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What Tests Are Necessary During Vet Visits?

mingking

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Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Feb 8, 2015
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Hello! Recently, my favourite vet disappeared from the clinic (I've been trying to look for her all over the internet and am always on the look out for her at work since she shops there) and I always felt like whatever tests she orders for my cat, would not be done unnecessarily.

However, two months ago, my cat became ill (he was actually just freaked out and ate very little for 3 days because a dog came to visit) and I had to see a different vet. I spent more than I had ever spent with my favourite vet and felt rushed and, to be honest, scammed. Long story short, I spent $400 on an anti-vomitting injection (when he had only vomited once a day before he became noticeably ill), pain management injection (vet squeezed his stomach and said he was in pain... but geez... his squeezes were DEEP), appetite stimulants pills (which I had originally just wanted), and a blood test to rule out pancreatitis.

When I actually bought him to the vet, he was already acting pretty normal but I thought I'd go anyway, just in case.

Anyway, my point is, what should I look for in a vet? What tests are absolutely necessary for common illnesses/symptoms that cats get? I just hate the idea of going to a vet and doing blood tests every single time for no reason. And I've been to my favourite vet multiple times for multiple different cats and she had not suggested a blood test ever but rather other tests and treated symptoms effectively.
 

maggiedemi

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Mar 26, 2017
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Your favorite vet worked at a Clinic? Did the second vet? I find that vets with the word Clinic in the name are much cheaper.
 

lalagimp

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Mar 7, 2017
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DC
It seems like every time I take my cats in lately they will run blood and urine, which is about $300. I am taking the boys in this summer for check ups since they've been on a raw diet since the new year and I know what I'm looking at.
I did get upset when we moved. I told them my cat gets coughing fits and the prednisolone clears it up for a few months but their old doc wouldn't prescribe since we'd moved. So then they run $500 in tests all over again. I just needed a $15 bottle of pills. I take my cats to this place because they're highly rated, cats only facility, that does not do declawing.
 

maggiedemi

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Mar 26, 2017
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When my cat had a UTI, my vet clinic cured it for $100. I was so scared because I read about it costing other people thousands of dollars. Some people might think clinics are too cheap to be good, but mine was wonderful.
 
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  • #5

mingking

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Feb 8, 2015
497
108
Your favorite vet worked at a Clinic? Did the second vet? I find that vets with the word Clinic in the name are much cheaper.
Sorry, they're actually called an animal hospital. But I didn't know that clinic typically meant cheaper!

To me, I will do whatever in my power to treat my cat and if that means spending $400, then fine. But it's really about not wasting money. So I'm not really looking for a cheaper vet but a vet that will do what's best for my animal and not for their pocket book and if I have to use a vet like that, I'll at least know what's bogus and what's not.

The animal hospital I go to completely changed hands so all the old vets disappeared. The second vet who was the owner was really nice too and often gave me discounts or free of charge tests. We built a good relationship so I'm just really bummed they dropped off the face of the earth....
 
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mingking

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Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Feb 8, 2015
497
108
When my cat had a UTI, my vet clinic cured it for $100. I was so scared because I read about it costing other people thousands of dollars. Some people might think clinics are too cheap to be good, but mine was wonderful.
Whoa!! That IS wonderful!
 

denice

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Feb 7, 2006
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I get what the vet was doing because I have a cat that has had IBD since he was only 18 months old. When a cats appetite falls drastically or they become anorexic a good vet will check for IBD and pancreatitis. Those are both common causes of appetite issues. Unfortunately IBD is a diagnosis made by a combination of symptoms and excluding all other possible causes and it is expensive. The only test that might, not always but will sometimes, give a definitive diagnosis is a biopsy. A cat can develop a serious liver issue called hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver fairly quickly after not eating or only eating a small amount for as little as 2 or 3 days. It is a very serious condition that leaves behind permanent liver damage, my IBD kitty had it. I think a vet that takes anorexia or seriously low food intake over a period of a few days in a cat is a good vet, an expensive one, but a good vet.
 

maggiedemi

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Mar 26, 2017
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Northern NY
That's true. Sometimes expensive tests might be necessary. I don't really know if a clinic could do those types of tests. I only know they do a good job with UTI's.
 

