My Kittens Serious Issue - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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My Kittens Serious Issue


I received a kitten a few days ago from my other half and he became very ill over the past 4 days. The problems started with him not eating food to throwing up/hacking (no liquid). Then eventually very fatigued to the point where he couldn't stand or move. At this point we knew it was something serious and had to rush him to the vet. After many tests it seems the kitten had kidney failure or some form of serious infection. The vet gave about 50% chance he would live if we did anything but even then they couldn't be sure because they couldn't tell from just the blood-work and tests.

So the options were to keep him on fluids and admit meds to him to kill an infection if one did exist. Which would require 24-48 hours of monitoring. All of which had a very nice price tag on it. Things I could afford but yet really couldn't in the long run. On top of this, the place I took him too was Petsmart. I believe this is a very big chain for all things pets including vets. Although I really cared for the kitten and would want the best care, I was turned away by one vet for today (told to come in tomorrow) and had to settle with Petsmart. The problem with this is they don't offer overnight monitoring which means I would have to take my kitten to an emergency room for another vet hospital to keep him over night. Which as you guess means more money but in 2 bills which would make my choice on this even harder.

Where I'm going with all of this is that I eventually made the choice along with the vets best interest to put him to sleep. Which is something I didn't want to do but seemed the only logical step as there was a serious chance he would be in more pain over the course of any treatment until they could figure out if it's an infection or kidney failure. I feel I might of been a little too quick to judge and if this was for example my son, money and every option would be something taking.

For many of you, cat lovers of the world, these can seem as greater than a childs love but for others it's not as much. Yet going to some vets and seeing that care is not 100% (i.e.: 24/7 and no payment plans for people like me), it kind of rips me up. However, not taking that leap, going completely broke to save a life also rips me up. So yet I sit here in a complete void wondering if I should have did more...

Anyways, I have had many pets and this is the first time I have had to deal with something like this. It was pretty heavy yet feels as if I did it wrong.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 08:27 AM
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Re: My Kittens Serious Issue

Years ago, our Golden Retriever required surgery for an obstruction. We were out-of-state and dealing with a Christmas holday, so the total cost was over 3,500. Ten months later, even though we Ben proofed the house, he required another surgery for the obstruction. It was slightly cheaper the second time.

We were very fortunate to be at a place where we could afford to pay those amounts at the time, but we were also smart enough to realize that it wouldn't always be that way. Our solution was to start the Ben account. Every month, I put a certain amount of money aside in our savings account. Once I reached a certain point (3,000), I decided to use the extra money to pay for their annual visits. This summer, I even had enough "extra" that I could buy each of my son some nice kitchen appliance for their new apts.

Think about doing something like this. It may keep you from being put in a situation where you have to make a choice based on finances. If you do it every month, you really don't miss the money (I decided to use the money from an annual raise as the amount to put aside).

Mom of
Skin kids - Jason, Kevin, Allison
Canine kids - Bennett & Bailey (always in our hearts), Riley, Banker, Rogue and Boz
Feline kids - Zoey, Talley and Abra
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 10:17 AM
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Re: My Kittens Serious Issue

I'm sorry you lost your kitten, I know it must be very hard for you, but you did make the right decision for the kitten at the time. You were able to ease his suffering when he needed to be released from it.

The only thing you could have done differently (not more, because you did all you could, and you did it with the kitten's best interest at heart) would have been to have brought him to the vet sooner. As you've seen, kittens can go downhill very, very quickly. Think of how lucky this kitten was to have you in his life when he needed someone to be able to ease his suffering. Also, don't worry so much about finances or let it make you feel guilty. Mom of 4 had a great suggestion, but I also have learned I need to put a 'cap' on my emergency vet spending. If the animal has a great prognosis I don't mind spending the money, but if the prognosis is iffy, well, then I have to make a Big Decision about what to do.
I can do my animals no good if I spend everything I have in a losing situation.

I also wish to defend the vets/offices you mentioned. First, and foremost, they are a business. I'm sure the vets got into the field because they love animals, but they still need to pay their student loans, keep their business solvent (mortgage, utilities, supplies and payroll) and support their personal household. They cannot afford to be a lending-company for every client who isn't prepared to pay for veterinary care, especially a new or unestablished client they know nothing about. As for PetsMart's Banfield offices not being a 24/7 clinic...they are located in a huge store. There is no way vet-staff could insure the store remained safe from light fingers if the vet office remained open and the store closed. It is a liability.

I learned, the hard way, to familiarize yourself with the veterinary offices (numbers, staff and location) immediately when moving to a new town. If the vet offices use an emergency clinic after hours, know where that is, too.

Once again, I'm sorry you lost your kitten...but I am also glad that he had someone with him who would think only of him and not be selfish about their own wants over what the kitten needed, even though in this case it called for euthanasia. It is very sad, but I think sometimes it can be the greatest gift we can give our pets.

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