or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › The price of FLUTD
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The price of FLUTD

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm new. I apologize if asking the following question is deemed improper for this forum - I don't want to insult anybody, I just wondered: We had to rush our 8 year old cat to the emergency vet hospital a few days ago (in the middle of one of the worst snow storms ever to hit the eastern US - and we don't have a 4-wheeler - NO FUN!) We couldn't take him to our regular vet clinic,it was closed because of the snow. We finally managed to find an emergency vet hospital with a vet present (the guy drove a truck the size of a B52). They took great care of the situation, immediate care, great information; we liked them a lot, and still do. They're great, call us with updates and all.
But:The price estimate was $US 1500. I don't want to argue or make a fuss - and we will find the money - but JEEZZ, this isn't open heart surgery or a hip replacement we're talking about. $1500 seems on the rather mountainous side, doesn't?
I was trying to find sample prices for vet procedures on the web and found nothing. Is there anybody here who might give me an idea of what you paid for your cat's FLUTD emergency? Sadly it's a common emergency - I'd like to hear about other's experiences, if anybody have the time to address this $-centric question. Thank you.
post #2 of 13
I spent several hundred dollars when my Harry had this problem, probably around $600 for the emergency visit plus a follow up visit. His urethra was blocked because of crystal build-up in his bladder. (he's now on prescription food only) Anyway, I think the $1,500 is due to the fact that you had to go to the emergency vet. Hope your kitty is doing better.
post #3 of 13
Years ago, I made a similiar trip with a kitty to my vet clinic in the middle of the night- the bill was $800.00 for his surgery. Because I rescue and this sickly boy was dumped on my doorstep in this condition, my vet knocked off $200.00 of that price.

I believe the extra money is because you had to visit an ER 24 hr clinic, their rates are a bit extreme at times- but then they stay open 24/7

Hope your kitty will be fine soon, and your wallet recovers as well.
post #4 of 13

I have a vet's bill here (I save them) from when my cat had FLUTD over Easter in 2001. This happened on Easter Monday (which is a public holiday here). My local vet opens for an hour on public holidays. Anyway, he had to stay back & work on Nick. The break up is as follows...

Consultation $27.50
General anaesthesia $55.00
Theatre fee $27.50
Injections $33.00
Hospitalisation $22.00

Total bill $165.00

The Aussie dollar is worth about .50 cents US. So, you can halve that bill.

I think Nick's case was fairly mild. He didn't need a catheter. From memory, the vet knocked him out & manually massaged the urine from his bladder. Obviously, if the cat had a catheter, the bill would be higher.

$1500.00, I would need to be hospitalised myself if I got a bill like that.

I hope your cat gets better.

post #5 of 13

I don't want to harp on about this because I'm always going on about how I can't stand dry food, and I'm sure people get sick of hearing me whinge about it....but, I will say that Nick was put on Hills C/D (he refused the canned, but would eat the dry), and he still blocked. I e-mailed our feline expert at my local university. His advice was...

Feed him raw & canned food. The canned is nothing special, just supermarket stuff....Whiskas & Go Cat Casserole. Absolutely no dry food.
No fishy flavoured food.

I haven't had a problem with Nick's FLUTD since taking him off dry food.

Please feel free to PM me if you would like further info. I still have a copy of the original e-mail sent to me from the university.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies.
Hissy: What a wonderful thing you did for the "rescue" cat. I admire you. I hope he ended up in a good home.
Julia: Yet another reason to love Australia: The vets!

FYI: They removed his catheter yesterday, he's doing great and we can pick him up this afternoon; still on antibiotics and some other medication - but otherwise fine. He will be on canned diet for "the rest of his life" (most likely an expensive canned diet, sigh!) And my frostbites, shoulder and left wrist is healing nicely!

I'm now looking into pet health insurance (VPI) as it seems there's somewhat of a risk of re-occurrence (excuse my spelling please, not native english speaker) - but maybe that should be discussed in a seperate thread.

I'm also wrestling with the - for me usual - "what if" scenarios: What if the bill had been $5000, then what? Or even more? What would I have done? How much is "just too much?" In a perfect world money wouldn't matter, but this is not a perfect world and my - as most people's - budget has a limit. It has nothing to do with love for the animal - it's just a matter of the possible vs the impossible.

