Advice needed on deciding treatment for my cat

(31 Posts)
Thunderbolt Tue 31-May-16 01:54:12

I am feeling like the shittiest owner in the world right now and I just really need some advice without being flamed because I am torn and so upset. I've been stressing about this for the past 2 days.

On Saturday morning my cat was hurt somehow. He has a corneal laceration and ulcer and possibly uveitis (which could lead to glaucoma?). His eye is a horrible mess and he is in pain. The vet says the injury is very severe and would like him to see an a veterinary ophthalmologist as soon as possible to try and save the eye.

Of course I want to do everything I can to get my cat the best treatment but I have to consider the financial side of this too. I do not have a lot of spare cash and no savings. He is insured and I'm pretty sure any surgery done by the specialist would be covered by that but there are other costs. The consultation fee alone is £150 and that would have to be paid on the day. The specialist is also about 70 miles away and I can't drive so I'd have to take buses and the train which will also cost a lot. I'd probably have to make several trips too, with my 5 year old in tow. I don't have any friends or family to help out either. What if the treatment ends up costing more than the insurance will pay out too? I think I would have to put it all on a credit card (if I could even get one). Just to be clear, I wasn't in such a terrible financial position when I adopted my cat originally.

Of course, even with all that there is no guarantee that the eye could be saved, even after surgery or weeks of treatment.

The other option is to continue with the treatment he has now and hope it doesn't get worse and eventually heals. Risking infection, blindness, etc. I don't think this is a good idea.

Or there is enucleation. Obviously there are risks associated with this but I feel like in the end it will be less traumatic for my cat. No long, drawn out treatment where he has to have 5 different types of eye drops given multiple times a day and so on. He's young, he'll have no problems adapting to having only one eye. The vet says there is a risk of him going permanently blind in the remaining eye but from everything I've read tonight it's a low risk.

Obviously I leaning towards enucleation... but maybe that is the totally wrong decision and I should do everything I can to get the money together to see the specialist.

What should I do? Is there anyone out there who has been through similar? Please help me! I don't want my cat to be in pain but I don't want to make the wrong decision.

VimFuego101 Tue 31-May-16 02:34:04

Enucleation means removing the eye, I assume. I'm sure the cat would adapt fine to that; I've known completely blind cats even do fine. The only thing to consider is whether you would let him outside with one eye, would he be safe to cross roads etc with limited sight?

Thunderbolt Tue 31-May-16 02:46:54

Sorry, yes, removing the eye. I think he would have to become an indoor cat. He already is happy to be walked on a harness and lead so would be able to go outside that way.

Do you think removing the eye would be a sensible decision?

I keep going back and forth. Maybe attempting to save the eye would be worth the money?

My poor cat! I feel so sorry for him. He's so unhappy. sad

stareatthetvscreen Tue 31-May-16 03:01:17

i think i wd go for removal

some experience here of treatment at specialist hospitals and imo you get sucked in to having to spend a lot of money very quickly.even if you can eventually claim it back it has to come from somewhere initially.

my experience was that the hospital wanted a lot of money upfront - we argued and got some deferred but it annoyed me as we didn't want to have to consider the finances so much at that distressing time.in the end the hospital were v keen to keep running more tests and investigations - obviously at more costs - so we decided to stop, bring our cat home and go from there.

he's fine now - on meds from local vet smile. good luck.

Thunderbolt Tue 31-May-16 03:28:38

Thanks, stare, glad your boy is doing fine now!

I do worry about being pushed to do more and more tests, since I'm unable to say no when asked directly, or that one surgery turns in to two or more, especially if I have to pay up front rather than the vet making a direct claim. Oh, it's unfortunate, I do wish I could just say "Yes! Get him the best treatment available!" but I can't. sad

I've just given my little cat another round of eye drops and he hates it so much. Until yesterday he had never once hissed or scratched me and he doesn't even want to snuggle. I dread the thought of long term medication too but if it has to be done then obviously I will.

I'm so tired but I only have until about 9am to make a decision and I can't do it.

stareatthetvscreen Tue 31-May-16 03:52:41

the 'best' treatment for your cat may be to have the removal done - think about getting a second opinion

try and sleep - i know your mind goes into overdrive at times like this smile
you might find it easy to make a decision in the morning

Thunderbolt Tue 31-May-16 10:35:58

I still haven't decided what to do. sad

ApologiesToInsectLife Tue 31-May-16 10:43:02

I had a one eyed cat (rta) and he was absolutely fine. I think I would go for removal too. It's about quality of life, always, for pets and months of treatment he hates that may change his view and trust of humans vs an operation that will involve a couple of weeks of treatment is a no brainer to me. Keep it simple and think about what is best for your cat.

