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Low Platelet Count - Thrombocytopenia

Charmander
March 19th, 2010, 02:14 AM
*agh I just posted this long post and it disappeared..thanks bulletin board -.-

Anyways, Hi There! I am a brand-new cat owner.

We got our 7month orange tabby cat about three weeks ago from the classified. Long story short, the previous owner said he was neutered and that he'd have all his paperwork for us but he's disappeared so we can only assume now that he never had the info.

We brought Charmander to the vet last week and did the new pet checkup, FVRCP vaccine, leukemia check, mini blood panel, and two deworming pills for $235. We brought him to this great, clean and friendly animal hospital. They have been absolutely fabulous and patient with our questions and explaining everything to us clearly. The thing is, they are on the pricier side (at least that's what it seems like) and as my fiance and I are still students (and newly engaged now with a wedding to pay for as well!), we are wondering if we can sustain these visits with our low resources.

Because it turns out, Charmander is NOT neutered, and it costs $198 to get him neutered at our vet. The other thing is, his results for platelet came out low, and the vet explained to me about how they get that result and how it is not completely accurate sometimes because platelets clump. I paid an additional $40 to have them check the sample again under microscope to count all individual cells.

Results came in the next day and vet said he does have low-platelet. She said this would mean he would need a bone-marrow biopsy which they would refer to a specialist and it would cost about $500-1000. Since this is a big surgery and an expensive procedure, they want to make sure that Charmander does have low platelet count, so they are doing ONE MORE blood sample. This time it is taken from the neck (instead of hind legs) and since the neck is a sensitive area, they are likely going to sedate him. So with the new blood test and sedatives and IVfluid that comes with it all, it will be another $125.

So we are paying an additional $165 to double and triple check his platelet count. We didn't hesitate to do this as Charmander would not be able to get neutered or go through any type or surgery since he could bleed to death due to the low platelet count and the inability for blood to clot.

What I am asking is if anyone else has experienced this and whether their vet made this many checks. We are completely new at this so we are trusting everything our vets are telling us and what they suggest to us but since the bills are getting higher and higher, we want to make sure we are as informed as possible.

Any suggestions or tips on what our future steps should be or what options you've seen in this type of situations would be greatly appreciated. We want to do what's best for Charmander but we also want to make sure we get the most bang for our limited bucks :P

*note that we would never risk or neglect to see to Charmander's health because it's expensive, but we want to make sure we are using our money to the fullest

And just to end the post, here is our adorable kitty
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4027/4416615756_150e94139d_m.jpg

Thanks in advanced!!

kungfuMao
March 19th, 2010, 03:17 PM
Welcome to the board, sister :thumbs up

That is my favorite pic of charmander :cat:

Dog Dancer
March 19th, 2010, 03:36 PM
Welcome. What a lovely boy you have. He reminds me of my sweet kitty Whiskers :rip:. I can't say if your vet is being overly cautious or not, but better to be sure than to take any chances with this. I can fully understand your wanting to make sure you are spending your money wisely though. I am certain somebody will be along shortly who has had similar issues and will be able to give you advice based on their experience. It's been many years for me since we've had serious kitty issues (or kitties now for that matter). Best of luck to you and your Charmander.

Charmander
March 19th, 2010, 05:09 PM
Thanks Dog Dancer & sister :)

So this morning sort of failed. I brought Charmander in and they gave him a mild sedative and he did not respond to it at all. They told me probably nervousness and adrenaline prevented the sedative from taking effect and so when they tried to draw his blood he scratched the poor vet badly on the back of her hand. I felt so bad :(

Thankfully they did not charge me for this visit because it was unsuccessful.

They just called me back with their new plan (she needed to discuss with the other vet first) and they're going to wait for me to take him in for his scheduled neuter next Friday and give him general anesthetics that they would have given him for the neuter, take the blood sample, do a count in-house, and if all is good, then they will do the neutering.

If he has low platelet count, then they cancel the neutering and decide what to do from there.

The great thing with this plan is if all goes well, we don't have to pay the extra $60 for sedatives since its essentially killing two birds with one stone (blood sample and surgery for the one sedation).

She also said there's a higher chance that he should be fine since he isn't showing any symptoms and has lots of energy. They just need to play it safe though.

Yay! Praying this works out!

hazelrunpack
March 19th, 2010, 05:15 PM
I'm glad there's a plan B. :D Sounds like you have an excellent vet!

Welcome to the board! :goodvibes: for Charmander!

kungfuMao
March 19th, 2010, 05:17 PM
:pray: that it all goes smoothly!

