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Wal-mart now carrying pet insulin

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  • Wal-mart now carrying pet insulin

    I was just in Wal-mart and they had signs up saying they now carry pet insulin and had a price listed as $24.88. I'm not sure if this is any cheaper than the vet, but I thought I would pass it along in case it was.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

  • #2
    I didn't even realize there WAS such a thing as pet insulin. When I had a diabetic cat a number of years ago, vet prescribed human insulin. If I remember correctly, the price was in the $20's, & since the cat's injection only used a tiny bit, the bottle lasted in the fridge a LONG time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds dirt cheap!

      Hate WallyWorld. Small animal vets hate me. Between a rock and a hard place in terms of my personal politics.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

      Comment


      • #4
        I wonder what type of insulin it is. I'm guessing Caninsulin, which is made for use in dogs and does not work well for cats, who do best on long-acting human insulins or a specific veterinary insulin that does not cost $24.99. If that's the case, the advertisement is dangerously misleading; how many people will now go to their vets and ask for that insulin for cats because it's cheaper? (Good insulins for felines run about $100/vial, unfortunately) My guess is more than a few, and given that many vets are not well-versed in feline diabetes (many still prescribe inappropriate insulins, though studies have shown them to be a bad choice for cats), it sets up a dangerous situation.

        Bacardi, you were probably using Humulin N, which is no longer recommended for use in cats as it is very harsh and does not last long enough in the system.

        So, a PSA...If you are considering this, ASK at Walmart what kind of insulin this is, and avoid it for cats if it is Caninsulin or Humulin. PZI, which I believe must be compounded now (but I could be wrong; I don't use it) is approved for use in cats, so if this is what they are selling, it's OK, though Prozinc seems to be the preferred version among cat owners who use veterinary insulin. Just be aware that insulins that work well for dogs are often a poor choice for cats.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          There seemed to be a few different bottles on the ad and pictures of both dogs and cats. Let me see if I can find out more and I'll report back.
          Rhode Islands are red;
          North Hollands are blue.
          Sorry my thoroughbreds
          Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

          Comment


          • #6
            ProZinc does seem to be the favorite cat insulin now. I have been asked to pay as much as $140/vial and as little as $85.

            Humulin N was suggested by an old, "jack of all species" animal vet. Cheap at $55/vial, but the stuff purportedly has a short shelf-life in the way that ProZinc does not.

            At these prices, Diabetic Cat might average $30-$50/month in insulin, depending on dosage.

            YMMV with respect to which insulin is preferred by your vet (1st) and your act (2nd), IME.

            But many stores are now starting to carry pet meds. Ask!
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat

            Comment


            • #7
              Actually, the preferred insulin for cats is Lantus, which studies show has the highest remission rate in cats when the tight regulation protocol is followed from the beginning. ProZinc (or PZI which is/was very similar) and Levemir are also good. These three are currently the only ones recommended for use in cats, and all three cost in the $100 range for a 10ml vial. In general, the pens that are available for Lantus and Levemir are more cost effective because they are in smaller containers and therefore less is wasted when they deteriorate, though a box is more expensive to begin with (around $200).

              However, many vets are not up-to-date on feline diabetes, and many still prescribe inappropriate insulins, line Caninsulin and the "N" insulins, so I would not blindly go with what the vet says. Feline diabetes treatment has changed drastically in the past few years, and many vets are not up-to-date.

              Dogs have a slower metabolism than cats, so there are more options for dog owners.

              Comment


              • #8
                My parents have a diabetic cat, and they get human insulin at WalMart, but its like $120 a vial. Lasts a long time though!

