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Re: [feline-heart] Venting

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  • Voula Augerinos
    Dear Kira s mum, firstly I am so sorry for your loss of your Beloved Kira. Vent as much as you like as you need to get your anger out. It is very
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 3, 2001
      Dear Kira's mum,
      firstly I am so sorry for your loss of your Beloved Kira. Vent as much
      as you like as you need to get your anger out. It is very understandable.
      You asked if anyone had any similar experiences. Where do I begin?! But
      I will just write about my Pebbles' last days on this earth.
      Pebbles had heart disease as well as several other serious conditions
      which she lived with well. In the last week of her life she suddenly stopped
      eating. Pebbles developed cancer which took her life. A combination of
      Easter holidays, unavailable specialists and our own regular vet, idiot vets
      at the hospital, a moron vet (associate of our regular vet) who would not
      return my calls so I could start Pebbles on medication for the cancer, a
      locum vet filling in for our regular vet who told me she would not prescribe
      the medication (cortisone! how hard is that!!!!) because she was not
      familiar with the case and then criticised me for going to our allopathic
      vet for the medication (where I was faced with the b*tch from hell! as a
      receptionist who would not let me speak to the vet!), and a specialist when
      we finally did the ultrasound who would not call me back to at least tell me
      the dosage so I could get it from our our old allopathic vet! Are you
      confused yet?! You probably are because I still feel in a fog over that last
      week!
      Essentially, Pebbles could have been started on medication a week
      before she was when she first lost her appetite. I know she probably would
      not have lived very long, perhaps we might have had some weeks more
      together, perhaps not. Perhaps the medication would have killed her before
      the disease. But what makes me furious is the incompentence and LACK OF
      CARING AND RESPECT for both Pebbles and myself.
      I find myself after these experiences with Pebbles and some with my
      Sachie when she was ill with cancer, almost totally lacking respect for any
      vet. I trust the two vets I chose for my cats in terms of their knowledge
      and level of care, but as far as others I met on our harrowing journey
      through Pebbles' and Sachie's illnesses.....I cannot write on this group
      what I feel as my language would be inappropriate for a public forum such as
      this. But I think you all understand the words I would use.
      As a little postscript to all of this....I decided to choose the
      allopathic vet as my Lucy's vet, because the good vet at the other clinic is
      only there half days and her associate I cannot work with since he lost a
      thermometer up Pebbles' bum! Yesterday I dropped off a booklet on grief and
      pet loss I have written to some local vets in the hopes that they would have
      them in their waiting rooms for their grieving clients. The b*tch from
      hell's response of "Well you know people don't like to see this sort of
      information in vet's waiting rooms, and blah blah blah....We deal with this
      all the time.....blah blah blah.....well yes...I'll show it to the
      vet....but....blah blah blah....." I left there feeling depressed. I had put
      a lot of work and energy into my booklet and I left there thinking that I
      can't take my Lucy there because I can't deal with this woman. The vet there
      is great, but the receptionist is almost impossible. Perhaps I will have to
      use the wholistic clinic and see the good vet there and stay away from
      Thermo man (the vet who lost the thermometer up Pebbles bum).
      Love, Voula.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: VHess2000@... <VHess2000@...>
      To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com <feline-heart@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Wednesday, 4 July 2001 9:07
      Subject: [feline-heart] Venting


