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Giving cats anesthetic for a blood test?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
We took our female cat to the vets 2 weeks ago at 10am for a blood test following her rabies injection so she can travel to the UK. We have 2 cats which needed this and were booked in a month before, the vet chose the quitest cat first which was 'Cherry', he started with injecting her in the leg, we straight away asked what that was for, he replied it was anesthetic so he can take her blood. We knew no different so didn't say anything, he told us we should leave the room whilst he took the blood as he has to shave her neck and take the blood which isn't nice to watch.

We left the room and waited for 45 minutes, after that time we were very worried and having to keep our other cat in his box quite. Finally the vet called us in and all we could see was him trying to revive her. I panicked and thought the worst and left the room straight away. My partner had to hold open her mouth to help her breath for over 30 minutes, her stomach started to move slightly but she was still under the anesthetic so he moved her into another room and asked us if we wanted the other cat doing, our reply as you can imagine was 'no chance'. The vet told me to keep an eye on her whilst he dealt with another customer. My partner took our other cat home and called a vets we had used before, they told him to take her to them as soon as possible to get her on oxygen which the other vet didn't have any of. When we were taking our cat the vet told us we didn't need to panick and around 6pm she should wake up and to bring her back for another injection for her heart.

We left and got to the other vets as soon as we could, they put her on oxygen, a drip and covered her with heated blankets. They said her temperture was dangerously low and she had a very slow pulse. They said she had been overdosed with anesthetic. We returned around 6:30pm and she had just woken up, the vet wasn't sure if she would have brain damage or had a stroke until the next day, so we returned the next day a 11am and luckily she was fine. We took her home and she has now made a full recovery.

We have since found out that this vet is an alchoholic and a cocaine addict. We are in the process of reporting him.

We took both our cats to the nice vets last week for their blood tests and he took it from their paws which took only 2 minutes with no injections.

Has anyone else ever heard of a vet giving anesthetic for a blood sample?

We only lost our youngest cat 'Gizmo' 5 weeks ago in an accident with his collar and are still trying to come to terms with it, so all this has added to the stress.
post #2 of 20
In all my years working at 2 vet clinics ive never seen them give a anesthetic and i have taken it from the neck its pretty easy if a cat fighted it we had like a special pillow case that they fit in except head and neck. I find the whole sittuation kind of strange. Sorry for what you were put through. The anesthetic would pose to much of a risk for the blood test for me.
post #3 of 20
What an awful thing to happen! I am no expert, but the only time I would think it was appropriate to give any anaesthesia or sedative for taking blood is if the cat were feral (or very stressed/frightened/aggressive) and in danger of doing themselves or others an injury in their panic to fight and get away - and that clearly wasn't the case here.

I am so glad that you got her to another vet quickly and that she is ok.

Incidentally I would always be suspicious if a vet asked me to leave the room for such a minor procedure - of course they don't want an anxious owner breathing down their neck during surgery, but if a vet won't explain exactly what they are going to do and then do it in front of you, I would be going somewhere else. My vets like the owner to be present to discuss the treatment being given and to (hopefully) be a calming presence for their pet, and I can imagine they would only shoo someone out of the room if they were distressed and thus upsetting their cat and making treatment more difficult!

I am sorry that you have had to go through this ordeal. and yes I would report the vet, that is negligence pure and simple.
post #4 of 20
I've never heard of giving anasthesia for a blood test, either. Quite the contrary, oftentimes they'll do bloodwork FIRST, to make sure the kitty is healthy enough to handle the anasthesia. I would think that even something like Valium would have been safer, and only if the cat was very unruly...not under normal circumstances. I'm not an expert either, but your story / experience is very disturbing.
post #5 of 20
I work for a vet and the only time we EVER sedate a cat to get blood is if the cat is aggressive. Otherwise there should be no need. My cat Jennifer recently donated blood to save another cats life... we pulled 40cc's (the average amount of blood pulled for bloodwork is 3-4 cc's) from her jugular vein. She was not sedated for it at all... My other cat Pheelicks however, becomes extremly aggressive when he is at a vets office. He has to be sedated with a gas anesthesia in order to get blood from him.

Did he inject the cat in the vein or the muscle? Another point to make... if the cat was given an IV anesthesia, it would have been just as easy to pull blood. You have to hit a vein in order to give an IV Anesthesia, why not just pull the blood then?

I also dont uderstand why he was putting your cat under anesthesia, without having any oxygen available!!!!! Still ANOTHER point to make.. The clinic I work at NEVER allows and animal under anesthesia to be left without at LEAST a vet tech keeping an eye on them. You never know if they are going to have a reaction to the anesthesia and there should always be a trained staff member there to keep an eye on the animal. Why did he leave you alone with your poor cat in that condition!!!????

If I where you, I would not only make sure he had his license revoked but also file a law suit against him for any cost you had incured. NOTHING he did sounds right. You should get a copy of your records as well... make sure to look at them before they copy them to see if any of it has been altered. If they say they wont give you them... tell them you'll call a lawyer. Because it is your animal you are intitled to your cats records by law... The records are good to have as proof that he made a mistake so you can get his license revoked.

