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Vidalta for hyperthyroid cat. Vet says we have to change

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08-07-2008, 10:41   #1
RosyRat
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My cat has been on neo mercazole twice daily for over 5 years. We crush the tablets over his food and he has never had any problems eating them and is doing really well. Yesterday we were called into the vets and told he could no longer continue with neo mercazole, as it's a drug for humans and that we must change to Vidalta, made specially for animals.

Vidalta costs almost exactly twice as much as neo mercazole and cannot be crushed onto food. It has to be given whole at the same time each day, as it is slow release. We've tried today and he just won't eat it whole with his food. Here are the options the vet gave us :

1. Force his mouth open and put the tablet down his throat. Ginger is 17 years old and has never been given medication this way. He'd hate it and would get very distressed. His mouth is tender, as he is hyperthyroid.

2. Crush the tablets onto his food. If we do this, he has to have 2, instead of one tablet a day as crushing impairs the quality of the dosage. This would double the cost of his medication. So from 14 for a 6 week's supply of neo mercazole, we would be paying 56 for Vidalta.

I want to go back to neo mercazole, but the vet won't supply it. Can anyone please offer help or suggestions? The internet doesn't give any info on the recent change from one drug to another and I don't know what to do.

Many, many thanks to anyone who can help.
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08-07-2008, 20:09   #2
Dozy
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I had a cat with hyperthyroid and he was on Felimazole, which could be crushed and put on his food. He was like yours, and got extremely distressed if I tried to poke the tablet down his throat.

I've had a look on Petmeds website, and they still appear to do neo mercazole, though you have to phone them up.

Could you ask your vet if there is another animal-specific medication you could get, instead of the expensive stuff? And it is much cheaper to buy from the internet, rather than the vet, and the vet is obliged to give you a prescription if you want one.

Good luck.
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09-07-2008, 17:19   #3
RosyRat
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Dozy, thank you so much for your advice. I rang the vet and told him the problem I had trying to get Ginger to take the new medication and referred him to the possible internet purchase. He immediately offered to order it especially for me and I agreed. It seems that now vets must supply drugs especially developed for animals, rather than smaller doses of drugs designed for humans. As there is an alternative (Vidalta) to the human drug Neo Mercazole, the vet must supply this and he/she cannot store Neo Mercazole on the premises. They can, however, order it, as you rightly mentioned. The vet gave me the last few tablets he had in stock and the new supply arrives tomorrow.

Many, many thanks.
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04-11-2008, 16:20   #4
tplongy
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Hi guys,
I know this thread was a while ago but hopefully you can help. My cat has been diagnosed with super high thyroid which was causing her massively high blood pressure and heart rate. Been on Vidalta 15mg now for 4 weeks now and last week bloods and heart rate all back down to normal. She has be on these for life now.

So, in the past month we have coughed up in excess of 200 for blood tests, tablets and blood pressure tests etc.

As recently as yesterday we were charged 14.72 incl VAT by our vets in Dronfield for 14 days tablets, ie 1.05 per tablet. On t'internet on Petcare I found them at 46 pence per tablet - BIG DIFFERENCE! but obviously I need a prescription...

Are my vets likely to throw a hissy fit about filling in this prescription - they honestly can't expect me to pay double just to go through them. Obviously I will continue to take her to the vets for regular check ups... she has thus far been as good as gold at taking them in a dollop of Primula cheese (easily bribed) although we had one occasion where she sussed it and spat it out....

Any advice please on how to approach the vets? Is this fairly normal? If so why the bloody hell are they profiteering from people's misery? I know they are in a business and expect to make a profit but this is daylight robbery.
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04-11-2008, 16:26   #5
Strix
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if you request a prescription from your vet to enable you to obtain your medications elsewhere they are obliged to do so

petmeds also have a forum under their rescue or rehoming section - that's probably the best place to ask for up to date info, as I'm fairly certain the ban on charging for writing a prescription may have been revoked (meaning they can charge you)
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04-11-2008, 16:31   #6
tplongy
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yes I felt sure that somehow they would try and cover it by charging. Why on earth they should charge for spending 10 minutes filling in a piece of paper is beyond me, but hey - these are the people who are paid like solicitors, by the minute - or at least my vets are!! I will take a look at the pedmed website, thank you for replying so quickly, much appreciated.
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04-11-2008, 16:38   #7
Strix
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if you're unhappy with how your vets do business - change

I swapped as I didn't like the out of hours at our's being contracted out - so no access to medical notes when they're most needed, and charged through the nose for a bad diagnosis

