Pet owners: How much would you pay?

by frozen one 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • AudeSapere

    I may be waay out of line, but the fact that the catheter broke inside your cat sounds like much of this problem is the vet's problem.

    I worked in dentistry for over 25 years. A couple of times a dental instrument broke inside a patient's mouth or tooth. We did not charge the patient for replacement instrument and did not charge the patient for the extra work to remove said objects. Once a patient swallowed a brand new crown before it was seated. We paid for x-rays and Lower GI Exam as well as made a new crown for free. Similar situation with a patient who swallowed an implant component. We paid for medical care AND replacement components.

    I don't know if the same holds true for veterinary care or for catheters. But I'd sure be suspicious of the bill and would want to talk to the vet - not just the business manager. I know next to nothing about kidney stones but don't understand how (1) the vet did not know that one was still present, and (2) the stone 'broke' the catheter.

    Sounds odd to me.

    I hope your cat survives. I miss mine.


  • nsrn

    Wow, I can relate.

    If your cat survives this immediate insult (illness), will he be continent (able to control his urine)? Speaking from experience, an incontinent house cat is just about as bad as it gets.

    I would ask the vet frankly about the bill, since a retained catheter started the complications. I'd be agreeable to paying for the intial procedure and meds, but the complication repair and extended hospital time should be his responsibility.

    I know the worry of "how can I put a dollar value on my dear pet?" There is no clearcut answer. Do you have a family that loves him, too? Is money very tight at home? Would paying the vet for continued care seriously affect your household budget?

    I paid $750 for my old calico cat to have her ear canal reshaped, as it was chronicly infected. Although she survived and recovered, the suffering she went through convinced me that I would never do that to her again. Now she has cancer, but is eating okay, purring, and more vocal and interactive than ever. The DAY she is visibly uncomfortable I will have her put down. She is my 18 year old handicapped pal.

    So do whatever you think best, and don't forget to pray to thank God for giving us the joy of companion animals--and their example of unconditional love.

  • Purza
    but the fact that the catheter broke inside your cat sounds like much of this problem is the vet's problem.

    I was thinking the same thing. Sounds like you should at least get a discount for the vet's inability to remove a catheter. Perhaps, as others have suggested, it is time to get a second opinion.

    How much to spend is a tough call. I know I would max out every credit card I had to save my cats, but my husband feels differently.

    Please keep us updated.


  • Sad emo
    Sad emo

    I agree with the others - I'd question the charges incurred as a result of the catheter breaking.

    I'd spend anything on my pets as long as they have a good chance. My biggest bill so far has been only around £300 when one of my cats fractured his pelvis. But I have him insured so got most of it refunded anyway.

    I also have a very good vet who will allow you to pay in installments at very low interest (more or less to cover the admin) if you get landed with a high bill - only when you've been a long-standing client of course.

    I hope your cat pulls through ok

  • Scully

    Of course you want that bit of broken catheter out of your cat. However, I would expect that a professional like a veterinarian would have 1) done an x-ray before inserting said catheter to make sure that no other calculi were present and to prevent a situation like a catheter breaking during extraction and 2) would have the balls to admit when something went wrong due to a human error.

    I've inserted and extracted enough catheters in humans to know that they don't just "break". Professionals are supposed to know when the catheter is properly placed and how to extract it properly. The rule of thumb is if you feel any resistance: STOP! not "pull harder".

    I'd at least phone another vet and find out how common it is for a catheter to break during extraction. Find out what the procedure should be if resistance is felt. It sounds to me like your vet is trying to cover his ass in a potential malpractice situation, and wants you to pay for it. If they start the song and dance routine of how you aren't a good pet owner, ask them if a "good vet" routinely breaks catheters inside cat urethras, and if a doctor or nurse broke a catheter in HIS urethra, would he expect to be charged for the extra surgery required to extract it.

  • Dr Jekyll
    Dr Jekyll

    My dog swallowed half a tennis ball. it got lodged in his large intestine and caused an infection. The cost to have it removed and have him stitched up like a pj case was just over £1,300.

    Thank God for veterinary insurance.

  • luna2
    Thank God for veterinary insurance.

    Hmmmm. Perhaps that's something I'll look into.

    I keep looking at a Scottish Fold cat website...keeping track of all the new litters...but I always talk myself out of even requesting more information (like how much they are lol).

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex
    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?

    This is a tough one. I never thought I'd spend big money on a pet, but I found myself in your situation. When our basset hound, Moose, was 6 months old, we took him to the vet to get him neutered. Apparently he had a very rare condition that caused his colon to twist while under anesthesia. We had about 15 minutes to decide whether to let the vet operate and correct it or let him die. We chose surgery.

    The vet told us it would be about $1,200 or so. What he didn't tell us is about all the other ancillary costs. Long story short it was $2500.

    A year later we took Moose to a different vet to get his ear cleaned. This bozo gave Moose an injection of cortisone (why I don't know) that shut down his adrenile glands. We faced the choice of letting him die very, very slowly or take him to a different vet to see if anythying could be done. Long story short, the cost to keep him alive: $1500 spread out over 3 months.

    As I say, I never ever thought I'd spend this much money on an animal and in retrospect, if I had known what was coming I should have let Moose go at the beginning. Woulda coulda shoulda. But like you I kept thinking he'd be okay after this procedure or this vet visit, etc.

    Tough situation to be in, I feel for you.

  • Fleur

    I also echo the comments about finding out who at the vet messed up. This sounds like human error to me, and now they're trying to stick you with the bill. I would definitely consult another vet as well as confront them about why the catheter broke to begin with.

    I also recommend veterinary insurance. We didn't know if ours was worth the cost (we got the most expensive policy the place offers for our cat, but he is my husband's child, and I know he would spare no expense to save him if we could) and recently they paid 200.00 when little fur butt decided to somehow scrape half the fur off his chin in a play/running/who knows how he did it accident.

    I have heard of people spending 8000 to give their pets chemo. I don't know, at that point it seems like you're keeping the animal alive for your comfort not theirs. But if it was something that wouldn't effect them long term once they were through the crisis...I'd do what I could. Of course we're not all made of money so it's really hard to know what to do...just listen to your heart and do your best.

    I'm sorry for you and your kitty...


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