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Umbilical Hernea (AKA Why I'm Mad at the Vet)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I got my two kittens about 2 1/2 months ago (wow it's been a long time!) from the Humane Society. At the time of adoption I was told that my black kitten, Nigel, had an umbilical hernea. I was told that it's a very routine procedure to fix the hernea at the time of neutering, so I was to bring both kittens back to the Humane Society about a month later so that they could both be neutered and so Nigel could have his hernea fixed.

Last night I was giving Nigel a tummy-rub and noticed that at about the same place where his hernea *had* been is a big, suspicious-feeling lump. I had noticed something there before but not thought much of it, attributing it to "healing time" etc. So I called the Humane Society this morning to find out what the situation was/if it was something to be concerned about, and they told me that no hernea operation had taken place! I was so confused that I had nothing else to say, but now I'm MAD. This means that poor Nigel needs to go through ANOTHER surgery (getting put under anaesthetic for a second time, unnecessarily). And I want to know: how did this happen? How could a procedure have been forgotten? You can be sure I'm giving them a call again tomorrow to sort this thing out. I suppose this is my fault in a way, because when I dropped them off/picked them up I didn't emphasize that it was a neutering/HERNEA operation for Nigel, but I assumed (very wrongly) that they knew what they were doing.

Plus, the cost of the neutering was included in my adoption fee for the kittens. As I was told that the hernea procedure was very simple to do while he was under anaesthetic, there would be minimal/no cost to the procedure. Now that he has to have the whole thing done again, I can only assume that there will be a significant fee involved. If this were a condition that occurred after the neutering/had to be fixed on its own I would have been happy to pay for it. But now that it's an additional, unnecessary surgery? Not pleased.

Sorry, but I really needed to get out a bit of annoyance there...
post #2 of 13
I would pick another vet. They oviously dont care about your pet or are too busy to listen to what a costamer says. Sometimes people while they work/or anywhere else in their lives go into a rush and do more harm then good. http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/ima...ies/agree.gif/ Find another vet.http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/ima...ilies/wink.gif
post #3 of 13
Oh no! You're absolutely right, they usually fix it when they are anaesthatised for the neuter, I am sorry that your kitty has to go through another surgery That's pretty shoddy.
post #4 of 13
There is a possibility that the hernia was deemed to be too small to worry about. Often, when young animals have umbilical hernias, they "grow out of them". There is a possibility that the vet who neutered your kitten made that assessment about his hernia.
post #5 of 13
I feel for you and your baby. When Sadie was spayed, she had a reaction to the suture material and needed a second operation to remove "scar-like" material around the spay area. Needless to say, my baby wasn't happy with having to go to the hospital for a second operation but she's just fine now. What happened to you and your baby isn't fair (and I'd definitely be upset too), but it's something that needs to be corrected. When I picked Sadie up from the vet after her second surgery, I had a conversation with the vet about the cost of the surgery. I was very pleased when she greatly reduced the fee. So, if you're going back to the same vet, I would definitely inquire about the cost you will incur - hopefully you'll have the same good result as me.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pekoe & Nigel View Post
So I got my two kittens about 2 1/2 months ago (wow it's been a long time!) from the Humane Society. At the time of adoption I was told that my black kitten, Nigel, had an umbilical hernea. I was told that it's a very routine procedure to fix the hernea at the time of neutering, so I was to bring both kittens back to the Humane Society about a month later so that they could both be neutered and so Nigel could have his hernea fixed.

Last night I was giving Nigel a tummy-rub and noticed that at about the same place where his hernea *had* been is a big, suspicious-feeling lump. I had noticed something there before but not thought much of it, attributing it to "healing time" etc. So I called the Humane Society this morning to find out what the situation was/if it was something to be concerned about, and they told me that no hernea operation had taken place! I was so confused that I had nothing else to say, but now I'm MAD. This means that poor Nigel needs to go through ANOTHER surgery (getting put under anaesthetic for a second time, unnecessarily). And I want to know: how did this happen? How could a procedure have been forgotten? You can be sure I'm giving them a call again tomorrow to sort this thing out. I suppose this is my fault in a way, because when I dropped them off/picked them up I didn't emphasize that it was a neutering/HERNEA operation for Nigel, but I assumed (very wrongly) that they knew what they were doing.

Plus, the cost of the neutering was included in my adoption fee for the kittens. As I was told that the hernea procedure was very simple to do while he was under anaesthetic, there would be minimal/no cost to the procedure. Now that he has to have the whole thing done again, I can only assume that there will be a significant fee involved. If this were a condition that occurred after the neutering/had to be fixed on its own I would have been happy to pay for it. But now that it's an additional, unnecessary surgery? Not pleased.

