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Vet visit for a potential adoptee

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm considering adopting a cat from a shelter. I know they spay/neuter their animals, give basic shots, checks for deadly diseases, etc. With all this background they do, is it really necessary to take a cat to your own vet?
post #2 of 11
Well you don't have to take them, but to be on the safe side and for your vet to write down what all's been done (and shots), its better to take him to your own vet.

I know with my pedigree kittens, I had in the contract the kitten has to be seen by their vet within 48 hrs of them getting him to be sure he was ok. Not that anything would be wrong and my kittens had all their shots, but just to safegard me and the kitten.

Some people might come back a week later complaining how sick the kitten is and it could be that the kitten they purchased from me was in contact with one of their cats who had some problem (medically). They were guarenteed a healthy kitten at the time of the sale.

I also had that IF something was wrong, they had to have their vet verify in writing what was wrong and I would refund 1/2 their month.
post #3 of 11
Originally Posted by foxfire View Post
I'm considering adopting a cat from a shelter. I know they spay/neuter their animals, give basic shots, checks for deadly diseases, etc. With all this background they do, is it really necessary to take a cat to your own vet?
I would, especially where other cats are involved. Because of the sheer number of cats in a shelter, infectious diseases are more prevalent, and the symptoms may be overlooked by overworked employees or volunteers. The adoptee may (have) be(en) "incubating" something, so I'd play it safe.
post #4 of 11
I would take the cat to my own vet too, just because I would feel better hearing from my vet, I trust him.
post #5 of 11
Another reason to take them quickly to your own vet is that the vets that see shelter animals see a lot of animals and in rapid succession.

They are looking for specific things, and no matter how dedicated and well intentioned you are, you just can't catch everything in that environment. One of my cats has a heart murmur, not a serious one, but there was no mention on the paperwork when I got him, just a rabies vac label and confirmation that he was neutered.
post #6 of 11
Absolutely take the kitten to your own vet soon after adoption! My Clyde was born in the shelter where I volunteer, so I knew more about his history than most adopters are ever able to find out. He seemed fine except for mild lingering "kennel cough"... but in fact, he was very sick indeed (pneumonia and pleural effusion), and if I had not taken him to my own vet early on, he probably wouldn't have made it.

The irony is that I later found in his shelter records where a visiting vet had noted that he had not been able to hear Clyde's heartbeat... a clue, you would think, but he just let it go. As it turned out, the reason he couldn't hear Clyde's heart was that it was being pushed out of place by a huge fluid buildup in the wall of his nearly-collapsed right lung!

It's amazing how sick a kitten can be and still seem okay. Please do let your own personal vet see your new baby, just to be safe!
post #7 of 11
It's not necessary, but I still advice doing so. Depending on the shelter, the only thing that really is taken care of is testing for disease, neuter and shots. The cats don't always get a full exam. It's also a good way for your vet to be introduced to your new addition, make sure that all the records they need are collected and filed into their system.
post #8 of 11
I'd advise doing this too. A friend adopted a kitten from a rescue group that was given a clean bill of health, supposedly all shots, etc., when he was discharged... but it turned out that he had an upper respiratory infection and a bad case of worms that he passed on to her existing cat.
post #9 of 11
I highly recommend it also. I volunteer for my local shelter and right in our adoption contract is says to take the animal to the vet within 7 days of adoption. The primary reason for this is that if the animal is seriously ill or needs expensive medical care, the shelter will either take the animal back, help you with the vet bills and sometimes offer to take the animal to the shelters vet and pick up all the bills depending on the care needed. Also, most animals that come in do not see a vet per se. We have several vet techs on staff that medicate and give primary vaccinations, but not a vet that does regular exams. We mostly rely on staff and volunteers to observe an animal. The vet is always available for a phone consult, then the animal will go to the vet only if necessary.

In most instances, your own vet could see/find something that the shelter may not have noticed.
post #10 of 11
Good for you for adopting a cat that needs a loving home! I too used to work in a shelter and I would strongly advise that you get the cat tested for feline leukemia and possibly FIV - especially if you have other cats at home. Find out where your cat has been kept for the whole period that it was in the shelter (i.e. was it on its own or in a communal cat room) - FIV and Feline leukemia, as well as things like upper respiratory infection, ear mites, ticks, fleas and worms are all of concern - shelters are often under-funded and consequently it is impossible for the shelter workers to notice everything. Good luck with your new addition!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanx, ya'll. You brought up some good food for thought.
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