Or maybe I'm just in a state of mild chok - how fragile things can be, how dependent on luck, nature - and what a huge responsability it is to care for another being.
post #7 of 13
Kaye, I've had great success feeding my cat just regular supermarket brand canned food. Your cat will probably find the prescription stuff unpalatable......I gather most cats do. I was told just to feed h im regular canned food, but NO fishy flavours. I feed him canned on a morning, and raw on a night, but I realise that not everybody chooses to feed raw, which is fine. I also give him raw chicken necks, and meaty bones to chew on, to keep his teeth clean. He's had no problems with FLUTD since being put on this diet.

As far as "what if", I've thought this myself. I'd go to any lenghts to save my cats....I'd start off by selling stuff I own, then get a bank loan, then get a company loan, and if the worst came to the worst, I'd sell the house. They're my kids, and I would do anything to save them.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for posting the picture, a lovely "boy/gal". I PM'd you regarding the university email.
My vet strongly recommended the canned CD but also gave me a sample of the dried variant. My cat - of course - refused to eat either.
Then he started vomiting - up went the pills that I so laboriously had managed to (with the use of some force) give him this morning.
Eik, what misery. The vet thought better of the CD - now I'm allowed just to give him his regular food until he recovers - and to hold off on the medications.
I'm just wondering - if about 1% of all neutered male cats get FLUTD, them why do they put magnesium in cat food in the first place?
Is it simply too good a business for too many people:
The prescription cat food makers, the vets (my vet said he saw 2-3 cases each week, @ us$ 1100 as it turned out) pharmaceutical companies ... all make out great on this problem.
There doesn't seem to be any incentives to find real prevention, to get to the bottom of the cause, I think there's something fishy going on there.
I'd feed him raw chicken - but how the heck does one get salmonella-free chicken these days?
post #9 of 13
If you want to give raw meat, you can just cook the outer part of the meat if it's a whole cut rather than ground. The bacteria is just on the outer part, according to what I've read. If it's ground up, then the bacteria is throughout the meat.
post #10 of 13
Hi Kaye,

They still don't have all the answers on what causes FLUTD, but one thing that worries me is that cats are supposed to get most of their fluid from their food. I believe a mouse would be something like 70% water, as opposed to dry food, which is 10% water. Not all cats make up the difference by drinking from their bowl. They have a higher urine concentration, which contributes to the build up of stones.

There's also evidence that minute bacteria may be to blame for some bladder stones etc. They're called Nanobacteria.

Regarding raw, there are no guarantees with raw food. You do risk salmonella & other nasties when you feed it, but personally....I think the benefits of it by far outweigh the risks. I've been feeding my crew raw all their lives, and have had no problems. I do feel that as a result, my crew are probably somewhat hardier than other cats, and would be accustomed to the odd germ in their food.

When you feed raw, it is EXTREMELY important to practice good food hygene. I read that most cases of food poisoning occur in the home. I mean, it's actually caused in the home, when the meat left the butcher, it was fine. Personally, I only use food that I'd consider fresh enough for me to eat. I use disposable gloves when handling it, and I don't let it sit in their bowl for long, especially in summer when it's hot.

RBG is correct, there's a lot of bacteria on the outside of meat, and it's always advisable to rinse it under the tap before you feed it. And, meat that's been minced does tend to have a higher bacteria count. I refused to feed my crew minced meat, but I've relaxed my stance on that now. Every evening they get pet mince, which contains kangaroo, heart, kidney & other really revolting things that the cats love. I've noticed their appetite increase since I've been feeding this stuff.

Back to risks...dry & canned food isn't great for their teeth. Even dry is said to cause dental problems now. There are health risks associated with gingivitis. There is also the danger of putting the cat under for the anaesthetic, and there is a risk with the actual operation. There is then the risk of things like FLUTD. So, all in all...whatever you're feeding your cat, you're taking a slight risk. Personally, I consider the risk I'm taking by feeding them raw food to be lower than the risk I'd take by feeding them a lot of dry food.

Again, I'm NOT on these boards to shove my opinion down everybody's throat, this is just how I feel. And, I've had 100% success with my FLUTD boy since taking him off dry.

post #11 of 13

My boy, Connor, had a minor case of FLUTD. He also had a bladder infection. He's now on Hill's C/D. Unfortunately he's been on C/D for over a year. From what I can tell the Hill's food just makes him drink more water. Also Hill's has a higher fat content that's why some cats just eat it up because of the taste. I also put a tablespoon on the food for additional flavor. As Julia said no specific answer has been given to the cause of FLUTD. When my husband and I noticed Connor had trouble urinating we took him to the hospital right away. I had to keep Connor, in the hospital, for a couple of hours to see if he was actually straining or if he could still urinate. Fortunately his urethra (sp) wasn't completely blocked. So, nothing was done just making sure we gave him his anti-biotics and keep an eye on him. The bill came out to be $150? don't remember the exact amount but it was less then $200. The next day I took Connor to the vet and he prescribed additional anti-biotics and the Hill's C/D. It was heart breaking seeing Connor unable to go urinate, he would litterally sit in the litter box and wait for urine to come out. Thank goodness he's all cured. Also keep in mind a lot of vets get additional $$ if they promote certain products such as Hill's. So, as hard as it may seem and sound is best to find someone (if that's possible) that's objective and neutral. I literally called all of the vets in the yellow pages.