Sorry, but I really needed to get out a bit of annoyance there...
According to US News & Report, there is NO SHORTAGE OF VETS. When I feel a medical doctor is not treating me right, I am not afraid to change doctors and I feel the same way about a vet. We have a new vet? down the street with a sign that reads BIRDS AND ANIMALS CLINIC? Just exactly what does that mean, does that mean birds are not animals? And when you go in there you see nothing but snakes, rabbits, hamsters and the like. Now I love all animals but are there any vets that specialize in cats and dogs any more? When I took my new cat in for just a routine shot, Alley bit the vet (because of the inept way the vet gave her the shot) and the vet just kind of laughed. I laughed by telling the vet not to bother sending me a bill and that I was find a REAL vet. 100% truth.
post #7 of 13
My dad had the same problem with his cat from a local humane society- she was spayed before he brought her home, and when he took her to the vet for her wellness check, they found the hernia and told him that it should have been fixed when she was spayed. He called the HS and they fixed it for FREE, since they were the ones who screwed up. Then he took her back to his regular vet for all her follow ups.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Persi View Post
We have a new vet? down the street with a sign that reads BIRDS AND ANIMALS CLINIC? Just exactly what does that mean, does that mean birds are not animals?
Maybe they mean they have an avian specialist. In answer to the question you pose, birds require very specialist veterinary care that is quite different to that of any mammal, be it rabbit, cat, or pig. In those terms, I think the phrase 'Birds and Animals' indicates that they recognise that birds require very different healthcare to other 'animals', and that they can provide it. If they don't have an avian specialist, they shouldn't be calling themselves a 'bird and animal clinic', as they are not equipped to treat birds!

Most vets are not trained at all in avian medicine and tend to adopt the approach of 'hmmm, sick bird, prescribe baytril, but it'll probably be pushing up daisies by the end of the week' - harsh but alas true.

And yes, just as I would only have my bird seen by an avian specialist, I think there should be vets out there who specialise by species of mammal. There are certainly equestrian vets in the UK, and in some areas cat only clinics (although rare they do occur). I would be very happy to be able to take my cats to a feline specialist
post #9 of 13
The Humane Society's clinic is in all probability a high-volume clinic where minimizing costs is pretty much the most important thing. They're safe for routine surgeries but they move in assembly line fashion. Animals are not examined, they are anesthetized and prepped for surgery and operated on and sent home once they're awake. This is necessary to do the maximum number of surgeries with the lowest possible cost.

Please do not take this personally, but in general, it is unrealistic and unreasonable to expect the same level of service from a low cost surgery that you would get for $250 at a full service veterinary hospital. You get what you pay for -a low cost place gets you surgery with minimal individual attention to the patient. It's safe but nothing more than that. For personalized attention to the details of your pet's condition, you have to go to a full-service vet clinic and pay the corresponding prices.

A low-cost spay/neuter clinic does spay/neuter only and does not have the resources to check for other problems. It was your responsibility to let them know that he needed the hernia repaired at the time of the neuter. For a male cat no one looks or touches the abdomen unless there is a reason for it. Like I said, they are a low cost facility that fixes as many animals as possible in as quick a time as possible so pet overpopulation can be solved. They're not full service. If your pet needs something that's non-standard at a low-cost clinic, you have to ask for it and they'll let you know whether or not they can do it.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
An update:

I called the Humane Society and spoke to a really nice girl who told me flat out that someone there made a mistake and that if I bring my kitten back they'll fix the hernia at no charge, as it was meant to be done at the time of neutering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal View Post
A low-cost spay/neuter clinic does spay/neuter only and does not have the resources to check for other problems. It was your responsibility to let them know that he needed the hernia repaired at the time of the neuter. For a male cat no one looks or touches the abdomen unless there is a reason for it. Like I said, they are a low cost facility that fixes as many animals as possible in as quick a time as possible so pet overpopulation can be solved. They're not full service. If your pet needs something that's non-standard at a low-cost clinic, you have to ask for it and they'll let you know whether or not they can do it.
Semiferal, I completely understand your point and would generally agree with you. I have a normal vet who I love and who I think takes really good care of my little ones. In this situation though, when I adopted Nigel I was told to bring him back to the Humane Society because of his hernia. I had the option of going to my normal vet but the adoption counsellor strongly recommended that I bring him back there because he was a special case and their clinic regularly handles these situations.

At least everything's worked out as best as it can. The big downside is that Nigel needs to go through an unnecessary surgery, but the plus is that they say it's a routine surgery with minor recovery for most kittens. And I'm very happy that the clinic accepted responsibility for the mistake and is willing to fix it.
post #11 of 13
It sounds like they're being really great about working with you. The good news is that it's really not different from having the surgery done all at once. For a girl they can easily fix the hernia in the very same procedure as the spay. For a boy it really is a totally separate procedure so there's not that big a difference between having it done all at once or at different times.

If someone did a standard midline spay on a girl and missed a sizable umbilical hernia, then I'd definitely question what was going on in there!
post #12 of 13
I have a DOG and CAT only vet .... I asked about whether she would take care of a pig or rabbit and the answer for the pig ( pot bellied) was the closest was two town and one state away ... I didnt get the pig ....
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I have a DOG and CAT only vet .... I asked about whether she would take care of a pig or rabbit and the answer for the pig ( pot bellied) was the closest was two town and one state away ... I didnt get the pig ....
I really respect vets that will say things like that - it's a far more honest approach than saying yes they will treat and then not having the knowledge to deal with it. Pretty much any vet I've been to with a small mammal I've asked them if they treat birds, and they say yes, but I know only too well that they are not an avian specialist and it annoys me.

I did once have to take a sick budgie to a regular vet in an emergency, but the vet was one I really trusted, she said she wasn't an avian vet but would see the bird anyway. While I was with her, she didn't pretend she knew exactly what she was doing - she pulled out avian medicine books to assist in the diagnosis and did a telephone consultation with an avian specialist in another town to confirm her diagnosis and treatment plan. She only charged me for the meds. To me that is the sign of a good, honest, and caring vet.
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