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Old September 5th, 2009, 09:49 PM
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Charlie is sick

So those of you following my other thread, "Overweight Cat", may know that Charlie's been picky about his food lately. It all came to a head today when he refused to eat canned tuna. We got really worried because he hasn't been acting like himself over the last few days - he's been kind of lethargic and just not the happy, friendly boy he normally is.

We took him to the emergency vet clinic and the vet suspects fatty liver disease. She said it may also be a form of pancreatitis or cholangeohepatitis - but fatty liver fits most. He was dehydrated and even showing the beginning of jaundice. I am so very upset. I thought we were doing everything to avoid this. He was losing a normal, healthy amount of weight so we're not sure what caused this. The vet suggested in this case it may be idiopathic.

They've kept him overnight and here we are, $1000 later and not sure how we're going to pay for more tests/treatments. They're going to do blood work (she said "blood gases"), give him some injections for the dehydration, some antibiotics, an appetite stimulant, etc. She said without an ultrasound, we can't know 100% if it's fatty liver. She believes we brought him in early enough that something can be done - but I'm so worried we won't be able to afford it. We've drained our emergency vet fund.

I just needed to vent. Any advice, support, anything at all would be greatly appreciated. If it is fatty liver, can we bring him home tomorrow and treat it ourselves - feeding him every 2 hours with a syringe, etc? Or was it best to leave him at the hospital?
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Old September 5th, 2009, 09:52 PM
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hey EOF, did you take the kitty to the clinic on Winston Churchill? They took excellent care of my sisters kitty when she got sick, but holy expensive. for Charlie.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 09:56 PM
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That's exactly where we went. The vet was very nice and is supposed to call us with an update around midnight. I couldn't believe how expensive it was just for him to stay 24 hours. The $1000 was our "low end". The "high end" would have cost us over $1900. She offered us an "ultimate low" option, which was to do some blood work, treat him for the dehydration, and send him home with some appetite stimulants and food formula - and then for us to try to force feed him every 2 hours or so. But she seriously recommended we leave him there...I always worry that they do that to make more money, but I'm so worried for him that I just took her advice. Did I do the right thing?
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Old September 5th, 2009, 09:58 PM
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i personally can't say. I know its gonna be a financial burdon, its the long weekend, nothings open, hmmmm have a quick garage sale.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 10:25 PM
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Trust me, I'm planning to take some jewelry to a pawn shop or something. I will do whatever it takes, it's just really stressing me out and I'm so worried for Charlie :sad::sad::sad: If we caught it in time, it should be treatable...
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Old September 5th, 2009, 10:56 PM
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well if you need to rant and rave feel free to toddle over and scream or somethin the boys love company.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:16 PM
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Oh no Sorry to hear! Sure hope it isn't anything serious. It's probably best to leave him there just for the night so they can do tests and find out what's wrong with him. Do they offer any kind of payment plan? I know our vet here will do it sometimes for people. Worth to ask. Good Luck!
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:18 PM
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oh EOF it just came to mind when tutty said payment plan. There was a pamphlet on the counter there for insurance when we went. you can call it in and be approved and they will cover it. I just threw the one i grabbed for my sister out. Couldn't hurt to try eh.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:21 PM
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I'm so sorry EOF

What an awful position to be in....I think it's the worst case scenario for us all :sad:

for Charlie.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:25 PM
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Hey Aslan,

I did pick up a brochure for a 4 week trial for Petsecure. I've just activated it but the vet didn't think they would cover this. In fact, the details on the site state that they won't cover illnesses if symptoms were present before activation. But I figured it couldn't hurt if he should need anything else over the next few weeks.

I'm angry at myself that I thought we could avoid pet insurance. We've been setting aside money (more than the average monthly insurance premium) every month for emergency vet bills, but we've only had Charlie for a little over a year - so we haven't had quite enough time to save up what might be necessary for these treatments. I just hope they can stabilize him overnight and send him home tomorrow with a feeding tube. That I can manage - but that's only if they can confirm it's fatty liver, and I don't think they can really do that without a liver biopsy. I wonder how much that would cost?
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:26 PM
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More for Charlie! And a for you, EoF!

Lots of good wishes headed your way for a quick and complete recovery for your boy!
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaser View Post
I'm so sorry EOF

What an awful position to be in....I think it's the worst case scenario for us all :sad:

for Charlie.
Thanks Chaser. The vet seemed to think we got him in early enough - he was just beginning to show jaundice, and he hasn't started vomiting or seizing so hopefully we'll be able to do something. She said that more often than not, by the time owners bring in their fatty liver cats, she has to recommend either the super-high end treatment plan, or euthanize. I just wish we could nail this down as a diagnosis, because we're not 100% certain it's FLD.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:28 PM
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i'm going to assume you went to the vets at the bottom of your street and they're the ones who sent you to the emerg vet.. just curious why they couldnt treat charlie.

i don't think the brochure i had was just for 4 weeks, we were at the desk on the left when i got it.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:33 PM
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Oh no Aslan, I don't go to that vet! (I haven't heard the greatest things about them). We go to one in Mississauga, and when we got concerned about Charlie we tried calling them for advice today - but they were already closed. Their answering machine message said to call the Emergency Hospital on Winston Churchill for emergency questions, so we did and they told us we should come in.

