(crossposted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav, alt.support.diabetes, misc.health.diabetes. Follow-ups directed to rec.pets.cats.health+behav)

My 12-year-old cat was just diagnosed as diabetic. He was admitted this morning for stabilization, and determining his dosage and whatnot.
I've been reading up on a number of sites about feline diabetes, but none of them seems to list suggestions about shopping for supplies.

Apparently I will need a meter that uses a small volume of blood, and "sipping" type strips. I've read that often there are offers of a free meter when you buy strips, and the price of replacement strips is the major consideration.
A lot of people recommended the Glucometer Elite or the One Touch Ultra, and one site suggested that the inexpensive WalMart Relion might be suitable. It looks like the strips are a lot cheaper, but I haven't seen any messages from people using one.
So I'm looking for recommendations for types of test strips, lancets, syringes, and where to buy supplies least expensively, either online or at local major pharmacy chains such as Walgreens or WalMart. Several of the online diabetic supply houses I looked at don't list prices, and seem to cater only to people covered by insurance.

I will certainly look in the newsgroups for responses, but would be especially grateful to anyone who cares to email reply.

jamie (Email Removed)
"There's a seeker born every minute."
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(crossposted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav, alt.support.diabetes, misc.health.diabetes. Follow-ups directed to rec.pets.cats.health+behav) My 12-year-old cat was just diagnosed as diabetic. He was admitted ... suitable. It looks like the strips are a lot cheaper, but I haven't seen any messages from people using one.[/nq]The Glucometer Elite has had a name change and is now called Ascencia Elite. I have an older Glucometer. My first one was free. Got the second one in the middle of a cross country move. I'm sure I could have gotten another free one or at least a good rebate if I had taken the time, but I was very sick at the time and wanted another meter right away. Thought my old meter might have been bad because I was getting very high readings on it. Turned out the high readings were because I was sick and had nothing to do with the meter.

It was a old one though and the new one I got has more features on it. I've never used another brand of meter, so I don't know much about them. I do know that there are one or two meters that require a smaller drop still than the Ascencia. My strips are covered by insurance, so I don't know what you'd have to pay out of pocket. I think it's about $40 per
50 or $80 per 100. Bayer frequently puts money saving coupons in the box orsends them to you in the mail. They occasionally send out free strips. All that is required is that you register with them when you first get the meter.
So I'm looking for recommendations for types of test strips, lancets, syringes, and where to buy supplies least expensively, either ... online diabetic supply houses I looked at don't list prices, and seem to cater only to people covered by insurance.

Somebody else will have to help you with that. Since my insurance covers my supplies, I can't help you there. I can tell you that it isn't necessary to change the lancet each time. That will save you a bit of money. I usually get several weeks out of one lancet and find that it is a lot less painful that way. I only change the lancet when it becomes painful. Of course, a cat isn't going to like the procedure anyway, so you'll just have to pick a time frame to change the lancet. And if you decide to test someone else, you will have to change the lancet, then change back to a fresh one when you're done.
I will certainly look in the newsgroups for responses, but would be especially grateful to anyone who cares to email reply.

I wish you the best for your cat. I know how difficult it can be to deal with a sick one. My cat is very stubborn. I can't imagine every being able to test her BG. She won't even sit still to get her nails clipped. And the few times she did need pills, I got scratched and bitten very badly. I'm stubborn, but she's more stubborn.
(crossposted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav, alt.support.diabetes, misc.health.diabetes. Follow-ups directed to rec.pets.cats.health+behav) My 12-year-old cat was just diagnosed as diabetic. He was admitted ... will certainly look in the newsgroups for responses, but would be especially grateful to anyone who cares to email reply.

Myself and a few ASD posters use the Walmart Relion meter. It is as accurate as any meter out there. The meter costs $8.88 and 100 sticks are $42. The cheapest retail place to get name brand sticks is www.hocks.com.
The cheapest place to get any type of BG sticks is EBay. You can typically get Accu chek Comfort curve sticks for $25 to $35 per 100 sticks. The same sticks cost about $75 at Walmart. Beware, you can get ripped off on EBay.

http://www.tcainternet.com/retired/index.html
So I'm looking for recommendations for types of test strips, lancets, syringes, and where to buy supplies least expensively, either online or at local major pharmacy chains such as Walgreens or WalMart.[/nq]I have used the One Touch Ultra Glucometer for years and am very happy with it. It is very easy to use and you only need a very small drop of blood for testing. I have a client (I petsit for special needs cats) that was freaked out when I insisted she buy and learn to use a Glucometer to monitor her diabetic cat, who nearly died because the vet she was using was not monitoring the cat properly or addressing the fact that his BG levels were going higher and higher despite the increase of his dose of insulin (which was the wrong kind) which resulted in him developing severe metabolic acidosis, crashing, and being hospitalized for 5 days.

It only took a few times for her to get the hang of testing with the meter and she is very good at it now! Monitoring this cat closely has made a huge difference in the treatment plan and we have been able to make on the spot decisions about whether he should even get a shot at all, or if the amount of insulin needs to be reduced. This has resulted in helping the cat change from a sick, lethargic, cat who was on death's door when I met him into a bright eyed, active and energetic, well monitored cat.