      >I'm sorry for the length of this missive, but I need to get some things off
      >my chest. My beloved cat, Kira, died 1 week ago from a second episode of
      >saddle thrombosis. In addition to trying to grieve, I'm trying to find
      some
      >perspective on the last 24 hours of her life, which were frankly,
      horrendous.
      >
      >
      >I will always be grateful to Dr. Davis, who had treated a cat that survived
      a
      >saddle thrombosis (ST), and who based on that experience, suggested an
      >aggressive treatment plan for Kira, when she throw her first clot. In the
      >first 24 hours following the ST, Kira received fluids, oxygen, heparin
      every
      >8 hours, apirin and aggressive support for her pain, and at my request,
      >CoQ10. I then took her home where I continued her pain and heparin
      >injections for several days, in addition to antibiotics to ward off any
      >infection in her legs. She was also treated by Dr. P at the nearby animal
      >hospital when Kira wouldn't eat over the weekend. Kira went into
      congestive
      >heart failure five days later, and following an ultrasound at an animal
      >hospital, was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy. The attending
      vet,
      >Dr. W, said she would be dead in 48 hours. At my request he administered
      an
      >injection of lasix, so I could take her home for the evening, prior to
      >euthanizing her in the morning. At 6 am, Kira made a complete turn around,
      >began breathing normally, and was eating voraciously. Kira was now on
      >enacard and lasix, with weekly B12 shots to help speed nerve growth. She
      >made a steady recovery, with the exception of her left leg, which became
      >withered and lifeless. About 4 weeks after the ST, Dr. Davis insisted that
      >Kira's leg needed to be amputated to the pelvis, because the toes had
      turned
      >grey and withered. I sought a second opinion from Dr. P, who said Kira's
      >heart made her a poor candidate for surgery. She was willing to work with
      me
      >to develop a protocal that included massage, hot and cold stimulation,
      >physical therapy and supplements, which Dr. Davis did not support. I also
      >believed that an animal hospital would be able to provide better, more
      >cutting edge care than a small practice., and felt the extra cost was worth
      >it. Within 4 days, Kira's toes "pinked" up, and within 4 weeks she had
      >recovered 95% use of that leg. (Kira had already regained full use of the
      rt
      >leg). After six months, Kira was to all apperances, healthier than before
      >her crisis. She had gained 2.5 pounds to her formerly thin body, and her
      >coat had filled in and become thick and shiny. I was always aware that she
      >might have another ST, because her ultrasound was "smokey" indicating the
      >presence of additional clots in the heart that might break off. Despite
      that
      >threat, Kira was active, ran, jumped on the counters, and chased
      butterflies
      >on the deck. Her appetite was good and she was strong.
      >
      >At 6:00 pm, June 24, Kira stumbled and I knew immediately that she was
      >developing another embolism. I gave her a baby aspirin and drove her to
      the
      >animal hospital, knowing that minutes count in the treatment of an ST.
      >
      >This is where the nightmare began. Dr. P, who I trusted and Kira adored,
      >was on vacation, so Kira was seen by Dr. W who had performed her ultrasound
      >and said she'd be dead in 48 hours, 6 months before. This time he said
      that
      >he thought she stood a good chance of surviving, based on her previous
      >recovery, and had actually discussed her remarkable recovery at rounds,
      when
      >he saw her monthly perscription requests come in. However, he didn't
      >actually provide any treatment, except to try to staple an opiate patch to
      >her neck. When that didn't work, he simply gave me torbutrol tablets, to
      >give her at home, and a prescription for Pentoxifylline, which has been
      used
      >in humans with poor leg circulation. He didn't give her oxygen, fluids, or
      >heparin, saying that he didn't think heparin worked, and her lungs were
      >clear. He released her to go home 45 minutes after we got there, with no
      >instructions, except to say that the Pentoxifylline might upset her
      stomach.
      >I asked that he follow the same treatment plan she had before, or at least
      >give me injectable heparin and pain killers. He said she didn't need
      >injectable med's and that the torbutrol tab's would be fine. He said there
      >was no use for heparin and it would only increase her risk of hemmorage.
      He
      >did give me an injection of lasix to replace the emergency ones I kept for
      >back-up, that had turned brown.
      >
      >I had difficulty giving the tablets. She kept spitting them out, and was
      >foaming at the mouth after giving her the Pentoxifylline. At 10:00 pm, I
      >called Dr. W because of her pain and because she was making a loud gurgling
      >noise in her lungs. He said I could give her a lasix tablet, but thought
      her
      >lungs should be clear. Kira was in intractable pain all night, didn't
