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Vet's today

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Please someone re-establish my faith in the veterinary system!!

We recently lost our 3 year old Siamese to a third Urinary Tract Infection that rapidly expanded to his kidneys. One of those fine in the morning, collapsed 8 hours later deals and as this last case was on a Sunday before the holiday we ended up calling 30 vets before we found one who was willing to open their doors. Now to me this was a sad state of affairs, when the vets are more interested in their weekend off than a pet's health. (And our very first call was to our normal vet who sent us elsewhere.)

Now we ended up having to put him to sleep because this Emergency Vet hospital looked him over, felt his insides and said there was a very obvious lump in his bladder. He said it didn't feel cancerous, but it felt more like a fold, a birth defect, and he was surprised our regular vet (I live in a town with a population of 5,000 and the vet sees about 10 pets a day during his hours from 9 to noon and then from 2 - 5.) hadn't noticed it. Now my vet 4 weeks prior had done x-rays, which I asked be forwarded to this other vet. Apparently, this defect was apparent on the x-ray though our vet completely missed it somehow. He said when the bladder formed, it creased in a spot and waste was getting caught in the pocket, irritating the bladder lining so that the bladder swelled up and became lined with mucus which was clogging his urethra repeatedly.

Now all this time, I had watched my cat getting sicker and sicker, and for us it was sad and frustrating. Especially, when our vet kept saying that he would be fine with the new diet (Hill's Science Diet CD) and lots of water (we had to squirt it into his mouth somedays to make sure he was drinking.) After $900, he was sick again and we were told the bladder surgery to reform his bladder would run $5000 - $6000, they did not do payments.

Now I watch Emergency Vets daily, so I have this dream of the staff at Alameda East, but no one in this area seems to be like them! <sigh>

Anyway, my vet's office had an opening for a part-time receptionist so I applied, though I needed odd hours and wasn't sure they could work with my free time. He called last night to let me know they couldn't use me, which I felt would happen anyway. He then commented on one part of my letter in which I stated we had been bringing our pets to him for 6 years. He had no clue who I was, so I had to explain that, and mentioned our Siamese who was diagnosed with FLUTD. He had never heard of FLUTD and asked what that was - now I know vets use this term because the emergency vet used it with me saying that it was one of the quickest developing problems in cats.

Once he had that straight, he said he barely remembers my Siamese - who he saw for a follow up just three weeks ago. Now I realize he sees other pets, but to forget such a sickly Siamese in 3 weeks time????

My husband thinks that maybe the Alameda staff is only like that while the cameras are rolling, but I just can't believe that. They seem so wonderful!!
post #2 of 6
Well, this is just my personal feeling. I don't expect my vet to remember my cats. I have a very good vet who I am happy with, but she sees a lot of animals and I don't see her often enough for her to remember each of my cats by name or site. If I wasn't satisfied w/ her services I'd go elsewhere, but I wouldn't base that solely on her recognition of me or my animals.

BUT, having said that, if you are upset about the care given as you seem you are, then I would for sure find a new vet! Especially if he is misdiagnosing or missing important signs. That could be detrimental to your pet, and you are better off finding someone who is more competent.
I think the Alameda vet office is a very LARGE office, with plenty of staff, and they are more like a hospital it seems. They seem to have it all together, unlike a lot of private smaller vet offices I think. And I'm sure they give a good show for the cameras too, just like your hubby said!!

Maybe you should move out there!!:tounge2: :tounge2: :tounge2: :tounge2:
post #3 of 6
I live in the Denver area, but don't use Alameda East. (Actually I don't watch the show - I can't stand to see animals in pain.) I can tell you, though, that my vet has 24 hour emergency care - with a vet actually on site. Now, this is the same place that recommended declawing so I kind of have mixed feelings about the clinic as a whole. The one time we had to bring Trent in as an emergency (from complications of the declawing - he stopped eating and drinking so was very dehydrated), the vet on duty was the main vet of the clinic. She was great, really took time to check him nose to tail, worked his scheduled follow-up visit for his neuter into the emergency visit, and I really liked her. She said we were paying enough for the emergency visit that she felt that she should do everything she possibly could under that one bill. (She wasn't the one who recommended the declaw, so I wonder if I just got a bad one for that appt.)

Just wanted to share that there are decent vets out there, somewhere. It's sad, though, that so many people have experiences with vets who either don't really know what they are doing, or care more about the almighty dollar than the animals.
post #4 of 6
I would be very upset with this vet, too, if I were you!!! Not because they didn't remember me or my cat, (although....the vet in one of the towns nearby where I live, remembers my animals, and this is a town of 10,000 people.)But I would be very upset and angry that this vet did not catch the defect which was obviously apparent in the x-rays, according to the other vet, and if he had of caught it, maybe they could have fixed the problem and your cat would maybe still be alive. I would not go back to this first vet, but that is just my opinion. The vets in my area are very good....when one of my 2 week old kittens was dying...I called up this vet (the one from the town of 10,000) and it was late at night, and even knowing full well he could probably do nothing to save this kitten, he still drove back into the vets office from his home, and met me there, and looked at the kitten. He said it had a twisted bowel, and there wasn't anything he could do as it was almost dead and so very tiny. He put it to sleep for me, and did not charge me hardly anything, even though he was disturbed at home after hours. I think there are very good vets out there, but also some that care more about the money than they do about the pet. You just have to find the right one.
I also go to another vet in a nearby town which is closer, and the town is smaller, and these people are really good, too! They are always willing to work wih me on the bills, etc, and would even make house calls if it was absolutely necessary!
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well we live in a small town - only one vet in this immediate area and we have stuck with him since our dog, Ginger, became ill with Cancer. 5 years ago, this same vet was arrested and charged with holding his ex-wife's boyfriend at gunpoint. He lost 50% of his patients even though he was only put on probation. We figured it had little to do with his vet care, so we didn't leave him. But now, I cannot stay. Not when he missed a deformed bladder on the x-rays. And I do expect him to be able to remember seeing my pet... maybe not a name off the top of his head, but when I said Kit was the Siamese he had seen 3 weeks ago for a UTI - he should have said "Okay, I remember now." Not "Hmmm. I don't ever remember treating a Siamese for a Urinary tract infection. I rarely get those cases." Three weeks ago isn't that long - he should have remembered after a little help from me describing the case details.

So I plan on interviewing vets this time, not just going with the closest practice to my home. I am coming up with a list of questions that I would want answered satisfactorily first before agreeing to bring my pets to them, and top of my list is if there is an emergency at night or on weekends am I going to get told to call somewhere else.
post #6 of 6
This is just my two cents but it sounds like your vet is interested in the money and could care less about the animals.
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