Ophelia needs your help!

Hello, my name is Kirstyn, I am 22 years old, I live in SoCal, and I am Ophelia's owner and I have had Ophelia since I was freshly 18 when she was an itty bitty baby. I am also disabled (mental illness that does interfere with my work.) and I am also chronically ill with an autoimmune disorder that is very painful and I currently work a 32 hr shift weekly. Ophelia is currently experiencing breathing problems most likely due to an underlying heart condition. She was also diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia and feline asthma. About a week ago, Ophelia started experiencing "regurgitation" issues (it was actually feline asthma but at the time I didn't know any better.) She started having like coughing fits, and it sounded like she was throwing up but would then swallow it (regurgitation). She also started not wanting to eat her normal Fancy Feast Beef and Chicken Pate. I took her to AM PM Ideal Pet Care Wednesday last week because of these "regurgitation issues". They did xrays, blood work, and everything was "fine". I spent $528 on that trip with Scratchpay as she was given Cerenia and Omeprazole, along with Laxatone.

I came home from work Saturday morning/night at 1 AM, I noticed Ophelia wasn't breathing correctly and she had very shallow breathing. I was concerned and called Crossroads Animal Emergency in Norwalk, CA. She was brought to their facility at 3:30 AM Saturday morning. They told me she needed to be in an oxygen tank/room. From there they ran more xrays, blood tests, and kept trying to stabilize her breathing, they told me she needed to be held at their facility until Monday 8 AM when they close their facility. They then quoted me a bill anywhere from $4,200 to $4,799. I was shocked, but they told me she NEEDS this right now or she will pass away. Dr. Ortega called me around 5:00 AM to tell me they think Ophelia is suffering from feline asthma and aspiration pneumonia. She then tells me, that she still need to run more tests to figure out the underlying issue. They ran a special blood test specifically for figuring out if felines have heart disease as it's so hard to catch in felines. Dr. Ortega with Crossroads Animal Emergency then contacted to tell me Ophelia needed a cardiologist because she was most likely experiencing heart failure, but because their facility closes at 8 AM Monday morning, I would need a direct transfer to another emergency hospital, and one with a cardiologist specialists. Here in Los Angeles you have a couple options for specialists open 24 hours a day, either ACCESS Care or VCA emergency hospitals. I called each one, most didn't have a cardiologist specialists until weeks or months out, until I found VCA Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Lawndale, CA. There was an opening available at 1:30 PM with their cardiologist specialist and I booked then appointment instantly. I then called Dr. Ortega back saying I did get an appointment however it wasn't until the afternoon at 1:30 PM on Monday. Dr. Ortega explained that Ophelia wasn't yet stable to breathe fully on her own. That she was doing better, but that she still need an oxygen tank/room. I called VCA Lawndale and asked if I could bring her in as soon as 8 AM. They told me yes, but that the cardiologist wouldn't be in at that time. I called Dr. Ortega back and told her the news VCA Lawndale told me and she said that's fine as long as they have her in an oxygen room. Fast forward to now Monday, I pick her up at 7:30 AM. I get my discharge papers from Crossroads Animal Emergency and they tell me that they are communicating with VCA Lawndale and that they are sending over her paperwork, files, diagnosis, tests, etc. I also unfortunately get my veterinary bill at this time and it cost $4,038.50. I have done Scratchpay to pay payments on this bill (kind of like Care Credit but worse, and I think only available in SoCal but I could be wrong about that. Anyways, it's basically good for shorter vet bills less than $550 but when you go over a $550 bill they tend to tack on a crap ton of interest which I did not know about.)


I get to VCA Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Lawndale at 8:11 AM. I contact them and then they rush out to take Ophelia. They contact me at 9:40 AM to tell me what their plan is for her and to ask me for more information about her. So, I basically go over what I told Crossroads. They tell me she will be in an oxygenated room until her appointment at 1:30 PM, that they also will be doing xrays, blood tests, etc. I then tell the receptionist/technician that because they don't take Scratchpay that I did get approved for Care Credit but only for a credit line of $1,500 and that I cannot extend it past that amount and I honestly have no out of pocket money to provide at this time. The technician then tells me, "Well, I am just letting you know right now, this is going to be well over $1,500. Would you like me to write up an estimate?" I told her yes. She calls back at about 10:30 AM to go over the estimate. The technician then tells me that she will be on six hours of oxygen, that they did run blood tests, xrays, and included the ECG and cardiologist prices for today. The estimate came out to around $1,249, but she told me she does not include medications we will be sending home with her. She asked me if I still wanted to proceed and I said yes. 