      sleep
      >at all and was very vocal.
      >
      >I called the office at 7 am to ask for different pain meds. I was told Dr.
      W
      >wouldn't be in until 5 pm. I did talk to another Dr. who was very
      reluctant
      >to talk to me, as Kira was being seen by Dr. W. She said that he had to be
      >the one to change her meds. After much argument on my part, she did agree
      to
      >give me a few syringes, but at half the dose she had with the earlier clot,
      >and to used used every 8 hours, versus the 3 hour interval schedule she had
      >been on. This did not even begin to touch the pain, and I again called
      back,
      >asking for something stronger, reminding her that Kira now weighed 25% more
      >that when she had her first clot. SHe refused to alter her dosage, and
      >acted like she was afraid I was going to shoot up myself with the
      Torbutrol.
      >
      >I tried to get Kira into a homeopathic vet, but he couldn't see her until
      the
      >next morning. I evenutally ignored the vet's schedule, and gave her an
      >injection at 3 and 6, which gave her about an hour of relief. Her eyes
      were
      >getting very black though, her breath was bad smelling... kind of metallic,
      >and her breathing rapid and shallow. Dr. W never returned my calls, and I
      >couldn't reach him until 8:00. She was bleating like a lamb at this point,
      >and her face appeared shrunken, although she was still strong enough to
      knock
      >over the board that closed off the corner I had her in. Dr. W insisted
      that
      >this was the only medication used for this type of pain, apart from the
      >patch, but agreed to adjust her dosage a bit. I picked up the syringes and
      >some rescue remedy on the way back. When I gave her an injection at about
      >9:30, she was frantically trying to get out of the enclosure I had her in.
      >She did take a few sips of water, but her head kept falling into the small
      >saucer. She was very cold, and wouldn't stay on the heating pad. I didn't
      >notice any relief from the injection and so called an ER clinic a couple of
      >towns over. They recommended that she be brought in immediately for
      >treatment, and mentioned several pain protocals that were effective.
      >Torbutrol, I found, is no longer recommended for this kind of pain, as it
      >only lasts 30 minutes, although the sedative effective lasts longer. They
      >were also surprised that Dr. W didn't simply tape the opiate patch to
      Kira's
      >neck, which is standard practice.
      >
      >I threw Kira's supplies into the car, and made a bed in the back, as I
      >thought she would be frantic in the carrier. When I went upstairs to get
      >her, I knew immediately that she was dying. She took 3 gasps and was gone.
      >
      >
      >For the last week, I have tried to focus on the fact that she had an
      >additional 6 months of qualify life... that that had been a gift. I bent
      >over backward's during those six months to make sure she wasn't in pain
      >during her rehabilitation, and was always clear that I would euthanize if
      her
      >pain couldn't be controlled, or she wouldn't enjoy a good quality of life.
      >I always made she was alone for too many hours, or that someone stayed
      >overnight here when I traveled, because I was worried that she'd throw a
      clot
      >and be left in pain for hours.
      >
      >I had long ago resolved to create a comprehensive web site for owners of
      >cardio cats, recovering from an embolism, or cats threatened with one
      because
      >of their underlying heart disease. WHen she was first struck ill, I was
      >perplexed by the huge amount of contradictory info there is on the web, for
      >both allopathic and alternative treatments, and by the number of doctors
      who
      >just recommend euthanasia because they haven't treated this before, or
      don't
      >know where to find successful treatment protocals. It is based on that
      fact
      >that I wanted to create a database of case studies of animals who have been
      >successfully treated for ST, or at-risk cat's who have avoided clots
      through
      >either drug or natural therapies, as well as emerging research on new
      >pharmaceuticals and supplments that have proved successful on clots inside
      >and outside the heart. I thought that such a site could be a valuable
      >resource to owners and vets as they worked together.
      >
      >And although I will develop such a site, I remain furious at the frankly
      >shoddy treatment, I believe Kira got in the last 24 hours. I have tried to
      >forgive the doctor, because of his lact of experience, I've got to tell
      you,
      >it isn't working. I received a bill in the mail today for Kira's treatment
      >over that 2 day period, which concerned me because I had paid it off last
      >Tuesday. When I called to ask why, they said they'd research it. When she
      >called back she apologized, and said the check had been misplaced.
      However,
      >she'd found another $57 charge for the syringes DR. W had last given me
      who
      >told me there was no charge and apologized for not returning my calls.)
      The
