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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 11:44 AM   #21
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

If it were me, I would spend the money. We have two dogs and one of them had to have knee surgery last year. The cost was $1200 but the thought didn't even enter our minds to NOT get the treatment since our dogs are like our kids
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 11:52 AM   #22
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

I'm an animal lover too. *I've spent countless hours volunteering at the shelter and with various rescue groups. *My take is that if the animal is not going to suffer a lot, and there is a a prognosis for a good quality of life, I'm likely to spend the money. *But we had a cat once who had cancer (lumps under his skin). *After 2 surgeries close together and who knows how much money, he died anyway. *I wish we hadn't put him through it. *

Grumpy - with your cat it sounds like you have a reasonable chance to give the cat more years of a good life. *We have a cranky cat too. *What is it about the cranky ones that make them lovable anyway??

DH & I haven't had to make the decision, but when we talk about it, we think we wouldn't spend huge amounts of money for short-term fixes or prolonged treatments (chemo, insulin, etc.) *The reason I say that is that at the shelter I saw hundreds of totally healthy, lovable kittens and young cats euthanized because there aren't enough homes. *It seems more logical to rescue one of these and give them a good home rather than prolonging the life of a chronically ill animal. *But the young, healthy one at the shelter hasn't become my "child" yet. *So it's easier to think we'd do the prudent thing than to actually make the decision.

It's never easy with these critters. And we don't have kids, so these "are" the kids.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 12:10 PM   #23
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

A couple things I haven't seen mentioned in this thread yet:

1) Pet Insurance.

When our Sheltie needed an operation for a benign tumor, I figured that might be the start of more problems down the road, so I bought pet insurance:

http://www.petinsurance.com/

The rates aren't too bad, and it can take the bite out of expensive procedures.

2) For pet behavior problems (like the cat pooping on the floor), consider talking to a specialist in animal behavior.

I got good advice from a volunteer at this site:

http://www.ddfl.org/beh-help.htm

Our cat was used to owning us and the entire house, so when dogs and kids entered the picture, she'd start marking territory.* * We gave her a small enclosed clean space (my office) where she could avoid the dogs and kid, and she was much better after that.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 12:28 PM   #24
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

walking wolfpuppy past the schoolyard one day a little kid asked how much it cost to buy him. i don't remember my answer but i recall being careful in replying because the question seemed very responsible for such a little kid yet oh so naive.

when wolfpuppy was about 4 the ligaments blew out in both back knees. fortunately a new operation had recently been perfected called tibial plateau leveling osteotomy whereby they cut the bone, turn it around, bolt it back on thus reforming the knee to act like a level human knee instead of a slanted dog knee which no longer required the ligament to hold together. for a 100 pound dog, the only other option was death. i think it was just under $5000. but it more than doubled the lifespan of wolfpuppy.

of course, i did not share that with the little kid. i think i just suggested he start saving his money now. for me, it meant holding off a few years before i was able to buy that convertible i always wanted.

after that, various other expenses like the $600 post nasal drip but then finally there was lung tumor. hybrid wolfpuppy was almost 12. as he was part shepard, i wondered which gene would kick in, the shepherd that lives to 12-14 or the wolf which can live to 16 in captivity. he had those fatty tumors all over his body, just like shepherds get, and now a huge one in the lung.

my option was putting him down, removing the lung and giving him maybe one more year or letting nature take its course. he did not seem to be in pain, still enjoyed his walks but got tired at the end of his exercise.

after long and hard thought, i realized that an operation would not be giving him one more year; it would only delay my grieving one more year. for wolfpuppy, it would mean sedation, a scarey operation, months of recovery and then a crippled life until death would eventually take him in about a year anyway.

i realized that, in my case, i had to decide what was the best thing i could do, not for me, but for wolfpuppy. for me, no matter what course i took, i'd feel guilty. wolfpuppy died quietly on a thursday night as nature intended. he left me to go outside and died under my bedroom window.

at about the same time, one of my best friends also had a dog dieing. but my friend did everything she could to keep her 16 year old cairn terrier alive. in the end, she was sticking it in the neck every day to pump fluids so the dog would not dehydrate. finally, she decided to let him go.

