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Cat with URI-Need advice

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We recently had our 2 male cats neutered at our local Animal Controls open clinic about a week and a half ago.Our one cat got to come home the same day he was neutered but our other cat had to spend the night there.Well about 3 days after we brought our cat home(the one that spent the night)he started sneezing,then the next day he was in horrible shape (runny nose,runny eyes no appetite,etc.)We tried contacting Animal Control on Monday Memorials Day to see if we could bring him in to be seen or get medication for him.We were told by a Vet assistant on duty that since our cat was not adopted through them there was nothing they could do.Our argument is that my cat was PERFECTLY healthy before he went there to get neutered,but when he came from there he was sick.All that we asked for was some medicine for our cat...Also to add we were NOT told by anyone when picking our cat up that there may be a chance that he had been around infected or sick animals so it may be best to keep him isolated from our other cats for a few days.So since we didn't get anywhere with them on Monday we had to take our cat to the Vet and pay $100 out of our own pocket for him to get fluids due to him being dehydrated and also medication for an Upper Respiratory Infection.We contacted them again the next day being Tuesday to ask to speak with a supervisor of which after trying to call her all day Tuesday we got NO RESPONSE.Then Wednesday came and nothing yet after leaving messages after messages for her to call us.Finally Thursday came and she did call us but pretty much told us the same thing that the assistant had told us.By this time one of our other cats started showing early signs of Upper Respiratory Infection.We also explained this to her and she said to fax her the Vet record from the cat and she would see what she could do.Now it is now Sunday and we have not yet heard from her yet.We also had to purchase more medicine from our vet for another $20.We are very upset because if we would have known this we could have isolated the cat from the beginning,but we do feel as if they should be responsible for our cat getting sick in the first place.We didn't ask them for much but some medication,now it is $120 later plus we will need more medication in this upcoming week and still no response.We don't know what to do from here,we are completely stressed out from this whole issue and it upsets us that they are very cold to the fact that our cat got sick from being there.They should not have an open clinic to the public if they are going to have the publics pets around sick animals,and then not accept responsibility for their actions.We are on a fixed income and cannot really afford this,but at the same time we do not want our cat to suffer.To top everything off we NEVER received an apology for any of this.We don't know what to do about this situation and are completely frustrated with it...
post #2 of 5
I don't know what to tell you to do about that vet, but I can tell you that kitties can be more prone to URI's after stressful situations, like getting neutered. I probably wouldn't go back there again for a neuter.. It's very hard to tell where to lay the blame. I certainly wouldn't be shocked if he picked up the virus there, but you don't know that for sure. It could also be that one of your cats already had it or was carrying the virus, and the stress of the neuter caused it to flare up in this kitty.
post #3 of 5
I'm not at all surprised that cats picked up a URI at an Animal Control veterinary facility. Those places are the very definition of high traffic, and typically handle hundreds of animals of unknown origin.
Presumably you went there to save money on spay/neuters, and you got what you went for.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to use clinics like this- just that you shouldn't be surprised that an extremely common airborne virus was floating around.
Any time you go into any veterinary facility there will be sick animals on premesis if not sitting in the actual waiting room.

Were your cats not vaccinated?
If they were then the URI will probably run it's course and be done. If not, the URI will probably run a bit longer course and be done.

It sounds as if you expect them to pick up the bill for a very prevalent virus that cats can pick up any one of 100 ways, and they're not going to do that. If you raise a big enough stink they might discount you 10% or so but that's about all I would expect.

URI's are so common nowadays that it is the rare cat who never has one. Accept that it has happened, be aggravated at the clinic for a bit, then let it go. They will be fine as long as you pay attention to their hydration and keep them eating.
Then start up a small savings account or set aside an empty credit card for veterinary emergency- if you own pets they are going to need veterinary care, and it always seems to happen at the worst time financially, so it's better to be prepared.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well the Animal Control Association did finally respond...they gave us plenty of medication and also reimbursed us for our neutering and also for our vet exam.Also our babies are doing a bit better,still sneezing but they are getting better.
We are just concerned because I have read alot of articles stating that URI can reoccur??? Can anyone educate me on this a little more???
post #5 of 5
I'm sure there are many people more knowledgeable than I am, but this is what I've learned from Lilly...

An upper respiratory infection is often caused by a flare up of feline herpes virus. This is very similar to when people get a herpes outbreak (the cold sores), and *very* common in cats.

The flare ups happebn when the cat gets stressed- Lilly's trigger is me going out of town & leaving her home alone... however,
I just adopted a 3 month old male, Leo, who is having some intestinal issues with runny stool & he's had a few accidents while I've been out of the house (we're going to the vet tomorrow). I've come home to find "burying" marks around the accidents, and I know Lilly has been trying to cover it up (what a good girl!), Tonight, she's been sneezing a lot, which is always the first symptom to show when she's getting a flare up. So, while she's fine with him, I think his accidents are stressing her out.

A round of Clavamox has been great in clearing up her URI's... along with some eye ointment I can't remember the name of off-hand.

Studies have found that l-lysine (a supplement you can buy in the grocery store or pharmacy near the rest of the supplements) helps some cats from having flare ups. I don't know if it helps Lilly, but a bottle of 400 cost me $8, which is much cheaper than a trip to the vet & a round of meds! So, I crush one up & mix it in her wet food every day. I figure, it won't hurt her, and might be helping.

Feel free to pm me if you want, but I'm sure there are lots of other people who will have great info for you. Good luck with your kitties!
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