      >syringes I never got to use..... So she wanted to know if I could just
      sent
      >payment in, or if I needed a statement....
      >
      >This phone exchange has just served to revive my anger, frustration and
      >tears. Although I was thrilled with Dr. P, I'm second-guessing my choice
      of
      >this practice. I believed that a hospital, by definition, provided more
      >cutting edge care. Believe me, that was not the case. I want to be able
      to
      >effect some positive changes from this awful situaion, but just don't know
      >how to procede. Ask for a conference with the DR?
      >
      >It's funny: I've learned to be a better advocate for my own healthcare,
      and
      >have gotten more assertive and questioning of my own doctors over the
      years,
      >but part of me believed that anyone working with animals was somehow more
      >trustworthy.... Dumb, huh?
      >
      >I would appreciate any input from members of this list, who may have run
      into
      >similar situations with their vets.
      >
      >Kira's Mom,
      >Victoria
      >
      >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      >feline-heart-unsubscribe@onelist.com
      >
      >
      >
      >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
    • peggy baldwin
      ... === message truncated === Hi Victoria, I am so sorry about Kira you did all you could for her but I know you are hurting right now all of on this list have
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 3, 2001
        --- VHess2000@... wrote:
        > I'm sorry for the length of this missive, but I need
        > to get some things off
        > my chest. My beloved cat, Kira, died 1 week ago
        > from a second episode of
        > saddle thrombosis. In addition to trying to grieve,
        > I'm trying to find some
        > perspective on the last 24 hours of her life, which
        > were frankly, horrendous.
        >
        >
        > I will always be grateful to Dr. Davis, who had
        > treated a cat that survived a
        > saddle thrombosis (ST), and who based on that
        > experience, suggested an
        > aggressive treatment plan for Kira, when she throw
        > her first clot. In the
        > first 24 hours following the ST, Kira received
        > fluids, oxygen, heparin every
        > 8 hours, apirin and aggressive support for her pain,
        > and at my request,
        > CoQ10. I then took her home where I continued her
        > pain and heparin
        > injections for several days, in addition to
        > antibiotics to ward off any
        > infection in her legs. She was also treated by Dr.
        > P at the nearby animal
        > hospital when Kira wouldn't eat over the weekend.
        > Kira went into congestive
        > heart failure five days later, and following an
        > ultrasound at an animal
        > hospital, was diagnosed with restrictive
        > cardiomyopathy. The attending vet,
        > Dr. W, said she would be dead in 48 hours. At my
        > request he administered an
        > injection of lasix, so I could take her home for the
        > evening, prior to
        > euthanizing her in the morning. At 6 am, Kira made
        > a complete turn around,
        > began breathing normally, and was eating
        > voraciously. Kira was now on
        > enacard and lasix, with weekly B12 shots to help
        > speed nerve growth. She
        > made a steady recovery, with the exception of her
        > left leg, which became
        > withered and lifeless. About 4 weeks after the ST,
        > Dr. Davis insisted that
        > Kira's leg needed to be amputated to the pelvis,
        > because the toes had turned
        > grey and withered. I sought a second opinion from
        > Dr. P, who said Kira's
        > heart made her a poor candidate for surgery. She
        > was willing to work with me
        > to develop a protocal that included massage, hot and
        > cold stimulation,
        > physical therapy and supplements, which Dr. Davis
        > did not support. I also
        > believed that an animal hospital would be able to
        > provide better, more
        > cutting edge care than a small practice., and felt
        > the extra cost was worth
        > it. Within 4 days, Kira's toes "pinked" up, and
        > within 4 weeks she had
        > recovered 95% use of that leg. (Kira had already
        > regained full use of the rt
        > leg). After six months, Kira was to all apperances,
        > healthier than before
        > her crisis. She had gained 2.5 pounds to her
        > formerly thin body, and her
        > coat had filled in and become thick and shiny. I
        > was always aware that she
        > might have another ST, because her ultrasound was
        > "smokey" indicating the
        > presence of additional clots in the heart that might
        > break off. Despite that
        > threat, Kira was active, ran, jumped on the
        > counters, and chased butterflies
        > on the deck. Her appetite was good and she was
        > strong.
        >
        > At 6:00 pm, June 24, Kira stumbled and I knew
        > immediately that she was
        > developing another embolism. I gave her a baby
        > aspirin and drove her to the
        > animal hospital, knowing that minutes count in the