my friend still feels guilt about sticking her dog with needles, about not letting her dog die and i still feel guilt about not removing the lung.

decide which course of action will make you feel less guilty and go with that.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 12:52 PM   #25
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab



2) For pet behavior problems (like the cat pooping on the floor), consider talking to a specialist in animal behavior.
At least with respect to CFB's cat Boo, my hunch is that it is not a behavior issue but a health issue related the the cat's bowel disease. One symptom of inflamatory bowel disease in cats is not using the liter box to poop.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 01:04 PM   #26
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Coming in from the outside, where its warm and pleasant, theres grass, wood chips, bark, sand and dirt...and going about 50' in total, in order to poop on the rug, and then running? Inches out the IBD as a cause.

I fenced off our dining room for a 'cats only area'. Didnt help. She poops in that too.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 01:09 PM   #27
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

She's uncomfortable and runs home to poo.

Or she gets stressed around people/dogs and she poos.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 01:25 PM   #28
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

A 13 year old cat is an old cat Grumpy. He/she lived a full life. I would say my goodbyes.
From my viewpoint, you're going the extra mile for the cat by simply paying for it to be euthanized by the vet.

I'll just shoot you straight; paying $1250 for sugury for a 13 year old cat is, IMHO, completely insane unless you are worth far far more money than I am.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 01:46 PM   #29
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

I think the oldest I ever had a cat live to be was about 14. I got Tiger in late 1979 when I was 9 years old, and in the summer of '93 she got diabetes and had to get a shot every day. I hate to say it, but I probably missed about half the time, so I don't know if I contributed to that cat's death or not. Anyway, she was an outdoor cat, and one night that fall I went out to stay with some friends. I saw the cat looking at me as we backed down the driveway that night. And never saw her again.

My guess is that she just ran off into the woods somewhere and died under a fallen log or abandoned car or something. Cats often do that when they sense it's "time".

Now I have seen cats live to be in their early 20's. I worked at a vet clinic when I was in high school, and we had a few old dinosaurs come in. I think the oldest was about 22.

Similarly, that's the oldest I've ever seen a dog live to be. There's a junkyard/towing company nearby, and the had this big white wolf-looking thing named Toag. He'd come in regularly for flea baths and such, and would get hit by a car every once in awhile and get brought in to be patched up. Eventually though, he got fatally struck by a car, and that was the end. It would've been interesting to see just how old that dog would have lived to be.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 01:47 PM   #30
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Lazy,

I had almost the same problem with my last lab, fatty tumors, had the largest removed, the last one was cancer, finally went to his lungs, he was full of it. One day he was fine, the next day he could hardly breath, I don't regret putting him down at that point instead of letting him suffer.

Present Lab is allergic to all kinds of things, had Lymes Disease twice, gets horrible ear infections and on top of that is epileptic. We've spent I don't know how much on emergency vet visits for his seizures and he's now on Phenobarb, twice daily, thankfully he's good about taking the pills and I can have my dad take care of him when we travel. We make his food and his allergies and vomiting have disappeared. We keep meds for his ears on hand at all times and antibiotics if he starts to show signs of the Lymes, ... oh and now he's arthritic too.

Did we know all this when we picked up this poor abused dog from the Lab Rescue League, no, would I change a thing, no way! Will he live to be a ripe old age of 14 like most Labs, probably not but at least I know he's had a better life than before he came to live with us.

I spend the money, does it mean it delays my ER, maybe but the companionship and enjoyment are worth it.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 02:37 PM   #31
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon
I'll just shoot you straight; paying $1250 for sugury for a 13 year old cat is, IMHO, completely insane unless you are worth far far more money than I am.

Azanon
I'm gonna catch hell for saying it, but...

Not much of a surprise, coming from the guy whose estate plan is to pimp his wife out from beyond the grave.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 02:44 PM   #32
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azanon
A 13 year old cat is an old cat Grumpy. He/she lived a full life. I would say my goodbyes.
From my viewpoint, you're going the extra mile for the cat by simply paying for it to be euthanized by the vet.

I'll just shoot you straight; paying $1250 for sugury for a 13 year old cat is, IMHO, completely insane unless you are worth far far more money than I am.

