Surgery or Nothing for my Cat's Cancer?

by Susan
(Ft Lauderdale, FL)

After 3 different visits to veterinarians and xrays for my cat, unless I pay $2000 for surgery, they won't help my cat. I am trying to treat my cat holistically, but she has a tumor that is about to burst. The veterinarians all say PAY or they will let the cat die or you have to have her put to sleep. There are natural cures for cancer, but cancer is too big a business. They won't even give me antibiotics and I've already paid over $400.00. This picture of my cat’s tumor was taken 4 days ago, and now it's a big bubble about to burst with a hard ball beneath it the size of a golf ball. Because of their greediness, I may have to put her to sleep.

Dear Susan,

I am very sorry to hear about your cat’s health struggles. To be honest, I find it hard to believe any veterinarian who has examined your cat won’t dispense antibiotics if there is an infection involved with your cat’s tumor. Personally, I do not know of any veterinarian who would say that you need to have a $2000 surgery or they would not provide antibiotics for your cat. I think there must be some kind of misunderstanding.

Veterinarians do not make decisions for their clients and patients. They examine, diagnose, and make treatment recommendations for their clients. These recommendations usually include more than one treatment option, and then left up to the client to make the decision for his/her own cat.

That being said, however, veterinarians, of course, need to and deserve to be paid for their services. If you think you have been quoted a price that is too high for surgery, second opinions would be recommended, although it does sound as though you have already sought second and third opinions. What is unclear to me is whether you would prefer a surgical or holistic approach, or some combination of the two.

There are veterinarians who specialize in holistic cat medicine, and I would recommend that you should try to find one in your area if this is the treatment method you would like to pursue. If there are no holistic veterinary specialists in your area, you may be able to find one who would be willing to consult with you over the phone or through email.

Often, when we are overwhelmed with fear and grief over our beloved pets, we cannot always hear or interpret what we hear from the veterinarians providing treatment very clearly. Again, I cannot imagine a veterinarian completely refusing treatment of any kind other than surgery, and would be inclined to believe that there must be some kind of miscommunication.

Perhaps you can bring a friend or family member who is less emotionally invested in your cat’s health to help provide moral support and help sort through the various treatment options available for your cat’s cancer. Sometimes, having a more neutral person present helps us think clearer and sort through the best options for our cat care.

I will be keeping you and your kitty in my thoughts during this difficult time and wish you all the best in finding treatment options for your cat.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

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