Compassionate Assistance Program

DCIN's current financial assistance program is the Compassionate Assistance Program (CAP). With this program, there is little up-front information required from the caregiver and there will be no administrative follow-up on the cat or caregiver. What the program does is provide one-time assistance with certain insulins and other supplies (including testing supplies if the caregiver desires) to low-income caregivers. It also provides guidance to feline diabetes educational information and sites on the Internet, hoping to get the caregivers on the road to "appropriate treatment" for their cats.

You can now apply for CAP by using this form http://goo.gl/forms/NLM1rJN5lh

If one wishes to apply, please email DCIN's Executive Director at Jenna@dcin.info with:
  • Your cat's name and date of diagnosis.
  • A digital photo of your cat, if one is available.
  • What makes you a low-income caregiver. (CAP is a "need," not a "want," program.)
  • Your full name, mailing address, and phone number(s)
  • The insulin prescribed or to be prescribed for your cat. If DCIN accepts you into the program and you hope to receive a starter pen of Lantus or Levemir from DCIN, I will need a copy of the veterinarian's script faxed or emailed to me, although it doesn't have to be in your introductory email. I can provide the fax number by return email.
  • Whether you are interested in home testing your cat's blood glucose (BG) levels. (Hometesting BG levels is the first best way to keep your baby safe.)
  • What food you are feeding your diabetic cat and what you are feeding the dogs or other cats in your home if your diabetic cat has access to those foods. (If your cat goes outside, please also let me know that because that can affect its diet if it hunts or begs or steals food from neighbors.)
  • Whether you have joined an Internet forum at www.diabeticcatcare.com, www.diabeticcathelp.com, or www.felinediabetes.com and if so, what your user name is. 
This is the "core" information DCIN sends out with CAP awards.
  • DCIN has a Financial Assistance Program (FAP) for low-income people appropriately treating their cats. The program is described at http://fdmb-cin.blogspot.com/2014/06/financial-assistance-program.html. However, that program is currently closed to new participants. But DCIN continues to support the five bullets at the top of the page that outline appropriate treatment.
  • During our FAP scale back period, DCIN has instituted what it is calling a Compassionate Assistance Program (CAP). CAP involves a one-time provision of starter insulin and (if the client will use it) blood glucose (BG) testing equipment. The CAP does not require appropriate treatment, but certainly encourages it.
  • There are three Internet forums for caregivers of diabetic cats that DCIN sanctions under its FAP. They are the Feline Diabetes Message Board or the Forums on Diabetic Cat Help or Diabetic Cat Care. I highly suggest that you look at those forums and actively participate on one of them.
  • DCIN can send you starter supplies to hometest your cat’s BG levels. Hometesting is the first best way to keep your cat safe and healthy. Some vets don't approve of hometesting, wanting instead to test a cat's BG levels in the office, which doesn't work well because (1) of the expense, (2) of the infrequency, and (3) most cats get vet stress, which raises a cat's BG levels and thus makes the test results invalid. DCIN supplies the manufacturer's unbranded version of the Walmart Relion Confirm BG testing system, one of the more common systems used to hometest diabetic cats. That way, after DCIN provides the starter kit (meter and strips), you would be able to buy additional strips at a local Walmart. However, to avoid wasting DCIN resources, DCIN will send the testing equipment only if you are willing to test. You can read more about hometesting at http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=287. Take at look at Mark and Buddy's YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zE12-4fVn8.
  • To understand the best way to feed your cat, see Dr. Lisa Pierson's page at http://catinfo.org/. Her main page talks about feline diet in general, and there are links on the right to her page on diabetes and to her chart of the nutritional values of various canned foods (called "protein, fat, carbs chart"). Many of us feed the Fancy Feast Classic line of foods (all under 10% carbs). We avoid the fish flavors, because those are hard on the kidneys, and diabetes already is hard enough on the kidneys. DCIN always recommends avoiding the prescription diets for diabetics because they have higher carbohydrates and lower meat protein quality than do far many less expensive commercial pate canned foods. We oppose dry food for any cat, but especially for diabetic cats.
  • DCIN can assist with insulin.  We will assist with Lantus, Levemir, BCP PZI or Prozinc.  In rare situations, we will assist with Vetsulin/Caninsulin or Humulin/Novolin N. There are no other insulins appropriate to give a cat as a basal insulin.
  • DCIN has a blog page on buying Lantus and Levemir insulin less expensively. Please see http://fdmb-cin.blogspot.com/2013/11/lantus.html. Please be sure to check the Craigslist for your state and other nearby states. You may want to consider buying a box of pens from a Canadian mail order pharmacy.
  • This is a good video on drawing insulin from a vial or syringe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4KtK_skpmQ&sns=em. Be especially careful to never shoot a syringe overdraw of insulin back into the vial or pen because that will contaminate your insulin and reduce its effective life. 
  • A good local location for buying U100 syringes in most of the US is Walmart. Ask for the Relion brand, .3cc barrel, and 30 or 31 gauge and 8mm (short) needle. Those come with 1/2 unit markings. If you want a longer needle (1/2"), the Relion .3cc syringes only have that in a 29 gauge and they also have half unit markings. The Relions cost $12.58 per 100, plus sales tax in some locations. You also can find syringes from other local pharmacies and from Internet vendors, but usually not as inexpensively as the Relions.

