Could I ask for some advice about X-rays and nasal surgery for cats in the UK?
My cat has recently been demonstrating a moderate amount of stertor, occurring only on an occasional basis, perhaps once or twice a day as far as I have noticed, but which so far steroid treatment (prednisone, from our visits to the vets over the past few weeks) have not yet quite been able to subdue, although there has definitely been an appreciable amount of improvement: her breathing is now too noisy only for a limited number of bouts each day, probably adding up to no more than a quarter of an hour altogether in total. From even before the steroid treatment began, as far as I have been able to tell, my cat has not been demonstrating any overt signs of distress, such as panting or gasping etc, and her behaviour, appetite etc. do not seem to be affected to any significant degree that I can see. My cat is approximately 10 years old and is usually always very healthy, so I don't begrudge some expenditure on her now if it really is necessary. She has had blood tests already from which we know she is otherwise healthy, the test results showing no reason for concern.
Our current vet is new to me, and is suggesting that the best way forward is for an X-ray with a view to identifying a possible upper respiratory polyp, which in itself does seem like a reasonable diagnosis, but I am a little concerned that the guide prices I am being presented with for such surgical treatment seem to be progressively escalating with each conversation we have had about the subject. We're now at the stage where the full surgical treatment (if a polyp is found) is estimated to be around £2000 minimum, probably a good deal more, about which I am beginning to question the relative benefit, given the apparently minor, occasional basis of the symptoms. I have unfortunately previously lost another cat under anaesthetic and so am reluctant to subject my cat to only marginally beneficial procedures, given her age. However my main question is: does £2000+ (including apparently around £600 for an X-ray) sound like a reasonable cost for a surgical procedure of this nature? At one point the projected cost of the X-ray alone seemed to double for reasons I still remain uncertain about.
I am definitely now in a quandary about what is the best decision to make and I feel that I need more information, so I really would like to get a second opinion over whether or not I am currently receiving the best advice, given the level of symptoms my cat is currently demonstrating: I feel hesitant about my cat remaining on steroids indefinitely, and in time I feel I would end up spending the sum mentioned on steroid prescriptions anyway, and would rather her be cured once and for all if there is any chance of her being subjected to considerable distress otherwise.
So to summarize, (i) how much should this sort of procedure be expected to cost, (ii) how effective does it tend to be, and (iii) does it seem that my cat's symptoms warrant the risk and expense of surgery? Any advice you can offer would be very gratefully received.