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not really behaviour, but I thought you guys would know...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,
I haven't really posted much, but you are all so helpful when I do have questions that I thought I would come on and ask yet again another question....

It's not really behaviour, but I thought this was an OK place for this question.

I have just come back from a trip to the vet with my kitty Aidan, and it was the most horrific, awful experience at a vet I have encountered. The way the people handled him, kept me uninformed, and to hear him screaming from the back room (they didn't say what they were doing, only said they'd be back, just scruffed him right out of his carrier)...I tried to go back there; I asked what was going on...but there was a lady blocking me. I literally couldn't breathe. When they brought him back to me, they said they had tried to do a fecal (to test for parasites) and get blood (for FIV/FLV) from him, but that he was fractious, and they labeled him a bite case. I know that none of you know him, and I realize the vet is an environment outside of home, but he has never *ever* had an issue with vets (I've just moved recently to Atlanta, and this particular clinic was a new vet). He really is the most mellow cat I have ever seen. The way they treated him, and the things they attempted to do, like taking blood about 6 times because they couldn't get it....I just think they jumped too quickly to label him a bite case! They could call my previous vets in the other 2 states I have lived in, and there is not one record of him *ever* behaving like this. I am afraid of what this label might mean, having it on his chart. I don't want him taken from me. I don't know what happens. Anyway, I am NEVER going back to this vet again. I told the vet exactly what I thought of what they had done, and he had a lot of lame excuses, in my opinion. I told him I didn't think the bite case was appropriate, with the way they handled him. He told me more lame excuses.

To make a long story short, I was wondering if there was someone or some organization, similar to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but for veterinary clinics, to report incidents. I want to be able to officially report to someone what happened, and how awful I think he was treated. I am sorry if this thread comes off upset, but I am really upset still... my hands are shaking. I honestly couldn't breathe when I heard him in the back. I think some people may think I am overreacting, but I know what my feelings were at the time, and I would like to be able to report it to someone somehow.

Any suggestions? The only thing I could think of was to write a letter to the head vet, but I'm not sure how much he would really care...which is what made me think of something like the BBB.

Thanks to everyone, even just for listening. I hope I don't sound *too* crazed right now, though I do feel shaky...
post #2 of 14
I'm sorry that I don't have any suggestions for you...but I know exactly what you are feeling right now. I some what had an experience like this a couple of weeks ago. I took Echo to my new Vet (and now my ex-vet!) because she had a skin infection on her bum. I always ask questions and explain what happens at the vet to everyone on here..just in case if someone has gone through the same thing. Well...to make a VERY long story short, my vet told me to give my cat Pepto Bismol for her diahrrea. I posted that I gave Echo the pepto and with in an hour, Mary Anne (Hissy) called me on the phone. I never spoke to her before and was quite shocked to find out that she searched for my phone number because she was so concerned for Echo. She told me that Pepto is toxic to cats! I was almost in tears (honestly, I cried like a baby after I hung up the phone!) and I was SO furious with my Vet! I was so mad at her...I could have killed my baby if I would have listened to the Vet completely. Thank God I didn't get enough of it down her to really hurt her...I am so grateful for Mary Anne telling me about this! I too want to report my ex-vet, but I don't know where to turn to do this. I was so shaken up about it all that I didn't sleep but for 3 hours each night until Echo was completely better. My heart pounded out of my chest and it felt like I had a huge rock in my gut. You are not crazy for feeling that way...it's completely normal. Aidan is your baby...your family...your everything and I think something would be wrong if you DIDN'T feel this way!
Sorry for rambling on...Just wanted to let you know that I know what you are going through and it's ok to feel that way. Sending good thoughts your way and please give Aidan lots of loves from me!
post #3 of 14
So sorry to hear about your awful experience at the vets. My youngest cat’s name is Aiden! Anyways... you are not crazy for being so upset. I had a similar experience with my beloved Tiger. when he was about two I decided to take him to a new vet. It was a cat hospital. I thought this would be better for him because they only dealt with cats. Well, I was wrong. Up until that point he was the most laid back cat. I had never heard him hiss or growl in his entire life. My fiancee went in the examining room with him and I waited in the lobby. All of a sudden I heard the terrible screaming from a cat, followed by lots of hissing and growling. I was shocked to learn it was my Tiger. According to what my fiancee told me later, he was trying to calmly coax Tiger out of his carrier when the vet said “I don’t have time for this†and just grabbed the carrier and dumped him out. well this apparently freaked him out and he ran and hid. and the more they tried to get him, the more he reacted like a corned cat. It took them nearly 10 minutes and 5 people and a blanket to catch him. Unfortunately for us, he never fully recovered from that incident. He was never as laid back afterwards and frequently growled or hissed when he was upset in any way. ;-( I also had another horrible experience with Tiger and a vet. I already posted the details here:
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=14285 Unfortunately this vet’s mistake was fatal for our tiger
I have had some wonderful experiences too. We had another cat who broke his leg and had to have a pin placed in his bone. The surgery was very tricky. but the place we brought him too was just wonderful!! They fixed him up and 4 years later he doesn’t even limp. They were truly wonderful and I thank them in my heart everyday!: )
But I too would like to know if there is a place to report bad vets too. Anyone know?
post #4 of 14
These types of vets should not be practicing.

