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DanaDVM, Cat Answer Team
Category: Cat
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Experience:  Cat Expert
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cat: fibula, all vets have agreed is no big deal.

Customer Question

My cat broke her fibula, at home, alone. She is a housecat and has never been outside.
The fibula, all vets have agreed is no big deal. BUT the emergency vet told us there COULD be something else wrong, she couldn't read the xray well enough, and that she'd refer us to a surgeon to look at the xrays. She told us we should follow up with our own vet a week later.
We did, and for $95 more dollars (the first vet bill was well over $500) they took an unnecessary xray (they told us after they did it that nothing would have changed in that span of time) and told us they couldn't read them well, that they couldn’t see anything alarming, but there MIGHT be something else, and that they would send xrays to a surgeon to look at.
Now, the surgeon consult is free. I can't help but feel that it is in the best interest of the surgeon to say, "oh, let's just go in to be on the safe side". We have to have HIM examine our cat now, too, under sedation.
Surgery, which is thousands of dollars, really is not an option for me. If I needed that kind of surgery, I don't know what I'd do. Die, I guess.
There have to be other options, other kinds of animal doctors that can treat an injury without automatically saying surgery is necessary. Our only options simply can't be surgery or putting her down. She was walking around on her cast within 12 hours. How can I get an honest opinion from someone who actually knows what they’re doing?

Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  JoAnne replied 11 years ago.
I know of several agencys on the internet that may help if finances are preventing you from getting treatment mostly these agencys are relying on donations but they have online fundraisers also to help!

All vets go through a lot of education to be vets
just to reassure you Its no easy task to become one have faith in the love of your pet!
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 You dictate the treatment on your cat. If you say..."hey, I want a splint on the leg for 3-4 weeks...and then lets see where we are..." the vets will agree. You decide the fate not us.

It is not common for a cat to just break the fibula so they may be trying to figure out if there is a deeper problem.

You do not need to go to the specialist if you don't want too, but I in several studies across the nation...who have taken in  healthy animals to vets to see if they will overcharge or recommend unneccessary treatments 99.9% of them did not.  We are a pretty honest bunch of professionals with limited extra time. We don't need to make work for ourselves, I feel that you will be given options with success rates, it is up to you to decide what you want to do.

Please let me know if there is a specific question you would like me to further answer.


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Dr. V-
What are some of the things they may be looking for that don't show up on xrays? Can we call the specialist and tell him that we'd like to leave the splint on a little longer, then have him examine her? Both vets seemed to be wanting to push the surgical issue saying that if it was necessary, it should be done immediately.
I'm sorry if I offended you or disrespected your profession. I agree that veterinarians are honest professionals, I'm just incredibly frustrated that two clinics and two veterinarians haven't told us anything at all.
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 I will be honest, I can't even makeup what could be wrong enough with the fibula to warrant surgery. The only thing I can stretch is an actual involvement of the joint.

Why don't you call and just say..."Hey, I have a friend who is a vet and I am having a hard time communicating with them about my cats problem...can you explain it more medically so I can tell my friend?"...then write down what they say. I am hoping they describe the fracture to you and any other terms that haven't been explained to you.

We can try that..since I don't have access to the xrays.


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