Can I Afford My Diabetic Dog?

This topic is usually a big concern in the beginning when first diagnosed.  You’ve already been hit with a sizeable vet bill just to find out that your pup has Diabetes.  Depending on how early you caught the symptoms, that vet bill was huge or just not something that you had budgeted for.  Well, let’s get comfy and explore how to save money with this disease.

I have shared in previous posts that before I found my Canine Diabetes Community (CDSI), I knew nothing about testing, curves, ketones or proper food. So I basically was walking through this new diagnosis blindly.  Here’s the kicker, I spent close to $6,000 those first 3 months until it was suggested that I get a meter and start testing.  Now I know why the vet that diagnosed my Max never mentioned a meter.  Honestly?  Because once I had my own meter, this cash cow didn’t need him much anymore.  I know how harsh that sounds and believe me I don’t believe that many vets actually put their bottom line before their patients, but I’m fairly certain that was the case with this guy.  It was my vet in TX that suggested that I get a meter and start testing.

Why do I tell that story?  Because as soon as I got my meter and started testing at home, my vet bills went WAY down.  I didn’t need to take Max in for curves 3 times a week; I was testing him myself and could run my own curves.  So here’s the cost comparison on that – I could do a full 12 hour curve (7 readings) at home for under $10.00.   A “curve” at the vet (which was 3 readings) cost me $120.00.  Moving on to insulin…

This vet sold me insulin (Novolin N) for the “discounted price” of $130.00 a vial.  One of the vet techs is the one that told me to buy it at Walmart.  Once I got a little bit more savvy, I noticed that the vet office was selling me the Relion brand (Walmart), which is the exact same thing as Novolin N from any pharmacy, it just has the little blue “Relion” box on the front that Walmart brilliantly negotiated with NovoNordisk to sell to those that need it for $24.99 instead of about $150.00.  So this vet was going to Walmart, buying the insulin for about $25.00 and reselling it to me for $130.00!!  WHAT?!?!   Next up…

Ketone strips.  The vet never told me about checking for ketones. Ketone strips are about $7.99 for a vial of 50 strips or about $13.00 for a vial of 100 strips. These little beauties should be in your supplies always!!!  Why?  Because for literally less than 15 cents, you can save yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by catching the presence of ketones immediately and encouraging water at the onset to get rid of the ketones before they cause an issue.  And then there is…

The vet will likely tell you that you must feed a prescription diet. Well, not really.  There are many budget friendly diabetic appropriate foods out there and we have covered this is a few prior posts, so have a look back at those blog entries.

If you haven’t already picked up on the common theme here, it is simply this.  The more proactive you are when it comes to managing this disease, the more money you can save.  It really isn’t a whole lot of extra money when you know your way around the management of Canine Diabetes.  If you haven’t connected all of the dots quite yet, the single most important thing that you can do for your pup’s success and your sanity is to get a meter and start testing at home.  That one thing will save you thousands of dollars along the way.  There are discounts available in the Canine Diabetes communities and also many specials offered along the way.  There are buy 2 boxes of strips, get one free discounts available at all times and many other offers as well.

If you do nothing else, consider getting a meter (a new pet meter can be had for just the cost of shipping with code RETRIEVE19) and start on the road to proper management.  In the long run, it will save you countless trips to the vet and will give you peace of mind daily!

You’ll notice that for most of the products or groups that I mention, the text is linked to a website where you can purchase that item or a link to join the group mentioned.  Just click on the colored text (red or blue, depending what device you are on) and it should take you right to the item or group.  If you have any thoughts or ideas for topics that you’d like to see covered here, please feel free to comment below or send me an email at NancyForPetTest@PharmaSupply.com.  As always, please “like” this blog post or any of the others that have helped you or just refreshed your memory.  Look for new posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

Until next time…