                ETA: they use Lantus insulin for the cat.
                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I called the local Wal-mart pharmacy and asked which insulins they carry. The girl that answered did not know, but I heard her asking someone if were something N and something R. Then she came back and said that she wasn't sure as the pharmacist was out for lunch and they hadn't actually received the insulin yet, but it was supposed to come in this week. She went on to say that they dispense heartworm pills as well which I did not know.
                  Rhode Islands are red;
                  North Hollands are blue.
                  Sorry my thoroughbreds
                  Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The N and R insulins should not, IMO, be advertised as "pet insulin." They are effective in dogs, but not in cats. Unfortunately some vets do still prescribe them, and Walmart selling them for cheap will not help matters.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My cocker spaniel was diabetic for the last seven years of his life. I used a combo of short-acting and long-acting insulins, both Humulin. Never did I need a prescription to buy them. This is in Georgia, and as far as I know you can still just stroll up to the pharmacy counter and buy however much you want.

                      Syringes were another matter. Some pharmacies would sell them to me, and some insisted on a prescription. My vet finally wrote me a prescription for 200 boxes of syringes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you can find Lantus or Levimir for those prices, my human patients will be lining up for it!

                        Insulin N is rarely used any more because there are so many better alternatives. Sounds like they are selling the cheap generic stuff as "special" for pets, when it is just cheap, generic insulin in the first place.
                        Click here before you buy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have never had *knock on wood* a diabetic pet.

                          What is the difference between the different types of insulin?

                          Why is one better than another, depending on species?

                          Why is insulin so expensive?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Some insulins are fast acting. They bring the blood sugar down rapidly, but don't last very long.

                            Long-acting insulins have a gentler action, bringing blood glucose down more slowly over a longer period. Many human diabetics take a long-acting insulin once daily and use fast acting variety at mealtimes to supplement.

                            The reason that fast-acting insulins are not good for cats is that cats have a much faster metabolism than humans or dogs. Long acting insulin that humans take every 24 hours, cats need every 12. So the fast acting insulins act even faster in cats, and this can cause two problems. One, they wear off quickly, leaving the cat basically without insulin for part of the day, so the numbers start high, drop quickly low, and then shoot right back up within a few hours and stay high until the next shot. As you can imagine, they don't feel very good when they're on this roller coaster. Second, because they act so fast and so harshly, they can create a hypoglycemic situation very quickly that's harder to control. Many cats don't show hypo symptoms until they are so low they have seizures or lose consciousness, at which point, it's a life-threatening emergency situation. These insulins are sometimes used in hospital settings for cats with life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis, when the glucose must be brought down quickly, but are no longer recommended for home regulation. A long acting insulin brings glucose slowly down in a gentle curve, and while hypo can still occur, it's more easily controlled with food,or with honey or Karo syrup.

                            Fast-acting insulins generally work fine for dogs, who metabolize them more slowly. That's why Walmart advertizing what is basically a human or dog insulin for all pets is misleading.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              We don't know that is what they are doing. The girl on the phone asked if that's what it was and was told no, but they hadn't actually received the pet insulin yet, so she couldn't tell me what it was. I will call back in a few days and see if they know then.
                              Rhode Islands are red;
                              North Hollands are blue.
                              Sorry my thoroughbreds
                              Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post

                                Fast-acting insulins generally work fine for dogs, who metabolize them more slowly. That's why Walmart advertizing what is basically a human or dog insulin for all pets is misleading.
                                thank you for the clear and precise explanation. As I said, I've not had a diabetic pet (yet....) and had no idea that there were even different KINDS of insulin.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by RacetrackReject View Post
                                  We don't know that is what they are doing. The girl on the phone asked if that's what it was and was told no, but they hadn't actually received the pet insulin yet, so she couldn't tell me what it was. I will call back in a few days and see if they know then.
                                  It could be that they're carrying ProZinc, or a generic equivalent (I don't think it's off patent yet though), which is approved for use in cats, or Caninsulin (Vetsulin) which I think is approved for cats but generally considered not to be a good choice for them. The other two insulins of choice for cats other than ProZinc are Lantus and Levimir, which are not approved for veterinary use and advertising them as pet insulin would be illegal and presents the same problem in reverse as they aren't great insulins for dogs.

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