I'm glad your babies ok... God, that sounds SO terrifying! I think that Vet sounds like a idiot... I have a few other words I'd like to call him but I dont think I can post them on here.

I hope everything goes well for you and your babies...
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi Shorty14788. I think the vet injected our cat the anesthesia in the muscle on her back leg... He hadn't even asked us if she had any reactions to anything either, she has had anesthesia before when she was muted and was fine.

This vet was all alone too, he didn't have any oxygen or a breathing tube either.

He actually told us to take the cat home and she would be fine now, the other vets told us she would have been dead in less than an hour if we'd taken his advice.

I would also like to mention our other cat which died, he caught his COLLAR on someones garden plants which were being held by wire, he had no chance to get out of it as he had twisted round and broke his neck. I WOULD JUST LIKE TO WORN PEOPLE HOW EASILY THIS COULD HAPPEN. We've lived in our house for 2 and a half years and this just happened early one morning... The last thing you expect to happen, the collar was just so if he ever got lost he'd be brought back to us. We looked for him for 3 days and nights expecting him to come running back until our neighbour 4 houses along found him in their garden hanging.
post #7 of 20
Wow I'm so sorry for your loss and the stress of having a druggie vet If you use a collar, you may want to get the easy break away type like in this picture:


It has the plastic snap-in that doesn't take much pulling to pull apart. This is the only type of collar I will put on my cats if any at all. Be careful when choosing though. Some break away collars are one time use so after it's been pulled apart, it doesn't go back together and it's garbage. Some are the backpack type clips that you can put back together...that's what I get.
post #8 of 20
How awful! I've never heard of anything as absurd as this! I'd be spitting fire and making an awful lot of noise!
post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by Rozzie View Post
Hi Shorty14788. I think the vet injected our cat the anesthesia in the muscle on her back leg... He hadn't even asked us if she had any reactions to anything either, she has had anesthesia before when she was muted and was fine.

oh my god, you had your cat muted? you had their vocal mechanism removed? I hope i read that wrong. sorry.
post #10 of 20
I Would certainly complain about the vet, it sounds terribly wrong. I have had to have cats sedated for a blood test, but my vets treat that like a normal op, where you have to take them in the morning, sign a consent form, and they are monitored like they would be for an op, despite the cat only being sleepy rather than knocked out. And only when they are fully round can you collect the cat. Most of mine haven't needed it though, and I have had over 15 blood tests done on various cats.
post #11 of 20
Oh my lord! I'm glad the cat is ok. I sure hope that vet loses his license.

Reeses has had blood a few times when she was sick and she's never been sedated and never even had her neck shaved. It might sound strange but I was relieved to hear that the vet was an addict because no straight sane person in their right mind would do that.
post #12 of 20
I'm glad your baby is OK after all of this!!

I have had to sedate cats occassionally when they draw blood, but only if they really fight the process. On the other hand, I've held feral cats unsedated as they drew blood. It's not the norm.
post #13 of 20
I'm glad your cats are okay. I have had bad experiences with blood drawing, and when I read this I was worried you had the same issue. I had a 12 year old cat who had to have blood taken because she was sick. They had planned on sedating her, because she normally got very nasty at the vet. They ended up not sedating her, but she ended up dying while they were drawing blood - her heart stopped. The second cat died last week. He had not been eating, and he was throwing up (he was fed dry food, so it wasn't the cat food). He had blood taken a couple of weeks ago, and he was fine, and the blood test showed nothing wrong. When we were back last week, because he stopped eating again, they took him back for blood and his heart also stopped. He was only 4. They also take the cat away to take the blood, so I was not there with him. He did have his neck shaved. I do not remember if the other one had her neck shaved. I have heard people say they can draw from the leg, too, but I'm not sure if they can draw large amounts from the leg?

Anyway, I'm glad yours survived.
post #14 of 20
oh my i'm glad that didn't happen to stoli.

my original vet had to gas anesthetize stoli because he was distraught to take his blood. i was pissed.....i took him to a specialist and all along they've been able to take his blood because they let him acclimate, wrap him in a warm towel and put a little kitty mask on him........

they've agreed to see him and give him any annual shots at the specialist even though they aren't supposed to - that was relieving.
post #15 of 20
Please... reassure us that you didn't mean "muted" but "neutered." Please God...
post #16 of 20
i thought the same thing.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Sorry everyone, I did mean neutered not muted!!!

By the way how do I add photos of my kitty kats?
post #18 of 20
Whew! Thanks, Rozzie -- so glad to hear it!

When you go to post, hit "Go Advanced" and some additional options will appear... including one about managing files or managing attachments, something like that. You can choose and upload your photos from there.

Can't wait to see 'em!
post #19 of 20
You have been through horrific experiences. I am so sorry about Gizmo. I also have never had a cat given anaesthesia for blood tests, and I had all five done for their EU passports. Also for FeLV tests etc. The Bosnian vet who did the passport tests took enough blood from a leg for the lab, although Persil required a couple of students to hold her still, and Ellie just had another blood test in France to check her levels, and that was done from the neck. No sedation necessary. I hope this vet of your gets all he deserves.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi CarolPetunia,

I went 'go advanced' but couldn't find where to attach photos, do you have to subscribe to do this, as I haven't paid anything?
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