Friday, September 14, 2007

The vet sure gives my Mastercard a workout

I love pets and I love having pets. My two cats are truly members of the family, even if they can be pains in the butts from time to time. But when getting these cats, as kittens, so many years ago, I never really stopped to think how much money they may cost me as they reach old age.

And they’re not even that old yet.

It’s terrible to talk about your pets in terms of money, I know. But it’s a fact of life. Medical treatment costs money. Money you don’t always have or money you definitely don’t always want to spend.

Our cat Ollie, who is 8 years old, has been to the vet so many times this year, I don’t even bother taking his name tag label off the cage anymore. No point putting a new one on every time he goes in.

The first time was in the winter, when we woke up one morning and discovered him walking on three legs and moaning in pain when he put any pressure on the fourth. A trip to the vet and $400 later found he had torn a ligament. Surgery was suggested to slow the progression of arthritis from developing. We opted against it, because surgery would only SLOW the progression, it wouldn’t stop it from coming on. A few weeks of pain meds and he was back to normal. He will likely develop arthritis, and we'll have to manage his pain then.

I wrote about the second and third times earlier this summer. Technically, he only went the third time, because we assumed the ‘urination problem’ was the other cat – and therefore tortured her with a trip to a vet, only to torture our wallet with another trip to the vet with him a few weeks later. He was diagnosed with crystals in the bladder and given medications.

It's less than two months later now and the problem is back, so I called the vet. She recommended a return trip – because, given his age, maybe it was something more serious. She took x-rays yesterday – another $500 – and discovered bladder stones. Several large ones, in fact, meaning they've been growing for up to a year. The treatment? Surgery. The cost $1,500. The consequence if we don't do the surgery, a cat who is chorinically in pain and who will likely continue 'forgetting' where the litter box is when he's in pain and has to go.

I guess the answer is pretty easy. I can forget about some of the home reno projects we had planned.

1 comment:

suziegardner said...

Ohhh, my poor Ollie-cat. :(

I'm so sorry to hear that the treatment is going to be so expensive but I agree it is the best option because obviously Ollie can't be in that much pain all the time. :(