We're now with peak at woodseats, which is a heck of a drive away, but I'm very confident that these guys are in business because they love animals
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04-11-2008, 16:41   #8
tplongy
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We have been with same vets 15 years (since my cats were kittens), they are only 3 minutes drive away and apart from the fact that the male partner has no people skills whatsoever and insists on referring to my girl as "it", "the animal" anything but its name - I have no real complaints about the way they have dealt with problems. I have probably forked out over 15 years about 2k and I don't begrudge a penny of it, however I do begrudge paying over the odds for tablets which my baby has to be on for the rest of her life - I feel like I am being fleeced.
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05-11-2008, 18:36   #9
foxyflugel
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My 43 year old pony was on Pergolide for his cushings disease and my vets (well - the one I use for my horses) Chris Greens At Sheffield - was right as a bobbin about writing a prescription (and he never charged me either) -he said that it would be much cheaper for me to get it from the chemist than him ordering it - apparently it is used for people with parkinsons I think. Also my cat is on Budenofaulk for bowel disease and I have to buy this from the vets as I would have to order a pack of 300 capsules from the chemist (she only has half every other day) and my vets charge me about 43 for 20 capsules - what a rip off - but she needs em - what can you do - they've got us hook line and sinker I'm afraid PS When I do order a repeat prescription there is always a medicines decision fee of 2.53 ???????? They are taking the pish

Last edited by foxyflugel; 05-11-2008 at 18:41.
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06-11-2008, 07:54   #10
tplongy
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Yes, quite. I am all for them running a business and making a profit. But profiteering?

Naively I suppose, I can't help thinking that they should make a profit but not to the point where its obscene. I suppose if enough people bought their meds online then they would have to bring their prices down.

However little old bids who take their ancient cats in, and who have probably never heard of the internet, will be fleeced of their money because they will just cough up!

Plus if the internet companies can make a profit and obviously do, by selling at 100% less than the vets....??!!
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06-11-2008, 09:50   #11
meshuga
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Oh dear oh dear, there are some huge misconceptions out there about vets.

Vets are not profiteering, they have a middle man to go through and have, in relative terms, small premises to work from. Cut out the middle man and order and store in vast quantities with fewer overheads, like the internet companies do, and of course the price of a drug or tablet will come spiraling down. Its called competition, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, its healthy and exists to ensure consumers do not pay over the odds for things. Vets cannot compete with internet pharmacies because sometimes they cannot even get the drugs from their own suppliers as cheap as an owner can get them off the internet! They are also not permitted to go to internet pharmacies to supply their drugs! Its the rules and regulations that pet owners don't know about that prevent the vets from being able to offer the cheapest possible price, but of course the end result is that the vets get blamed for profiteering and making obscene profits. did you know that veterinary drugs and healthcare are charged at 17.5% vat for example. Do you think that is right? Many don't but changing that is almost impossible.

Vets cannot compete with internet pharmacies but they were banned by the competition commission for a set period to allow the necessary competition to develop. Now that internet pharmacies have established, the ban on charging for a prescription has ended. Do you not get paid by the hour? Do you not "charge" your employer for every 10 minutes of your time? I think therefore it is reasonable for a vet or any individual to charge for their time without being accused of profiteering or fleecing old ladies! If you are not happy with your vet and the amounts they charge, if you think they are some sort of heartless mercenary, just change!

With regards the neomercazole issue, vets have to prescribe according to a cascade system. If there is a veterinary licensed product available they legally have to prescribe it. Its nothing to do with fleecing you out of as much money as they can get away with. Vidalta 10mg once daily is the same as one neomercazole 5mg twice daily, i.e. it is sustained release. Crushing it makes it behave like neomercazole. It was designed to make it possible to dose cats once daily, and most do take it whole in food, but not all cats are the same. So the correct advice is to split the vidalta 10mg into 2 and add it crushed in food twice daily, or use felimazole. Vets are discouraged by the regulations from prescribing human alternatives where a veterinary licensed product exists.

I hope this helps.
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06-11-2008, 10:26   #12
tplongy
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Hi, thanks for the feedback and I certainly didn't know the ins and outs of it and I agree it does seem unfair that vets can't buy off the internet, in terms of the VAT its unfair, but as the vets pass on the VAT to the client who actually can't claim vat back then thats not exactly fair either, its just the way of business.

