Author Topic: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny  (Read 2463 times)

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« on: April 13, 2009, 01:59:39 AM »
Hello everybody,

Our little MooCat Benny has a small (smaller than your fingertip) bump just about in the middle of his belly.  My sister-in-law (who has worked at a vet for years and is graduating college and going into veterinary school), says it's a hernia, and it's not serious now but it could be later so we need to take care of it.

Obviously I'm going to, but I'm a tad strapped for money at the moment.  I have a couple questions for everybody about this.

I've heard of hernia belts... a band worn to hold in the hernia while the muscle tear heals.  Can these be bought without the aid or advice of a vet?  If so, where?  Should I try this instead?  The hernia is very small and disappears back where it is supposed to be if even the slightest pressure is applied... if I stretch MooCow out, it does this on its own, which sis said was good. 

Also... I asked my vet for a quote for the surgery needed to fix this, and he quoted me an estimate of around $400.  Now, my vet has been VERY reasonable with my rat costs considering he's at a chain (VCA) and I know there's only but so many strings he can pull... but when he quoted me also for a rat neuter, it wasn't in the computer so in the computer they used the same price quote for the youngest kitten neuter available... the youngest kitten neuter available was still like $150... which is WAY pricier than I would ever pay... we had all our cats neutered at a charity clinic downtown for around $30 each when they were around 10 wks old.  I am wondering if they will do this surgery (and if it would be cheaper), but I'm not sure if they will and I don't feel like I can count on that option although I will make the call.  Has anybody else had to have this surgery or a similar one?  How much did you pay?

Third... does anybody have pet insurance?  I have been thinking about getting it for Benny and my cat Isabelle.  Izzy is the one peeing where she shouldn't... I'd like to know if the insurance will pay for me to take her to be examined for a UTI and other stuff, possibly pay for anxiety meds if we decide that's what she needs.  Wondering if insurance will help with Benny's surgery like I think it will.  Does anybody have pet insurance and actively use it?  What company do you use and how does your plan work for these kinds of things?  Do you think it would help me out with either cat?  I am willing to wait a waiting period, I know some insurance companies have a 30-90 day wait period before certain types of treatments are covered to eliminate preexisting conditions... neither of these problems is an emergency right now, but I wouldn't wait longer than 90 days for Benny. 

Thoughts, advice, opinions?  Thanks...

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 12:40:40 AM »
Anybody????

Offline NutKitty

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 08:32:03 AM »
I really wish I could help, but I don't really know the answers to any of the above and I've never used pet insurance.  :/

I DID have a kitten with a significant hernia in the same location, but our vet took care of that when she was spayed and he didn't charge anything extra for it.  Mind you, we were friends with this vet, had dinner with his family, visited his house to help him with his computer and such, so I think he was very generous with his services simply because he liked us.  (I had a hedgehog with a cancerous growth in/around his eye, and the vet removed his eye, cleaned out his ears, clipped his nails, gave him a bath and even gave a kitten I had an antibiotic shot all for under $100!)

Too bad you don't live closer or I'd recommend him.  (he is in South Carolina, but that is a far drive from Virginia!)

Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe Dave and I will take our kitten to be neutered there...  it is a 40 minute drive for even us though.  :/

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2009, 02:07:25 PM »
Well, I'd drive that far for a vet that'd do all that for me lol!!!  My big problem right now is that one of my foster rats might also need a neuter. 

You know, when my vet heard where the hernia was he described it as an 'umbilical hernia' and wondered out loud why 'they didn't do it when they neutered him'.  The clinic that neutered Benny is a charity clinic... they do things at reduced prices to help out the cause.  I can call them, but I am not willing to be like "Y'all didn't do such and such on my cat blah blah a year ago and now he sick fix it" to them.  But I don't know if they'd do this surgery separately, or if it'd be any cheaper.  I hope he hasn't had it since he got neutered!!  I don't think so, though, we've only noticed it in the last couple months. 

Offline NutKitty

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 09:18:03 AM »
Well, here is the vet's website if you want to check it out...  but yes, a taaad bit far from you.  :)

http://foxnestvet.homestead.com/foxnest.html

I haven't spoken to him in probably over six years now...  wow.  (since we haven't lived in that area for that long...)  I should go check up on them some day. 

Super nice guy.