I would do my usual and write to the local press about your experience. Be careful, and ensure you make sure it is YOUR EXPERIENCE. That way they can't sue you for slander, as all you are doing is recounting your experiences.

Write it anonymously if you have to, or ask for your details to be witheld from publication if you're concerned.

These charletans should not be allowed to practice. It's all very well getting the qualifcations, but it is really their empathy towards the animals they are treating that makes them into good vets.
post #5 of 14
Georgia is pretty good about regulating their vets. I would give a call to the BBB, and ask them who to speak to. If they cannot tell you, your local rescue organization should be able to. I am originally from Augusta, GA. Too bad it is such a long drive, the best vet in the state is there.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
Thank you for all your replies! I am much more calm this morning, though still angry, but at least I am calm enough to think clearly!

Everything everyone said is true, particularly Shell, who said Aidan is my baby, family, everything. It was interesting to read that, since I was talking to Aidan last night (apologizing, etc.) and those were the exact words I said to him! I am so SO sorry to hear that other vets around are so horrible...they really shouldn't be practicing, as Yola said. BUT....I *DO* have some news for you, especially for CEC, who also asked the same question.....

I emailed the American Association for Feline Practicioners (http://www.aafponline.org/), and I received a very prompt email from them. They told me that I should talk to the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA) or other Georgia Health Related Boards. I have already written down the phone number, and will be calling the GVMA. So, I would say to people that calling your state's board for vet medicine would be the thing to do (in the US, that is). Also, I have emailed the head vet at this clinic, whom I did not see yesterday, and told him that I want to make an appointment with him to tell him that I had a bad experience at his clinic. Don't know what he'll say, but I think it's a good idea.

I will keep you guys posted. Aidan is still a little bit skiddish (spelling?), but overall, he seems to be relatively OK. I gave him lots of XOXO and Pounce, and some wet food as a treat besides his dry food. He liked that!
post #7 of 14
Oh lord! Sorry I don't have any advice for you, but I feel your troubles

I don't like vets, that don't let you go back with the animal (maybe once.. on a random day if they are just SOOO busy). But even then they are suppose to ask, is it ok if they take the animal back with them with out you? etc etc.
Now adays, no one comes near my animals unless I am going with them. No one touches my animals or pokes them with any needles until I know what it is they are doing at that time, not what they WANT to do for the visit, but I want to know exactly what is in that vial and discuss it with them before they stick it into my pets.

It's bad enough to have things like that happen, but to have it result in being a 'biter' is another story. For Asim... someone.. me or a stranger would have to litterally be causing sever pain that would make any living thing scream for it's life before he would bite.
And there are such a thing as cat muzzles. They should know that if they have such a hard time with that cat REPEATEDLY, then for everyone's safety, they should have used a cat muzzel, or called you in to try and calm the cat down.
Your baby needed you.
And they normally (specially with out you) don't just open the door and drag an animal out. Every good vet I have been too, infact EVERY vet I have been too, if the carrier isn't already in the examining room, they bring it in, set it down open the door, give the animal the chance to come out on it's own. But opening it out scruffing and dragging it away from you automatically, that would make me very upset.

Good luck with everything else!
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Angelz00 - i totally agree with you, and it has been my past experience that every vet I have been to has also done those things. My cat also is like your cat - never bites or anything, ever - has had procedures like a fecal done with no problems whatsoever. I can't believe they labeled him a biter. These are exactly the kinds of things I plan on speaking to the head vet about tomorrow (I had previously emailed him, and he did call me back - I have a meeting with him tomorrow at noon). I am going to write a list down of all the things I want to say, and then talk to him tomorrow about it. We'll see what he has to say, or maybe me speaking with him may change his policies...or he may not care, which is when I will file a complaint with the Georgia veterinary board.

Thanks again...I'll keep you guys posted, if you'd like!
post #9 of 14
What a horrible and emotional experience for you and Aidan!! And if your cat acted out and was labelled a biter, no wonder! The cat can sense that these people were no good and let them have it!

And don't worry about your post coming across as angry, it should be. I would be beside myself trying to get back there!!! Also, I've never been to a vet that wouldn't allow you in the room. I have always accompanied my animals on routine visits.

I moved last summer and just got Nakita in October. I didn't know any vets in the area and got some recommendations at the pet store I go to. Maybe they would be able to recommend someone new for you.

I'm glad you got hold of an organization that you can tell your story to. Please keep us updated, I would like to hear what happens!

Give Aidan some hugs for me!

post #10 of 14
Wow, i'm so sorry for what happend to your cat and you! I find it amazing that some places won't let you go in with your cat. My vet, who is the most wonderful vet in the world, always has me take silas out and hold him myself.

When he was nuetered last month, my dad dropped him off for me, since I had to work. (my parents also have taken their dogs to him for a long time). My dad asked if he could watch the surgery. The doctor said sure, and my dad held Silas why he was getting put out and watched the whole procedure.That was really nice for me because my dad gave me the step-by-step/ play-by-play. lol .