Azanon
Azanon,

Yours is about the only opinion in favor of putting the cat down. BTW it is not surgery,, just involves a single injection of radioisotope with no known side effects on the cat (we need to use precautions for two weeks until the radiation is "flushed" out of his system).

I don't know how much you are worth but I guess I am worth far more since the $1250 won't have any significant impact on our finances. I think I have about decided that Pye is worth the $1250 and we will get him the treatment.

Grumpy
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 04:00 PM   #33
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Grumpy, I would spend the money and do it.

We have spent tons of money on our lab and will continue to do so as long as she is not in pain and is happy living her life. She's 11, incontinent, blind, has allergies, arthritis, and is almost deaf -- she's on meds for much of it and we are able to keep it all under control. She also has some lumps. I expect her to blow out a leg joint someday and will pay to fix it as long as she will still have a good quality of life. She's a little slower than she used to be, but still happy.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 04:15 PM   #34
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Quote:
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Grumpy, I would spend the money and do it.

We have spent tons of money on our lab and will continue to do so as long as she is not in pain and is happy living her life. She's 11, incontinent, blind, has allergies, arthritis, and is almost deaf -- she's on meds for much of it and we are able to keep it all under control. She also has some lumps. I expect her to blow out a leg joint someday and will pay to fix it as long as she will still have a good quality of life. She's a little slower than she used to be, but still happy.
I sure do not know the answer to this, but if this were a person, would he want to be alive? I don't think that I would. I have an old dog inherited from family members who have since moved on. I like hm, but when he goes, no more pets for me. I can go to the shelter and do a service, get my dog fix, and meet people by walking one of the dogs there on death row.

Ha
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 04:18 PM   #35
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Grumpy, *hurray - You are going to spend the money for the surgery. * Way to go... *

Can a neighbor watch the cat while you are on vacation? *
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 05:01 PM   #36
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Grumpy,

Sounds like you made a good decision.

If it were my cat, I would probably choose to put it down, but then I have issues: grew up in a family of cat rescuers with no less than 5-6 cats in the house at any one time. The amount of time, money, and emotional energy invested in hopeless cases (and at the expense of more important family needs) still has me a little resentful. But sounds like you have a good sense of balance.
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 06:10 PM   #37
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

Grumpy,

I totally sympathize with you. I have an old dog and if it were something as minimally invasive as this I would do it. Of course there are always people who go too far to keep their pets alive and spend way to much (in relation to their networth) but this obviously is not one of those times. You love your cat, you can afford to give him and yourself a better life, so do it and feel good about it.

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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 06:43 PM   #38
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

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Grumpy, hurray - You are going to spend the money for the surgery. Way to go...

Can a neighbor watch the cat while you are on vacation?
Ginger,

Yep, that's the plan. If that can't be arranged I guess we will hire a pet sitting service.


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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-10-2006, 07:30 PM   #39
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

* *I think you made a good decision, too.* *
* *My first cat developed cancer ... spent $1,000 on surgery, but lost him anyway. While I regretted putting him through the surgery, I've never regretted spending the $$.
* * *
* * *Nords, had an aunt and uncle who had a diabetic cat.* Rather than have someone deal with daily shots, they took the cat with them -- even to Vegas ... (no word on how well the cat did at the slots)*
* *
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Re: Tough Spending Decision
Old 05-28-2006, 08:39 AM   #40
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Re: Tough Spending Decision

CFB.. try a raw diet for your IBD cat, and your other pets.

http://www.catnutrition.org/ibd.html

Raw feeding can also help dramatically with skin ailments.

Haven't looked into the actual 'recipes' on the above site, but I would recommend a "prey model" diet: not low carbs, but NO carbs.. Just fresh meat, bones, organs. Many people go through grinding and adding vegetables but in my experience that is not worth the effort unless your pet has terrible teeth.

I was subscribing to a Yahoo! group for a while called "rawfeeding" that was generic, but they have a specific one called "rawcat". Many testimonials and tips, even for finicky cats.


Try it and let us know how it goes. What do you have to lose?

It's also just a heck of a lot of fun to watch them crunching away at a chicken leg!


Edited to add this site, written by a vet:
http://www.catinfo.org/#Home-Prepared_Diets
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