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I am so angry

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am so mad I could spit and so upset I could cry so I will write this to see if it will calm me. I took the stray cat I found to the spay/neuter clinic today to be fixed. Since we did not know if she was already fixed, I asked that they shave her to see if there was a scar. If there was a visible scar I said to do nothing and if there was no scar I said to go ahead. I made sure these instructions were written on the paperwork I signed. Since she appears to be between 6 month to a year old it seemed reasonable a scar might still be visible. When I picked her up the person behind the desk said they had opened her up but found out she was already fixed. I said “so there was no scar†and she said “I guess notâ€.

When I got home I pulled out the paper work to read the post operative surgery instructions they had clipped to them and noticed someone hade taken a sharpie and completely blacked out my instructions so they were completely unreadable. They had written below it “owner requests cat to have surgery to either perform neuter or explore abdomen to assure cat has previously been neuteredâ€. That is not at all what I wanted and this action makes both angry and distrustfull. Why would they have altered the paperwork unless a scar had been visible? This action makes me suspect there was a scar but they went ahead with the surgery against my instructions and just altered the paperwork to hide the fact. They did not tell me beforehand that they would perform the surgery against my wishes nor did they try to call me on the phone to discuss it. Now I look at poor Cindy who obviously is very uncomfortable and want to cry over the needless pain she may be suffering. Maybe there was a scar and maybe there was no scar but I will never take another animal to them. Obviously they can not be trusted.
post #2 of 26
If there wasn't a scar they should have called you to confirm that "Hey, we can't find a scar, we're going to go ahead with surgery." JUST to be sure you know what's going on. I can't believe they would just do it [although I see it all the time.]

I would complain. Did they make you pay for it? If so I'd go back there and say there's no way and you want your money back. I would go in on a day that there's people in the lobby and demand to see the person in charge, or the veterinarian who performed the surgery. If they feed you some junk about the vet being busy, or not having a supervisor, I'd raise my voice, sound a little angry, and tell them you don't understand why they operated on your cat WITHOUT your permission. Explain how upset you are about your cat enduring that pain. The more you make a scene [and I don't mean go all our, give them time to change their minds.] the more likely they'll be to get someone. If they say whoever did the surgery/is in charge is gone, tell them you want them on the phone NOW.

If they didn't make you pay, I'd still go down there and explain how much this upset you, and that you felt they operated without your permission.

Whenever we "quote" someone a surgery that might not happen, we NEVER go through the surgery without calling the owner and getting one more okay. I would be just as upset as you, and I'm so sorry this happened!
post #3 of 26
Ditto the above post. I think whoever blacked that out needs to be reprimanded. That was outrageous, and totally unacceptable to do.
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
I think whoever blacked that out needs to be reprimanded. That was outrageous, and totally unacceptable to do.
I agree. Surgery is not risk-free and to put an animal in needless pain is cruel.
post #5 of 26
That is outrageous. To perform essentially "exploratory" surgery on an animal - I just can't believe they did that. You have every right to complain and in fact, a duty to have the person responsible for blacking out your instructions to reprimanded. I feel so bad for you and your kitty to be victims of this irresponsible and unprofessional conduct. You are absolutely right to be angry and they need to be held accountable.

I hope your kitty recovers quickly and completely. And I hope you get the answers and results you should.
post #6 of 26
Wow! I cannot believe they did that. That poor cat! I'd definetly follow up with that clinic to let them know how wrong that was. Hopefully, they don't pull this crap again on other animals.
post #7 of 26
I would be livid! It seems that there would be a way to find out without doing surgery.
I took Fred in to have an abcess treated, and those nitwits called me and asked if they could neuter him while they had him under anesthesia. He had been neutered for years by then. Then they asked if I wanted him declawed! I was so mad! If they had not already had him under, I would have gone and removed him right then. They left a terrible scar on his little head where they stitched him up. They were determined they wanted to cut something off my poor little guy.
I hope your little one feels better from her ordeal. Poor baby!
post #8 of 26
... I just found this site and this thread....

I definitely wouldn't go to that vet ever again! Poor Cindy!

As for the vet's office that called asking if they wanted him neutered while he was under anesthesia .... I guess I can agree with that since neutering is such an important operation -- if it became a routine question and the person didn't read the animal's chart, that is...

