blood tests every 6 months for veterinary meds - is this new?

(8 Posts)
raggedymum Sat 23-Feb-13 09:10:15

So we have a cat with kidney failure who is on meds for it. We've recently moved locally, nearer to a different office of the vet group we used. I phoned up the new office to get a repeat on the kitty's meds, and she asked when did the cat last have blood tests? Since it was Oct, she said that was fine, but the law says that cats must have blood tests every 6 months in order for them to give repeats. We'll need a blood test before our next repeat.

Thing is, we've been getting repeats from the old office for years, with only a few blood tests -- the one in Oct was because I was worried about her, and wanted her checked out (she's doing well...). I was surprised. Is this a new law?

It could be quite expensive if this goes on -- they said kitty had a year or two left 4 years ago, so we have no idea how long she can hang on! It seems a bit punitive. I really love my cat, and we're already shelling out a lot of money for the medicine; to require expensive blood tests twice a year on top of that, in order to keep her on the medicine that improves her quality of life is rather troubling. We're getting squeezed in budget, and this is not something I had incorporated into my plans!

It really doesn't sound right - I would guess it's more to do with the policy of that particular vets rather than the law. Why don't you phone a couple more vet surgeries and ask them what their policy is?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 23-Feb-13 20:11:59

The law states that the animal should be in the vets care. My practice has recently had a visit from the veterinary medicines directorate (who control vet meds) who agreed with our practices policy that animals need an examination for heart problems at least every 3 months and other problems every 4 months - this does not include a blood test every time. There are certain conditions that we recommend a regular blood test for, but the law says under your care so clinical examination satisfies that,
Hope this helps.

cozietoesie Sun 24-Feb-13 10:08:32

I rather suspect that something was a bit lost in translation between the vet and the (presumably) vet assistant taking the order for the repeat. I do know, however, that seniorboy is on NSAIDs for arthritis and his vet likes him to have regular blood tests because of the possibility of kidney damage through long term use of those meds. He's not getting a blood test rigidly every six months but they're certainly regular -and of that order - because that's a good way for the vet to find out what's going on. They don't like doing it any more often than they have to because it's such a production number. (Towels, two vet assistants and more stress for the old boy.)

I think you're likely going to have to resign yourself to more frequent tests even if the new practice were a bit 'enthusiastic' about dictating the timing. Unfortunately they're not cheap - but sadly, them's the breaks with kidney issues.

cozietoesie Sun 24-Feb-13 10:20:46

By the way, they really do seem to use them. Seniorboy had to go in last week because he was a bit off colour and had to see the other practice vet because it was short notice. She doesn't know him as well and was pouring over the results of his previous test on the computer in detail before making any decisions about treatment.

raggedymum Mon 25-Feb-13 07:43:33

lonecat - that makes a lot of sense. I understand needing to see the animal, and then the vet can decide if a blood test is needed. Back in Oct they said she didn't absolutely need them, as she was looking very healthy, but as she also has hyperthyroid which isn't treated, I wanted to make sure things weren't sliding away without us noticing. The vets are the same people, it's just the office staff who are location-specific. So I guess I'll take her in next month to get examined and see what they say.

portraitoftheartist Wed 27-Feb-13 21:11:39

Is the treatment actually improving your cat's quality of life? Our old cat had kidney failure and hyperthyroidism but lived very happily until the day he stopped eating, when he was pts. He ate and drank a lot but didn't suffer at all so had no treatment.

If the drug is Fortekor then it definitely makes a huge difference. Not only does it reduce symptoms but it also extends life considerably - even by a couple of years or so. So I would say it's definitely worth giving the treatment.

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