Cat Smokey Bravely Faced Growth-Removal Surgery

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3 min read
3 min read

Updated - Feb 20th, 2024

Who? Smokey, a Domestic Medium Hair cat

How old? 9 years old

What happened? Cancerous growth

Cost of treatment $8,524

Pumpkin plan paid back* $5,958

Smokey is a sweet and gentle 9-year-old cat. He enjoys his slow and relaxed pace of life, spending his days snuggling with his fur sister Cleo and his mom Christine. 

One day, Christine noticed a bump on Smokey’s rear leg. After an initial veterinary exam, Smokey’s care team investigated the mysterious growth by performing some diagnostic tests: ultrasounds, blood samples, and a cytology test to examine the cells in the growth. 

Smokey’s growth was ultimately revealed to be cancerous. Sadly, due to the severity of Smokey’s growth, the difficult decision was made to amputate Smokey’s rear leg. While this is a drastic step, it can sometimes be the best way or the only way to prevent aggressive cancers from spreading. 

Unfortunately, cancer is common in domestic cats.1 It can develop in both indoor and outdoor cats as they age, often with few warning signs as cats are adept at hiding symptoms of illness. Due to this, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends wellness exams every six months for adult cats to help catch illnesses and diseases early.

For Christine, this was an extremely stressful time and she had to grapple with her concern for Smokey’s health as well as what it would mean for her financially. Christine had her Pumpkin plan to support her in getting the care Smokey needed, but the road ahead was uncertain.

“My first thought was: is Smokey going to be ok? My second thought was: how much would the cost be?”

Christine, Smokey’s Mom

Smokey was hospitalized overnight. The clinic performed a series of essential care services, such as obtaining Smokey’s blood count. Then it came time to prepare Smokey for surgery, with general anesthesia and an IV catheter.

Thankfully, Smokey’s surgery was successful and his rear leg was removed. To assist with recovery after surgery, Smokey received supervised care overnight, Rx medication, and an IV infusion of nutrients. 

Surgery like Smokey’s is both complex and specialized. As a result, it can be costly to receive the very best care. The total cost of Smokey’s care added up to more than $8,500. Christine’s Pumpkin plan paid her back close to $6,000* in eligible vet expenses.

Smokey’s story is a testament to how having a pet insurance plan in place can help pet parents provide life-saving veterinary care. Pumpkin is on a mission to help as many pets as possible get the protection of pet insurance, so every pet can access the veterinary care they need to live their happiest, healthiest lives. 

*Example illustrates reimbursement of an eligible claim at a 90% reimbursement rate, the annual deductible had already been satisfied and the annual limit had not yet been met. Coverage and reimbursement results vary based on policy options.

Emma Radmilovic

Emma Radmilovic

Emma is Pumpkin’s copywriter – she’s a dog & cat lover and never misses a chance to write a cheesy pet pun!
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