Emergency 5 :: Hospitalization - What to Expect / Costs of Compassion

At some point in your kitty's life, you may be faced with an emergency or hospitalization. Below is a general example of what you might expect should your kitty require hospitalization. Please see our Feline Health Summary for tips on finding a qualified veterinarian or emergency hospital. It is always a good idea to have on hand your veterinarian's phone number and that of an emergency hospital's number in the event of an emergency. Please keep these numbers near your phone at all times and easily accessible.

Hospitalization - What to Expect

Once your vet has examined your kitty and assessed the situation, he may discuss with you the following diagnostics to help him treat your kitty. Please listen carefully as he explains these options, what they entail, and their costs involved. Be prepared that some tests and other diagnostics can take time to achieve results, and some can indeed be costly. One you have a complete understanding of your vet's recommendations, you will be better able to make the decisions that best benefit your kitty and her recovery. The following is an example of the diagnostics often involved in emergency care situations:

  • Exam
  • X-Rays
  • Additional X-Rays
  • CBC
  • Chemistry Screen
  • PCV
  • Glucose
  • Ethylene Glycol Test
  • Blood Clotting Factor Test
  • Fecal Analysis
  • Urinalysis
  • Pre-surgical Screen Test
  • FELV/FIV Snap Test
  • Heartworm Snap Test
  • ECG

The following is an example of common surgical emergencies:

  • Fracture Repair
  • Luxating Patellar
  • Caesarean Section
  • Pyometra
  • Cast Application
  • FUS/FLUTD blockage and Catheterization
  • Hernia Repair
  • Abcess (clip, cleanse and debride)
  • Suture Laceration
  • Enema
  • Endoscopy
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Exploratory Surgery
  • Oxygen Therapy
  • IV Fluid Therapy
  • Anesthesia
  • Injections
  • Intensive Care

Your vet will perform necessary diagnostics in order to help him best treat your kitty, and he will discuss his findings with you. He may suggest additional diagnsotics that may require your kitty remain overnight in the hospital for observation and other treatment. At this time, he may quote you for the costs involved in these procedures and will explain to you when you can expect to recieve test results. If your kitty must be hospitalized overnight, please make sure your veterinary hospital is a 24-hour facility in which an attending veterinarian is present, on call, and that an attending technician or attendant is available to observe and monitor your kitty. If your veterinary hospital does not provide 24-hour care, either opt for one that does, or speak to your vet in further detail about what to expect if your kitty is not observed overnight. Depending on the emergency situation, ideally, 24-hour care should be applied.

Your veterinary hospital should allow you to visit your kitty, but make sure you understand the hospital's visiting policy or if you must wait for normal business hours. Always leave your phone number with your vet so that he can contact you in the event he needs further information from you, or if he needs to contact you regarding your kitty's care overnight.

You may feel free to leave kitty's favorite blanket, toys, or item of your clothing to add to kitty's comfort while being hospitalized. If your kitty must be hospitalized for several days, please try to visit her as often as you can, as bonding encourages healing. Your presense can help kitty feel more comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings and will encourage her to heal.

Costs of Compassion:

Many owners are discouraged at the cost of veterinary care, and emergency care is no exception. Below is a table to help you understand these costs and why they are necessary. Remember, veterinary hospitals are a business just like any other business, and your vet must take care to ensure he remains in business to ensure your kitty gets the care she deserves. Emergency services are more costly than general health care services. The following table is a median cost range for emergency services that may vary in geographical location, veterinary hospital vs university hospital, and generalized vs specialized services. Please take these considerations to heart when you are faced with necessary costs.

Emergency Exam / Fee $50 - 75
CBC $22 - 50
Chemistry Screen $45
Ethylene Glycol Test $25
Glucose Test $15
PCV $8
Blood Clotting Factor Test $20
FELV / FIV Snap Test $24
Fecal Analysis $14
Urinalysis $16
Heartworm Snap Test $24
Pre-surgical Blood Screen $28
X-Ray $30
Additional X-Rays (each) $20
ECG $28
Ultrasound $80
Fracture Repair $160
Luxating Patellar $240
Cast Application $40
Abcess (clip, cleanse and debride) $18
Suture Laceration $20
Enema $15
Endoscopy $40
Hernia Repair $35 - $320
Pyometra $140
Caesarean Section $140
FUS / FLUTD Blockage / Catheterization $50
Blood Transfusion $80
Exploratory Surgery $130
Anesthesia $36
Oxygen Therapy $20
IV Fluid Therapy $22
Sub-Q Fluid Therapy $18
Injections $8 - $12 per injection
Hospitalization / Intensive Care $1 per hour

* Please remember that these costs are median and may vary in location, etc. Equally important is keeping in mind that your vet is being charged for outside lab services and he must ensure his inventory is kept in pharmaceutical drugs, lab equipment and supplies, medications and other treatment supplies. He must also pay staff wages, upkeep in equipment, pay for educational materials, and keep a steady stock of retail items and dietary products. When you take these things into consideration, it will be easier for you to understand the costs of emergency medical care services as well as general health care services. Again, remember that the veterinary hospital is a business and must charge a fair and equal charge in order to continue to provide your kitty the best care that she deserves.

If you think you cannot afford an emergency procedure, do not despair. Where there is a will, there is a way. Many vets will consider payment arrangements as long as you try to leave a suitable down payment. Some vets also allow you to leave post-dated checks. If these options are not available to you, ask a family member or friend for monetary help until you can afford to reimburse them....sell something of value, the options are limitless and your kitty may be depending on you to ensure she recieves emergency veterinary treatment in the event of a serious health situation or crisis.

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