But to offer to declaw makes me sick. The vet we see will do the operation but doesn't have it anywhere on any of her forms, even her spay/neuter form (which is where I've seen places to request declawing most of the time)... and she makes them try SoftPaws first.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by seminole
... As for the vet's office that called asking if they wanted him neutered while he was under anesthesia .... I guess I can agree with that since neutering is such an important operation -- if it became a routine question and the person didn't read the animal's chart, that is...

But to offer to declaw makes me sick. The vet we see will do the operation but doesn't have it anywhere on any of her forms, even her spay/neuter form (which is where I've seen places to request declawing most of the time)... and she makes them try SoftPaws first.

Fred was an adult male though!
It's pretty darned obvious when a male is intact, they should have looked before asking.


OP, I would definitely confront them on this, and take it to your state's veterinary licensing board if need be (though likely, the mere threat of that will work wonders), malpractice in Vets is just as serious as in MDs.
post #10 of 26
Hi,

If I were you, I would complain to the veterinarian professional association of your state and/or the American Veterinary Association (I am not sure of the official name as I am in Canada), depending on which is the professional order for veterinarians that would receive such complaints. And as you have such a blatant proof on paper of an incident, this gives even more weight to your case.

N.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
This morning I took off the bandage and she clearly has a small scar which extends about 1/2 inch beyond the new incision towards the front. The entire scar must have been very visible and the vet just decided to operate for no reason anyway. Thank you for all the advise on what I can do about this. Cindy is doing better but I have to think this must still be painful ...for no purpose.
post #12 of 26
is how I would feel too.

Take a good picture of the scar you can see above the one they just made for no reason, and keep that paperwork that's been blacked out. You may need both later.

You can tell if a cat has been fixed already-- it is an organ! Not necessarily with a manual exam, but they can find them on diagnostics. Those are expensive though, and I totally understand why you had them shave her and look for a scar instead.

If you've paid for it, call the bank and stop payment on it. Then go down to see them. And demand a satisfactory explanation. If you don't get one, go to the board, with your evidence.

The poor girl will be just fine before she even knows what happened, but how very very terrible for the vet to have done!
post #13 of 26
I'd be more than a little furious with that service and demand an explanation and my money back. The second they crossed out your note and replaced it with their own, ignored the previous scar, and cut her open anyway, they messed up royally in my book.
post #14 of 26
I would not only demand a refund but if there is anything you need to treat Cindy for this unnecessary surgery I would have them give you that too. Pain meds, if appropriate (I have no clue, as you can tell).

I agree with the others, and with you. The blacking out of your note is what I would focus on when confronting the vet. That just seems so unnecessary. Why would anyone do that? Your note would've been much better.
post #15 of 26
You know, the note doesn't seem like the biggest problem here. The fact that they did a surgery over an obvious scar does. The person who wrote the note may have thought they were clarifying your instructions (I know they weren't but they may not have been malicious), and also not all spays are done through the lower abdomen (some do them on the side). But the fact that there was something on her belly which was very clearly a spay scar should have made them stop as soon as they shaved her. So I would concentrate on that. You have every right to be mad, of course, and I would be too.
post #16 of 26
If they charged you for the surgery - the money was probably their motive. They probably figure they can get away with a quick, easy slice (since they knew the spay was already done) and then claim they had to do exploratory surgery - so they make a quick, easy buck.

You have to remember that not all vets are in it for the sake of your pets . . . I unfortunately got to witness firsthand an obviously money hungry vet when I took my dog in for a checkup the other day.

My regular vet was sick or something so I had to see a different vet.

Throughout the entire checkup he kept asking me if I wanted to do all these unnecessary procedures - I mean, I can understand asking me if I want my dog to have a rectal exam if there is something wrong with him - but why the #### would I want one as part of a routine checkup?!?

Then I get my estimate and it's like $370 - and I was only there for a checkup and a few routine vaccinations!! I had to tell the receptionist who brought me the estimate (while the vet hides in the back and waits for her to come back) that I wanted to take this off, and take this off, and no - I don't want to try your new special vet recommended dog food.......geez.

Then the vet types up the final costs and in place of each and every thing I didn't decide to buy, it says "We recommend you ______." What a load of crap - my regular vet only recommends things that my dog actually needs!

Then he spend like 5 minutes trying to convince me I needed to get this expensive ear cleaner sold at the clinic. Why? My dog's ears are fine! In fact, my 'regular' vet told me my dog is one of very few hound dogs she sees with clean, dry ears.

