The vet used the words “guarded prognosis” when she sent Mama Jewel and I hope with sub-cutaneous fluids and the order to force feed as much as possible. I honestly don’t think the vet expected her to live a week, let alone the nearly two weeks that she has since the visit, and she’s getting better. I’m thankful I work from home two days a week and that my husband is willing to take over feeding duties when I’m at work. With our tender care and a good schedule, I can see definite improvement in Mama Jewel. We might have a long road ahead of us, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we do, but each day brings more light in her eyes and more fieriness when it comes to feeding her. My fingers look like pincushions, so much so when my boss saw the band aids on my fingers she asked what happened. I told her Mama Jewel did, and being a cat person, she understood.

However given that our budget is tight right now and not only had the vet bill stretched it, but also the purchasing of a good quality (not Aldi’s or Special Kitty brand) canned food to feed her, well, the $20 the vet was charging for a bag of ringer’s lactate, which lasts us 5 days, added about $120 to our monthly budget. OUCH! Now granted, she isn’t going to need this once she starts eating on her own and since more is coming on Monday we’re running the weekend without it (she drinks on her own and I’m prepared to push fluids if need be). However, for as long as she does, well I needed to find a cheaper source.

Chewy to the rescue. Nearly everywhere I looked from the equine vet sites to chewy.com and the now-closing Drs. Foster & Smith, were half the price. Just about $10/bag. That works. My vet approved the order. It’s shipped, and should be here Monday.

We all want to do what’s best for our pets. I’m lucky in that the vets I’ve worked with also understand that I have the knowledge to deliver such care at home, am willing to do it, and that like most people, we have a budget. The IV needles are only a quarter a piece at the local feed store and the tubing as long as it stays connected to the bag, is good for as long as you need it. If I remember correctly hospital protocol is like two weeks or a month for IV tubing replacement.

The important thing is that you don’t feel bad about shopping around if you have the time and the ability to do so, and that you know it’s possible to do a lot of hospital care at home when you have the ability to do so. I’ll keep you updated, but I’m more optimistic than I was last week at this time, and that’s good.

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