Vet help for seniors/disabled?

cnvhMay 6, 2009

One of my clients is in her 60's and is on disability. She has a cat, which she loves dearly; frankly, the cat is the closest thing she has to family at the moment. Unfortunately, Kitty has some kind of ear issue-- sounds like ear mites, but I've never seen this cat myself and I'm not a vet, so it could be something else.

Anyway, my client is extremely low-income and really can't afford a vet bill. Please spare me the "if you can't afford it you shouldn't own a pet" diatribe-- the situation is what it is. She feeds the cat before she feeds herself, and there are days where Kitty is the only thing keeping her together. She's not getting rid of the cat just because she can't afford the vet.

So I've been trying to research online for agencies that may be willing to assist with a vet bill. From what I've found, there DO seem to be programs out there, but only for life-threatening issues, which this probably is not.

Any suggestions? I've given her contact info for local rescues to call and pick their brains, and I've also told her to call the vet where she had Kitty neutered to see if they can work out a payment plan.

And if it IS ear mites, would she be doing any harm to treat with mineral oil every couple of days for a couple of weeks? We do this with the meat rabbits we raise and it works well; I'm not sure if it's OK for cats.

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FIRST - call her regular vet and ask about payment plans and reduced fees, you would be surprised at how many vets will work with clients if they just ask.
SECOND - if the vet says no, ask around...
THIRD - contact the local humane society and without revealing too much about WHO you are discussing, find out if they have any programs.
I would hesitate to treat the cat without a scraping to determine exactly what is going on...once you find out, then ask the vet if an over the counter treatment is acceptable.
Please dont be afraid to ask. If you dont ask you dont get.
Case in point, my clients have a dirt poor neighbor whose dog was bleeding out of a puncture wound which had abcessed, blood and yech everywhere and the owners flipping out. Not only were they able to find a neighbor to assist with transporting their dog (they have no car) but they spoke with the vet, who reduced the fee from over four hundred dollars to a bit over a hundred dollars, and another neighbor found out what was going on and covered the bill completely....I have had loads of work done on my dog at reduced fees. There is even a credit card specifically designed for vet, medical and dental care...good luck

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 9:24PM
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There are a lot of resources for seniors and disabled people. Just do a google search on "low income veterinary care."

Here are a few. There are also some listed by area.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:00PM
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