Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL EDIT: UPDATE!!! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL EDIT: UPDATE!!!

UPDATE:

Quote:
allies leg is doing great! she favors it slightly when sitting, but isnt limping. And i took her to the vet day before yesterday for an eye problem...and the vet says she dosnt feel ANYTHING wrong with the leg!!!

says the muscle is equal in both legs, and the "patella isnt luxiating" or something like that, she feels no unnatural motion or looseness in the knee! She pretty much discounted that a torn ACL (ccl) was ever the problem! (though i had a different vet, and an orthopedic surgeon both say it was torn)

so i am very happy!

and i dont recall if i ever mentioned it....but quite a while later, it finally came to me how her leg probably got hurt. My AC went out during the heat of the summer, and when the AC man was at the house, HE STEPPED ON HER. she squeeled and ran away. I specifically remember he stepped on her right side with his left WORKBOOT. i would like to punch him. even though i know he didnt mean to do it.





My 4 month old kitten Allie some how managed to tear her ACL. She had been limping for over a week when i took her in. Vet said torn ACL, $1000 surgery to fix it, otherwise, she will develope arthritis and possibly bone spurs at a young age, and be perpetualy in pain, NO GOOD. I am trying to think of a way i can get this surgery for her, but i just CANT afford $1000 dollars.

So i was thinking about pet insurance.....but, as far as i know, this would qualify as 'pre existing' problem, so NO insurace policy would cover it...is this true? Can i just not tell the insurance company about it, then take her to the vet afterwards to get the surgery? I imagine i would have to take her to a new vet, and get a new diagnosis after getting the insurace...would this even work? is there some sort of data-base where micro chiped animals can be looked up by an insurance company to see if they have been to other vets? and possibly have the insurance company find out that it was pre existing?

and ultimatley, my biggest concern......if i were to do all this, would it be considered insurance fraud?
i hate the idea of this, im a law abiding citizen, but im desperate to be able to help my kitten. The vet says i can choose not to do the surgery, but as previously stated, theres an excellent chance she will get bad arthritis and be in pain all the time. That means she will be unhappy, and i just can bear the though of my pet, or any pet for that matter, living a long life in pain. If unhappy, she will not be freindly, she wont enjoy life.....and that would be a tragedy.

does anyone have any thoughts? suggestions? This is a shot it the dark, but im researching every which-way i can to see if i can get her the surgery she needs without making myself financially unstable. Its embarassing, because its '"only $1,000'' in the vets own words. But my wife and i just bought a house, we arent wealthy......to be honest, we are streatched as thin as we can go in our new house. Does anyone think this price sounds to high?
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL

I'm SO sorry bout your poor kitty! Blessing your way...
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL

Quote:
Can i just not tell the insurance company about it, then take her to the vet afterwards to get the surgery? ... if i were to do all this, would it be considered insurance fraud?
Yes, it would be considered insurance fraud, and you could be prosecuted for it if caught. Why risk it? Besides, by the time you got through all the paperwork and whatever waiting period the insurance company might impose before coverage is initiated, arthritis would likely have already begun to develop around your kitten's knee joint. I know, I've been through three ACL surgeries on one of my dogs - all on the same leg!

Depending on the type of ACL surgery and on your location, $1000 might be very high or it might be very cheap. The ACL surgeries on my dog cost from $300-1600. The surgery that ultimately held and repaired the injury was the one that cost $1600.

You do have several options as far as financing the surgery are concerned. You could talk to your vet about a payment plan. You could see if you could work out some sort of barter arrangement with your vet. You could contact the organizations below and see if any of them can help:

In Memory of Magic (IMOM) is dedicated to insuring that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.
http://www.imom.org
IMOM, Inc PO Box 282 Cheltenham, MD 20623 Phone (866)-230-2164 Fax (301)-599-1852 __________________________________________________ _________________________
Help-A-Pet is a nonprofit organization, which provides financial assistance for the medical care of pets whose guardians are unable to afford the expense
http://www.help-a-pet.org/home.html
Help-A-Pet P. O. Box 244 Hinsdale, Illinois 60521 Telephone: (630) 986-9504 fax: (630) 986-9141
__________________________________________________ __________________________________
United Animal Nations LifeLine Grants - Help animals in need of assistance after their caregiver has suffered a personal tragedy such as a house fire, domestic violence situation, or natural disaster.
http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=28
United Animal Nations P.O. Box 188890 Sacramento, California 95818 Telephone: (916) 429 2457 fax: (916) 429 2456 __________________________________________________ _________________________
American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Helps those in need access quality veterinary care for their sick or injured pets.
http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/ __________________________________________________ __________________________________
Angels 4 Animals Helps pet owners with financial constraints not loose their sick or injured friends.
http://www.Angels4Animals.org
__________________________________________________ _________________________________________ Care Credit A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. Gives convenient payment options so you can get the procedure you want for your pet.
http://www.carecredit.com
__________________________________________________ ________________________
The Pet Fund Provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care.
http://www.thepetfund.com/
__________________________________________________ ________________________
http://www.langefoundation.com
http://www.petsaddlife.org
http://www.OnlyforPetlovers.com

Good luck,

Laurie
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL

And there's also Care Credit, which is a low interest credit card only used for medical issues (human and furries). Website is below, but most vet offices are familiar with it and can help process it for you.

http://carecredit.com/
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL

thanks everyone. I did manage to get a care credit account. I will look throught the websites you posted, laurief, i appreciate that. Also, im going to check around with other vets and see what they charge for this surgery. i want to figure something out by this coming thursday (day off) because i dont want any more damage done to the knee.