        > treatment of an ST.
        >
        > This is where the nightmare began. Dr. P, who I
        > trusted and Kira adored,
        > was on vacation, so Kira was seen by Dr. W who had
        > performed her ultrasound
        > and said she'd be dead in 48 hours, 6 months before.
        > This time he said that
        > he thought she stood a good chance of surviving,
        > based on her previous
        > recovery, and had actually discussed her remarkable
        > recovery at rounds, when
        > he saw her monthly perscription requests come in.
        > However, he didn't
        > actually provide any treatment, except to try to
        > staple an opiate patch to
        > her neck. When that didn't work, he simply gave me
        > torbutrol tablets, to
        > give her at home, and a prescription for
        > Pentoxifylline, which has been used
        > in humans with poor leg circulation. He didn't give
        > her oxygen, fluids, or
        > heparin, saying that he didn't think heparin worked,
        > and her lungs were
        > clear. He released her to go home 45 minutes after
        > we got there, with no
        > instructions, except to say that the Pentoxifylline
        > might upset her stomach.
        > I asked that he follow the same treatment plan she
        > had before, or at least
        > give me injectable heparin and pain killers. He
        > said she didn't need
        > injectable med's and that the torbutrol tab's would
        > be fine. He said there
        > was no use for heparin and it would only increase
        > her risk of hemmorage. He
        > did give me an injection of lasix to replace the
        > emergency ones I kept for
        > back-up, that had turned brown.
        >
        > I had difficulty giving the tablets. She kept
        > spitting them out, and was
        > foaming at the mouth after giving her the
        > Pentoxifylline. At 10:00 pm, I
        > called Dr. W because of her pain and because she was
        > making a loud gurgling
        > noise in her lungs. He said I could give her a
        > lasix tablet, but thought her
        > lungs should be clear. Kira was in intractable pain
        > all night, didn't sleep
        > at all and was very vocal.
        >
        > I called the office at 7 am to ask for different
        > pain meds. I was told Dr. W
        > wouldn't be in until 5 pm. I did talk to another
        > Dr. who was very reluctant
        > to talk to me, as Kira was being seen by Dr. W. She
        > said that he had to be
        > the one to change her meds. After much argument on
        > my part, she did agree to
        > give me a few syringes, but at half the dose she had
        > with the earlier clot,
        > and to used used every 8 hours, versus the 3 hour
        > interval schedule she had
        > been on. This did not even begin to touch the pain,
        > and I again called back,
        > asking for something stronger, reminding her that
        > Kira now weighed 25% more
        > that when she had her first clot. SHe refused to
        > alter her dosage, and
        > acted like she was afraid I was going to shoot up
        > myself with the Torbutrol.
        >
        > I tried to get Kira into a homeopathic vet, but he
        > couldn't see her until the
        > next morning. I evenutally ignored the vet's
        > schedule, and gave her an
        > injection at 3 and 6, which gave her about an hour
        > of relief. Her eyes were
        > getting very black though, her breath was bad
        > smelling... kind of metallic,
        > and her breathing rapid and shallow. Dr. W never
        > returned my calls, and I
        > couldn't reach him until 8:00. She was bleating
        > like a lamb at this point,
        > and her face appeared shrunken, although she was
        > still strong enough to knock
        > over the board that closed off the corner I had her
        > in. Dr. W insisted that
        > this was the only medication used for this type of
        > pain, apart from the
        > patch, but agreed to adjust her dosage a bit. I
        > picked up the syringes and
        > some rescue remedy on the way back. When I gave her
        > an injection at about
        > 9:30, she was frantically trying to get out of the
        > enclosure I had her in.
        > She did take a few sips of water, but her head kept
        > falling into the small
        > saucer. She was very cold, and wouldn't stay on the
        > heating pad. I didn't
        > notice any relief from the injection and so called
        > an ER clinic a couple of
        > towns over. They recommended that she be brought in
        > immediately for
        > treatment, and mentioned several pain protocals that
        > were effective.
        > Torbutrol, I found, is no longer recommended for
        > this kind of pain, as it
        > only lasts 30 minutes, although the sedative
        > effective lasts longer. They
        > were also surprised that Dr. W didn't simply tape
        > the opiate patch to Kira's
        > neck, which is standard practice.
        >
        > I threw Kira's supplies into the car, and made a bed
        > in the back, as I
        >
        === message truncated ===