ApologiesToInsectLife Tue 31-May-16 10:44:20

Also having one eye doesn't mean he would have to be an indoor cat.

Thunderbolt Tue 31-May-16 11:24:10

Thanks, apologies. You're right about keeping it simple and that he will adapt just fine to having one eye.

OK, I'm 99% sure I will say no to the specialist and push for removal.

NeedACleverNN Tue 31-May-16 11:30:50

I think it would depend on the cat which treatment I would go for.

A placid cat I would risk full treatment.

One who is a bit flighty and gets upset being manhandled too much, removing the eye is the right course. Quick and easy for them and no restraining for weeks on end

Thunderbolt Tue 31-May-16 11:41:07

NeedA, he is normally a very loving and cuddly cat who never bites or scratches and likes being held but he has hated the past few days. It is such a struggle to give him his meds, he yowls and cries and scratches. He wont come near me now and runs away if I try to pick him up. sad I can't imagine having to keep this up for weeks and weeks.

NeedACleverNN Tue 31-May-16 11:43:16

Then losing an eye is the least traumatic path and one I would pick.

They will adapt. Very quickly in fact

Thunderbolt Tue 31-May-16 11:48:15

Thank you, NeedA.

I'm just about to ring the vet and tell them my decision.

bluetongue Tue 31-May-16 12:03:14

Don't feel bad about going for removal. The 70 mile trip on public transport alone would put me off the specialist tratment.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 31-May-16 12:26:16

Many years ago my poor Dad accidentally run over my Mum's cat (Dad was the kindest, gentlest man you could meet and was devastated). Back then the only option was to have the eye removed and she coped perfectly well with one eye.

I also agree with bluetongue, the journey alone would cause your cat trauma. My vet wanted to refer my cat to a dental specialist but we chose to continue treatment with her rather than put him throught the trauma of several long journeys.

Thunderbolt Wed 01-Jun-16 01:32:04

Thank you, blue and Pink.

We have another appointment this afternoon to discuss treatment again now we are definitely not seeing the specialist. Both vets seem to be very much against enucleation so I will hear them out about any other possible options but my cat is very stressed out and I think it would be unfair to keep up this medicine regimen for much longer. He's getting worse at taking the eye drops (he needs a lot of drops multiple times a day) and just runs away from me, even if I have something tasty for him & only want to stroke him. The ulcer looks a lot bigger and more bulging too which is worrying me.

Maybe the eye drops could be helping. Fingers crossed for good news and a proper plan of action.

Thunderbolt Wed 01-Jun-16 15:37:22

Well, he is having his eye removed tomorrow. We saw a different vet and he agreed it was the best option.

stareatthetvscreen Wed 01-Jun-16 18:41:13

hope it goes well

cozietoesie Wed 01-Jun-16 19:51:33

Good luck to him. Let us know how it goes.

RubbishMantra Wed 01-Jun-16 20:39:44

Poor cat and poor you.

Like you said, months of treatment could be more likely to distress him even more. As PPs have said, cats will learn to cope with one eye. Better than him being a nervous wreck. flowers for you both.

Thunderbolt Thu 02-Jun-16 19:15:44

Thank you all, I really appreciate it.

He's home now! The op went well, he is up and about and his sight is fine so far. He's had a cuddle but is obviously feeling a bit off and a bit grumpy so I've made him a comfy bed in his favourite hiding spot and he's camped out there. Just about to make him some chicken since he hasn't eaten in about 24 hours.

Fingers crossed for an easy recovery!

cozietoesie Thu 02-Jun-16 19:43:18

Very pleased it went well for him.

Thunderbolt Fri 03-Jun-16 21:07:14

Thank you, me too. smile

Even though it's only been a day the difference in him is amazing, he's pretty much back to his normal self! He's eating lots, playing, having cuddles and so on. He even takes his meds with no complaint! He is not bothered about his stitches in the slightest and has had no problems jumping and climbing and bird watching. He even looks healthy now, his fur is no longer dull and lank and his remaining eye is bright and shiny. smile

Wolfiefan Fri 03-Jun-16 21:13:07

This so sounds like you made the right decision for your cat.
I know an animal (not cat) that had similar. Uveitis recurring. In awful pain. Really unhappy. Fortune spent on treatment. Eye removed. Instantly better.
Good luck. Hoping for a speedy recovery.
Read an amazing book about a blind cat called Homer a while back. Inspiring!

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