17 comments:

Paisley's Mom said...

This is great information. Thank you.

The ReliOn 3/10cc 29G 12.7mm (1/2") syringe DOES come with half unit markings. It's what I use so I checked their website to see if it had changed. According to ReliOn.com, all 3/10cc syringes have half unit markings.

Venita said...

Thanks for letting us know, Paisley's Mom. I have updated our post.

Nana Crystal said...

My elderly neighbor has a diabetic cat but she doesn't have a computer. Is there any way she can apply for help? We all live in a HUD-subsidized, low-income seniors building.

thelma B said...

Hello. I also submitted an application for assistance right after my cat Smokey was diagnosed several weeks ago but haven't heard anything back yet. Is there any way I can find out if my application was received or if there's any more information that is needed from me? Thank you in advance for any help you can give. Thelma Linneer

CarpeDM70 said...

Have people found the Relion meter and strips to be... well, reliable? I've read reviews online that say the system hasn't been reliable for them. Any thoughts? Input? Thanks in advance. :) Also, I really appreciate this page. I am (very), low income and so any opportunity to better care for my baby is oh so very much appreciated! I'll be applying soon.

Paisley's Mom said...

I've used the ReliOn strips and they seemed to work just fine. I was using them with the Arkray meter because it was too cold to ship Arkray strips so I can't speak to the accuracy of the ReliOn meter itself. If you were to ask one of my vets, she'd tell you that none of them are accurate so don't use them. Being diabetic myself, it was a facepalm moment.

http://www.diabetesmonitor.com/ has a section on meters that is quite informative.

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Gina Vieira said...

Hi I'm I have a diabetic cat that I just found out has diabetes last Wednesday he needs Lantus as his insolence I spend so much money as it is on everything that I am now broke and cannot afford his Lantus. I'm not sure what to do every day he is getting worse and I'm trying my best to save his life. I don't know where to turn or what to do I'm trying everything I can. I'm also undergoing chemo and radiation myself so my funds are very tight at the moment I've already spent 1500 on my cat which leaves me $0 for his Lantus at this point and I can't afford to wait 2 weeks to get money for him he needs it now or I'm going to have to put him down and I don't want to do that anybody out there to help me at all. Please I'm begging

Kayli Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kayli Marie said...


If you haven't already, you should give Craigslist a try. I have found many people who have donated me syringes and insulin! It's been extremely helpful! I thought I would have to put him down too. But don't give up :) There are people out there who care and want to help :)

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Debra Fidler said...


Hello Sugar parents,

I hope I m posting in the right area, if not please let me know?
I am trying to hep a neighbor who has a sugar kitty.
She needs assistance. She is looking "do you have any good recommendations for diabetic cat sitters?"
Since my cat Taliesin ended up NOT having diabetes as my vet said he did. I have never had to administer any insulin. Or maybe it was controlled with food, I used Young Again.

The neighbor lives in Arlington, VA in the Long Branch Creek area. Thank you, Debra

Taliesin's mom.

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