Life and Death Decision

Many of you who have been following my blog for a while have seen several posts in the past spotlighting my Nicky. I have a little story and a big rant and if any of you experienced cat people have any suggestions, it would be most sincerely appreciated.

2014-08-22 Nicky

I love this little guy. He wandered into my life sometime in late 2007. The vet estimated that he was maybe about 10 months old at the time. Sometime in 2009 he began to lose weight and started getting sick. We tested him and discovered that he had become diabetic. We tried him on the standard insulins available for animals but nothing was working and he was getting sicker. I was so afraid I was going to lose him. I did some research and came upon references to a human-use insulin called Lantus (insulin glargine) being used in insulin-resistant animals. And Nicky certainly qualified for insulin-resistant. We went from $12 to $98 for a vial of insulin that would last about two months.

Over the years, the price has increased exponentially. It was getting harder and harder to come up with the money and now that I’m on a fixed income, it’s nearly impossible. I have called organizations and I called the company. No one around here seems to have any programs that offer discounts or assistance for pets. I just refilled his insulin and it is now $278.00 (sticker shock indeed). Outrageous. I am so sick and tired of these huge pharmaceuticals  making people choose between life and food, or at worst, life and death. I just believe that this world has gotten so horribly greedy. I also believe there is a “special” place in hell for greedy people. I believe it is horrible that too many people have to make this decision regarding their pets because of money.

But don’t worry. Nicky has nothing to worry about because I will always choose life for an otherwise healthy, playful cat. I would never and could never put down a vibrant, loving animal that I took into my home and promised to care for for the duration of his life.  I made him dependent on me. How horrible it would be if now I turned my back on him in his time of need. He is a LIFE. He is one of God’s creatures.

I’m sorry for my rant. I usually really try avoiding getting personal on my blog. I’m usually not one to open up about my problems. My main purpose in writing this is to see if anyone else is dealing with anything like this. Sometimes other people have ideas or suggestions that might make a difference. I know there are a lot of bloggers on here who have multi-cat households or who deal with rescue agencies and I thought someone might have some suggestions.

Either way, Nicky and his cohorts who live in my home are here to stay and will be well cared for as long as I live and breathe! Thank you for listening and allowing me to vent a bit.

2009-10-09 Nicky_Fotor

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64 comments on “Life and Death Decision

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    I used to use lantus for my own diabetes and it has gotten so very expensive. I recently changed to another type of insulin and so far it working a little cheaper. I can relate because my drugs aren’t covered either with the high deductible we have. I hear you.

    • Wow, Cee, good luck. I hope and pray your new insulin works as well for you. This is probably not news for you, but in my searches, I have found a LOT of programs for people who need the insulin. I’ve even seen some that issue a card where you would only pay $25. It’s certainly worth checking out possible programs if you haven’t! Take care and be well!

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Sorry, I can’t help you as I’m not aware of the situation in your country. However, corporate greed is a common theme. I hope you find an answer.

  3. Linda, mostly it is marvelous to learn about your personal commitment to your animals. In itself that dedication is felt by your furry friends. Maybe there is a vet who has a heart (like you) and can work with you. It is outrageous the money charged to people and the dollars made by the companies that make the RXs. That system needs to be changed.

    • Thanks so much, Sally. It’s one of those situations that there is no real decision because I’ve already made it. My vet (I used to work for him years ago) is a sweetheart. We talked about it. He understands but is helpless. He said there might be another insulin brand or two that we could try but he’s afraid that with Nicky’s age and the trouble we had regulating him the first time and finding something that worked, we might run the risk of losing him while we experiment. So, for now, unless a miracle occurs, it is what it is and we’ll do what we have to do! I appreciate your kind words.

  4. Marc-André says:

    Cutest tummy ever 🙂

  5. becca givens says:

    Absolutely LOVE those eyes!! Health issues in our fur-kiddos can turn out to be so expensive … half of my kiddos are on one form or another meds … thankfully 3 of them have been moved to every other day meds — therefore, meds will last a bit longer before having to be refilled. I know I have read about groups to help those with pets in need — I will see if I can locate the reference.

    Our pups are doing so well on their raw diet — I can’t with good conscious go back to what they were on before — but with it are a slew of supplements! They are eating better than my husband and me. Oh, what we sacrifice for the kiddos we love! ❤

    • Thanks, Becca. Isn’t that just so very true. We’re down to seven cats and one dog but we’ve been so lucky that these animals remaining have been so healthy. And the meds wouldn’t even be an issue if we were still working. Like you, I think they’re healthier because of the food we’re feeding them. They definitely eat better than we do — or at least their food costs a lot more than ours does! I do believe that what we feed them can make a big difference in the vet bills. 😀

  6. You are amazing for doing this. We have lots of cats in Manila and my sister is working hard for them to You remind me of my sister,

  7. Luanne @ TFK says:

    Linda, I’m so sorry. Have you tried diet? It has a big effect but you have to be careful when they are on insulin. Ask the vet. I don’t mean prescription food. But Weruva etc are expensive too.

    • Diet for them is a big thing, Luanne. They get canned Wellness, Weruva’s BFF and Taste of the Wild dry. I think buying expensive has paid off in the long run on vet bills! They actually eat better than we do! 😀

      • Luanne @ TFK says:

        Weruva is fabulous. Mine are not as thrilled with Wellness. Now that my oldest cat is in stage 4 kidney failure, diabetes, and a bad heart, I am adding a little “kitty crack” (Fancy Feast) with the Weruva for that special flavor and smell. Otherwise, he just won’t eat enough any longer. We don’t have a lot of time left with him.

      • Oh, Luanne, I am so sorry to hear about your kitty. What a difficult time. What a blessed little kitty to have you for his momma.

