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How to know how many tests and how much to spend????

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello, Many of you probably know of Tuffy's problems. He has been looked at by 2 different vets and a internal medicine specialist. They still don't really know whats going on with him for sure. The specialist is talking about a ultra sound and a colonoscopy [sp?], I have no idea what the colonoscopy costs but she said a ultra sound will be about $320-$350.

I want Tuffy well again, but how do I decide how far to go with all this? They have him on meds to see if they help. They don't think he is bad enough where he is in allot of pain or is going to suddenly die or anything like that. His home town vet said to just give the new meds time to work and see if things get better for him in 2 or 3 weeks and then we can go from there.

Yvonne is already on me about all the money we have in him, but she also wants him to get well.

How do some of you that have been through something like this before decide on how far to go with this stuff? I think I am more stressed out about all this than Tuffy is. I realize everyone has a different situation as far as how much money they can spend and all that, But I need some help with all this.

We are going camping again this weekend so I am going to bring him along so he gets his meds and I can watch him close. He loves to go in the motor home so he won't be more stressed out than normal.
post #2 of 7
I don't know Tuffy's story, but as far as what to spend and what to do-

Spending wise, whatever you think is worth it. Depending on his problems, is an ultrasound really going to help? I personally would wait on the meds, if they don't help move on from there [then again I don't your kitty's situation].

I like to take things one step at a time. I would ask your vet this same question, and see what they say, tell them you've invested enough time and money that you want to do what is MOST likely going to help diagnose your cat. So if these meds don't work, rather than trying a new medication [and spending more money for that] you decide to invest that in having the ultra-sound done, etc. I thinkyou should collaborate with your vet on an action plan, write down all the possible tests you could use, what's more likely to work, different medications etc. Then I would go home and research those things to see what you feel would be the best plan of action.

It's really a tough situation, maybe Tuffy just likes going on family vacations :p perhaps if you sat down and explained that he could come camping without being sick maybe he would change his attitude.

Good luck with your kitty, definitley keep us posted!
post #3 of 7
It's horrible trying to decide that sort of thing huh? You want them well, but money is money. If the tests were for myself, it'd be easier to judge because I'd know how much pain and discomfort I was in. For two health problems I've had though, I've kept on with the tests until I've found out what was wrong, because deep in my heart I knew something was wrong and I wouldn't be satisfied until I knew what it was. Both problems turned out to be fairly serious.

Deep in your heart, you know something is wrong with Tuffy. It's not normal to have those sort of problems for such a long time. If you just get an ultrasound, it shows up clear and he keeps bleeding, you know you'll get more tests because it'll break your heart not knowing what's wrong.

Find out what the most definitive test will be and go for that, even if it's the most expensive. It may be cheaper than multiple less definitive tests in the long run and will give you peace of mind.

I'd also work out with your wife a budget and how much you can afford to spend to give youselves peace of mind.
post #4 of 7
The $$ I know is rough , but if this were a human child would you have the same question??? As far as tests do they suspect IBD>>?? Have you tried a very simple diet ?? Ask what will these tests prove or disprove and go from there... Personally I would likely never do a colonoscopy simpley since I had one ( okay a few) and wouldnt put an animal who may not understand what I said this was for through that ...
post #5 of 7
Plebayo - tuffy has had bleeding from his anus for a fair while now on and off and poor Tom has had lots of differing opinions, and tried different meds and food that have not helped Tuffy at all. Tom has tried everything for his cat, and still nothing, so you can imagine how frustrating it is for him. There's a long thread called "Tuffy is bleeding" about his problems if you want to read through that.
post #6 of 7
With times being what they are, I can sure understand how the expenses would concern you. I guess if I were in the situation I would look into that care credit info that I've seen posted on here. It is a place that gives loans for ememrgency help I think,. If I recall they pay direct to the participating vet?

Went off to find the link. It was posted by Zissou's Mom http://www.carecredit.com/providerloc/

Anyway... I'd probably do as the home town vet suggested and see if the meds help and take it from there.

Good luck to you and Tuffy.

Edited to add:
I just finished reading your other thread about Tuffy. Wow, what you and your Tuffy have been through.

One thing tht comes through loud and clear is that you really love tht guy and he is one special cat.

I was that you said the hospital has an arrangement with someplace so you can make payments if need be so there is that. It sounds like the Dr. you saw at the hospital is trying to be very thorough and gave you time and info rather than brushing you off. I guess I'd still say go with seeing how the meds work and then go from there. Perhaps these meds will help.

BTW... Your Tuffy is a spittin image of my Blondie, (except Blondie was a feral and has a cropped ear.

Again... good luck to you and I hope your Tuffy gets well real soon.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
His normal vet thought IBD but the specialist said his symptoms don't go with IBD but she didn't rule out some form of it. The specailist was more worried about why he is enimic [sp?] She didn't think he was bleeding enough to make him that way. He is now on a med to help stop the diarea and kill any infection he may have going on in there. I have to go and get the iron supplement yet for him to help build up his blood, I have to stop at the vet and write down what the stuff is to make sure I get the correct stuff.

He is now eating the HILLS z/d food that is for IBD, he really likes that stuff.

As far as the ultra sound the specialist told me it may show something and it may not depending on where the trouble spot is located if there even is anything that can be seen, she said a ultra sound will be blocked by bone such as his hips so if the trouble is between his hips it won't show on a ultra sound.

As far as tests to find a problem I had, it took about 15 years of suffering and different Drs and bunches of Xrays, cat scans, ultra sounds bla bla. Drs telling me its nerves or "all in my head" or I hurt because I am depressed and on and on. Well when I met Yvonne and we got married she talked me into switching to a good Dr she knew because at the time she was a RN in a local hospital here, anyway it took him a while and some tests to figure out I had a growth in my intestines that was blocking about 2/3rds of the intestine, so when food would have to get pushed by it would inflame and bleed and I would get such horrible pain I could not stand it, well in Jan of 2001 I had major abdominal surgery to find out what was in there and fix it. After the surgery the Dr came in and told me they had never seen what had happend to me before, I had a meckels diverticulum [sp?] which allot of people have but some how mine got turned or sucked or whatever into my intestine instead of just hanging on the outside of it. I was so angery at the old hospital I used to go to I sent them a real nasty letter about how I was treated and to get someone who could read a dam Xray, and how I was in the hospital for 2 weeks with a 9" scar down my belly to fix something that was "all in my head".

So I know how hard it can be to figure out problems like Tuffy has, even harder because he can't tell us how he feels or how much it hurts or that stuff. I will do as the vet said and give the med and supplement a chance to work.

From what I know from all the tests I went through I would think a colonoscopy [sp?] would show more than a ultra sound will with Tuffys problem, they all seem to think his problem is in his bowels not to far in because he don't have the black tary old blood when he poops, its a dark red and when the specalist did a rectal exam she said she had blood come out on the probe or whatever they use for that. I don't know how they do a colonoscopy on cats but when I had 2 of them done on me they put me right out so I never knew it happened and woke up with no pain or any problems.

Sorry for the long post and getting off track with my problems, I just wanted to let you all know that I am not totally in the dark when it comes to all these different tests he might need since I went through a bunch of them myself over the years.

They told me about the carecredit deal at the hospital, so if he needs more tests and it gets to be a ton of money I will have to go that route I guess, unless we have enough time to plan for the bills when we don't have to make a house payment or loan payment or that kind of stuff, we have to pay property taxes real soon so we will be way short of $$$ for a little while.
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