I have had a couple of cats for years. Last Thursday I noticed one of them could not urinate. I have seen this before so I assumed that he had a stone blocking up his works. Off to the vet and the vet confirmed it was a stone. Usually unblocking the system is pretty straight forward - sedate the cat, insert a catheter, and let the urine flush the stone out of the bladder. The cat has to spend the night at the clinic and the procedure is about $300 and that is fine by me. After all, this cat has been here for years. The vet calls later and tells me that the catheter went in fine and sure enough the stone flushed out. The catheter would be removed the next day to make sure that everything was out of the bladder and then I could come get my cat. The next call from the vet was to inform me that while taking the catheter out it broke. Apparently another stone caused it to wedge so now the cat has to be sedated again so the broken bit could be removed. Hopefully no surgery would be involved. The next call from the vet was to let me know that the broken bit of catheter had been removed, along with the problem stone, but that some minor surgery had to be done to accomplish this and the cat has to stay in the clinic for at least another day to make sure his sewn up urethra is not leaking. The next call from the vet was to inform me that the urethra was indeed leaking and another catheter had to inserted with the hope that the leak would heal up after a couple of days. The vet also said that at this point the odds were 50-50 that the cat would pull through. This afternoon the vet called and let me know that she did some blood work on the cat and found that his immune system was suppressed (he is FIV negative and all shots are current) which explained why he wasn't healing up like he should. The vet gave him a big dose of steroids in an effort to jump start his immune system. The vet ended the conversation by saying tomorrow we could discuss further treatment and, of course, the option of putting him down.
I'm thinking at this point my vet bill is probably pushing $1,000 after 5 nights in the clinic and the various procedures. I have the same feeling now that I get on those very rare occasions I find myself in a casino: "I'm down but this run of bad luck is bound to turn. Just a few more bets." Where do you draw the line and toss in the towel? I stopped by the clinic to give him a good scratch and he purred a lot. It seemed like he wanted nothing more then to have that plastic funnel thing taken off his neck so he could give his hinder a good licking. Pretty good spirits for all he has gone through the last few days. This is the part of having pets that sucks.