        Hi Victoria,
        I am so sorry about Kira you did all you could for
        her but I know you are hurting right now all of on
        this list have suffered the loss of a furbabies and we
        understand you can vent all you want to we are here
        for you.
        I know what you mean about vets sometimes they
        take their good old time in calling back using the
        excuse that they have been busy it makes me angry
        sometimes.
        PEGGY


        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail
        http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
      • gea@alumni.duke.edu
        Hi, Victoria, I m so sorry for your pain and your loss. I m also especially sorry you and Kira didn t have the help you needed at that time. I think your idea
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 3, 2001
          Hi, Victoria,

          I'm so sorry for your pain and your loss. I'm also especially sorry
          you and Kira didn't have the help you needed at that time. I think
          your idea of making a website is such an excellent way to make good
          use of your anger, honor Kira, and help plenty of people. As another
          internet-saavy cat owner (who's jsut read your tragic story) I would
          also be very interested in a kitty hospice pain-management FAQ.

          When I hear a story like yours, I can't help but think of all the
          kitties who never have someone like you to love them and give them a
          good home. How lucky Kira was.

          Gail & Malcolm
          (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/feline-heart/files/malcolm.JPG)
        • Mike & Linda Irrgang
          i am so so sorry to hear about all of pain and suffering both you and kira had to endure due to some moron who called himself and doctor! i hope you are going
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 5, 2001
            i am so so sorry to hear about all of pain and suffering both you and kira
            had to endure due to some moron who called himself and doctor! i hope you
            are going to sue them....there are many lawyers now that will take personal
            injury suits against vet practices for a contingency fee and although i
            don't necessarily subscribe to this procedure i do believe that it make s
            vets think twice befoe they engage innegligent pro9cedures or refuse
            adequeate care.....there are too many disreputable vets out there and we
            have to fight that bec otherwise theres no telling how many poor kitties
            they will abuse.....i am so sokrry for kira....years ago bigger my large
            male cat died bec a vet wouldn't do a night shift with him....he had been in
            critical care all day and it looked finally like he might llive but the vet
            said he couldn't stay with him overynight and told us to move him to the
            overnite clinic .....bigger died in the car just outside the vets
            office....although it was clearly negligence on his part, it didn't prevent
            him from sending us the bill for tghe day in critical care unit....i think
            this whole scenario was sorta like saving aperson from the brink of death by
            asphyxiation and then saying 'sorry, no oxygen tonite' and pullling the life
            supply and then wondering why they didn't survive....to say that it makes me
            angy wjould be a n understatement....this vet was negligent totally but didn
            he care? no, not really....he just had to make it to his "appointment"....

