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 Post subject: kitty liver disease - aka why you should have pet insurance
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:57 pm 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 121
Location: Denverish
[list=][/list]I don't really know why I'm writing this. Guess I'm just distraught and hoping someone else has had experiance with this and can maybe point out a good diet plan or something.

Brought my 10 year old cat to the vet yesterday. She's been messing with a plant in my house (now gone) and puking lately. She's also lost a bit of weight gradually starting when we moved 7/8 months ago. She's moved with me prolly more than most people I know have ever moved - but she freaked out this time. I thought that the weight loss was just a result of nerves...

They noted that her gums/3rd eyelid(?) looked yellowish and ran some blood work suspecting liver disease. They gave her a subcutaneous shot to help w/hydration (it clearly helped) and scripts for antibiotics and steroids. They pushed for $800 in further testing to diagnose the issue. We're pretty much financially screwed. I don't make much at the non-profit I work at and things have been especially tight cause I've been on short term disability due to a twin pregnancy that'll come to fruition within a week. We spent everything that we have to spare at the moment to pay for the bloodwork/meds with the hope that she'll respond to treatment. They called today to tell me that all of her levels regarding her liver tested in the bloodwork were elevated and again pushed for xrays, ultra sounds and a liver biopsy.

I plan on changing her diet to try to help address the disfunction but keep finding conflicting info when I research. I'm gonna go to another vet who just sees cats for a 2nd opinion cause I really got the feeling that the 1st vet we saw was just pushing tests to help her bottom line. At the very least I feel more comfortable with the 2nd vet because my partner's family has a long history with him.

I'm doing everything that I can to make her feel comfortable and loved. She seems ok and is purring away/cuddling up as always. I just feel like such a douche. Until jan I don't have money to spare and even then I don't know how crazy it'll get if the initial 800 is simply for diagnostic testing. I figure that if I give her meds for the next week or two and note her condition at least I'll have some info for the 2nd vet that may be of use. I wish that I had pet insurance - used to & thought that I always would but then made what turned out to be a bad career move that turned into years of absolute struggle. Honestly in the past few years and the shiitake I've been through I've felt lucky to have a roof over my head and enough to get by. Things are getting better and I'll probably be able to start to make my way out of my financial hell within the next 4 years. But that doesn't help my sweetheart now. Uuuuugh.


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 Post subject: Re: kitty liver disease - aka why you should have pet insura
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
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Location: Cliffbar NJ
I am really sorry and just wanted to send you good thoughts. I know how hard it can be when you're trying to do the best for your animals, and you don't have any idea how much everything will cost, if it will do any good or where you could get the money from.

Definitely speak with the vet office and ask them if they can do a discount or create a payment plan for you and look into programs like Prince Chunk Foundation that help people pay for vet bills.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: kitty liver disease - aka why you should have pet insura
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:04 am 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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Location: Denverish
Thanks tofulish! Will look into the prince chunk fund right now.


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 Post subject: Re: kitty liver disease - aka why you should have pet insura
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:07 am 
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Location: Shillington, Pa
I'm so sorry. This September, we went through the same ordeal. Our poor one year old cat wasn't looking well so we rushed him to the vet to find that his liver was failing. In the week that we were desperately trying to save his life, we amassed a $3,000 dollar vet bill. This is money that we definitely don't have and I've been working over time since then to pay it off. I still have at least two months to go.

I'm sorry that you're going through this and I wish you and your kitty all the best.

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 Post subject: Re: kitty liver disease - aka why you should have pet insura
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:46 am 
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No-pants hermit 4 lyfe
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this sucks. :( but if you can scrape even a little money together, i would advise at least one form of diagnostic imaging, even if it's only a single x-ray. the diagnostics can tell you what's causing the dysfunction--it could be a tumor in her liver, or fatty liver (a dangerous problem for cats when they lose weight too quickly), or something else entirely--and it's almost impossible to treat the problem successfully if you don't know exactly what's causing it.

i went through something like this with my cat this summer; she started losing her balance all of a sudden, and the neurologist who examined her suspected a brain tumor and wanted to do an mri and possibly surgery. my cat is almost 18, so i decided to just take her home and try to make her comfortable, because i was afraid of putting her through the stress of a hospital stay and anesthesia and whatever other treatments and have that be her last experience of life. i couldn't live with the possibility of her never having another good day. but it cost me $1,500 in emergency care and tests to get to that point. i'm still paying it off, and will be for a while, but it was worth it to me to be able to get all the information i could and make a decision that i believed would lead to the least suffering in the long run. before we went to the emergency hospital i applied for care credit, which is a credit fund specifically for medical expenses. i have a year to pay off the bill before they start charging interest, so it serves as a sort of payment plan. it was a huge help and made me feel safer when it came to running diagnostics. it's definitely worth looking into if your vet will accept it (not all hospitals do).

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 Post subject: Re: kitty liver disease - aka why you should have pet insura
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:20 pm 
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Banned from Vegan Freaks.
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:22 am
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I am in a similar situation so I understand how frustrating this can be.

My cat was diagnosed with lymphoma in August.

He ran up a $3,000 bill just from the surgery. He had an ultrasound a few weeks ago and that was another $600 and every time we go to the oncologist its another $200-300 .

The good news is that he seems to be improving- and I am doing the Care Credit thing acr mentioned as well. I just pay as much of it off as I can and try not to think about the bill.

But its very tough.

(((hugs))) to you and your cat.

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 Post subject: Re: kitty liver disease - aka why you should have pet insura
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Nailed to the V
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Goodness I feel your pain. My cat Ichabod just got home last night after being at the emergency vet center for 4 days with a urinary obstruction. The final bill was $3250. The vet said it can happen again and my husband and I are just totally praying it doesn't because I don't know how we'll pay for it again. Best of luck to you and your kitty. I'll be thinking of you guys.


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 Post subject: Re: kitty liver disease - aka why you should have pet insura
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution
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I'm so sorry to hear this. My beloved cat of 11 years just passed away this year from liver failure. We tried everything, and it ended up costing over 3k. When we made the final decision to let her be at peace, the vet told me something I'll never forget: "You can't give them all of everything--except for your love." We kept that in mind the whole time and it helped us contemplate our own limits. Best of luck--the liver can heal itself sometimes--but keep in mind that your kitty wants the best for you as much as you want the best for her. <3

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