How Much Is TOO Much to Spend at the Veterinarian?
By LorieH on January 30, 2012
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I have a kitty that is about 2-3 years old ... I don't know her exact age because I got her from a co-worker whose 2 dogs and cat bullied her. A couple of days ago, I noticed Chee Bee acting strange. Strange like lying under the nightstand, in a corner, under the center of the bed when usually she lays on the bed or inside the box spring lining like a hammock where she tore the lining. She also hadn't eaten or drank anything for at least 24 hours.
I woke up at 0400 and realized she didn't wake me by purring, clawing, or licking with her sand paper tongue. So I turned on the light and looked for her. She was against the wall by the bedroom door. I picked her up and put her on the bed and her legs were limp. Then her head rolled back with zero control.
I freaked out! I had to go to work but made an appointment for her and my fiance took her to the vet. After several blood tests, x-rays, and $699.74 (after a discount) ... they thought she had a stroke but needed to see a neurologist. Last night, we tried to keep her calm and comfortable. We had to put her in her litter box where she sat with her legs pointing outwards, but she peed. I had to clean her off because the litter was sticking to her since she peed on herself. I used baby wipes too. No, I don't have two legged children. Just 3 dogs and a kitty.
This morning I woke up and she was in a different position than when I put her to bed so I thought that was progress. I still had to hold her in the litter box though. So she had her appointment this morning and they want to keep her overnight. After her anesthesia ($129), they did an MRI ($1200). That was after more blood tests to check for specific causes. I just got off of the phone with the Dr. and he told me that her cerebellum is inflamed and pushing down on her medulla ... in turn pushing on her spinal cord. Now, they are going to attempt the medicinal route by giving her an anti-inflammatory in the hopes it will shrink her cerebellum releasing the pressure and allowing for the returned flow of the cerebrospinal fluid which will allow for her motor functions ... her legs to work.
They said the next couple of hours are the most crucial and determine whether or not she needs to be transported to an emergency hospital where they have 24 hour doctors on duty. She may stop breathing on her own ... she may be just fine. If the anti-inflammatory and other medication (if it is viral and the tests are being sent off to find that out ... more $$$) doesn't work, the the other option is surgery to insert a shunt which will open up her blood vessel and allow for flow. That surgery ... $5500.
Now, I have only had Chee Bee for 5 months and she is only a couple to a few years old. But it breaks my heart to not do the surgery if I can. Oh, and it isn't a guarantee that the surgery will do any more than the medications. To pay for the current care, we applied for Care Credit and got approved within minutes. It is no interest for up to 18 months. But even the credit isn't a bottomless amount. So where do we draw the line? I'm not ready to make that decision.
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