            now, i question everyhing and make a total pest of myself but i don't
            care....bec if they don't care enough to take time for me and answer my
            questions then i don't want them caring for pumpkin.....


            venting too.

            linda and the boys







            -----Original Message-----
            From: VHess2000@... [mailto:VHess2000@...]
            Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 6:08 PM
            To: feline-heart@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [feline-heart] Venting


            I'm sorry for the length of this missive, but I need to get some things off
            my chest. My beloved cat, Kira, died 1 week ago from a second episode of
            saddle thrombosis. In addition to trying to grieve, I'm trying to find some
            perspective on the last 24 hours of her life, which were frankly,
            horrendous.


            I will always be grateful to Dr. Davis, who had treated a cat that survived
            a
            saddle thrombosis (ST), and who based on that experience, suggested an
            aggressive treatment plan for Kira, when she throw her first clot. In the
            first 24 hours following the ST, Kira received fluids, oxygen, heparin every
            8 hours, apirin and aggressive support for her pain, and at my request,
            CoQ10. I then took her home where I continued her pain and heparin
            injections for several days, in addition to antibiotics to ward off any
            infection in her legs. She was also treated by Dr. P at the nearby animal
            hospital when Kira wouldn't eat over the weekend. Kira went into congestive
            heart failure five days later, and following an ultrasound at an animal
            hospital, was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy. The attending vet,
            Dr. W, said she would be dead in 48 hours. At my request he administered an
            injection of lasix, so I could take her home for the evening, prior to
            euthanizing her in the morning. At 6 am, Kira made a complete turn around,
            began breathing normally, and was eating voraciously. Kira was now on
            enacard and lasix, with weekly B12 shots to help speed nerve growth. She
            made a steady recovery, with the exception of her left leg, which became
            withered and lifeless. About 4 weeks after the ST, Dr. Davis insisted that
            Kira's leg needed to be amputated to the pelvis, because the toes had turned
            grey and withered. I sought a second opinion from Dr. P, who said Kira's
            heart made her a poor candidate for surgery. She was willing to work with
            me
            to develop a protocal that included massage, hot and cold stimulation,
            physical therapy and supplements, which Dr. Davis did not support. I also
            believed that an animal hospital would be able to provide better, more
            cutting edge care than a small practice., and felt the extra cost was worth
            it. Within 4 days, Kira's toes "pinked" up, and within 4 weeks she had
            recovered 95% use of that leg. (Kira had already regained full use of the
            rt
            leg). After six months, Kira was to all apperances, healthier than before
            her crisis. She had gained 2.5 pounds to her formerly thin body, and her
            coat had filled in and become thick and shiny. I was always aware that she
            might have another ST, because her ultrasound was "smokey" indicating the
            presence of additional clots in the heart that might break off. Despite
            that
            threat, Kira was active, ran, jumped on the counters, and chased butterflies
            on the deck. Her appetite was good and she was strong.

            At 6:00 pm, June 24, Kira stumbled and I knew immediately that she was
            developing another embolism. I gave her a baby aspirin and drove her to the
            animal hospital, knowing that minutes count in the treatment of an ST.

            This is where the nightmare began. Dr. P, who I trusted and Kira adored,
            was on vacation, so Kira was seen by Dr. W who had performed her ultrasound
            and said she'd be dead in 48 hours, 6 months before. This time he said that
            he thought she stood a good chance of surviving, based on her previous
            recovery, and had actually discussed her remarkable recovery at rounds, when
            he saw her monthly perscription requests come in. However, he didn't
            actually provide any treatment, except to try to staple an opiate patch to
            her neck. When that didn't work, he simply gave me torbutrol tablets, to
            give her at home, and a prescription for Pentoxifylline, which has been used
            in humans with poor leg circulation. He didn't give her oxygen, fluids, or
            heparin, saying that he didn't think heparin worked, and her lungs were
            clear. He released her to go home 45 minutes after we got there, with no
            instructions, except to say that the Pentoxifylline might upset her stomach.
            I asked that he follow the same treatment plan she had before, or at least
            give me injectable heparin and pain killers. He said she didn't need
            injectable med's and that the torbutrol tab's would be fine. He said there
            was no use for heparin and it would only increase her risk of hemmorage. He
            did give me an injection of lasix to replace the emergency ones I kept for
            back-up, that had turned brown.