Offline nakedrats

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2009, 12:00:54 PM »

An umbilical hernia happens in kittens when the hole in the body wall where the umbilical cord came through doesn't heal correctly.  He most likely had this since he was a baby.  Vets will fix an umbilical hernia during a spay because the incision for a spay goes right next to the bellybutton, so it's easy to move the incision slightly and sew the hernia hole along with the spay incision.  There's no extra work and it fits right in with the rest of the surgery.  Neutering cats doesn't generally involve a belly incision.  Usually the male surgery involves opening the skin only, and even then you are at the rear end, not under the belly.  If your boy didn't descend one of his boy bits and kept it up in his abdomen, then maybe they would have noticed and fixed it.  A low cost clinic is not required to fix everything that's wrong with your cat unless you asked up front and paid for it.  You probably paid for a neuter, and that's what you got.  They may not even have known he had a hernia if you didn't tell them- did he get a full exam before surgery?  Once a cat is knocked out and floppy, the hernia usually retracts you can't really tell they have a hernia unless you look.  Low cost clinics are low cost because you don't get the extensive examination and extra perks (such as fixing something else while the cat's under).  If you want to get upset about it, you should ask the vet that examined him as a kitten before his neuter why they didn't find it.  If you wanted it fixed at the time of neuter you should have paid the higher fee to get both procedures done at your regular vet clinic.  Unless he's having pain or trouble pooping, it shouldn't be a problem that needs to be fixed right away.  Save up for it and get it done when you have the money.

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2009, 01:13:28 PM »
I should have mentioned that he was NOT neutered recently... he was neutered almost a year ago at eight to ten weeks old, with his brothers and sisters that we rescued (which is why we used the low cost clinic, we were at the time trapping, sterilizing, and re-releasing feral cats from my husband's campus out of our own pockets because they refused to do anything about it, so did animal control, and he kept finding kittens).  Benny was a foster that never left :)  The low cost clinic saved us like... I don't know... 1923846128346 dollars on spays, neuters, and shots for eight kittens and five adults... so I am very grateful to them, and would not storm in there going 'roar' over a hernia... but I also lost a lot of my trust in them with our very last rescue, Jersey.  My husband found her on the inside median of a highway, and she was sick.  They emphatically told me three times that it was just a kitty cold virus and it would go away in a week or two, to make sure she ate and drank well and gained weight (which she did).  Two and a half weeks later, she went septic and died.  I couldn't even get upset at the vet at this clinic for that... I have never met their vet.  Only the techs.  I basically decided that I would only ever trust the charity clinic with things that are obvious, cut, clear... with solutions that are just as obvious, like a routine surgery.  Shots.  Neuter.  Hernia.  But... saving isn't a bad idea because it is looking more and more like my rat would benefit from a neuter, so I may just call for a raffle or something. 

Offline forkyfork

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2009, 11:54:57 PM »
Well, here is the vet's website if you want to check it out...  but yes, a taaad bit far from you.  :)

http://foxnestvet.homestead.com/foxnest.html

I haven't spoken to him in probably over six years now...  wow.  (since we haven't lived in that area for that long...)  I should go check up on them some day. 

Super nice guy.

Thanks for the link. I was going to ask you what city. We are a little over 2 hrs away. Certainly doable.  ;D

Offline NutKitty

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2009, 07:08:37 PM »
Thanks for the link. I was going to ask you what city. We are a little over 2 hrs away. Certainly doable.  ;D

I'm not sure if you're asking for what city it is, or if the website answered your question...  but to be safe, here it is:

The FoxNest Veterinary Hospital
10445 Clemson Blvd
Seneca, SC 29678

Main Phone Line: 864-882-4488

Hope that helps!  I really don't know how much they'd charge though, since it has been so many years since we've been there.  I just know that the vet who owns the place is a huge fan of rescue in general, and even runs his own rescue facility there on the premises.  I guess it wouldn't hurt to find out their rates though.  :)

Dr. Ross is the one we knew...  I've never met the new vet they seem to also have there now.

Offline forkyfork

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2009, 07:51:40 AM »
Thanks. Yeah I figured it out from his site.

Next time I have something come up that can handle a long drive Ill give him a call. 
False alarm on my grumpy old cat. He threw up literally all over the house. I thought for sure it was something bad.

Come to realize that the glass of milk I told hubby to make sure got taken care of didnt (he said he was still drinking it)  so he had about a 1/4c milk.  >:(


Offline nakedrats

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 10:38:06 PM »

Sorry for getting a little upset.  I used to volunteer at a feral cat clinic and we do very little pre-op checking.  We look for major injuries or trouble breathing...  With 200 cats to do that day, we just don't have time to do much more.  Sometimes people got upset that we didn't fix problems the cat had while it was under, but we were strictly spay-neuter.

Thanks a lot for helping those cats!  I'm sure they are much happier and healthier thanks to you!  I know what you mean about fosters that never leave.  The two cats we've had were "foster failures".  We couldn't help it. 

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Your two cents needed... hernia on Benny
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 11:35:02 PM »
It's okay... I kinda figured that's where you were comin from, which was why I kinda explained a little :)  I would like to believe that lots of things can be resolved by explaining and exploring other perspectives and being open-minded (I know, not 100% realistic... but better than some other M.O.'s around here).  I really respect the kind of work you do, too, and someday hope to be doing it myself... I wouldn't ever 'look a gift horse in the mouth', so to speak. :)