Quote:
Depending on the type of ACL surgery and on your location, $1000 might be very high or it might be very cheap. The ACL surgeries on my dog cost from $300-1600. The surgery that ultimately held and repaired the injury was the one that cost $1600.
my question is....how can the vet even know what exact surgery hes going to have to do, when all he did to diagnose was a quick check by hand (feeling around and flexing the leg) there were no x-rays or anything.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL

Unfortunately, a torn ACL isn't diagnosible through x-rays. It's all about unnatural mobility of the joint, and that's generally determined by manual palpation.

I've never had a cat with a torn ACL, but I assume the available surgerical options would be the same as with dogs (though perhaps not). In dogs, there are basically two options. The traditional, older, cheaper surgery involves essentially replacing the torn ligament with surgical grade fishing line, then waiting for scar tissue to develop around the fishing line to strengthen and hold the repair. The newer surgical option is called TPLO and involves reshaping the bony joint. It is a stronger repair that heals more quickly than the fishing line repair. It is also quite a bit more expensive. I don't know whether TPLO is even performed in cats.

Regardless of which surgery you choose to go with, I STRONGLY recommend you find an orthopedic surgeon to perform it. That'll be your best chance of getting the surgery done right the first time so that the repair will hold and your kitten will heal properly. I would think this is especially important when dealing with a kitten whose joints and soft tissues are still growing. At the very least, find an orthopedic surgeon with whom to consult before you make a decision.

Laurie
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurief
I've never had a cat with a torn ACL, but I assume the available surgerical options would be the same as with dogs (though perhaps not).
Laurie
the vet said he sees it in dogs a lot, but rarley in cats, he was pretty suprised about it actually. through google, i have found a few people talking about a cat with a torn ACL.

I dont remember exactly what the vet said, but he said it was a simple surgery, something about a suture. I read somewhere online, that in a cats, they takes something similar to a rubber band and put it around the knee joint, and attach it in a few places to hold th knee in the correct position. I also read that even if everything goes perfectly, the knee will only be about 80% to 90% normal. but i dont know if what i read is true. I guess as long as the cat isnt in pain, 80% to 90% good is OK with me.

i am definatly going to look for an orthopedic sergeon around town...i imagine they are more expensive, but whats the point of spending less money if the surgery dosnt work well.
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL

I have been googling trying to find an orthopedic surgeon in austin, or round rock texas for about an hour and 20 minutes now. im having no luck. I see a BAZILLION vets locally that say they do surgeries, but dosent that mean they have an orthopedic surgeon? i dunno.

i dont like my current vet, he dosnt seem to like cats, and he wants $1000 for the surgery. i want a second opinion but deciding what vet to go to is freggin hard! i looked at sites that have reviews, they are almost always a MIX of HORRIBLE reviews and WONDERFULL reviews. half of the review sites look like they have fake reviews, ie; several posters with the same writing style, similar names, and similar stories.....this is frustrating. plus, as far as i can tell, no vet will give me a quote over the phone for the surgery...they all say "we will need you to set an appointment" then go pay 50 to 75 bucks to have them tell me yes, its the ACL, and the price for surgery is X amount of dollars. now im just complaining. ive resolved to spend the money on kitty, because i love her dearly, and so does my wife, we are insanely attatched to her, even though shes only been with us for two months, but i have to feel that im am having her surgery done at the right place, and i just dont know how to figure it out. i dont want to gamble with Allies leg, and happyness, and my $1000
....can you believe my father said to me "see if the animal shelter will take her back" NO, THEY CANT HAVE HER BACK!! !??!?!?!??!?!? argh!
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL

Poor Dustin, I feel for you.

OK, here are a couple of avenues for you to pursue. First, see if there is a university vet school within driving distance. If so, you will certainly find an orthopedic surgeon there to perform the surgery. If there is no university vet school within reasonable distance, see if you can locate a reputable cattery or even a reputable dog breeder in your area and see if they can refer you to an ortho.

OR, you can contact your state veterinary board and see if they can refer you to an ortho in your area. They might even have a referral database online through their website, if you can locate it.

You are quite right; just because a vet does surgery does NOT mean that (s)he is qualified or competent to perform orthopedic surgery. If you're spending big bucks on surgery, get it done by someone who will do it properly.

Laurie
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kitten needs surgery on torn ACL

I would bet that Texas A & M veterinary school has a fabulous clinic associated with it and it's only about 2 hours from you (which is really good when you're looking for something this specialized). Here's their web page and phone number for the small animal clinic.

http://vmth.tamu.edu/index.shtml

Phone: (979)845-2351
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