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An expensive week at the vets

Posted by on Friday 12 November 2010 in frugal | 1 comment

We’ve had an expensive week at the vets this week.

Our old cat Boron has always been more prone to dental problems than the others: he had to have his top fangs (amongst others) out a few years ago, giving him a wonderful gurning grin, then on Monday, he had to have pretty much the rest of his teeth out. He’s now just got one left, a molar or premolar I forget which.

At £240, it was an expensive day out for the little chap but he should be happier now – I suspect his gums were hurting a lot before.

But there’s more. As part of the pre-op blood tests, they found he had slightly higher than normal T4, which means he’s got hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is apparently an increasingly common condition in older cats – although according to some sources, it’s probably not actually increasing in frequency, it probably just increasing in diagnosis. Just about every very old (14+) cat I’ve ever known has been a bit too skinny and not as rigorous about keeping their fur as immaculate as they used to be – I always assumed that was an old cat thing but it seems like it’s probably hyperthyroidism.

There are apparently three ways to treat hyperthyroidism – an operation, radiotherapy (which gives them radioactive poo for 3-5 weeks!) or ongoing medication every day for the rest of their lives. The radiotherapy thing isn’t an option – it costs over £1500 and the cat has to live in a special cattery for it’s glowing poop period – and our vet kinda glossed over the operation option (telling me about how they’re reluctant to operate on hyperthyroid cats because the common hyperthyroidism symptoms – such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure or damage to other organs – make it a danger to operate — but Boron had an operation on Monday…). So it’s pills every day for the rest of his life.

If we buy them monthly from the vet, it’ll cost £28 a month (93p a day). If we buy a full tub from the vet – 100 tablets – it’ll be £71 (71p a day). I can get them cheaper online – £41 for the 100 tablets, although I’ll need a prescription from the vets for £10 – but still 51p a day in total. There will also be ongoing monitoring blood tests (one after a month, then hopefully just every six months) which are about £40 a pop.

Boron’s a marvellous, loving cat and in the ten years we’ve been together, he’s never been an expensive high maintenance cat so he’s worth it. Knowing about it now, there is no way we can not treat it but it’s another thing to add into the budget…

One Comment

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  1. Colette O'Neill

    He now has a lovely lopsided look, poor sweet!

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