Weekly Update: HTML, FLUTD and Ethical Insurance Dilemmas
Well, it seems silly to have a journal and NEVER write in it, so I thought perhaps I would do a Monday update. This might
be the only Monday update or it might become a weekly thing. :)
It seems possible that I might even use this as an opportunity to improve my very weak html skills.
This is big.
This is bigger.
This is biggest.One fish,Two fish.Red fish,Blue fish.
Well, wasn't that fun! Aren't you glad you wanted me to update my journal, justnathan
I've spent the day learning about pet insurance. I'm honestly amazed at how tempting it is to try to defraud an insurance company.
Here's the story. My cat, Euphrates, has developed struvite crystals in her urine. This is a form of FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) that is caused by urine that is too basic. The treatment is fairly simple at this stage -- she just has to eat prescription food that helps acidify her urine. This was diagnosed about 3 months ago. However, my other cat, Tigris, is not supposed to eat the prescription food because it can make her urine too acidic -- which causes a different kind of crystals to form. I tried to feed them separately, but it was impossible to feed one type of food to one cat and another type to the other. True to Murphy's Law, each cat liked the food that she wasn't supposed to be eating better than the food that she was supposed to be eating.
I spoke to the vet and decided to just try them both on the prescription food for three months. Euphrates stopped peeing on the bed (which was what sent us to the vet in the first place) and everything seemed okay. Except BOTH cats had lost 3/4 of a pound when we went back for a 3 month checkup. Now some of you may have 20 pound cats and this wouldn't be a big deal, but my kitties are little (7 & 8 lbs) and that's a lot of weight!
In the meantime I'd done some research and discovered that there's food that has a buffer (instead of a acidifier)that is okay for both cats to eat. The vet is now more worried about the weight loss than the FLUTD, but one of the cats has started peeing on the bed again, so I'm worried about both. I've gotten this new food (which, of course, is expensive) and the vet visits are costing me an arm and a leg ($100+ every time) and the vet wants to have a one month checkup now. (More money -- ack!!!)
This prompted me to look into pet insurance. However, much like many human insurance policies, most of them don't cover pre-existing conditions. This means I'm basically screwed with Euphrates. I'm worried that Tigris may also have a problem now (since I think she's the one peeing on the bed now...) but I'm going to try to get her pet insurance before she has any pre-existing condition diagnosed. This bothers me, since I feel like I'm sort-of defrauding the insurance company. I keep trying to convince myself that this is okay and that I shouldn't screw myself just to be honest...but I'm having a hard time with that. I'm typically a very ethical person and I find it troubling that I so desperately want to justify this behavior.
All of these insurance companies estimate that FLUTD can cost up to $2,500 a year. Now typically that includes surgery, which my kitties won't have to have since we diagnosed this early enough, but still, it's a lot of money for a graduate student! I don't feel poor most of the time, but faced with these constant, expensive vet visits with few positive results (plus the cost of dry cleaning my comforter all the time) and I definitely feel like I ought to shell out the $20/month for insurance.
At least one of the insurance things I looked at might cover both cats, so I need to make some calls tomorrow during East Coast working hours, so hopefully my ethical dilemmas will only be a thought exercise. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm interested in all of your thoughts about the whole thing.
Wow, I just re-read this entry and realized that it's not much of an update about my week. Hopefully, it's got some good comment-inspiring stuff in it. I think I'd prefer to read that anyway, if I were you!
PS. I'll put pictures of my kitties up as soon as I figure out how to do that on LJ. I know -- that's what you've all been waiting for! Current Mood: contemplative