Oh - and to top it all off - did you know that (in some cases) it is the vet who determines how much the office visit costs, not the clinic? Apparently this vet charges twice as much for an office visit than my regular vet does - - once again I say "What a load of crap!"

Sorry for so much ranting - the whole point I'm trying to make is - some vets are money hungry jerks!!
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by elbvc211
If they charged you for the surgery - the money was probably their motive. They probably figure they can get away with a quick, easy slice (since they knew the spay was already done) and then claim they had to do exploratory surgery - so they make a quick, easy buck.

You have to remember that not all vets are in it for the sake of your pets . . . I unfortunately got to witness firsthand an obviously money hungry vet when I took my dog in for a checkup the other day.

My regular vet was sick or something so I had to see a different vet.

Throughout the entire checkup he kept asking me if I wanted to do all these unnecessary procedures - I mean, I can understand asking me if I want my dog to have a rectal exam if there is something wrong with him - but why the #### would I want one as part of a routine checkup?!?

Then I get my estimate and it's like $370 - and I was only there for a checkup and a few routine vaccinations!! I had to tell the receptionist who brought me the estimate (while the vet hides in the back and waits for her to come back) that I wanted to take this off, and take this off, and no - I don't want to try your new special vet recommended dog food.......geez.

Then the vet types up the final costs and in place of each and every thing I didn't decide to buy, it says "We recommend you ______." What a load of crap - my regular vet only recommends things that my dog actually needs!

Then he spend like 5 minutes trying to convince me I needed to get this expensive ear cleaner sold at the clinic. Why? My dog's ears are fine! In fact, my 'regular' vet told me my dog is one of very few hound dogs she sees with clean, dry ears.

Oh - and to top it all off - did you know that (in some cases) it is the vet who determines how much the office visit costs, not the clinic? Apparently this vet charges twice as much for an office visit than my regular vet does - - once again I say "What a load of crap!"

Sorry for so much ranting - the whole point I'm trying to make is - some vets are money hungry jerks!!

I remember taking one of my fosters in for a spay. Nothing else mentioned, and getting a bill with the feluk vaccine and a bunch of shots which weren't mentioned or asked for on it. $30-something extra for stuff I didn't hear about once. I even gave them documentation that she'd had her shots and they gave her all of them again + the feluk vaccine I didnt want and charged me $6 for a lintroller. I almost exploded, I was so angry. Vets like that make the whole veterinary population look bad. I feel sorry for the pets of anyone who went there as a first timer and have them as a first impression of vet visits (as I've since learned that they do that to everyone).

I've since found two vets who are fully honest and don't pull any crap like that.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
I feel sorry for the pets of anyone who went there as a first timer and have them as a first impression of vet visits (as I've since learned that they do that to everyone).
What makes it scarier is that people who are always treated like that start fearing the vet themselves and don't take their dogs/cats in to be treated and get checkups because they're afraid of being overcharged and pushed around.

If I were a new pet owner and I had the experience I went through the other day - I'd probably be afraid to take my dog back to the vet too!

Luckily, I've actually met 3 vets who really seem to care. I went to an emergency vet once who euthanized a stray cat I had found --- free of charge, because she was suffering so much.

There was no chance at recovery for her, and I was only about 16 and didn't have enough money for the emergency visit and the euthanasia. I don't remember exactly what was wrong with her but she had some serious disease and her kidneys weren't functioning at all.

He said he didn't want her to suffer a painful death so he was just going to do it free of charge. I continued using him as a vet until one day he just disappeared....I don't know if he moved or retired or what - the secretary had no idea where he went.

He was a good vet. I had an older dog with some fatty lumps on her, and I was thinking about getting them removed simply for cosmetic purposes - they weren't hurting her - - and believe it or not, he advised me not to, even though it was an expensive surgery that would have given him a nice profit I'm sure.

He said it wasn't necessary at all, and the recovery would be too hard on her because of her age (she was 11).

Anyway - I wish all vets truly cared.
post #19 of 26
Can you sue them? I mean seriously, they altered paperwork after you signed it. Isn't that basically a contract and that would be a legal thing if it is agreed upon and signed. Seems like a Judge Judy type of thing to me.

Have you contacted the vet yet?
post #20 of 26
I bet I know why the paperwork was changed. I bet the vet didn't even look at it first. Just another routine surgery, right? When he found out it was already done, THEN he looked at the paperwork. So to cover his mistake, he changed the paperwork to make it look like he followed instructions. Or am I just being cynical?
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Fred was an adult male though!
It's pretty darned obvious when a male is intact, they should have looked before asking.


