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Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16856
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
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My Vet said my ill cat unless treated would only live about

Customer Question

My Vet said my ill cat unless treated would only live about 2 days he said it had a blocked bladder it would cost £350 to flush out We asked if it was cancer he said no after the flush out it did not work he did a exray ofter this stage WE think a exray or scan should have been done First Our cat had a bladder kidney Tumer we did not want him to suffer the removeall so we had to let him go Most of the first stage payment could have been avoided an exter £100 was charged a total of £450 go to a hospital they would exray first YOURS TRULY ***** ***** XXXXXX

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 3 years ago.
Dr. Barbara :

Hi Mr. William. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to be of assistance. I am so sorry to hear about your loss of your cat. A kidney tumor is very serious, and I agree that you made the right decision for you all after the tumor was found.

Dr. Barbara :

I also understand your confusion and concern with the order of the diagnostics. The problem here is that many, many male cats get urethral blockages that are fatal if not treated. . .we see these almost weekly! Kidney tumors, on the other hand, are very rare. In my 35 years of practice, I've seen one that I can remember.

Dr. Barbara :

When we choose diagnostics and treatment we go with what seems to be the most likely (based upon the history and our physical exam) to avoid unnecessary treatments and diagnostics and their cost. Your kitty must have had a distended bladder that wasn't expressible and so your vet felt that your kitty's problem was the most common cause of this, an obstructed urethra. For your vet to have taken abdominal x rays at this point would have been considered an unnecessary and costly diagnostic. . .until your kitty didn't respond in the expected way.

Dr. Barbara :

I am so sorry and hope that my explanation is helpful. Please let me know if you have further thoughts, questions or concerns, so that we can discuss those.

Customer:

Sorry this is a Vet cover up you do not take a leg off then exray like wise an exray befor would have been easyer and less costly i see you do not see it this way our vet told us our cat would not last 2 days SO pleanty of time for an exray .If this was your cat would you be happy Many Thanks this will go a lot futher Mr William Gibson

Dr. Barbara :

Dear *****,

Dr. Barbara :

I remain still very empathic about your loss!!!! At least in my life, there has been nothing as devastating as the loss of a pet. . .specifically my 12 year old lab Igor who suddenly was paralyzed with a spinal tumor. This was years ago, and I am still tender.

Dr. Barbara :

All I can say about your situation is that if your vet did a thorough exam of your cat including feeling his kidneys, and felt that the problem was urethral blockage, then an x ray would not be indicated, but an emergency catheterization of his penis to allow the urine to escape and not back up, possibly rupture the bladder, and destroy the kidneys. Guess I am being redundant here. I'm just sharing the usual course of diagnostics and treatment taken for a urethral obstruction.

Dr. Barbara :

Very, very unfortunately, your cat didn't have just a simple urethral obstruction (I say simple meaning quite common but very serious!) The only thing that would have prompted your vet to take an x ray initially would be if he could actually feel a lumpy or an enlarged kidney. This is not always possible!

Dr. Barbara :

I do ask a favor of you. I don't think that I deserve a rating of "bad service" as I have given you my honest evaluation of your situation. Your rating affects me on this site! If you just don't want to pay, I understand , and you can deny payment without rating me at all.

Dr. Barbara :

I can also put your question back into the question pool so other veterinarians can also address your concerns. I do this by "opting out". Please don't respond to me, or this will keep your question out of that pool and just route it back to me.

Dr. Barbara :

Thank you for allowing me to share with you.

Dr. Barbara :

Warm regards, *****

Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 3 years ago.
Hi,
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Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 3 years ago.
Hello, thanks for your question today! I am Dr. Drew, and I am a licensed veterinarian. I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.

When I've got a cat which appears to have a urinary blockage, an x-ray of the bladder is one of the first things I do, in order to check for bladder stones. While many cats with urinary blockages just have grit and sludge causing the problem, occasionally stones are the problem, and this changes the course of action that is required. Of course, a tumor could also be the cause of a blockage, as you've learned, unfortunately.

However, tumors are not always visible on x-rays, and so further tests such as ultrasound may have been useful, but most vets (myself included) don't routinely perform an ultrasound scan on a cat with a suspected urinary blockage.

So, an x-ray probably should have been done prior to other treatment, but there's no guarantee that the tumor would have been visible or apparent on x-ray images.