TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Vet Visit Warning
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Vet Visit Warning

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I hope this is the right forum. I just thought I would share a story, and warn everyone when you go to the vet, low cost or otherwise, pull out all the stops even if your vet doesn't suggest them, or acts like you're stupid.

My friends sister just lost her cat recently. He was only 10 months old. Two months ago, he started losing weight. She was taking him to a companion pet clinic... which around here most of them don't have the best reputations. If you work in emergency you see a lot of surgeries that get repaired from there due to lack of suturing. Anyway, she took him there, the vet was really reputable, 20+ years under his belt, nice guy. Mind you, I have no idea how much she was willing to spend... but this is crazy. They tested her cat for FIV/FELV. Put him on different meds to get him to eat and to clear up any underlying infection etc. He kept losing weight and not doing well.

Finally about 1-2 weeks ago, he had a BM, and she noticed string coming out... so she started helping him out he started screaming so she cut it and took him in. They x-rayed him to find string wound up all around his esophogus, stomach, and intestines. The vet said he never in his life had seen string show up on an x-ray, but this cat had eaten so much it was all over.

They opted for a $1,000 surgery. She specifically told him, if it was bad, if the cat wouldn't make it once he looked in there to put him down while he was already under anesthesia. The vet looked inside, and repaired it anyway. He had to remove 4" of his intestine, with a low outcome for survival. The cat ended up not making it... the surgery would be $2400, but he left her at her original quote of $1,000.

I'm posting this to let you guys know, if your cat stops eating and you've checked blood levels, and looked FIV and FELV. Have some x-rays taken. Even if the vet thinks you're crazy. I have a feeling this could have been taken care of in the beginning had they just taken a few x-rays, or at least used some barium to find a blockage [where the string wound around the intestines]. I can't imagine what that cat went through for 2 months... and what she ended up paying, for her cat to die anyway.

I'm not putting a price on life... but it's not fair to the cat either to have to have gone all through surgery, and the not make it. Had she known it was that bad she wouldn't have done it, and she TOLD HIM not to do it if it was looking hopeless.

Stick to your instincts, and always remember to keep a fairly close eye on your furkids.
post #2 of 15
That is so extremely sad.

Thanks for the good advice though.

I know I am always worried about my cats getting a hold of string. I try and get rid of any of it I find..but you know how cats are, somehow they always get into trouble.
post #3 of 15
That poor, poor kitty.
While we're on the subject of what cats will swallow, don't forget about dental floss.
post #4 of 15
the fact that your friends sister left so much string about should be the warning not the vets bills!
post #5 of 15
Please don't ever pull anything you see hanging out of a cat. If the other end is attached to something major it can cause quite a health disaster. Look at string like cat's do, they think it is a mouse tail and will go after string, dental floss, ribbon, shoelaces, cords from the drapes and blinds. Not a good thing to have string or yarn or thread lying about a house with cats in it. A friend of ours is a seamstress, they just had to put their cat down because of this problem. Kat (yeah i know, original name) had swallowed so much thread that half his intestines were blocked off and necrotic.
post #6 of 15
That's a really sad story, but with several good lessons. Thanks for sharing it. I think some vets are like some doctors....excellent technicians, but not very empathetic about the consequences of their work. This vet clearly didn't listen to his client's wishes, nor did he consider the pain and suffering imposed on this cat by the excercise of his surgical skills.

Here's what I learned: (1) if you think something's wrong with your cat and your vet can't figure it out, go somewhere else, and keep looking until you get the right answer. (2) Don't think that excellent reputation and skillset equates to excellent care, or the best interests of the animal. (3) Be sure that you communicate with your vet and make sure he/she understands your wishes, and that you have a clear idea ahead of time of what the vet proposes to do.
post #7 of 15
OMg.... How sad...
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
That's a really sad story, but with several good lessons. Thanks for sharing it. I think some vets are like some doctors....excellent technicians, but not very empathetic about the consequences of their work. This vet clearly didn't listen to his client's wishes, nor did he consider the pain and suffering imposed on this cat by the excercise of his surgical skills.

