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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Diabetes dilemma

I have a 14-year-old Westie who needs medication for diabetes - he is currently on Caninsulin. I buy 10ml at a time, which lasts ten days. This costs £22 at my local vet, and I buy it on a Wednesday, when they offer a 15% discount to us senior citizens. So I have been paying £18.50 every ten days, and as I am disabled and on benefits it has been a struggle, especially as my dog now needs pain relief for arthritis as well.

Today I got a terrible shock when I found the price had suddenly increased to £28.50! My vet is willing to write me a prescription, but at a cost of £10, so I don't think getting it by post is going to help much, especially as it has to be sent in insulated packaging to keep it cool.

I used to take him to the PDSA but they insist on seeing a diabetic dog every week, and it is quite a journey, too much on the buses for either of us now, and a £50 taxi ride away. I will pay it somehow, because my dog means the world to me, and of course I have no idea how much time he has left, but I am having trouble paying my own basic bills.

Does anyone have any advice, please?

Dogs Today reader, by phone

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised your PDSA expects you to attend so regularly (although it is very good for diabetic dogs to be monitored closely) - I think it would be very worthwhile asking if they can help with the situation by accepting a weekly update by phone instead of a weekly visit. If a pet is stable on long-term medication, many practices only see them every three months for a 'prescription check' to make sure they are doing well. The PDSA are aware that travel costs can prevent owners getting pets to them, and do offer a postal prescription service in some areas, so it is worth asking if they can post the insulin out to you.

    The prescription from your own vet could help if the PDSA cannot post the caninsulin to you - you may be able to get a three month prescription and order all of the insulin you will need for three months at one time, which will save on postage costs and even with the cost of the prescription should be cheaper than buying at the vets. The insulin just needs to be kept in the fridge, and bottles will last for about 2 years if they have not been opened.

    It is also worth discussing the cost of your dog's arthritis medication, as there are many medications available and some are less expensive than others. Some of the older medications such as carprofen (known as rimadyl) or tramadol should only cost about £8 for a month's treatment for a westie (although they may have more side effects than the newer medications, and different dogs respond differently to the various arthritis medications available).