has shared lots of test strips with us as well. If you are comfortable with it - it may be worth asking around to see if anyone is willing to help out in donating test strips. Folks on here have used ebay to purchase test strips - paying close attention to factory sealed boxes and expiration dates.

I agree with Craig in terms of considering the switch to Novolin N. Since you are still new to the process it may be worth the discussion with your vet.

We use coupons a lot too. Decker was on the Beneful Healthy Weight when he was diagnosed. Would often find coupons for Beneful in the Sunday paper. Again, folks at work were great and brought in any extra inserts they had for me. Also signed up for rewards at Petco & PetSmart. Try to stock up on food when I have coupons to use.

Since my budget is tight I try to set aside at least $5.00 a week to put into a 'just in case' fund. Doesn't always cover the full cost of an unexpected vet visit but often helps out. Diabetic dogs do have compromised immune systems and can be more prone to infections. Again, every dog is different though.

Wishing you the best in this new journey! Holli
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Holli & Decker // diagnosed November 5th, 2011 // Journeyed to the bridge January 26th, 2013, surrounded by his family at home // 9 years old // Levemir insulin // Hypothyroid // C1-C5 cervical spinal lesion // weight 87 lbs // Run with the wind my sweet boy. Run pain free. Holding you close in my heart till we meet again!
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:19 PM
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Judi Judi is offline
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Default Re: My heart or my purse

Wilbur is a cutie. Ditto to what everyone else has said. Diabetes is one of the less expensive diseases for testing once you get the hang of doing it at home. hang in there! Judi
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Jenny: 6/6/2000 - 11/10/2014 She lived with diabetes and cushings for 3 1/2 years. She was one of a kind and we miss her.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:21 PM
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thirdseasons thirdseasons is offline
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Default Re: My heart or my purse

Hello Dawn and Wilbur! My Diesel girl ( Min Pin ) Was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago. TRuST me I know how you feel and it can get discouraging. BUT I have not found this to be throwing dollars down the drain. I have spent $25 on insulin and I think $40 for a at home BG test meter ( thats including buying strips ). I was at a loss and actually in tears. My husband and I even didn't talk to each other for a few days b/c of it. In his words " Thats crap that she has diabetes" I've had to been the strong one, even NOW when my girl fights getting a shot i have to be calm for the 3 of us.

Chad ( husband ) has no patience. He gets angry with her when she doesn't want to cooperate, and I have to tell him to calm down. I can honestly say its not easy, but have learned that your doing this for a family member and you don't have to change the way you treat them they are still your fur baby. You just have to work on the diet and regulation.

This coming from a person w/no experience but everyone on this page is so encouraging and so helpful. I've learned more on here in just a week and have felt more comfortable about the disease than talking with my vet.

This forum has truly lifted my spirits and i don't have that " i can't do this" feeling anymore. I hope your able to find comfort here as i did and hopefully your husband will be understanding. ( Mine is just impatient and gets angry if our Diesel is hurting, gets hurt etc; )
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Diesel- Female Min Pin, Currently her weight varies between 14-17 lbs, DOB: 08/12/07, Dx'd on 11/19/12, Eats Beneful Healthy Weight 3/4 cup twice a day, Treats consist of home baked with omega 3 supplements for shots/dry skin, and frozen cut carrots during the day, Currently taking Relion Novolin @ 4 units 2x a day, and currently trying to regulate
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:25 PM
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Cebe Cebe is offline
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Default Re: My heart or my purse

Dawn, I completely sympathize. I was laid off, had just started my own business, and had (have) student loans and other bills to pay when Zoe was diagnosed. I was firm with my vet that I don't have the money to do a lot of testing but in the beginning, I did some testing with the vet. Then I found this forum and learned about Walmart insulin, and home testing. I found a used alphatrack meter on Craig's list, found test strips on eBay and used credit card points on amazon for some more test strips.

It took a couple of months of learning but I hit a groove and Zoe seems ok. This disease costs me $25/mo. for insulin, $20 every quarter for syringes, a yearly vet consult with the vet, and because I don't test that often, about $100/year in test strips. My dog is fairly easy. She had a hypo incident and it was after that that I decided to home test. And she's been in pretty good shape ever since. Hopefully that will be your path.

I do spend a lot on my dog's food but its because of her allergies and I was doing that before her diabetes.

You can manage the costs. I promise.
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Zoe: 12 yr old Black Lab/shepherd mix. Diagnosed 6/1/11. Currently on 15 units Novolin NPH 2x day, and hopefully as close to regulated as possible. Feeding merrick Grain Free Salmon and Sweet Potato. Weight 63lbs.
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