Pet owners: How much would you pay?

by frozen one 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • frozen one
    frozen one

    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.

  • JH

    You're a very good pet owner, and I would have done the same. I love cats so much.

    I already paid about $ 400 for my other cat once. I think he was poisoned. "rat poison" by a neighbor, because he didn't like squirels and my cat ate some of that poison.

    Finally the vet tried to save the cat, but after 3 visits to the vet and a whole week of suffering, the cat just didn,t eat anymore and had his mouth wide open. After seeing the cat suffer I decided to put him to sleep. The vet knew it was the best thing to do. My cat was only 7 years old. I went for vaccines every year.

    Now I have a 13 year old female cat. She is never sick.

    If there is a chance of saving the animal, I would pay alot, surely $1000 if I had the money. I hope that you can save your cat. If he can live a few more years, go for it.

  • kazar

    Boy, that's a hard one to answer. Having a cat I love very much I would pay a high price to continue his life. However, if the quality of his life would not be the same, I would have to consider putting him down as much as it would hurt me.....and, knowing how much I would miss him.

  • kls

    I feel if an animal has a fighting chance and as long as i can afford it i will do whatever it takes ,but on the other hand if the pet has a slim chance and in pain,also if money is tight then i would let them be put down.

    I spent alot on my horse hoping he would live only to have him put down a few months after treatment and that thought me a lesson.

    But it all depends on how you can live with your decision and know you made the right one.

    Good luck to you and your kitty whatever you decide.

  • Odrade

    The catheter broke?

  • luna2

    This is why I don't own animals any more. Seems to me that when I lived in rural Illinois (15 years ago), vets were more pragmatic. They didn't even offer some of the more expensive treatments unless you requested it. Pets were considered pets and not another child.

    When I moved to CT what I noticed is that my vet bills went WAY up. I was living on very little at the time and it was really stressful when I'd take any one of my three old animals in for a regular check up and have them start suggesting all kinds of stuff that I couldn't afford. I never even went to the doctor for myself because I couldn't afford it after taking care of the kids and the animals. Once the pets died, that was it. I decided that I didn't want to deal with the guilt trip vets put you through these days.

  • seahart

    Frozen 1, That is a tough thing. Last year my rotty and my lab got into a scrap. The rott was on the losing end (she is very passive) she had a inch long tear on the tip of her ear. 500 bucks and she's good as new. Ten days later I come home from work,Let them into the yard and I hear what sounds like a kid scream. I run to the backyard and there Oso (the rott) is laying on ground, won't move and screaming. Totally freaked me and my wife out. Off to the vet. Torn shoulder lig. Orthoscopec surgery, overnight stay, pain pills.....$2500! I don't regret it a bit. We just spent $400 to have a cyst drained one one of our four cats. I believe that if I brought this animal into my home, I am responsable for their well being. I wish more people would be as dedicated as we are. All of our best to you and your kitty. S.

  • Robdar

    Speaking from experience, I would have gotten a second opinion before I allowed the vet to proceed.

    I began noticing that my old vet started hearing cash registers ( cha-ching!) when I walked in. One day, he suggested some very expensive tests for an on-going problem that he had been treating for a year. Now, in that past month, I had already spent over a $1000 on this cat for surgery and meds that were supposed to fix this problem.

    When I told him I didn't think that the tests would be necessary, he tried to intimidate me by scaring me and implying that I was not a good mother unless I gave my cat these tests. The vet went on and on laying it on thicker and thicker. I finally asked him if he needed to make his Porshe payment and was thinking that I might be inclined to help him out. I told him that we knew what the problem was-- the same problem that it always was with the very same symptoms. I also told him that I was not going to pay to have the more expensive tests. I told him to start by giving the cat an x-ray and we would go from there. Well, he did the x-ray, guess what? Same problem.

    That visit pissed me off. It was apparent that my vet had tried to manipulate me through my love for my cat and my fear of losing him. The next day, I got another vet. The difference in service, respect and price is amazing. Vets are only human and many want to make as much money as they can possibly make. I am glad that I finally realized that. Now, I always get a second opinion before I agree to expensive treatment.

    I recommend doing research on the web to find out as much about the disease as you can. Learn a little about cat anatomy. I also recommend the vets at the Humane Society. Those vets seem to care very much for the welfare of your pet. Their care is amazing and the cost isn't expensive. I took 2 cats in last week. For the check-up and meds, the cost came to $45. I gave them an extra $5 for a donation.

    Only you know how much you can pay or are willing to pay. If it is a good, affectionate cat, you may want to try and save it. IMO, critter love can do more for your peace of mind than a visit to your psychologist. In my situation, I am glad that I paid the $1000 for the surgery. My cat has so much personality. I would have missed him. As far as the money goes--It all worked out. Elvis is still here and I paid that credit card bill off in two months.

    Good luck with your cat. Please update us.


  • Robdar

    BTW, there are a few things you can do to prevent the stones from returning. Make sure your cats has fresh water everyday. Cats will not drink old water. You may want to invest $25--$35 for a cat bowl with a filter and fountain. My cats love it. Also, watch the magnesium content in the cat's food. Feed only wet food, no dry. Since your cat's urinary problems are re-current, I hope your vet has explained all the above to you. Preventative action will save you much moolah in vet bills. Here's a link for you:

  • looking_glass

    I have a neighbor that spent thousands on their cat who was elderly and was having urinary tract issues. Each person has to make their own decision. I have always felt that I would go with quality over quantity. I watched two family members die (one from cancer and the other from heart failure). At some point one has to ask "am I prolonging this person's (pet's) life out of love or out of selfishness". I have a cat who is pretty young and so it is easy for me to say "if the pet is sick you should not prolong their agony", but in reality, my heart would break over having to make such a heavy decision. Whatever your decision, my heart goes out to you. May you find peace in all you decide to do and the actions you take.

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