I was then contacted after her appointment at 3:00 PM by VCA Lawndale and they told me that Ophelia seen the cardiologist and did the ECG, but that Ophelia did not have heart disease whatsoever and her heart was quite healthy despite a little bit of tendons that were a bit off but other than that she was fine. (If I am being honest I was quite livid because I honestly thought she had heart failure and I was going to lose my baby at such a young age.) The technician tells me that Ophelia is suffering from what Crossroads had originally diagnosed her with, that being feline asthma and aspiration pneumonia. But they still think she needs an oxygen tank, but I politely declined more care as I just couldn't get a credit extension, the technician did chuckle and then said "Okay, we are still prescribing meds at this time, and she will be ready soon." At around 3:44 PM I got a call saying they are ready for payment and they sent a link for me. The bill came out to $1,322. I paid with my Care Credit, and at 5:15 PM a new technician comes out with Ophelia along with her medicine. The technician starts to go over how her condition is, which isn't exactly stable but way better than when she came in. The technician explained, since she has pneumonia we can do an at home measure to hopefully loosen up her airways from being blocked. We put Ophelia in the bathroom, when it's showering and then set her on your lap, cuff your hands and gently pat her sides by her ribcage to knock loose any material inside the lungs. She also goes over medicine she was prescribed which is, Terbutaline (gen) to give 0.25mL by mouth every 12 hours for 14 days, Mirataz (appetite stimulant) to apply a 1/4 inch strip to her inner ear flap every 24 hours, 2 containers of AmoxiClav (Clavamox) to give 1 ml(s) by mouth every 12 hours for 14 days, and then Cerenia (anti-vomit) give 1/2 tablet by mouth every 24 hours for 4 days. 

Ophelia is very happy kitty right now and to me seems to be breathing fine but I am no vet. She will be back to her primary vet (Downey Veterinary Hospital) on November 23rd. 

Here's the full list of the bills and everything they did (some stuff is abbreviated):

Crossroads Animal Emergency: 
Qty  Description                               Total 
1.      Examination Emergency  $95.00
1.      Triage Oxygen                        $94.96
1.      CBC - Heska                            $99.96
1.      Comprehensive Panel       $115.96
1.      Plus Panel - Heska               $86.96
1.      Lactate Test - LT                    $49.96
1.      SNAP Feline Lipase fPL    $59.96
1.      SNAP Feline ProBNP        $53.96
1.      Thorax - VD/LAT R&L       $378.00
1.      Interp, Radiograph            $114.96
1.       Hospitalization - ICU       $105.96
1.       Nursing Care - ICU.          $126.96
1.       Professional Care - ICU  $52.50
1.       Catheterization, periph  $90.96
1.       Fluid Admin. & Maint IV $49.96
1.  Oxygen Ther. Setup Int. Hr $141.96
3.    Oxygen Ther - Cage per hr  $68.88
1.  Lactated Ringers 1000mL     $33.95  1.        SpO2, diagnostic.                  $26.96
1.        SpO2 Monitoring/Shift      $68.96
0.08  Terbutaline Sulfate 1mL  $46.20
1.         Protons 4mL (per mL)      $46.46
4.2 Ampicilin & Sulbactam 1.5 $46.44 
1. Feline Respir. PCR Panel       $288.99
1.        Hospitalization - ICU      $105.96
1.       Professional Care - ICU  $52.50
1.       Nursing Care - ICU           $126.96
1.  Fluid Admin. & Maint. IV     $49.96
1.     SpO2 Monitoring/Shift.     $68.96
10 Oxygen Ther  Cage Per Hr $229.60
4.2. Ampicilin & Sulbactam 1.5 $46.44
0.43. Cerenia 10mL (Per mL)     $ 53.15
1.         Protons 4mL (Per mL)       $46.26
1.       Hospitalization - ICU        $105.96 
1.      Professional Care - ICU   $52.50
1.      Nursing Care - ICU.            $126.96
1.      Fluid Admin. & Maint - IV  $49.96
14 Oxygen Ther - Cage Per hr $321.44
1.       SpO2 Monitoring/Shift     $68.96
4.2. Ampicilin & Sulbactam 1.5  $46.44
1.           Protonix 4mL (Per mL)    $46.26
0.08 Terbutaline Sulfate 1mL    $46.20
4.2 Ampicilin & Sulbactam 1.5  $46.44
 Total amount: $4,038.50

VCA Advanced Veterinary Care Center:
Qty          Description                        Total  1.  Exam Emergency Transfer $100.00
1.  Chest Xray Study                    $285.00
1.  Oxygwn Cage Setup.             $93.60
6.  Oxygen Supplement/hr       $39.30
1.  Echocardigram                         $535.00
1.  Cardiology                                  $52.50
2.  AmoxiClav 62.5mL/15mL $86.01
7.  Terbutaline 2.5mL                $34.65
1.    Cerenia                                     $28.57
1.    Mirataz                                     $67.93
   Total amount: $1,322.62

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Kirstyn Mick 
Organizer
Bell, CA

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