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Costs of Amputation and Chemotherapy for Cats: What Did You Pay?
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The Rainbow Bridge

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3 August 2014 - 2:26 pm
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With many thanks to TriKitty Mona for suggesting this topic, we would love it if our feline Tripawds members would share details about amputation and, if applicable, chemotherapy costs. It will help many folks who are in the early stages of looking into this. I'm just going to copy and paste what's in this same topic introduction for our canine members, here goes:

When pawrents ask "What's amputation/chemotherapy cost?" we always respond with "it depends…." We realize this isn't a clear answer, and feel like we should have some more concrete info for them. It's terrible that we have to put a dollar cost on treatments for our best friends, but that's just the way it is I suppose.

So we are kicking off the following discussion, so people can see what others have paid in their part of the world, for amputation and chemotherapy.

Here are the questions we would love for pawrents to answer as best they can, in as few words as possible.

Please copy and paste the questions into your Reply, followed by your brief answers. 

Amputation Costs

  • What city/state/country/date did your Tripawd have the amputation?
  • Total cost of surgery?
  • Private practice or teaching hospital?

Chemotherapy Costs

  • What kind of cancer does your cat have?
  • What size is your cat?
  • Type of chemo given?
  • # of sessions?
  • Total cost of treatments?
  • Private practice or teaching hospital?

Knowing that there are so many variables like pre-op costs, complications, supplements, etc., there's no way to give an exact number. Ballpark estimates are fine. If you'd like to provide more information, feel free to start a new topic and link to this. We just want basic info here.

Thank you so much for any input you wish to share!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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3 August 2014 - 2:48 pm
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Amputation Costs for Mona

What city/state/country/date did your Tripawd have the amputation?   Comox, BC, Canada on June 13, 2014

Total cost of surgery?   $1,990 including medications, histology. Costs for x-rays and blood work were separate.

Private practice or teaching hospital?  Private practice, small clinic

Note: If the amputation is due to a vaccine associated sarcoma, the vet should report it to the vaccine manufacturer. The manufacturer should pay at least 50% of the amputation costs and potentially for radiation and/or chemotherapy if required.

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3 August 2014 - 4:40 pm
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Amputation Costs

  • What city/state/country/date did your Tripawd have the amputation?  Reno, NV, USA
  • Total cost of surgery?  Pre-op bloodwork, surgery and post-op meds were approx. $865.00; cost of diagnosis (x-rays, biopsy procedure, meds, and lab reports) was approx. $925, which includes immunohistochemical staining to get a definitive diagnosis of the type of cancer she has.
  • Private practice or teaching hospital?  Private practice

Chemotherapy Costs  

  • What kind of cancer does your cat have?  Awaiting lab results, will update when received.  General diagnosis of "round cell sarcoma" at this point.  Will know if chemo is required when diagnosis is made.
  • What size is your cat?
  • Type of chemo given?
  • # of sessions?
  • Total cost of treatments?
  • Private practice or teaching hospital?

~Melinda and Tri-Kitty Angel Kender

Follow Kender's story here

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3 August 2014 - 5:43 pm
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  • What city/state/country/date did your Tripawd have the amputation? Central New York (near Syracuse), March 2014
  • Total cost of surgery? $2,550 for surgery and overnight care + $755 for initial examinations, x-rays, and testing = $3,305 
  • Private practice or teaching hospital? Private practice specializing in orthopedic surgery
  • What kind of cancer does your cat have? Osteochondrosarcoma
The Rainbow Bridge

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3 August 2014 - 7:00 pm
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This is pawesome, thank you for getting this discussion going. Your info is so helpful.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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New York, NY
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3 August 2014 - 8:29 pm
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Thanks to Mona's mom for the suggestion! I am SO THRILLED we have so many new kitty members (not thrilled of course that they needed amputation, but you know what I mean!)

When I joined in December 2012, there was only ONE kitty - FANG - and Fang has led the way! Here is our info:

Amputation Costs

  • What city/state/country/date did your Tripawd have the amputation? NYC, 12/12/12
  • Total cost of surgery? All in $1900 - that included three nights in the hospital, did not include initial chest x-rays which were done a week prior to surgery
  • Private practice or teaching hospital? Private practice - Lincoln Square Vets - Dr. Jane Kosovsky

Chemotherapy Costs

  • What kind of cancer does your cat have? Giant Cell Osteosarcoma
  • What size is your cat? 12 pounds
  • Type of chemo given? Carboplatin and Doxorubicin
  • # of sessions? 2 rounds of each, alternating every other once every three weeks
  • Total cost of treatments? Between 350-450 depending on the drug - carbo was more.  That included blood work prior to treatment
  • Private practice or teaching hospital? Teaching hospital - Animal Medical Center in NY...Dr. Ann Hohenhaus

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JillTheTripawdCancerFightingKitty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

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4 August 2014 - 1:33 am
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Amputation Costs

What city/state/country/date did your Tripawd have the amputation? - central MI in July 2014
Total cost of surgery? 1307.04 / Break Down: 1187.04 - includes orthopedic office visit, hospital admission, all meds, surgery and surgery supplies, hour of anesthesia plus extra 15 minutes, and two night stay plus biohazard waste disposal; $120 for initial x-rays at private vet
Private practice or teaching hospital? - teaching hospital

Smore had her leg amputated due to an injury previous to arriving at our home.