IndyJones

Adopt don't shop.
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Jan 13, 2017
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Where do you think?
Your favorite vet worked at a Clinic? Did the second vet? I find that vets with the word Clinic in the name are much cheaper.
That's not the best indicator. My clinic charges a bit more than the animal hospital
But you also get what you pay for at the clinic they are excellent there and are very good at communicating with clients and even will talk over Facebook if you don't have a landline.

The animal hospital on the other hand is not as good or as clean even. I saw dirt on the floor in there and it had an animal/barn oder like wet dog.
 

IndyJones

Adopt don't shop.
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Jan 13, 2017
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Where do you think?
My clinic does all kinds of tests blood (Wellness, CBC, T3, heartworm) xrays, urinary tests, fecal analysis, and even more I don't know about.

Only got sent to a specialist once when the dog needed skin grafting after a tumor extraction.
 

maggiedemi

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Mar 26, 2017
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Northern NY
I'm glad to hear that clinics are just as good. I know I like mine a lot and their prices are cheaper than all the other places I called. I don't think we have an animal hospital here.
 

neely

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Dec 22, 2005
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I don't know how helpful this will be to you but before I go to the vet I try to write down my cat's symptoms followed by any questions I might have in case I forget something while I'm there. That way I can decide what tests or treatments seem appropriate and within reason. I also ask the cost of specific procedures upfront and inquire what information or value they will have regarding my cat's diagnosis.

I have been very fortunate with the vet we presently use even when our former vet retired. Perhaps if you're not satisfied because, as you said, all the old vets have disappeared you may want to look into researching a new vet for a second opinion. Best of luck!
 
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mingking

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Feb 8, 2015
497
108
I get what the vet was doing because I have a cat that has had IBD since he was only 18 months old. When a cats appetite falls drastically or they become anorexic a good vet will check for IBD and pancreatitis. Those are both common causes of appetite issues. Unfortunately IBD is a diagnosis made by a combination of symptoms and excluding all other possible causes and it is expensive. The only test that might, not always but will sometimes, give a definitive diagnosis is a biopsy. A cat can develop a serious liver issue called hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver fairly quickly after not eating or only eating a small amount for as little as 2 or 3 days. It is a very serious condition that leaves behind permanent liver damage, my IBD kitty had it. I think a vet that takes anorexia or seriously low food intake over a period of a few days in a cat is a good vet, an expensive one, but a good vet.
That's a good perspective. Thank you! I'm just so afraid of vets who ask for blood tests just to get money. For instance, my friend's dog was coughing and they just asked for a blood test... and then when that did nothing, asked for an x-ray. When my cat was coughing, I did an X-ray right away and treated his symptoms. Found out he has an enlarged heart.

While I was waiting for the results of my cat's blood test, I kept thinking I'd rather waste $400 than to find out that he does have pancreatitis. The blood test came out clear fortunately.

I don't know how helpful this will be to you but before I go to the vet I try to write down my cat's symptoms followed by any questions I might have in case I forget something while I'm there. That way I can decide what tests or treatments seem appropriate and within reason. I also ask the cost of specific procedures upfront and inquire what information or value they will have regarding my cat's diagnosis.

I have been very fortunate with the vet we presently use even when our former vet retired. Perhaps if you're not satisfied because, as you said, all the old vets have disappeared you may want to look into researching a new vet for a second opinion. Best of luck!
That was very helpful! That last vet visit, I felt overwhelmed. One minute, the vet was feeling my kitty's stomach and the next, he took my cat to the back for injections (of course he asked if that was okay and I said yes). I think preparing myself like you suggested would be really helpful for situations like that.

My old vet would write down possible treatment options on his white board and explain what each treatment did. I would ask about cost and then he'd give me time to decide if I wanted to go for the treatment he suggested. I guess now, it's my job to do that!
 

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