Here's what I learned: (1) if you think something's wrong with your cat and your vet can't figure it out, go somewhere else, and keep looking until you get the right answer. (2) Don't think that excellent reputation and skillset equates to excellent care, or the best interests of the animal. (3) Be sure that you communicate with your vet and make sure he/she understands your wishes, and that you have a clear idea ahead of time of what the vet proposes to do.
That was well put!



Plebayo
That is such a sad story. Sounds like you did all you could.
post #9 of 15
I have a cat that for the past 18 monthes has had episodes of not eating with dry heaves and dehydration. Even with his history, every time I take him in they do an x-ray to make sure that that particular time it isn't because of something he has swallowed.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
the fact that your friends sister left so much string about should be the warning not the vets bills!
The vet bills aren't the warning... the warning is to cover all of your bases.

She has NO idea where he got the string, he's indoor/outdoor so it's likely he got it from somewhere outside. It shows you the dangers of having and indoor/outdoor cat because you don't always know where they leave to.

Quote:
That's a really sad story, but with several good lessons. Thanks for sharing it. I think some vets are like some doctors....excellent technicians, but not very empathetic about the consequences of their work. This vet clearly didn't listen to his client's wishes, nor did he consider the pain and suffering imposed on this cat by the excercise of his surgical skills.

Here's what I learned: (1) if you think something's wrong with your cat and your vet can't figure it out, go somewhere else, and keep looking until you get the right answer. (2) Don't think that excellent reputation and skillset equates to excellent care, or the best interests of the animal. (3) Be sure that you communicate with your vet and make sure he/she understands your wishes, and that you have a clear idea ahead of time of what the vet proposes to do.
Very well said.

I have a feeling he tried to repair it hoping the cat would live. I'm not saying he's an ego-maniac who figured if the cat lived he could add it to his list of accomplishments, but I think he did it because he was maybe hoping the cat would live due to it being so young? I honestly don't know... mostly what upsets me is that I don't know when the cat died [I didn't ask] if he died after surgery, did he die while still under? Or was he waking up and he died? I can't imagine what kind of pain he would wake up in...

The biggest thing for me, and it ISN'T about the money, however, to pretty much go around in circles, putting this cat through the stress of different tests and different medications, just to FINALLY take an x-ray, when it's too late is kind of crazy. I mean... I don't know that I would do x-rays the first day, because for all anyone knows the cat could just be feeling unwell, and she didn't think he could have eaten something. But after a month there's definitley something wrong.

It does kind of goes to show the level of care depending upon where you go. This clinic chain in particular is notorius for having issues, even though they are privately owned.

I also agree, it's VERY important to be clear with the vet on what you are, and are not willing to pay for, and what you are willing to have done to your cat. As far as I am concerned, I don't think she should have to pay the $1,000 because she said she didn't want to do the surgery if the cat wasn't going to make it.
----

I really just wanted to stress that you should NEVER feel stupid for wanting them to run a certain test, or do something special for your pet. Especially in a case like this, I can imagine a vet A.) saying no to your money, and B.) saying no to an idea that could save your pet's life.
post #11 of 15
That's really scary, and sad. I too have learned this lesson. My cat was chewing on a piece of plastic from some packaging once and I tried to get it from him but he started swallowing it.
Soon he was foaming at the mouth trying to hack it up and I could not for the life of me get ahold of him he was running every which way. I guess I was going to attempt the hymlic (sp?) or something, I just knew I wanted to save him.
I thought he was going to pass out and then he hacked it up (whew)
I make sure there is nothing on the floor now but kitty toys!