I should say that Smore originally went in to have her leg repaired by an orthopedic surgeon and that surgery was supposed to be between 1200-1500; however they saw it would not work due to severed nerve and recommended amputation. I live in a rural area where my vet had quoted me at 500-600 to do the amputation because my kitten was only 4 pounds. When the orthopedic surgeon heard that, she agreed to keep the price around 1100.

Tina and Smore

(with the spirit of Pebbles watching from the Rainbow Bridge)

 

Smore is my tripawd kitty who adopted me one summer evening. She had an injury to her front left leg and had to have her leg removed July 17th. She was only 3 or 4 months old at the time. Now she moves faster than some four legged cats!

The Rainbow Bridge

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4 August 2014 - 7:04 am
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This is pawesome. Let us know if we are missing any questions we should include here.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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9 August 2014 - 2:02 pm
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Amputation Costs

  • What city/state/country/date did your Tripawd have the amputation? Minnesota
  • Total cost of surgery? $2318*
  • (Nicholas was diagnosed following a pathological fracture that occurred on a Friday night. The figure above includes emergency fees, pain meds, a full diagnostic work up, and 24 hours of hospitalization.)
  • Private practice or teaching hospital? Private specialty/emergency practice.
  • Diagnosis: Medullary osteosarcoma (right humerus).
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2 April 2015 - 12:10 pm
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Here are my costs for Alfredo so far.  I'm located in Mesa, Arizona, and his normal vet office is the one recommended by the Humane Society.  They have a variety of locations, I guess technically private practice?  The hospital where the amputation occurred is an off-shoot of those same clinics (VCA), just specialized.

From start to finish (this is over a year-long span):

  • Toe removal - approximately $800.  Additional costs for histopathology and an emergency re-bandaging on a Saturday night (over $100)
  • Ankle mass removal - approximately $700.  This included another histopathology and x-rays.
  • Foot mass aspiration - $180
  • CT scan - $650
  • Amputation costs (including hospital stay, blood work, pathology of the limb, medications, etc) - approximately $3100 on 3/30/15.

We have not yet received results of the pathology of the limb, sooo no idea where we're going for the next step (chemo or not), but this is where we're at so far.

The Rainbow Bridge

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2 April 2015 - 12:18 pm
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That's really helpful, thanks!

And if you're happy with the clinic feel free to put a note in our "Veterinary Specialists Referrals" Forum topic:
http://tripawds.....referrals/

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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27 November 2016 - 4:48 pm
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Amputation Cost

• What city/state/country/date did your Tripawd have the amputation?
East Lansing Michigan, US July 29,2016

• Total cost of surgery? $1,336 for surgery 3 nights 4 days + $856.95 blood-work, ultrasound,
x-rays, urinalysis $2193.17

• Private practice or teaching hospital? MSU Veterinary Hospital

• What kind of cancer did your cat have? Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Needle Biopsy ,xray, bloodwork - $457 Private Practice
Surgical Biopsy - $481 Private Practice

Total cost for soft tissue sarcoma to diagnosis thru amputation $ 3,131.17

Chemotherapy Costs - N/A

The Rainbow Bridge

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28 November 2016 - 9:55 am
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Thanks for sharing Holly!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge

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22 June 2017 - 5:25 pm
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Hey feline Tripawds, care to share your costs? Just bumping this up to get a more well-rounded picture of amputation costs for cats. Thanks!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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25 July 2017 - 2:04 pm
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We have not had our amputation yet, because Maceo is still going through pre-operative radiation, but we've been quoted for costs. Here's what we have so far (brace yourselves, it's scary):

Amputation:

  • Quoted at ~$4K, all in. Since it hasn't happened yet, I'm not sure how this all breaks down.
  • This would be for an amputation and scapulectomy with Dr. James Farese, who is a surgical oncologist (surgeon who specializes in cancer), in a private practice. We've heard he's one of the best in the country, so we definitely want to leave this complex job to him.

Chemo:

  • Again, have not started yet, but our medical oncologist here at UC Davis has told us it would be between $200 and $400 a month depending on which type of drug we go with. This seems like nothing compared to all the rest!

Radiation:

Radiation was not mentioned on this thread, but we are going through it, so here are the total costs:

  • $6000 (low estimate) to $7000 for definitive, 20-session radiation. The radiation itself is only about $1500 of that; the rest is daily anesthesia, scans etc.

Scans and tests:

We've spent a small fortune on scans and tests.

  • CT Scan #1 at an orthopedic surgery speciality practice called Nor Cal Veterinary Emergency: $2100
  • CT Scan #2 at UC Davis (where they have the most advanced and fine tuned machine that exists): $2000

In total, we expect this to be something on the order of $15K, not including hotel stays here in Davis (we are using credit card reward points for that, thankfully -- it is 20 nights, which adds up!).

We met a lady at the Davis clinic today during our dropoff, who said that she has spent $13K so far on her dog with cancer. She had a mastectomy and chemo, though I don't think she did radiation. 

We all agreed that vet insurance is the way to go for all future animal companions... 

Where does the money come from? Well, we are not taking vacations for awhile! And we're not about to retire anytime soon (plus we like our jobs reasonably well) so we have many working years ahead of us. It is definitely highly unpleasant to spend the money, but we are lucky that we have no debt and fairly steady money coming in (not gobs, but steady). I'd rather spend it on Maceo than on a trip to Italy -- which just seems kind of uninteresting to me now, if that makes any sense at all! 

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