Importance of pet insurance

The awful truth about a cat illness

I have a male cat 2.5 years old named Jinxy. He was a very active, funny, loving and wonderful companion until the end of May this year. He is my baby.

Suddenly he had a urinary blockage which can kill the cat in 12 hours. I did not know about this condition. I did not know that this is very common in male cats. I had always female cats in the past.

I rushed him to the vet when I saw him trying to pee and was in pain. The vet told me that he is blocked and she has to try to unblock his urethra. The bladder crystals formed were the reason for this blockage. The unblocking procedure involves the introduction of a catheter into the cat the urethra to flush out the crystals into the bladder.

The bladder is then flushed through the catheter to remove the crystals and any other urine sediment. The urinary catheter is sewn in and left in place for 48 hours to allow for inflammation in the urethra to settle down. It is then removed and the cat is monitored for an additional 24 hours to make sure that he does not “re-block,” which is possible. During this time the cat is placed on intravenous fluids. He will urinate frequently helping to “flush out” the bladder and clear the existing toxins. Medications are given to relief pain, urethral spasms and possible infection.

The kidneys quickly will begin to correct the metabolic tragedies that have been taking place as soon as the urine flow returns.

Some cats need one intervention and once de-blocked, they will go through a period of dietary treatment and they will never block again. Other cats will block again and if this happens several times, the vet will recommend a perineal urethrostomy surgery which involves the surgical widening of the urethra to make it more the size of a female urethra.

Jinxy's misfortune

Jinxy was unblocked 4 time in 2 weeks. Obviously the procedure did not work for him. The vet had to perform a perineal urethrostomy surgery.

He was discharged 1 week later and the first 3 days he seemed to be well. Then he started to develop a complication called urine leakage under the skin. This is caused by self-induced trauma (licking at the surgical site). To prevent it, the cat is fitted with an Elizabethan collar around his neck in order to prevent the cat from licking at the surgical site until the stitches are removed.

The urine leakage did not stop so I had to rush Jinxy back to the vet. She told me that he developed some scar formation and stricture which started to close the artificial hole she made. She had to perform the second surgery on him and 1 week later the third.

After the third surgery, the vet told me that she wants to leave the urinary catheter for 6 weeks. This will give the muscles and the flesh a chance to heal and to seal properly and thus preventing the urine leakage under the skin.

Jinxy was discharged 2 weeks later and I was very happy to have him home again. He was extremely happy too.

That night I watched him closely to see if he is all right. Unfortunately I had to confide him to a cage so he will not remove the catheter as he did before. A few hours into the night he started to pee blood. I rushed him to the vet again. The vet said that maybe he did hurt himself because he was trying to get out of the cage.

The vet decided to keep him into the veterinary hospital for 5 week so she can keep an eye on him. He is now there for 3 weeks and he has another 2 weeks to stay.

I pray to God that he will be ok this time. He is going through this entire trauma for the last 5 months and I am still not sure if this time the treatment succeeded.

The owner's trauma

I went through trauma myself. As the owner, I was stressed out during this sad misfortune. I did not have a pet insurance for Jinxy or my other cat Kitty. I always had female cats and besides the annual vaccination and check-ups, I did not have health problems with my cats.

The 4 unblockages and the 5 surgeries did cost me $14,000. In addition, the diet food, the antibiotics, the hospital stay added a lot to the vet bills.

If I had pet insurance for Jinxy, the financial stress could be avoided at least. The emotional stress of my cat being so ill would still be there.

My advice for all pet owners is:

Take out a Pet Insurance for all your pets as soon as you buy them. I have now pet insurance for my two cats and I only pay $36 fortnightly for them. This is a small amount considering that the insurance company will refund 80% of my cats bill.

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