Cat just diagnosed with diabetes

Kacox

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Messages
40
Purraise
26
Hi,

So my mom's cat Zabuza just recently got diagnosed with diabetes and she is pretty overwhelmed with the cost.
I am taking care of it so that he can get the treatment he needs but the least expensive insulin glargine I'm finding is $150 (that's after coupons/discounts). He's being prescribed Lantus, and I'm having trouble finding Semglee which was recently approved as a generic but no one here seems to have it.

Does anyone who has a diabetic cat have any resources to help cut the cost long term? I'm in the States if that gives more context about the situation.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
19,208
Purraise
19,697
Location
USA
Yes. The best web site for all things diabetes is Feline Diabetes —Diabetes in Cats — Treatment and Diabetic Cat Info — FDMB 👍 There's a message board there, too, where you can get in depth advice and suggestions on managing the diabetes, cost saving methods on insulin and supplies, etc.

Lantus is a great insulin to use and there's a protocol on how to use it. It's on the FelineDiabetes.com message board if your vet is not aware of the Lantus dosing protocol.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

Kacox

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Messages
40
Purraise
26
Thank you!
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
3,885
Purraise
7,418
You can buy the pen through walmart in the pet pharmacy section for $109.00 for 3mls or 100 units which would last a while since usually the dose is 1 unit twice a day.
Have your mom get the glucometer to check the blood glucose at home with an ear stick. It is super easy to do and will save alot of money on having the vet do it.
With a proper low carbohydrate canned food only diet many cats go into remission and will no longer need insulin.
Always make sure the cat eats though. Some overweight cats won't eat canned food at first, so it is important that they eat. No hunger strikes.
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
19,208
Purraise
19,697
Location
USA
You can buy the pen through walmart in the pet pharmacy section for $109.00 for 3mls or 100 units which would last a while since usually the dose is 1 unit twice a day.

The Lantus pens are much more cost effective than the 10 ml bottle :agree: The 10 ml bottle might last a month before it "poops out" (loses effectiveness) while the box of five 3ml pens is basically a 5 month supply you have on hand. Since cats only need tiny doses of insulin, throwing out a barely used 10 ml bottle every month is a huge waste. A pen is basically a mini bottle so you use insulin syringes to draw the insulin out. You don't use the pen the way a Human diabetic would. The Lantus specific board on the FDMB has all the info you need to use about the insulin and how to use it and advice that you can run past the vet before doing any dose changes.
 

SwissMiss

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
39
Purraise
45
I use the glargine insulin pen to treat my cat for diabetes. The name of the generic Lantus is Basaglar and it costs about $83.00 for one insulin pen which is quite a bit better than the price you were quoted. I'd say call around to different pharmacies to check prices and see if they carry the Basaglar insulin pen. Good luck!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

Kacox

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Messages
40
Purraise
26
I'll shop around
She managed to find Lantus for $70 but I don't feel right about throwing out so much unused insulin every month or every other month.
My vet is only doing 12 weeks worth of monitoring every 2 weeks in order to make sure he is stable at the right dose, it's not too bad for cost they are working with us. I do plan on getting an at home glucometer to monitor him after this process though.
 

Tobermory

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
9,504
Purraise
27,160
Location
Pacific NW
When I had a diabetic kitty, I was also using Lantus. I was buying a single pen at Costco for about $83. I last bought it in 2017 so I’m sure it must have increased, but it was cheaper than any other place I found.
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
19,208
Purraise
19,697
Location
USA
I'll shop around
She managed to find Lantus for $70 but I don't feel right about throwing out so much unused insulin every month or every other month.
My vet is only doing 12 weeks worth of monitoring every 2 weeks in order to make sure he is stable at the right dose, it's not too bad for cost they are working with us. I do plan on getting an at home glucometer to monitor him after this process though.

$70 for the 10 ml bottle or a single 3 ml pen? The FDMB has lots of tips on how to save money on insulin and how to get a pen or bottle of Lantus to last as long as possible.

Vet monitoring isn't necessary at all. Cats are super stressed out at the vet's office that blood glucose levels will be super elevated. It's better to test blood glucose levels at home and share the numbers with the vet.
 

BellaBlue82

Sadie rules, Julian drools, my boys rule heaven ❤
Alpha Cat
Joined
Mar 15, 2022
Messages
414
Purraise
1,008
Location
Pittsburgh PA
$70 for the 10 ml bottle or a single 3 ml pen? The FDMB has lots of tips on how to save money on insulin and how to get a pen or bottle of Lantus to last as long as possible.

Vet monitoring isn't necessary at all. Cats are super stressed out at the vet's office that blood glucose levels will be super elevated. It's better to test blood glucose levels at home and share the numbers with the vet.
I agree, I also have a sugar cat as they say and the FDMB is a great place for diabetic cats! Very helpful community, with various helpful threads. 👍
 

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
13,910
Purraise
18,410
Location
Los Angeles
My vet uses FreeStyle Libre with cats. While I have had two diabetic cats, the last one on ProZinc, I have never used FSL personally. I no longer go to the FDMB, just because I don't have a diabetic cat presently, but you might ask them what they think of it.
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
19,208
Purraise
19,697
Location
USA
Also wanted to throw out there that while Lantus is a great insulin, it might not be the right one for your cat. Every cat is different. Give it a try for a few months. If it doesn't seem to help despite dose increases and a diet change, try a different insulin. My diabetic cat started on Humulin N which was cheap to buy but was too short acting. Then we tried Lantus for a good year, maybe longer. That didn't help. We'd have a very short time with good blood glucose levels before the levels spiked again. Then we tried Levemir which worked a little better. Some cats may always need both diet and insulin to manage the diabetes and that's perfectly ok :agree: It's nothing you're doing wrong. It's just how the cat's body is responding to treatment.
 
Top