My vet also lets anyone who wants to come and watch surgery. Especially young kids who are interested in becoming vets. He is so nice, and so informative. He always lets me know exactly whats going on.

His Name is Dr. Mehonovic (Muh-han-oh-vich) and he is located in Wonder Lake, IL McHenry County. If anyone is nearby, it is definately worth the drive. It is called the Wonder Lake Veterinary Clinic.
post #11 of 14
Russian Blue: Yeah your not kidding! If I ever heard one of my cats crying out like that (besides a meow) you'd have a heck of a time trying to keep me out of that room!

With the exception of scruffing Tage, none of my cats make any unhappy noises unless you step down really hard on one of their little foots!
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello all...sorry it took me a while to get back to you with the final update.

So, I did indeed have my meeting with the head vet at the clinic (I think I left off last by saying that he had returned my phone call, etc.). My thoughts on the meeting: above all, he was a good business man. What I did like about him was that he let me talk, he admitted that what had happened to Aidan was wrong, and that he promotes efficiency in the clinic, but in this case, the efficiency was what caused all the problems. He said there was a major miscommunication between his staff and myself; after the first cry, he said I should have had someone come get me and ask if I wanted this to continue to get blood from Aidan or not. He said someone should have talked to me and explained everything. So I liked that he didn't just say, "well, that's the way it is". I told him I didn't have any confidence in the vet that had seen me previously, and he offered to see the cats again for free himself to show me that this incident was an isolated event. I told him I would think about it, but really, I just can't trust that place anymore. He himself (the head vet) seemed very good with animals and nice (I forgot to mention that he showed me around the entire clinic, and handled some animals in front of me), but I decided that too much trust was broken that first day. So, I am still on the hunt for a vet in Atlanta.

I do have one more question, though, in case you guys have an opinion. I mentioned earlier that I had considered reporting this clinic to the Georgia Veterinary Board for a peer review. I called them prior to my meeting with the head vet and explained to them what had happened, and they sounded as if the situation with Aidan was out of control. They suggested I write a letter, and that the clinic would be reviewed by a peer review board based on my letter. After the meeting, I felt that the vet had tried to calm me down, but after a few days of thinking about it, I am leaning towards writing this letter for sure. Something that he said during the meeting dawned on me. One of the things we discussed was how I did not think Aidan should be considered a bite case, and he responded by saying that he has removed bite case stickers before when he deemed it was not warranted. I didn't think about it right away, but a day later, it hit me: if he has removed bite case stickers before, wouldn't you think that similar situations have happened with other pets that happened to Aidan? Why would you remove a bite case sticker other than that pet was being handled poorly (and normally wouldn't bite), and then the head vet determined it wasn't right to label him as such. This has started to really bother me, and is what makes me think that I should go ahead with the peer review board. Maybe the head vet was a good business man to me, but maybe there is something fundamentally wrong at that clinic!

Sorry for the long entry, but that is where I stand now. Leaning towards writing this letter anyhow. Any thoughts? I like to hear what other people think, so I get a broad view!
post #13 of 14
I have nothing but respect for most vets. However, just like in some professions there are some veterinarians who simply should not be practicing. I would write the letter and not make it hysterical in tone (not saying you will just suggesting you don't) Present only the facts in a clear concise manner and don't demand of the Board to do anything other than investigate if they believe your claim to be valid.

Three years ago, I wrote such a letter, and I cc'd the owner of the clinic in question, and did not request them to do anything other than their normal standard procedure. After the episode that prompted me to write this letter (which was a lot more extreme than what you witnessed) I had to step back a few days and draw a deep breath and get some clarity. I had been so upset, that writing about it right after it happened- though that writing went into my journal- I knew any type of hysteria or excitement in my letter would diminish my claim.

It took months, but eventually, the vet was asked to retire, I got several hundred dollars in compensation (from the owner of the clinic) (which just went to pay vet bills) and a letter of apology from the vet. Do I feel bad that my letter cost this man his job? I think probably my letter was not the first one they had received against him, as he was grossly negligent and almost killed one of my horses, I think perhaps my letter finally spurred them into action.
post #14 of 14
We have an emergency 24 hr. clinic here that is getting a bad reputation. We took Enya there during the night when she was 10 or 12 weeks old to get sub q. fluids during her battle with distemper. My first impression of the guy was bad. He looked like a teenager off the streets, with long unkempt hair. He just looked too young to be a vet. He used a needle that was too large (this cat was about 1 LB.) and she let out a scream. Fortunately I was with her. He tried once more, and once again she screamed. I told him she had never screamed like that at our vet. I suggested that a smaller needle might help (duh!) and he said 'ya, that might be easier'. So he got one and it went fine then, but he had no compassion. Needless to say, we didn't go back there next time we needed fluids at night. We have one other all nighter.
Our vet is excellent. She has a lot of compassion for animals and shows me a lot of respect. She stayed with the male kitten we adopted at the same time as Enya and who was the first one to get distemper at the shelter, until he died. How many would take time out to do that?
Get referrals for a new vet. That's the best way to find what your after. Ask what it is they like about their vet.
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