Hmmm, there was one other brochure for Purina Care, I think. Either way, I don't think any pet insurance would cover this particular incident. :sad: But it definitely has me re-considering pet insurance...
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:37 PM
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oh good you don't go to that vet i wasn't impressed either. The brochure i was reading, i got the impression it was for just this kind of emergency that's why i grabbed it, but sisters kitty didn't make it.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:41 PM
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I know, I heard - I'm so sorry about that. :sad:

It's a shame you threw out the brochure! But I'll check for it when/if we go back tomorrow night.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 11:42 PM
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well i hope its a quick easy fix for your little fuzzbutt, i gotta crash now, keep us posted.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 12:10 AM
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Just thought I would post an update as I just got a call from the vet.

So they were going to do his blood work in-house, but unfortunately there's an issue with the machine so they're going to have to send it out "stat" - but they're not going to charge us for the "stat".

She was able to tell me that Charlie's electrolytes and kidneys are fine; his red blood cell count was slightly elevated, but that just confirms he's dehydrated, which we knew. His PH level is actually okay, so he's not severely dehydrated.

They've put him on IV fluids and given him some amoxycillin as a preventive, and have also given him an appetite stimulant. We're going to get another update tomorrow from the morning vet as well as an update when the blood work comes in. If there is no improvement or his condition worsens, and the blood results are bad, we're going to have to discuss alternate tests - x-ray, ultrasound, etc. If he improves...well, I don't know what exactly they're going to do based on what the blood test results are like. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we got him to the vet early enough.

Thanks for listening to my drama unfold, everyone. Your good wishes are much appreciated
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Old September 6th, 2009, 06:40 AM
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EoF - just wanted to send for Charlie. It's tough dealing with a situation like this. for you too.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 07:59 AM
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eof,that Charlies problem is not as serious as the vet thought
I've heard a lot of good things about the Emerg on Winston Churchill,but also how very expensive they are.
Pet-Insurance is good to have,but I don't think they would cover a pre-existing problem
for Charlie and you..hope he's able to come home for the long week-end
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Old September 6th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Thanks everyone I'll post an update when the morning vet calls. Hopefully it's soon...I'm shaking and I can't eat or sleep. :sad::sad::sad:
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Old September 6th, 2009, 08:36 AM
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I hope u will get good news about Charlie this morning. Maybe u could phone them instead of waiting for them to call?

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Old September 6th, 2009, 08:44 AM
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TQ, I keep thinking about calling - but the vet was pretty insistent in saying that if they don't call, it's because a) the morning vet hasn't gotten to Charlie yet or b) they have no news yet (no test results/no change in Charlie).

She did say we should hear something back by about lunchtime, so if I haven't heard from them then I might give them a call.

On a good note, the vet found out that the vet where they're sending the blood tests is offering a "combo deal" (we both laughed when she said that) - so for the same price we were going to pay to have the results done in-house, we're also going to get test results for FIV and FeLV, as well as a few other tests. Can't hurt to know these things, I guess.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 09:46 AM
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I'm so sorry you're going through this :sad: it always amazes me how some vets can be $$$$ , sometimes offering no other choices to pet owners to have their pets put down because they can't afford the vet's ridiculous fees. It makes me so mad by not helping the owners , they're not helping the pets. Makes me wonder WTF they became vets.

let's hope they find what's wrong asap !

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Old September 6th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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EoF- just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of Charlie and hope everything turns out ok. Hang in there
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Old September 6th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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I'm sorry for what Charlie is going through. I hope the vet can figure out a good treatment for him and I really hope whatever he has isn't serious!
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Old September 6th, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Well I just tried calling but apparently nobody is available to give me an update. :sad: It's "crazy" there today, according to the receptionist. Which I can appreciate. Somebody is supposed to call me back.

Has anybody had any experience with feeding tubes? The vet said we may have to go that route, and after some research it does sound like a feeding tube might be a better option than trying to force feed. I'm just curious as to how much they cost to insert...
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Old September 6th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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meow used a feeding tube on her kitty, EoF. Maybe try PMing her?
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Old September 6th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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Thanks, HRP, I think I'll try her.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 05:50 PM
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So I have another quick update. I just spoke to one of the vet techs - the vet had told me we could go and try to feed Charlie if we wanted, and I wanted to check to see how he was before we left.

The vet tech said they had managed to get him to eat a tiny amount of food. Unfortunately, when they tried to orally administer some meds, he vomited - but she said he was looking a lot perkier, and he was even cuddling with the techs and purring...that sounds a lot more like my Charlie! One of the things that had us really worried before we took him to the vet was that it had been a few days since we heard him purr.

So unfortunately, because Charlie vomited they're not planning to try feeding him again until 10 pm...so we can't go try to feed him. But I'm feeling a little more positive since they managed to get him to eat...however little it was.

Thanks again for all your support, pets.ca folks! I'll keep posting updates...
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