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Advice needed - Kitten with shortened rib cage (quite a long story)

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Naomi84, Aug 7, 2009.


  1. Naomi84

    Naomi84 PetForums Newbie

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    I really need some advice as I'm feeling really torn right now. I have two 4month old Bengal kittens, a boy (Leo) which is perfectly healthy and a little girl (Zena) who has a shortened rib cage (it looks like she ribs are squashed). Zena was given to us for free by the breeders as a companion to our boy as they wanted a good home for her and obviously wouldn't be able to sell her. She is really active and playful and runs around like a normal crazy kitten so her chest doesn't seem to cause her much of a problem, she just breathes a bit quicker than normal.

    The breeders said that their vet checked her over twice and said that her heart was fine and she shouldn't need an operation to correct her chest in the future. They said to have her checked out by our Vet and if they said she would need an operation in the future to correct her chest, we should bring her back as the breeder didn't want us to have to pay for an Op. So I took her to the vets yesterday and he confirmed that she has at least 2 ribs missing on each side and a hernia :( poor little thing. He couldn't guarantee that she wouldn't need an Op in the future and we just wouldn't be able to afford that kind of operation.He recommended getting her x-rayed when she's neutered but how much would that cost?

    My problem is that I don't think I'd be able afford to pay for an Op if she needs one in the future. I have no idea how much it would cost. Would I be able to get her insured with this birth defect? Or should I take her back to the breeder? I really don't want to but I think this is going to cause us a lot of heartache in the long run :( :( :(
     
  2. oh my goodness

    Well first things first

    The x-ray should only cost you a few pounds - maybe up to £30 as the anaesthetic is already being done for her spey.


    I would call her breeder, explain what the vet has said and then tell her you will be in contact after the x-ray, it pays to keep her informed all the way. Once the full extent of her condition is known then hopefully the vet can give you a quote for the operation. Go back to the breeder with the figures to hand and ask if she will pay something towards the treatment, as she has offered to. If you can i would start a little savings account for her, pop a little bit away each week (even just your loose change), it will help towards the cost of the op.

    On another note, did the breeder fully make you aware of the condition from the beginning and make you aware that an op may be necessary even if they thought it unlikely? I'm in no way getting at you, but i am just trying to understand if you knew what you were taking on in the first place, and if so were your financial circumstances different then?


    If your on certain benefits and live within the catchment area you might qualify for free or subsidised care through the pdsa or rspca. Worth applying for if you think you might qualify.

    Unfortunatly you wont be able to get insurance to cover her defects now, they are a pre-existing medical condition which your vet has already diagnosed and so would be exempt from any policy (as would any condition that could arise from her defects).

    I hope that helps

    If you feel like you cant take all of this on then the best thing to do would be to take her back to her breeder (providing she is a good breeder ;)). And if that fails a breed rescue centre attatched to the breed club. That way the rescue has club funds it could use if needed to help the baby.

    Horrible situation for you to be in

    hope i have answered your questions

    sal
     
  3. Naomi84

    Naomi84 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Sal,

    Thanks for your reply. The breeder told us that Zena would not need an operation in the future and they had a kitten in the past with a similar problem and is 5 years old now and doing well. Although I trust the breeder I wanted to get a second opinion from our vet but he could not give us the definite answer I was looking for. Unfortunately the Breeder did not say she would help with the cost of the operation and that we should just bring the kitten back to her if the vet thinks that she needs to have surgery. I have an inkling that they would not have surgery done even if it was necessary and they would just keep her as she is.

    Our financial situation has changed slightly since we took the kittens home as we have had a lot of sudden out goings which have eaten away our savings. However, we are not on benefits so we would not be eligible for the RSPCA etc. I think the problem is that I am imagining an operation costing thousands of pounds, is this realistic?
     
  4. I honestly dont know what the cost would be - try rining a couple of vets and asking for ball park figures and that you understand the figure is subject to change.

    Where is the hernia? is it a diaphragmatic hernia? - if so then thats likely to be harder to repair. If its a standard hernia like umbilicle then thats a relatively simple op.

    From what you have said i would be very suspect about the breeder. If they have had this problem in the past, it cant be a co-incidence that it has occured again. There must be something in their line that is causing this. Maybe they bred the same queen again or used to same stud - either way after something like that its imho irresponsible of them to have had it happen again.

    As i said before you can try to keep the breeder informed, but you have no obligation to hand your kitten back to her, and there is no way i would be giving her my kitten if i thought that there was a chance it wasnt going to get the proper treatment.

    When you have the figures you can ASK the breeder nicely to contribute to the costs, but say that you are unwilling for the kitten to be handed back to them. They may ask you to bring the kitten to their vet for a 2nd opinion, which is fair enough if you are asking them to pay.

    If they refuse and you really cant afford to have her treated then the best thing would be for her to go to a rescue centre who will make sure she gets the treatment she needs.

    You can ask your vet to allow you to pay in installments - many vets allow this now for large operation bills. They will charge you interest but its worth enquiring.
     
  5. WelshOneEmma

    WelshOneEmma PetForums VIP

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    This may be a little late, so not sure if it will help. One of my cats had an umbilical hernia when we got her (I know it is slightly different). But when she was spayed they went in from the stomach and fixed it then, at no extra charge. Speak to your vets, see if they will work with you. You never know, not all of them are in it for the money! :D
     
  6. Naomi84

    Naomi84 PetForums Newbie

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    Please see my 1st post below which explains about Zena's problem....

    Well we've had Zena for a month now and I took her to another vet on Saturday for a second opinion on her chest & hernia. It's not good news. The vet I saw this time said that she is a walking time bomb and really should be operated on because of the hernia being located in her diaphragm. He said that the difficultly she is having with breathing is probably caused by more fluid bring able to enter her chest and restricting the amount her lungs can inflate. Also, other organs could move through the hole and become strangulated which would kill her.

    He wants to operate to repair the hole but he has only done this operation successfully once. He warned us that the cost would be...£1000-£2000 and may not even be a success! I can't believe it! We took this kitten on to give her a better life and were told by the breeders that she wouldn't have problems in the future (apparently they didn't know about the hernia) but now we are faced with paying a very very large vet bill or leaving her as she is and hoping she doesn't die. We aren't on benefits is no way we can afford the £1000-£2000 as we are struggling to pay our mortgage at the moment. What do I do? Is there any way I can get financial help from somewhere?

    Please help!
     
  7. Elmstar

    Elmstar PetForums VIP

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    sorry ignore
     
  8. kozykatz

    kozykatz PetForums VIP

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    Hi, sorry to hear about the problems with Zena.

    I think you do need to return her to the breeder.

    Seems to me the breeder has been somewhat negligent in not finding out exactly what the problem was - it's wrong to sell a kitten that isn't in good health, and you would be within your rights to make a complaint to the registering body (assuming the kitten is registered which may be a false assumption!)

    I have had a couple of kittens with hernias (umbilical) and they did not leave me until the hernia had been repaired - it was done at the same time as neutering, but then my kittens are also neutered before leaving me.

    A diaphragmatic hernia is indeed much more serious and I can well believe that the operation would cost that much. However it is the breeder's responsibility not yours!




     
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