Until your cat is regulated, it is imperative that you test him before each shot and keep a log (a cheap daily planner from your local office supply is great for this purpose) that shows what his numbers were at what time and the time and amount of insulin given. This is a very good way to establish if there are any patterns or whether the dose/type of insulin needs to be changed. It also is necessary to test in case his numbers are low enough that a dose might need to be skipped and will help you avoid having to deal with a potentially deadly hypoglycemic reaction.
The average cost of the One Touch is between $60 and $75, but if you look around you will find that there is often a rebate offer on the box, which may differ (to your benefit) depending on the store you go to. Test strips are about $80 for 100. if you test twice a day, which is wise until you can get your cat regulated, you will average about $1.60 a day, although you can expect to use extra strips while you are getting the hang of testing.I am also going to vehemently disagree with the other poster that said you can use lancets more than once, and will add that syringes should only be used once as using a syringe twice not only damages the needle, but will also introduce bacteria into the vial of insulin and contaminate it. Syringes and lancets are not expensive and there is no justification for using them more than once. You can check prices with local drugstores and discount chains for their "store brands" and you won't have any trouble getting a good deal on these items.

You may even find a pharmacist that will give you a free box of lancets with the purchase of insulin. Generally, a box of 100 lancets can be had for $3-$4, and a box of 100 syringes can be had for $20 or less. Using two lancets and syringes each day at these prices would average you about 50 cents a day.
One more very important thing to remember is that your cat should be fed a strictly canned food diet with as few carbohydrates as possible, and should not be free fed. Feeding canned food on a 12 hour schedule before you give the shot is the best way to get your cat on the road to being regulated.
I also strongly recommend that you check out the
http://www.felinediabetes.com website. Read the article on diabetes for beginners and join the message board, which is comprised of experienced diabetic cat owners who are very willing to help and answer questions when needed. HTH.
Megan
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke
Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com
Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.picturetrail.com/zuzu22
"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."
- W.H. Murray
jamie (Email Removed) wrote on 12 Jan 2004 20:28:08 GMT:
(crossposted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav, alt.support.diabetes, misc.health.diabetes. Follow-ups directed to rec.pets.cats.health+behav) My 12-year-old cat was just diagnosed as diabetic. He was admitted this morning for stabilization, and determining his dosage and whatnot.

Sorry to hear that.
I've been reading up on a number of sites about feline diabetes, but none of them seems to list suggestions ... are offers of a free meter when you buy strips, and the price of replacement strips is the major consideration.

As a matter of interest, what is the "normal" blood sugar level for a cat? Is it the same as in humans?

Alan Mackenzie (Munich, Germany)
Email: (Email Removed); to decode, wherever there is a repeated letter (like "aa"), remove half of them (leaving, say, "a").
To follow up to my own post, I found this deal online which is excellent:
http://www.diabeticdrugstore.com/store/product.asp?dept%5Fid=204&sku=4382180

Megan
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke
Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com
Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.picturetrail.com/zuzu22
"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."
- W.H. Murray
"jamie" wrote in part ...
So I'm looking for recommendations for types of test strips, lancets, syringes, and where to buy supplies least expensively, either online or at local major pharmacy chains such as Walgreens or WalMart. Several of the online diabetic supply houses I looked at don't list prices, and seem to cater only to people covered by insurance.

I use the One touch UltraSmart it is not even close to being the cheapest one out there, but it does satisfy your requirements for small sample and "sucking" type strips. You may want to try Hocks.com on the net. They have the best prices on strips that I have found.
Arnie -
I love the One Touch Ultra, I have two of them.. One each of my two diabetic cats. I have two because I download the reading to my computer. I get my strips from Hock's. They usually have "mail order only" strips for the OTU for about $30 per 50 strips. You can get them a little cheaper from EBay if you want to mess with that.

Larry (Owned by seven cats: two grey, one black, white, black and white, and grey and white)
A lot of people recommended the Glucometer Elite or the One Touch Ultra, and one site suggested that the inexpensive WalMart Relion might be suitable. It looks like the strips are a lot cheaper, but I haven't seen any messages from people using one.

One thing you might be able to do is try different testing units on yourself. You might find one easier to use than another, or one that requires less of a blood sample than another. Many companies allow for trade-ins so you can try one out, then if you find it doesn't meet your needs, trade it in for different one. You can usually get a small sample of testing strips along with a new meter so you won't have to buy a whole box of strips just for a few test pokes.
So I'm looking for recommendations for types of test strips, lancets, syringes, and where to buy supplies least expensively, either ... will certainly look in the newsgroups for responses, but would be especially grateful to anyone who cares to email reply.

I like One Touch Ultra. I got the starter kit for free from the company (plus a gift of Neutrogena products!) which included 10 (?) test strips, the monitor, and some lancets. The strips aren't cheap but I like that they require less blood than many other testing kits. (Note: I use it for myself, not for my cat.)
http://www.canadadrugs.com/otc/listing.php?category=94 is the cheapest I've seen online. If you use One Touch Ultra, for example, 100 strips is only $63.59. Only problem is that it is a Canadian company. I don't know what the regulations are right now about ordering pharmaceutical supplies from Canada afaik it's still OK for Americans to do so. Also, I couldn't find any information about shipping costs.
rona (who has no affiliation with the company I posted the link to, except maybe that I'm Canadian)

***For e-mail, replace .com with .ca Sorry for the inconvenience!***
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