Cat Health: January 2009 Archives
The Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center of Kansas City is urging every pet owner to take their cats in for regular check ups because early detection of disease or illness can save you money on costly vet bills and can even save your cat's life.
When your cat is acting out of the ordinary, we all think, "well, let's just see if he heals on his own." But because cats are so stoic, sometimes they've been in pain or have suffered for a long time before you even know there is something wrong. By the time you see they are not well, they've already been sick for a while and taking them to the vet then is almost too late - the bills are big and it might be too late to help your cat.
Regular check ups can detect illness early. Wendell wrote an excellent post on what to expect at a vet exam. Your vet will feel your cats internal organs, by pressing on his abdomen, will listen to his heart and lungs and will check his eyes, ears and mouth. All of this poking and prodding is an excellent way to detect any problems early. Then you can have options for treatment.
If you wait until you see a problem with your cat, sometimes the options are an expensive treatment or euthanizing your cat - not what anyone wants. So take your cat in, even if you think you can't afford it. Most vets are understanding of people's financial situations. Often they will help you out with payment plans or direct you to a low cost vet clinic.
In any case, even if you are taking you cat in for regular checkups, which for a normal, healthy cat that has no medical condition, should be be once a year, you also need to watch out for certain symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
In addition to regular check ups, take your cat in when you see these symptoms:
Cat is not eating for more than 24 - 48.
Cat is not drinking.
Cat is not able to sleep or get comfortable.
Cat is vomiting for 24 hours.
Cat tries but is unable to vomit.
Cat has blood in his stool or vomit.
Cat is not responding normally.
Also if you aren't sure, make a quick call to your vet's office, they won't diagnose over the phone, but they will certainly ask you questions to determine whether or not you should be taking your cat in.
If you are on a tight budget and barely keeping yourself and your cat fed, what will you do if your cat starts to get ill? Sometimes treatment is only a matter of $200.00 - $300.00 and your cat is back on his feet. But what if you don't have an extra $300.00 when you need it?
In cases like that, pet health insurance might be the best bet. A beloved pet who is part of your family doesn't deserve to be euthanized over a few hundred dollars. But there is something you can do right now to help keep your cat alive if an expensive illness comes up.
Pet Health insurance is usually one time payment that covers your vet bills for any new illness. Read the fine print, the insurance usually won't cover routine shots and you'll have to keep your cat's shots up to date in order for the insurance to be valid. But if this is something you plan on doing anyway, insurance will help you pay for anything over an above those usual pet expenses.
Another reason why pet health insurance is a good idea is because of advances in technology and specialists in the field of veterinary medicine. With pet health insurance you'll be able to give your cat the best possible treatment without having to worry about the expense. If your cat needs a specialist, you'll be able to take your cat there and the vet will be able to use the most advanced medical treatments and the insurance will foot the bill.
Pet owners and vets can benefit from a third party paying for medical expenses but the really, the one who benefits the most is Kitty.