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Sickly Expensive January

>> Monday, January 30, 2012

It's been a fabulous last two weeks of January in my household.  And expensive.

The month's vet bills started with Rocky and Wednesday.

Wednesday we suspect is our carpet pee-er.  We brought her in to see if she might have a urinary tract infection.  But of course, the day we brought her in she had not a drop of urine in her bladder, so we have to bring her back again.  That was a wasted visit.

As for Rocky, he's had some fits of coughing and shortness of breath in the past few months, so we hauled his furry fat hind quarters into the vet.  X-rays followed, as did blood tests, and he got diagnosed with feline asthma.  Did you know cats could have asthma?  Neither did I.

The vet prescribed some steroids.  Ever given pills to a cat before?  Always a good time.

Then Simon got sick.  Really, really sick.  The poor little guy came down with severe diarrhea, which turned into bloody diarrhea, which turned into pure blood.  Within a few hours he went from his usual boisterous obnoxious self, to a shaky, lethargic, pathetic figure.  A few hours after my husband came home from the vet with Rocky and Wednesday, he wound up whisking Simon off to the emergency vet clinic.  Why do these things always happen after normal vet hours?

In the course of two days, Simon had x-rays, and blood work, and visits to the emergency vet (which charges more than $100 just for walking in the door) and our regular vet.  We spent a lot of anxious hours worrying about him, trying to make him more comfortable, cleaning up the mess, not sleeping, and trying to tempt Simon to eat a few bites of a bland diet.

We never did figure out for sure what Simon had but our vet thinks it was a virus, and because he's a puppy mill dog with rotten genes it just hit him far harder than it should have.  I think her conclusion is a valid one, because just as Simon turned the corner and started picking up his head and sniffing at his food bowl again, Phoebe came down with a mild case of whatever Simon had.  She never slowed down for a second though... she never does.  She continued to ricochet off the walls and stairs and furniture, and just had the runs for a day.

Thinking we'd finally gotten past the worst of it, I then came down with a horrid wretched cold that laid me up for a couple of days.  I've seldom had a worse one.

Then just as I started to improve, Rocky came down with an upper respiratory infection.  He suddenly got sneezier and snottier than I was.  I guess some upper respiratory ailments in cats are actually viruses that can stay in their systems for life.  I kind of wonder if the steroids suppressed his immune system like they do in humans.  But the advice we got was to "isolate him from the rest of the cats."  Ok, not a problem, we figured we could put him back in his attic.  After all, he was once the Attic Ghoul, and loved it up there.

Not so much now.

After a night of incessant yowling, and a busy day of trying to destroy my woodwork, paint and carpeting, I give up.  The rest of the healthy beasts are going to have to take their chances with Sneezy.  He's gotten a fair bit better already.  I'm going to hope he's no longer contagious.

The month's vet bills have surpassed the $1,000 mark, Wednesday still has to go back for urinalysis, and several pets are still due for vaccines.  And that's not taking into account the cost of having to recarpet the attic stairs.


It's a darn good thing they're cute.  DARN good, I tell you.

Speaking of cute, this is Pippin's way of letting us know he wants to come in.  He sits on the railing outside and peers in at us.  It makes me jump - I never expect to see a feline head up that high.  Here's hoping his extreme cuteness helps make up for some of the other less joyful aspects of pet ownership.


Ellen Rathbone January 31, 2012 at 6:26 PM  

Oy-vey! But we love our furry family members. Hope all are feeling much better.

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