Sunday, June 14, 2015

These Senior Cats

by Leann

Senior cats are wonderful. They are far more loving than their younger counterparts. But they also get sick, just like us old folks. Really sick. The immune system of a cat is very similar to a human's (and so are their brains.) They get what we get, only no Medicare for them. Pet insurance, at least the policies I looked at, don't really cover much that's serious.

I had a diabetic cat, Agatha Christie. Insulin is very pricey for a cat. When I had my precious Marlowe, who had seizures, he was taking phenobarbitol and the bottle I would get for a month cost more than $60. He also took a brand new antibiotic that was just as expensive. I had a tuxedo cat with FIV, named Archie Goodwin. That's the feline equivalent of HIV.
When he got sick, I would leave the vet with three or four bottles of medicine and a huge bill. I had a dog who developed ulcers on her cornea. She had to see a canine eye specialist and was on Restasis before it became a people medicine. That year I had several thousand dollars in vet bills.

Now, my daughter and her husband have been dealing with serious issues, even though their fur
friends are maybe a decade old or a little more--not really too old. One had a torn aorta and high blood pressure--that coming on the heels of some serious kidney stones. Kidney stones can kill a cat quickly--and so can a torn aorta! But he's a fighter and is doing well now. Their other cat, a pretty gray girl with gorgeous green eyes has been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease. Apparently that's pretty common in cats and also very hard to treat. It's quite complicated. There have been endoscopies and biopsies and numerous vet visits. It's also made worse by stress and of course going to the vet is stressful for all involved.

But we dole out the big bucks to take care of our pets because they are the ones who love us unconditionally. They are like our children. We adore them and would do anything for them. But I couldn't end this without mentioning that the $60 bottle of phenobarb for little Marlowe, come to find out near the end of his life, cost $12 at Walgreens. I do think there's a bit of problem with vets dispensing the medication if it can be bought instead at the local pharmacy with their prescription. I know some of the medicine is only for vet use but there is a big difference between $60 and $12!

If anyone has had a kitty with serious irritable bowel disease and you found something that really worked, I'd love to hear from you! My daughter is having a difficult time with her poor baby, who's been on every treatment you can think of. Thank you friends.
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