OP, I would definitely confront them on this, and take it to your state's veterinary licensing board if need be (though likely, the mere threat of that will work wonders), malpractice in Vets is just as serious as in MDs.
re: Fred - when i bring my cats in for the first visit, i'm always asked if they've been spayed/neutered. seems like all vets would ask this just as a routine question!

for Cindy - it's worthwhile to complain - you have nothing to lose! you may not get anywhere, tho - i complained for a surcharge on Java's spay. she was in heat at the time, which i informed them of...both when i made the appointment & when i brought her in. the office policy was to charge $20 extra for a heat spay. they didn't bother to inform me of that, tho - i was surprised by the higher bill when i picked her up. they knew money was an issue [i teach school - trust me, money's ALWAYS an issue!] because i was picking her up the same day to avoid the overnight bill. i thought perhaps the problem was the office staff, as i had been very pleased with this vet when Mouse was so sick. so i wrote him a lettter, explaining why i was angry. never heard a thing from him. i switched vets - mainly because i want to know EVERYTHING upfront, & i don't think that's an unreasonable request.
post #22 of 26
I'm not sure what your situation is like, so I'm not suggesting this as advice, but rather a statement of what I would (ideally) do.

I would attempt to persue this in the most strenous legal terms - vet. malpractice, whatever the term might be. This is both a personal thing (it happened to you personally, and you deserve redress) and an impersonal thing (this vet/practice) is behaving in a way that is unprofessional and actively cruel. Further, some of the other posts suggest that this sort of thing is not uncommon in the states - if more vets were afraid of being sued of the face of the earth and de-registered, they might think twice about behaving in these unconsciounable ways.

Anyway, that's just my two cents.
post #23 of 26
Is your vet AAHA certified? If so, you need to visit their website or call them and find out what the protocol is for reporting something like this, I think pictures are a good idea. Also, while it is still fresh in your mind, sit down and write out every detail that you can accurately remember.

If you do not get satisfactory resolution from your vet and/or from their professional organization, hit them where it hurts, go to the local news station, news papers, animal rescue organizations etc ... get the word out. There are enough people out there who will be appalled by what they did that it will effect their reputation and their ability to do business, even if no legal action is taken against them. If you do want to find out what your legal options there, find a few mal-practice lawyers who do free consultations, take all of your documentation with you, and see what they have to say.

I know it would be easier just to let this go and forget about it, but you should at the very least report them to the professional organization that certifies their clinic and to the state licensing board as well. If they did this to you, what will they do to other people and their pets? You can bet this is not a one time deal.
post #24 of 26
I just read this and I'm wondering if anything came of this? If that were me, I'd be LIVID! I'd be down there faster then a dog at dinnertime DEMANDING to see whoever not only did the surgery, but is in charge of the place, and the person who changed the document. Heads would be rolling that's for sure. Noone would put my cats in unnecessary pain like that and get away with it.
post #25 of 26
I too would be livid. there is no way they had to open up the cat to see if she was neutered. Any vet should be able to figure that out, without a scare. Yes they should be able to feel her uterus present or not.

I would first ask for my money back since they did unnecessary surgery. If they give it to you, good, and then I would report them to whatever regulatory, and licensing agencies there are.

If he doesn't give you back your money, I would make a sign saying this vet does unnecessary surgeries, and creul to animals, something like that and march in front of his practice every day for as long as I could. You are within your rights to do this and if they call the police ther is nothing they can don to stop you as long as you don't harrass the customers. I would also have the whole story printed and hand it to customers to read as they walked in. I wouold make sure every one of his customers knew who they were dealing with.
I would also file a claim in small claims court, it won't cast much and with a sympathetic judge, you could prevail. I am not sure you would be able to get money for pain and suffering unless you hired a lawyer, but I would ask for the fee of the surgery, the transportain, the time you took off work, and if the judge sees fit, a dollar amount for pain and suffering. Make sure you make that optionial because some judges may see that as tryingto be greedy and will dismiss the whole thing. That vet would be damn sorry he did that to my cat, that's for sure. let us kniow what happens. It is a long and tedious project, but this guy should be taught a lesson so he doesn't do it to others. Too many times we are too busy and complacent to opursue these things. Just make it part of your daily routine.
post #26 of 26
Any updates??
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