Yes, you read it correctly. I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post that my cat had some blood tests run and she has been officially diagnosed with diabetes. When the veterinarian told me, initially I thought he was joking. Then he started writing prescriptions for insulin and special food.  At that point, I realized that $h#t got real! My first thoughts were, how do alley cats survive forever without medical treatment?

Welcome Home Dorie!

Dorie is a tortoiseshell, black and tan, with one tan paw. She was born in an alley somewhere in Harford County. I adopted her from the Humane Society when she was about four months old. We brought her home and upgraded her lifestyle like Beyoncé did for Jay-Z.

Initially, I wanted a cat because I saw a mouse in my house, but I do love cats. She took care of that problem immediately. As Dorie became acclimated to living in our home, we noticed that she had the characteristics of a dog. She jumped on people, she licked, sniffed, and chased people, just strange behavior for a cat. She also used to expose her claws to comb my hair. She did a great job, better than a hairdresser.

Company for Dorie

We brought our dog home when Dorie was a year old and she was pissed! Not only did she hiss at the dog, she slapped her multiple times daily, tried to take her food, and occasionally she drank from her bowl. She terrorized the dog for about a year. Eventually, they became inseparable. They followed each other around the house in a single file line, slept in the same rooms, played together and kept each other company. They spent 8 years together. Our dog died in December 2017 and Dorie grieved for months. I think she’s still grieving with us.

What’s Up with Dorie Today?

Fast forward, Dorie is 9 years old today. She initially went to the vet because she was losing weight and drinking so much water. I was changing her litter twice a day. The doctor ran some tests and I was hit with the diabetic diagnoses. I have to inject her with insulin twice a day and she can only eat 1 cup of prescription food per day, half in the morning and half at night. She also has to have a curve blood test every two weeks to check her sugar levels. She’s getting better, but she’s not quite there yet.

Let’s Break Down the Financial Implications

Because, I didn’t know any better, I paid $291.00 for a 6 month supply of insulin from the pharmacy at my local supermarket which shall remain nameless. That’s about $48.00 a month. A box of 100 needles was $29.00. A bag of food is about $60.00 which will last for about 2 months. Later, I found out that I can get the insulin and needles cheaper at Wal-Mart.  The curve test cost anywhere from $100-$140 every other week. Did you do the math? I tell you this because everyone loves pets when they are cute and young. Please understand that they get older and require medical treatment just like you. They were not included in the Affordable Care Act. If you are not committed to being a pet owner or you truly can’t afford it, think twice. Do you have money set aside for healthcare? Will you consider pet insurance? Dorie is a family member and I will care for her as long as she is here on earth. Do you own a pet? Have you ever dealt with a pet with health issues? Share your story below!

 

 

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12 comments

  1. I totally understand the demands of raising an animal with a medical condition! My dog has epilepsy and it takes a bit to manage it, but it’s well worth it! Dorie sounds like such a great companion!

  2. Hello Annisa, great post. I don’t have a pet, so I can’t relate. But, I have tons of friends with pets and the financial implications are high. But, the joy a pet provides is priceless.

  3. I personally can’t have cats, but I totally understand the mental and financial stress that comes with have a sick pet. It can be completely draining. When my dog got sick I was so anxious.

  4. It’s so important to budget for the healthcare issues of our animals. I think that is the thing that so many pet owners struggle with – it’s fun to have one, but you have to take care of them as well, and that can get expensive.

  5. Oh my goodness! I never knew this could be a possibility! You did great getting Dorie checked out and figuring out what was going on with her. It is crazy how expensive these little creatures can be, but they are so loved and important to us and our families 🙂 More than worth the cost!

  6. I have owned animals my entire life. I had never heard of then being able to get diabetes though, learn something new everyday! I had my dog Fergus who collapsed one day on a walk when he was about 13, I took him to the vet and ended up paying over $700 I was not prepared to pay. But I would do it all over again for him! We currently have two dogs and a cat and they are my babies and I love them tons!!

  7. This post was truly eye-opening. I love cats… well I love all animals if I’m honest. I never knew that cats could be diabetic. I do totally agree with you. Once your pet is apart of the family then they must be treated medically just as any other member. Great job taking care of Dorie!

  8. I had a diabetic cat several years ago, since he was first generation feral the vet and I agreed coming at he everyday with a needle was going to be a challenge. I opted to make hollastic changes. First he went on a all protein diet, not carbs or grains, then I added in blood sugar gold, to his wet food which leveled out his sugars with out insulin. I was able to do this for about 3 years before the Disease overtook him.

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