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Unread 03-20-2007   #1 (permalink)
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Default My cat (4 year old spayed female, DSH) developed an almost pea-sized lump on her left

I agree with you that you made the right decision in having the lump removed. We can never tell 100% by looking at a lump if it is something to worry about or not so it’s always better to have it taken care of if you can, especially in cases of masses near the mammary gland. Costs can vary from doctor to doctor and clinic to clinic. Part of this may be just difference in prices but often times it can be due to differences in quality of care.

For example, one veterinarian/clinic may charge more for anesthesia but that could be because they use the most up-to-date anesthesia and also do monitoring of your cat's oxygen levels and blood pressure during surgery. Another clinic may charge less for anesthesia but do not do any of these.

Blood work should always be recommended any time your cat goes under anesthesia, as it is ideally used to look for any underlying conditions that would make putting them under more dangerous. Some clinics require the lab work and some consider it optional. Cost can also be influenced on how long the surgery took or how difficult the mass was to remove. And often one of the most expensive parts is having the pathologist look at the cells from the mass to determine what it is. In general, a mass excision could be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or more.

If you have concerns about the bill, you should have your veterinarian explain what all the charges were for. You should also be proactive in asking for estimates before all procedures and ideally your veterinarian will be happy to do them. You are well within your rights to question what will be done and how it will be charged. It is also within your rights to ask for what options are available for care. It is always a veterinarian’s duty to recommend the very best in care for your pet; in some cases, procedures or treatment may be able to be staggered or altered slightly to help with cost.

As far as insurance, I usually tell my clients to check directly with the pet insurance companies about what they will and will not cover. Many people like their pet insurance and feel it saves them money. Depending on what the mass from your cat turns out to be, it is possible they may not cover your cat, so again...ask the company lots of questions before you sign up. Hope this is of some assistance. Hope that all turns out well with your cats mass and that perhaps no more treatment will be needed for some time.

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