From what I have read FLUTD can be caused by a combination of things. We just have to remember that if our kitties were in the wild they would be eating rodents, small birds, and insects. That's how they get most of the fluids to survive. They also get most of the fluids because blood is digested as well. Personally I don't see that much difference between feeding wet food and raw food. If it was a "natural" diet it should also include the entire animal not just the meat. Some say, magnesium is the culprit and others say it's the high ash content in the foods found today. Until the pet food companies or someone comes up with something that close resembles to the cat's natural diet, all we have to do is make sure we give them the best food possible. Our pets are pretty much like your children, I mean you wouldn't feed your kids fast food or junk food all the time would you? In the long run kids will become sick and unhealthy.

I'm currently thinking of putting Connor on this new food I've found called Felidae. The thing that I found interesting, it has cranberry powder and it's suppose to make the urine a bit more acid so crystals have harder time forming. I was lucky to have found a vet, that had nothing to loose, and was kind enough to take a look of the sample of food I had. The vet read the ingredients and he seemed to like what he saw. The vet also said since, in humans, consuming cranberries help with the bladder he doesn't see a reason why it wouldn't help cat's bladder as well. Also he liked the fact 2 additional ingredients were put back into the product. The 2 ingredients are Amylase and Xylanase. This 2 ingredients are taken out during the cooking process; however, they add it back in after the cooking is done. The vet said that is very good since most foods don't add those 2 ingredients back at all. He said the ingredients are found in natural pray in the wild.

I've also thought of putting Connor on Control diet by IVD. That's also helps with the urinary tract problems. I've compared the ingredients for both Felidae, Hill's C/D and Control diet. Control had less fat content and less chemicals then Hill's C/D. Hill's has a lot of perservitives that are questionable, some are not FDA approved for human consumption. Would you feed something that the FDA has not approved for humans for a life time??? Some of the ingredients Hill's puts in their food causes cancer in mice. Felidae had the most natural ingredients and natural perservatives, no chemical perservatives at all. Although some people had said some cat's don't like Control, due to the lack of taste. To solve that I would just mix a tablespoon of wet food for the additional flavor. In anycase the vet said Control, is a substitute for Hill's C/D. But he seem very impressed with Felidae. The vet also said he would eat the food himself, and that's says a lot coming from a vet!

Best of luck Kaye. Hope your kitty gets well soon!

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
OK, this is will be my 3rd and final attempt to ship this message, I keep getting logged out for some reason ... anyway:
Thank you for very informative replies. We tried Walthams, he appreciated that as little as the C/D. In the supermarket we found Friskies Special Diet for Urinary tract health. Bingo! He loves it.
So here's what we've decided on: No dry food. He's going to get one (or two, he's a really big guy) cans of Friskies supplemented with "real" food: Boiled chicked, turkey, chicken liver, giblets, Hard boiled egg, brown rice, mild cheeese (after all, his favorite Whiskas flavors are "Turkey&Cheese" and "Lamb & Rice") a bit of youghurs or sour cream. I'll try giving him raw chicken and raw lamb - but he'll have to miss out on the kangaroo, however delicious.
To us, it's not only a question of keeping him alive, so to speak, but also about his quality of life. We went down the Science Diet road a few years ago and, I swear, the cat went into a deep depression.
There's about 75 mill. cats in North America. Let's say that half are male: 37.5 mill cats. Lets say that 75% of these are neutered: 28 mill cats. One % of these will get FLUTD: 280.000 cases a year. Lets say that each of these cats will eat one can of prescription diet food at a price of 1$ a can a day -- and that adds up to ... ehhh ... a lot of money.
post #13 of 13
I'm doing some research on the Ph level in supermaket canned food manufactured in Australia and happened to notice (it was either Hills or Purina Dry - carried the warning - "do not feed this food to a caat with FLUTD" good warning but needed more explanation - like symptoms of FLUTD and why Vet attention is urgent!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › The price of FLUTD