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Treating Sheena the Cat for Mystery Ailment

By Christy True
August 31, 2021 • 3 min. read
Sheena the cat

Diagnosis: Anemia – No firm conclusion on cause
Claims Covered:  $10,070 | Healthy Paws paid: $8,813
Coverage options: $250 deductible | Reimbursement: 90%

Sheena is a 3-year-old small grey cat who makes up for her diminutive size with a big presence and attitude, says pet parent Kristina. Sheena was rescued from a hoarding situation where Kristina suspects she learned quickly to assert herself to get her needs met.

Sheena with her pet parents
Sheena with pet parents Stuart and Kristina.

If something startles Buster, Kristina’s other cat, he will run away first, then look back. Not Sheena.

“She will start marching right toward the source to figure out what went on, she really gets up in the business and is quite fearless,” Kristina said.  “She is a take-charge kind of girl!  She is such a little love bug and loves standing on me and my husband’s shoulders.”

Kristina and her husband Stuart recently had quite the scare when their kitty suddenly stopped eating, became lethargic, and developed a high fever. Despite a myriad of tests and treatments, the veterinarians could not identify a cause.

In seeking care for Sheena, Kristina experienced first-hand what many pet parents are reporting – veterinary offices are often short-staffed, at the same time they are seeing an influx of new patients because of all the pets that were adopted during the pandemic.

Because of the shortage, Kristina had to take Sheena to three different emergency vet hospitals, including one that was over a two-hour drive away from her home in Liverpool, NY.

Sheena the cat stopped eating, was listless

The first sign that something was not right with Sheena was that she stopped eating and started losing weight. She was listless and lethargic.  Kristina ran her to the local 24-hour emergency vet, where they kept her for two days and ran some tests. When those tests were inconclusive, the vets determined she needed an ultrasound to see if she had pancreatitis. The staff member who could perform those scans was on vacation, so they sent her to another hospital in a different town.

The ultrasound did not reveal any issues, and Sheena started eating a little, so after three days, she was sent home with antibiotics, steroids, and appetite stimulants, hoping for a quick recovery. But, once home, she wasn’t getting better.

Again, Kristina had to find a third veterinary hospital that could get them in the same day – this one was an hour’s drive. Over five days, more testing was performed — a battery of blood tests, viral panel, microbial panels, bacterial tests, and still nothing was conclusive.

The vet recommended a blood transfusion as she was still anemic with a low red blood cell count. The transfusion did the trick and Sheena immediately perked up. Finally, after a more than a two-week ordeal, Sheena was ready to come home for good.

Frustratingly, the veterinarians came to no conclusions on what happened or what caused her anemia.

Sheena is back to headbutts, fighting with her brother

Sheena is back to her old self, which means a return to beating up on her cat brother Buster and headbutting her pet parents, Kristina said.

“She is getting away with as much as she can and causing trouble!!! She investigates EVERYTHING and stomps towards anything she is interested in!” Kristina said.

How Healthy Paws helped Sheena get better

Kristina set Sheena up with pet insurance as a young kitten after her 11-year-old cat suffered a blockage, and Kristina was surprised by the steep price tag to treat it.

“We realized how important it was to have insurance because during all of this process with Sheena, we did not give a single thought to cost.  We did whatever it took to get her well again or at least get answers and exhaust every possibility to know that if we had to do the unthinkable, we gave her a fighting chance.  We wanted that freedom and latitude to give that to her. Thank God for Healthy Paws, you literally saved her life,” she wrote.

The claim scenarios described here are intended to show the types of situations that may result in claims. These scenarios should not be compared to any other claim. Whether or to what extent a particular loss is covered depends on the facts and circumstances of the loss, the terms and conditions of the policy as issued and applicable law.

Insureds providing testimonials in this report have not received compensation for their statements.

Protect your pets from those unexpected illnesses with no limits on payouts. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for those cat and kitten mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

Christy True and Tomas
By Christy True

Christy has been writing about pets for Healthy Paws for 21 dog years. She previously worked in journalism, hence her penchant for writing about offbeat animal studies and the latest viral pet trends. She has been owned by several dogs, and right now, Tomas, a Mexican street dog rescue, is staring at her because he wants a walk. Outside of work, she can usually be found sliding down a mountain near her home in Bend, Ore.

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