And Yes Ive had the exprience where the Vet would NOT listen to me at all!
I had a very skittish Bengal, he was like afraid of his own shadow and even the smallest unexpected noises even though I had raised him from a kitten. I was trying to get the Vet to try Prozac, anything! We had done the Feliway etc etc etc, no go. And he just said "Oh that cat will be that way all of his life, you'll just have to get used to it." Argh!
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo
My friends sister just lost her cat recently.
My condolences to your friend and her poor kitty. That is so sad.
post #13 of 15
I work as a vet assistant so i have seen a lot of things. Yes a vet who has expirance is good BUT some older vets are stuck in their ways and not as up to date on things as some of the younger vets are. All of the FIVE vets i currently work with would have immediatly x rayed that cat. You have to rule out things like: cancer, blockages, abnormalities in the organs, even arthritis can cause a cat to stop eatting! If he (or she) was really a good vet they would have ordered full bloodwork, urinalysis, felv/fiv test, AND xrays. I would definately not put my trust in that vet again.

AND NEVER PULL ANY OBJECT, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS, OUT OF ANY ANIMAL!

Regardless of how well recommend a vet is there can always be issues that arise. I took my cat to a specialist earlier in the year and had a VERY bad expirance. My cat has a VERY VERY rare bone disease. It's call osteogenesis imperfecta. (also known as brittle bone disease) So I took him to a highly recommended clinic after his second fracture. They told me they needed to sedate him to take some good x rays. I told them that was fine and that I would be back in about a hour. (I had to get something to eat. I had been waiting there since 8 am and it was already 12 pm. AND i had an appointment for 8!) So an hour later when I come back the vet shows me the xrays of his left leg. He says (in these exact words) "well as you can see here, the left leg is obviously fractured. Oh and um, I also need to tell you that when the technician was holding him in the back to sedate him, she accidently allowed him to jump off the table." He didn't even need to say anymore I knew what words were coming next. "his right leg is now broken as well." Fortunately they offered to pay to repair his right leg.
BUT THE STORY GETS BETTER STILL!!!!
They didn't give him any pain medication, and I still had to pay 400 dollars for the x rays. So After I left there I took him to my clinic and they gave him some medication to help with having TWO broken back legs.
IT GETS BETTER STILL!!!!
Later that evening I get a phone call from them. The vet who was suppose to do the surgery the following morning had a death and the family and wouldn't be able to come in. OK not a big deal. I'm getting the surgery for free. I ask, "is someone else coming in tommorrow to do it?" "No, we will have to reschedule your appointment." OK still not that big of a deal. Its a big clinic, there has to be another vet covering for him while he's gone. It was a friday so I thought Monday or tuesday at the latest would be resonable right? Then she says, "it will have to be a week from wednesday." WHAT???? thats a week and a half away! By then the bones would have started to heal ALL wrong.
NOW I'M MAD. This is my baby THEY messed up. I am a very calm a quiet person but I was not going to take this. So the next day I when up there WITH my cat. I didn't feed him all night because I was DETERMINED he was going to have his surgery. I went in and asked to speak with an office manager. I told her I was very mad and wanted his leg fixed today. She replied with, "I'm sorry we can't do that for you." "This is an emergency vet and a specialist, there HAS to be someone on call." She says "NO one can come in today, we have tried." "Fine I will take him to the other specialist and sent you the bill for it." Then with a BIG attitude she says "WELL, we won't pay it for you." AT THIS POINT I AM MAD. "FINE, then I'll sue you for it and call every news channel in the area." "I'll be right back" she says.
A few minutes pass and she comes walking in "One of the doctors are willing to come in."

SO the lesson of this story is do your own research on your vet. Take your pet in for a general exam to see if you like them and there way of doing things. Don't just take somone elses word. If you don't like them don't feel like you have to keep them as your vet!
AND the other lesson of this story.... The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
post #14 of 15
i had a cat a long time ago who lived through an operation to remove thread (he had eaten an entire spool). the vet wasnt sure if he would make it or not because it was in his spleen and everything. yes, i had left the thread out, at the time i had no idea that a cat would do such a thing as eat a spool of thread!!
post #15 of 15
Very sad. And a lot of hard lessons to learn for sure. It can be so critical to be sure there is not a lot of stringy things laying around the house.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Vet Visit Warning