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Thread: Cost of geriatric blood work

  1. #1
    Senior Member Siena's Avatar
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    Default Cost of geriatric blood work

    How much does it cost in your area to have blood work done on your cat? What tests were included? Was it considered a geriatric panel?

    This Friday is my first big pay and I'm getting Latte's complete panel done - she had it done in October, but this time our vet wants to add an additional blood test that tests for liver function (since that is what we're also worried about with Latte's illnesses).

    Costs are super high up here because the blood has to be couriered down to Vancouver, etc. (vets up here don't have the lab facilities) and the extra liver blood test is almost equal to the rest of the Geriatric Blood Panel.

    I'm also considering having the geriatric panels done on Bali and Boo, just for a baseline. They wouldn't have the additional liver function one, though. Everybody is over 7, which is the 'geriatric' point, apparently.

    The 3 cats will cost nearly $900 - just for blood work. Latte's alone is $375.

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    Senior Member calicokitty's Avatar
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    Sounds about right. One of the reasons I don't get a senior panel done for Suzi every year.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Siena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calicokitty View Post
    Sounds about right. One of the reasons I don't get a senior panel done for Suzi every year.
    While I can see that a yearly senior panel would be useful, I think my vet is tuned into reality that people tend not to think of it until something is wrong.

    He made a good case for getting the panels done now - while the 3 are reasonably healthy - so when things take a downturn, we will have a regular baseline to judge tests by.

    This is about as 'healthy' as Latte is bound to get...so when she takes another turn for the worse, we can diagnose better.

    I think what I'm a bit concerned about is that it could open a whole new can of worms where Bali and Boo are concerned. I mean...as expensive as the tests are...what if the tests reveal other things like problems with thyroid, etc. One has to be willing and able to deal with those things - otherwise there is no point to even getting the tests.

    Many cats live their entire lives without geriatric panels, dental work, even vet visits - and unless something appears wrong, it may be just Type A obsession. After all, we all have SOMETHING that could stand fixing, right? So where to draw the line? Look for something to fix, or wait til something is evidently in need of fixing?

    He is pushing for Latte's work to be done because her illnesses aren't curable - but I'm still toying with B&B at this point.
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    Senior Member Mountain-mama's Avatar
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    Si,

    At my clinic the test is called a Senior Wellness Screen and inculdes fecal, urine, CBC, Superchem (23chems), T4 Thyroid. It's current cost is $159.98. The offic call/exam is 37.48, and there is a biohazard processing fee of 4.59.
    Janice

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    Senior Member calicokitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siena View Post
    While I can see that a yearly senior panel would be useful, I think my vet is tuned into reality that people tend not to think of it until something is wrong.
    Suzi got her second senior panel done, the last one prior to her very expensive dental work. And when she lost weight unexpectedly, specific blood tests were run to see if a reason could be found. Since nothing was found wrong, and other options were not curable, it is comforting that she gained the weight back, and all parameters are fine.

    My other cats are too young to be considered seniors yet.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Siena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain-mama View Post
    Si,

    At my clinic the test is called a Senior Wellness Screen and inculdes fecal, urine, CBC, Superchem (23chems), T4 Thyroid. It's current cost is $159.98. The offic call/exam is 37.48, and there is a biohazard processing fee of 4.59.
    Thanks Janice. I've printed this off to discuss with the vet and see if our tests include all these things.

    Tallying up, it seems to be about $200 per cat...which would bring us to $600. Plus the additional liver test which is another $200....and the courier fees of about $100....brings me to $900. So we're about on target. I guess.

    Did you get yours done as a matter of routine, or because something was wrong you were trying to diagnose?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Mountain-mama's Avatar
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    Mine is a yearly routine. I know it's expensive but when I started this a couple of years ago it really paid off when we discovered that Lad the dog had a thyroid problem. I did not know it and the vet did not suspect it at all so it was caught and treated very early. Lad does have to take pills twice a day but he has done very well. Also both Nick and William showed up with crystals in their urine and this was another problem I was not aware of until the test. Neither had showed any signs of problems. Nick was getting close to having a problem as he did have a slight infection at the time of testing so he was put on antibiotics and they both were put on Royal Canin SSO food and the last two test have been clear and free of the crystals. I know both of them would have had problems if the feed wasn't changed. This year all of the lab work looked good and Leia who is not old enough for the Senior Wellness had a junior Wellness which is less expensive and she passed her test.
    Janice

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    Staff DianeP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siena View Post
    Thanks Janice. I've printed this off to discuss with the vet and see if our tests include all these things.

    Tallying up, it seems to be about $200 per cat...which would bring us to $600. Plus the additional liver test which is another $200....and the courier fees of about $100....brings me to $900. So we're about on target. I guess.

    Did you get yours done as a matter of routine, or because something was wrong you were trying to diagnose?
    Cicero's last visit was in January 2010. His office visit and exam was $48, the Senior Screen was $144.00. Now that he's 11, I'll have this done every year. I don't have a list of what the blood test includes, but I know that it does include the basic CBC, thyroid, kidney function, liver function, etc. You're right about needing to be willing to do something if you find a problem, but that may be something as simple as changing diet or adding medication. It's always cheaper to find out about an illness early when it's easier to treat.
    Diane and Cicero - Sr. Manager
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