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Unread 02-02-2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cat Needs Surgery - Expensive - Low Probability - But..

Hello,

This is my first post here, and not really sure what to gain given my circumstance, perhaps advice I guess.

We have a cat who is originally my wife's cat, found abandoned in the Dominican Republic 5 years ago, which she took home to the US. The cat is a pivotal member of our family. She is not like a typical cat..she thinks she is human...talks to us (or tries), watches TV, always follows us.

We found out the cat has a large tumor blocking the small intestine and the colon. We do not know if the tumor is cancerous, but likely due to how fast this all came. The surgery is $2K, and there is no guarantee it will work, likely not, as the tumor could be supplied by blood vessels which would be cut when removed. The doctor advised against the surgery but said there is a chance it could work. They gave us antibiotics and B12 and pain meds until we make a decision to do the surgery or put her down.

Typically I'd have this money, but I an in the process of working on a startup, where all parties involved do not take salaries or have very little salaries.

This is a terrible loss to our family and my wife is just...destroyed...she is frozen at home crying.

Here are some questions, please send advice if you have Veterinary experience or have been in a similar situation yourself:

1) Is there programs or specific animal hospitals which will supplement such a surgery? If so, what could I expect? Volunteer programs or student learning programs? I am in SoCal (gross), and I am willing to drive where ever I need to if I can get support somehow.

2) Given all stated above, can you give a professional or previous experience opinion on doing the surgery or not?

3) I personally feel we cannot risk the $2K of our savings given we're already supplementing our monthly expenses due to my extremely reduced salary, and the diagnosis given, but given how special the cat is to us, I almost want to say F-it and do it! I feel mad/sad. Can someone give any general advice here?

4) How consistent are Vet diagnoses for such situations? Is getting a 2nd opinion worth it? It is ~$200. We have cat insurance, but apparently it is worthless and doesn't cover this items (what BS).

I know this was a lot to read, and if you made it this far in my post, I thank you.

-Peter
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Unread 02-03-2015   #2 (permalink)
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You don't say how old she is, or how she copes with vet visits. Those two considerations would be part of my decision.

For instance I have a cat who has a really horrible time at the vet, she becomes very stressed, screaming and biting and scratching while there. So much so the vet wants to sedate her (which I will not allow) I don't want to make this about my cat, I only bring it up to say that if she is ever faced with a situation like this, I would not put her through a lot of stuff. Not even a lot of diagnostics. She gets blood work every year of course, as all senior cats should, but if she ever presents with a tumor or something like your beloved girl, I would just let her live her life as peacefully as possible, and when her quality of life was about to end, let her go.

I think, for an elderly cat I would probably feel the same. An old girl who has had a long and happy life...let the end of her life be happy too, not filled with trips to the vet and pain and invasive surgeries. It is devastating when they leave us, but we should always think about what is best for the kitty first.

Your girl has had five heavenly years, and I can understand why you want her to have more.

How is her quality of life right now?

Ultimately it comes down to a decision only you, your wife and your precious little girl can make. Talk to her about this. Tell her what's going on. Tell her you want to do right by her. Tell her everything. And ask her to let you know if she's had enough. Tell her every day how much you love her, but you want her to not suffer.

Oh by the way: Your kitty sounds lovely, and she is indeed a 'typical' cat. Cats are very social and prefer to be with and communicate with, their humans, it is a fallacy that cats are "independent" or "stand offish". I am so glad your wife rescued her and you have had these years together.
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