Then we'll have :D fur-parents and a happy :cat:

rjesak
March 20th, 2010, 06:25 AM
Charmander is SERIOUSLY adorable!! :lovestruck:

It sounds like the vet is a really good one and I can tell you from experience that it's worth every penny to get a better vet. :2cents: When I first got my cats, I took them to the closest vet (it was cheap and, you know, location, location, location...) :rolleyes:

They made all sorts of mistakes - gave me the wrong ages of two adopted kittens so one got pregnant before I could get her spayed:eek:, and one of my neutered males had to be re-neutered (they apparently did only one testicle or something?):eek::eek:. The final time I went to them, I'd taken my cat in to be watched for a day because of some weight issues and they accidentally let two cats out at the same time and my cat's ear got mangled (not badly - it's just the tip - but still!).:eek::eek::eek: Needless to say, this is a REALLY bad vet (they've closed now) so another cheaper vet would probably be better than this one but with your vet you'll know they're doing everything possible. It sounds like they're thorough which isn't a bad thing - although it can hurt in the pocketbook.

It can be expensive but it's so worth it to know the vet is taking care of you and your kitty! :cloud9: Best of luck with the neuter and the platelets! :fingerscr

Charmander
March 24th, 2010, 11:30 PM
Thank you so much for the well wishes and reassurance!

Charmander is getting neutered in two days and I'm feeling anxious about the results but I have hope. He has fallen on his bum and ran into little scraps around the house and each time I've checked to see if he's bruised (bruising is one of the symptoms) but he's perfectly fine and hasn't had any changes in behavior or activity (though he still likes to attack me...)

Has anyone else experienced low platelet count in their cat? What needed to be done in order to correct this? I just want to be prepared for whatever the result is on Friday.

Thanks in advanced!

Charmander
April 8th, 2010, 03:19 PM
Hi All, just posting an update on Charmander.

Last time I posted, I brought him to the vet but he did not get neutered. They couldn't even get sedatives into him! >< He fought and bit and hissed and they decided it was too dangerous for them and Charmander to do anything at that point.

Our vet is great though, they had a plan C after all this happened. They lent us one of those duffel bag carriers to bring home so that we could bring Charmander in it next time. The idea is that if he's in a soft bag like that, they can collapse it around him and give him the sedative shot while he's still inside so that he can't bite and scratch at them.

To be honest I got a bit scared of Charmander at that point. He continued to be aggressive at times at home. I was learning how detect his warning signals and was getting better at having him listen when I said NO. But one day as I was trying to put him into the bathroom after he bit me, he bit my arm REALLY hard, so hard that it bled immediately and even left me with a bruise. I immediately cleaned my wound and even though its still bruised there hasn't been anything else out of the ordinary so I opted out of going to the doctor for that.

Anyways, after that we decided it would be best to have Charmander live at my fiance's house. My house was just too busy with my large family living in it and I think that might have gotten him too easily excitable or irritable. He seems to be really happy at my fiance's now and I'll get him back once we get married =]

Good news is that we brought him to get neutered today and everything went according to plan! Charmander is now a neutered boy and we're praying that his aggression will not come up as much and he will just be the affectionate and smart kitty that we love. And since he got neutered, it means that his platelet count was fine! Yay! I'M SO RELIEVED!!!

hazelrunpack
April 8th, 2010, 03:53 PM
That's good news about the platelet count being back to normal, Charmander! But owie about the bite! :eek: I hope you both heal quickly! :D

chico2
April 8th, 2010, 04:06 PM
Charmander,glad to hear your beautiful kitty is neutered and ok.
It's not unusual for a cat to get aggressive at the vet and I am sure your vet has had a few scratches before.
My Vinnie who is the biggest love-bug,turns in to a fiend at the vets,even hisses and growls for a while after he gets back home.
None of my 3 cats like to go to the vet,so Charmander is not much different from any other kitty.

kungfuMao
April 8th, 2010, 07:16 PM
Do a little dance... :D
So glad that everything worked out!!
Looking forward to happy and well-adjusted Charmander :thumbs up

Goldfields
April 8th, 2010, 09:14 PM
Golly, reading this thread makes me feel thankful in owning our current cats. The two ex ferals, Sibi and Ginger, have never hissed, growl or tried to bite us and are no different for being at the vets. The Persian on the other hand .... :eek: :eek: :D
That sounds like a bad bite the cat gave you, hope it heals without any trouble.

growler~GateKeeper
April 8th, 2010, 09:22 PM
Glad to hear the platelet numbers have stabilized :thumbs up be sure to keep an eye on it though as the numbers do fluctuate.

Hopefully the aggression was just due to high testosterone levels prior to being neutered & now that he is that will abate as well :fingerscr

14+kitties
April 8th, 2010, 09:23 PM
It's wonderful that you love him enough you can sense his moods. It's also great he is now neutered! :thumbs up Good job!!
You got him when he was a little older. It's hard to say how he was treated at his old home. Also not being neutered sometimes brings out some unwanted behaviours. I am sure with time and patience you can turn him into a big love bug.
Sounds like you looked after your bite well. Around here it's an ongoing thing. You kinda get used to them. Just make sure to check it to make sure there is no infection starting.
Good luck! More pics of the little angel would be wonderful!!