As I said before, on the whole, I am happy with my vets and the issue is not to move, that is unless when I approach them for a prescription that they get the hump. I am not about the penalise my cat by dragging her half an hour journey to another vet because I don't want to pay extra. This isn't about changing vets. The question was originally whether people had experience of asking their vets for a prescription and what their response would be? I don't want to fall out with my vet but they have to understand that I am not going to pay them 100% more for the same drug. We are talking the difference between 365 per year and 167 per year. If she has to be on these for years its a huge saving.

obviously I will continue to take her and my other male cat to them for any normal vetinary issues.
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06-11-2008, 10:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strix View Post
if you're unhappy with how your vets do business - change
We're now with peak at woodseats, which is a heck of a drive away, but I'm very confident that these guys are in business because they love animals
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06-11-2008, 11:03   #14
meshuga
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With regards to the attitude of vets towards clients asking for prescriptions, it would be highly unprofessional if they treated you any different in that respect. It is the owners right to ask for a prescription, but not to ask that it be given for free. Obviously any business is going to be disappointed if turnover (and profit) is taken elsewhere, and vets do lose out when they are unable to supply long term medications as cheap as others. It is a big part of the turnover for a practice. They also recognise that it is a free-market where the supply of veterinary drugs is concerned, and people are entitled to shop around. I certainly don't penalise my clients for it, and would have a very low opinion of any colleague that did. I shop around for stuff all the time, be it CDs, DVDs, household goods etc... Being a vet doesn't give any right to be excluded from that process.
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06-11-2008, 11:13   #15
tplongy
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Many thanks everyone for constructive feedback. I am going to ring my vet tonight and ask them about the prescription and will advise reaction!

In the meantime my little girl bless her has now clocked on that 7pm is tablet time - or in her mind - treat time. We have moved on from Primula, to it being wrapped up in a piece of Bernard Matthews roast turkey, down in one - SUCCESS!! Didn't fancy years of crushing, chucking etc.

Someone sent me an email funny last week which was HILARIOUS - ran to two pages - entitled "How to give a tablet to a cat". At the end it said "how to give a tablet to a dog".

(1) Wrap tablet in ham. (2) Give to dog.

Tee hee. Appears my girl is more like a dog!!
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30-04-2009, 12:08   #16
purplecow
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I have 'cracked' the getting Vidalta or any other small tablets into a reluctant elderlycat problem!! my cat will refuse any food with even minute traces of crushed tablets, so either smear them in marmite and the cat will lick it off your fingers, or actually 'stick' them to one of the many 'treats' avaliable with marmite and my cat just hoovers them off the floor! I had grave doubts when helpful vet said "Just give her one daily" my cat is a savage beast having had several owners, my hands are valuable and I didn't want them lacerating when trying to open a very reluctant mouth. Hope this helps regards.
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01-05-2009, 13:38   #17
Pilates
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Hi. My cat has just been diagnosed with hyperthyroid and prescribed Vidalta. I was dreading giving her the tablets as she hates being given medication and is expert at spitting tablets out. Tablets hidden in butter don't work for her either. A friend recommended putting the tablet into a knob of fishpaste. Worked wonderfully. I bought crab fishpaste today, its strong smell hides the smell of a tablet. She loved it. Just popped tablet into fishpaste to hide it, put it onto a saucer & fed it as a treat. No problem. Wish I'd known this years ago.
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05-05-2009, 11:31   #18
purplecow
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Dear pilates

Perhaps you're one of this world Marmite haters! The point of the 'treats and marmite is they can be prepared in quantity in advance as the Marmite 'dries' like glue in a couple of hours. They can then be stored for future use, and you don't end up smelling of crab paste for evermore, and waste pots of paste that will go 'off' before you use each jar. best of luck regards purplecow.
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05-05-2009, 18:26   #19
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Marmite's really high in salt though- I wouldn't be happy giving a cat that high level of sodium day in day out.

My Merlin had to have 4 pills a day and only ate dried food so we had no choice but to hold her down and give her the pills.

The first couple of weeks was hard, but after that she got used to it and got used to feeling better and it then became a standard mealtime thing. We put out a tiny bit of yogurt or a bit of pilchard as a treat when she'd had her pills and she sat down and let us pop the pills down her throat. I was worried about what the struggle would do to her heart (since that's what the pills were for anyway) but within weeks we'd got a healthy girl and she was fine with the pills twice a day.

She took her pills dutifully for over 3 years before she popped her clogs (RIP Merlin, my cuddly bag of valium).
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05-05-2009, 20:12   #20
purplecow
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I am only talking a mear smear not a whoe jar!! (of Marmite) what is more important, a healthy cat or no tablets?? I had an elderly cat on Vidalta for 6 years, and he didn't suffer salt poisonsoning. Regards
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