Over the past year, there has been one, single greatest cause of damage to our bottom line. Here it is:
This is Tony, my beloved, geriatric orange tabby. He’s quite possibly the sweetest cat I’ve ever met, and I’ve had him for just about 14 years. I’ll spare you the gory details, but last summer he was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is sort of the feline equivalent of Crohn’s disease. To achieve this diagnosis, he had x-rays, an ultrasound, a $1,200 endoscopic biopsy, and multiple visits with our regular vet and an internal medicine specialist.
Like Crohn’s disease, IBD entails periodic flare-ups that cause gastrointestinal upset. Each time, Tony stops eating, loses weight, and hides out. It’s very sad to watch, and I’ve typically taken him to the vet one or more times for evaluation and tests. We’ve experimented with several different medications – including about six weeks of a human chemotherapy drug that costs $150 a month – and have finally found one that works for him. (And it’s quite cheap!) I’ve also finally learned to monitor his flare-ups and adjust his medication to help him through them. This means a huge savings on visits to the vet, not to mention how empowering it is. Also, we found a food that he likes that is usually helpful to cats with IBD. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s a prescription formula, which costs over $4 a can for wet food and $60 a bag for dry food. Fortunately, after the initial purchase from the vet (which came with a money-back guarantee if he didn’t like it), I’ve found the food for a better price online.
Non-animal people cannot believe I’ve spent this much on my cat, but he’s part of our family. When I adopted him, I didn’t agree to take care of him only when he was healthy and inexpensive. While I wish he/we didn’t have to deal with this illness, I don’t regret a single penny I’ve spent on him. I just wish it hadn’t cost quite so many of those pennies…