Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Treatment costs

We had two cases of people asking for financial assistance this afternoon. Literally the minute after I had hung up with one person who had a sick community cat (and who is so poor, Rebecca will need to go down and help to pay the deposit first), an SMS came in from the second person.

What I emphasised to both is that there is a need to find a place for the cats to recuperate afterward. If the cats have nowhere to go, and will get treatment, after which they will not get appropriate followup, then there's no point embarking on the treatment in the first place because the cat will not get better. Basically if you have a course of medication to finish someone has to administer it promptly and properly in order for the cat to get well. In most cases, putting a sick cat that isn't recovered back on the street is just going to mean the cat gets sick again and dies.

The first woman was able to get a friend who has offered to take in the cat when it is recuperating. The cost of the treatment was also not too high and the cat has a good chance of recovery.

In the second case, the woman who SMSed has insufficient funds. The cats have an eye infection, which can be cured, but she cannot pay for it. She says they need round the clock treatment, which she cannot do. She said she would look for a foster.

The fact of the matter is that it is going to be very difficult to find a foster who is able to take in so many kittens with eye infections. For one thing, if the foster is holding other cats it could spread. For another, most fosters work too and round the clock care is not possible. Without the proper followup though, treating these cats once at the vet is not going to help.

One thing that quite a few people underestimate is the cost of hospitalisation. I do realise that sometimes there is no choice but to hospitalise the cats but please do keep the stay to a minimum if it is not out of medical necessity. One woman I know kept saying she was too busy to pick up her cat though the clinic kept calling and as a result, her hospital bill ran into the hundreds. Some bills I have seen are much more expensive in terms of the boarding costs than the treatment The clinic is not a boarding facility, so please find somewhere else to board them if at all possible. It will save you a lot of money.

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