Friday, August 6, 2010

Skeletor seems energetic

I really hope it's not fleeting, but Skeletor seems to be in high spirits today. He has not exactly been chowing down on food, but he is really excited about treats.

Melanie bought him some of those greenies pill pockets. So far, they have worked every time!

I've managed to fill 3 of his 4 prescriptions now.

He's got the Prednisone to battle anemia. He's got the Vetmedin to help his heart. He's got the Doxycycline to fight infection. I ran into a snag when it came to the Viagra.

Viagra is a strange drug. Everybody knows its primary usage. Not many people know that it is one of the only drugs used to treat pulmonary hypertension (the constricting of the pulmonary blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs.) The reason not many people know this is because pulmonary hypertension is not a very common disorder. (please note: I'm not a doctor, I'm just explaining this as I understand it. Check with your doc before taking anything I say here as medical fact.)

That being said, Viagra while widely known, is not very widely prescribed. As a result, it's very expensive!  Before today, I had a limited understanding of what "very expensive" meant as it pertained to prescription drugs. Unfortunately, I have been enlightened. 

Dr. Rod explained when we went and picked up Skeletor that Viagra did not come in 20mg doses. Skeletor has been prescribed three 20mg doses per day. No big deal, we'll just need to go to a compounding pharmacy to have it filled. As luck would have it, I know a couple of very nice guys who own a place called Smart Pharmacy here in Jacksonville. One of their specialties is compounding! Compounding in this case means taking the drug in powder form and precisely measuring it and putting it into capsules.

So, Bill and Greg were nice enough to offer Skeletor the Viagra at cost (meaning they would make no money off of the compounding, nor the sale.) Alas, a month's supply would cost roughly $1,000 after the discount!!!

Bill made some calls on Skeletor's behalf to see if any of his colleagues knew of a supplier offering the drug in powdered form which might offer a marginal savings. No such luck.

I am hoping that the Viagra is the least vital of Skeletor's prescribed meds. I have put a call into Dr. Fish to get his thoughts on the drug. Perhaps we can find a cheaper alternative. I'll post when I have more info.

Picked up one of these nifty water dispensers so that I can keep this guy hydrated.


  1. Thank you for the news! I agree that you should talk to the vet. I looked online and found Viagra for a lot cheaper!

  2. Yes, it appears that he needs 1800 mg per month. This site has 100mg tablets $535 for 20. They would still need to be compounded for proper dosage assuming this is a legitimate website from which the drug can be purchased.

    Atlantic Drugs dot com

    I'll ask Dr. Fish when I hear back from him.

  3. Holy cow that is expensive! I have heard about how some are like super expensive (my narcolepsy meds are like $435/month for name brand) but wow,that is a LOT more than I would have thought. I was looking online too and if you could find a legit pharmacy it might be cheaper. I know that here in Illinois the former governor tried to do something where we could get drugs here from Canada - maybe you could find something online about it and find the name of a legitimate pharmacy - though knowing our former governor I am not sure how legit it would be. But it is a start - also I found a place called pharmacychecker -, it looked like it had some good info, if you decide to go that route.

    Hopefully there is another option for Skelly that won't cost as much, but if not we hope there is a way to get it - if we think of anything we will let you know.

  4. I checked with my compounding pharmacy and she said that Revatio was the same as Viagra in 20mg form. You may want to ask your vet if that would work. (Although your friends have probably already told you that).

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  6. My dad uses those Greenies pill poppers too and they seem to work pretty well for his beagle. I wish I'd known aboout them when I had my kitty. I was constantly having to give that cat some kind of meds.

    Wow, $1000 a month is a heck of a lot of money just for one medication alone. I hope you can find an alternative.

    I mentioned Skeletor's new website on my blog today.

  7. Holy crap,that's expensive.I have never even heard of giving a dog viagra....but I would send Skeletors "story' to the manufacturer and see if they might cut you a break.

    A lot of drug manufacturers DO have programs for indigents and such, Skeletor certainly qualifies :)

    I had more to say...but it's past bedtime and my spouse is nagging .

    I'll be back .

    Love Mom

  8. OH my goodness! I hope that Dr. Fish will help - I'm hoping that there are alternatives. I'm really at a loss as to what to suggest - I'm so sorry. I just hope that Dr Fish would help asap. I've been scouring online and from what I've read so far viagra is the best meds for treating dogs with severe PH but most vets acknowledge how costly this is! Oh dear.

    Thank you for the update on Skelly. And it's so good to hear that he's a little bit more energetic and taking his medication.

    Take care

  9. Be incredibly careful about online sites. Try for great prices on pet meds. They also source from US pharmaceutical companies. Most of the "buy online" sites for Viagra and the like are bogus. We don't want to do that to Skells!

  10. Lots of purrs and tail wags for Skelly! It's unbelievable how much the one med costs. Who can afford it?

  11. Here's the website for Pfizer's Medication Assistance program:

    Never hurts to ask!

  12. We don't know much about how Viagra, but if it is a pill, you could buy a pill splitter for a couple bucks and make two (or four or more) Skeletor-dose pills out of one bean-sized pill. Still not cheap, but might be easier that a compounding pharmacy.

    Just a thought.

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