      • Luanne @ TFK says:

        He bit me last night! I was carrying him up to bed with us and we walked past one of his “sisters” and without warning he bit me. I think he’s sick of being babied!

      • I hope it wasn’t a serious bite. I don’t think I’ll get used to the sudden bite. All they have to say is “put me down” or “stop petting me”! LOL At least mine haven’t taken to biting hard! Only a couple of them occasionally try to communicate that way! 😀

      • Luanne @ TFK says:

        Everyone is making fun of me because it appears to be a scratch. It’s deeper than a scratch, but it looks like one. So it wasn’t as if he tried to take a chunk out of me. I think he had it with being babied, carried up the stairs for beddybye. Maybe he was even embarrassed in front of the other cats.

      • Well, you can’t be too careful of the kitty’s dignity! 😉 😆

      • Luanne @ TFK says:

        My dear Mac crossed the Rainbow Bridge early Sunday morning. I’m so sad. My cats are so sad. My husband is so sad.

      • Oh, Luanne, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Nothing I can say will make it easier. I’m afraid I know only too well the feelings of loss you all are going through. My heart and prayers go out to you both.

      • Luanne @ TFK says:

        Thank you so much.

  8. Fozziemum says:

    Just saw this and had to say i agree…we have found our vet has gone through the roof with pricing..yesterdays trip with Dinnermintz with a tummy bug cost after bloods over 400 dollars..i do not mind paying for them but when it is becoming quite obvious that since the new building that prices and tests are high and the waiting time in the foyer longer…with 4 cats 2 dogs and 3 sheep we have been very profitable clients and have always paid on the day.We are looking at changing as we used to get Forrests meds script written so the chemist would fill it at a much much cheaper price…now 15 dollats to get the script typed out..considering the price yesterday in March Forrests snake bite overnight care antivenom and other meds fluids etc on public holiday was 1500…so over 400 for a tummy bug…well know how you feel..my sister cat has diabetes i will see if she has some hints sweets xxx

    • I think the pricing is that way all over. I know when I worked for my vet (about 13 years ago), pharmaceuticals were high then and going higher. I think these pharma companies know they can charge exorbitant prices because people don’t have a choice when it comes to some meds. I think it’s disgraceful. My vet does try to work with me and lets me make payments to him if I need to. But, of course, the meds Nicky needs comes from a regular pharmacy. Sounds like things are done differently over there because scripts are written with the office visit or called in to the pharmacy — no extra charge. The charge comes in when you go to fill it! Take care and I’ll talk to you soon. Good to see you again! Love and hugs! 😀 ❤

  9. He is beautiful!! There is a special place in heaven for people like you Linda!! I hear you about the greed!! It’s insane!

    • I must agree with you about him! Aw, that’s sweet of you to say such a thing. I’m not doing anything that lots of others wouldn’t do! The greedy shall one day get their comeuppance! 😀

  10. Hi, Linda; So sorry to hear about your sweet furry friend’s health issues. He’s blessed to have you! Have you seen this web page? http://fdmb-cin.blogspot.com/2013/11/lantus.html Seems like many others are in the same boat. Have you tried any Canadian pharmacies?

    • Wow, Gail, that website looks like a good possibility of information or leads. Thank you so very much. I’ve marked it so I can go back and really review the info and read the comments. I haven’t tried any Canadian pharmacies. I’ve always been nervous about not knowing what I might really be getting online. But referrals are always best. This is wonderful. Thanks again! Have a fabulous week! 😀

  11. Sorry to read about this. Are they available to import at lower cost?

  12. rommel says:

    He looks so good! I can how you can’t resist. 😉 Awful price to take care of sick pet. I can’t offer any because I never had a pet, but I’ll see if I can ask around. I love posts like these. It shows the true character of the bloggers. It brings out their true feeling outside their normal posts. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Rommel. I usually don’t open up like this but it did feel good and I’ve received such an outpouring of love and support. I even have some great leads to follow up on! Thanks! 😀 ❤

  13. I wish I had some info for you Linda. I hope the website mentioned by one your visitors will help. He is such a beauty. Love the top shot. Thank you for sharing with us. 🌸

  14. inesephoto says:

    So sorry for your beautiful furry baby. My aunt has a cat with diabetes, I will ask her what she uses. As far as I remember it is something human.

  15. inesephoto says:

    Asked, they use the same Lantus :(. She says, at 9 in the evening every day except when the sugar drops. Sorry 😦

  16. I don’t know why this has to be so expensive, Linda. I hope you find another solution for this gorgeous little guy. Maybe there’s a possibility to use homeopathic remedies, but then you have to contact a Homeopathic Vet. We send positive vibes your way ❤ Pawkisses 🙂 ❤

    • Thanks, dear! It’s amazing to me, too. I may have found a Canadian Pharmacy that looks promising (got to make sure of their reputation). $99 is a big difference! We’ll see how it goes! I’d be afraid at this stage of his life and the things we went through to find something that worked to change it now. Really appreciate your thoughts! HUGS! 😀 ❤ ❤

  17. Paula says:

    I wish I could find a solution for you and Nicky, but I can’t. The greed is everywhere with people and animals 😦 That portrait you took of him is exquisite. We take best photos of the things we most love and this photo is probably the best shot I saw from you, Linda.

    • Thanks, Paula. So sad but true about the greed everywhere. Thanks so much for that wonderful compliment about Nicky’s photo. I hope you’re having a nice weekend. It’s nice here but very hot! 😀

  18. ledrakenoir says:

    Excellent captured… 🙂

  19. […] Meet Nicky! His mum has a big story to tell about him which you can find here. […]

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