            I had difficulty giving the tablets. She kept spitting them out, and was
            foaming at the mouth after giving her the Pentoxifylline. At 10:00 pm, I
            called Dr. W because of her pain and because she was making a loud gurgling
            noise in her lungs. He said I could give her a lasix tablet, but thought
            her
            lungs should be clear. Kira was in intractable pain all night, didn't sleep
            at all and was very vocal.

            I called the office at 7 am to ask for different pain meds. I was told Dr.
            W
            wouldn't be in until 5 pm. I did talk to another Dr. who was very reluctant
            to talk to me, as Kira was being seen by Dr. W. She said that he had to be
            the one to change her meds. After much argument on my part, she did agree
            to
            give me a few syringes, but at half the dose she had with the earlier clot,
            and to used used every 8 hours, versus the 3 hour interval schedule she had
            been on. This did not even begin to touch the pain, and I again called
            back,
            asking for something stronger, reminding her that Kira now weighed 25% more
            that when she had her first clot. SHe refused to alter her dosage, and
            acted like she was afraid I was going to shoot up myself with the Torbutrol.

            I tried to get Kira into a homeopathic vet, but he couldn't see her until
            the
            next morning. I evenutally ignored the vet's schedule, and gave her an
            injection at 3 and 6, which gave her about an hour of relief. Her eyes were
            getting very black though, her breath was bad smelling... kind of metallic,
            and her breathing rapid and shallow. Dr. W never returned my calls, and I
            couldn't reach him until 8:00. She was bleating like a lamb at this point,
            and her face appeared shrunken, although she was still strong enough to
            knock
            over the board that closed off the corner I had her in. Dr. W insisted that
            this was the only medication used for this type of pain, apart from the
            patch, but agreed to adjust her dosage a bit. I picked up the syringes and
            some rescue remedy on the way back. When I gave her an injection at about
            9:30, she was frantically trying to get out of the enclosure I had her in.
            She did take a few sips of water, but her head kept falling into the small
            saucer. She was very cold, and wouldn't stay on the heating pad. I didn't
            notice any relief from the injection and so called an ER clinic a couple of
            towns over. They recommended that she be brought in immediately for
            treatment, and mentioned several pain protocals that were effective.
            Torbutrol, I found, is no longer recommended for this kind of pain, as it
            only lasts 30 minutes, although the sedative effective lasts longer. They
            were also surprised that Dr. W didn't simply tape the opiate patch to Kira's
            neck, which is standard practice.

            I threw Kira's supplies into the car, and made a bed in the back, as I
            thought she would be frantic in the carrier. When I went upstairs to get
            her, I knew immediately that she was dying. She took 3 gasps and was gone.


            For the last week, I have tried to focus on the fact that she had an
            additional 6 months of qualify life... that that had been a gift. I bent
            over backward's during those six months to make sure she wasn't in pain
            during her rehabilitation, and was always clear that I would euthanize if
            her
            pain couldn't be controlled, or she wouldn't enjoy a good quality of life.
            I always made she was alone for too many hours, or that someone stayed
            overnight here when I traveled, because I was worried that she'd throw a
            clot
            and be left in pain for hours.

            I had long ago resolved to create a comprehensive web site for owners of
            cardio cats, recovering from an embolism, or cats threatened with one
            because
            of their underlying heart disease. WHen she was first struck ill, I was
            perplexed by the huge amount of contradictory info there is on the web, for
            both allopathic and alternative treatments, and by the number of doctors who
            just recommend euthanasia because they haven't treated this before, or don't
            know where to find successful treatment protocals. It is based on that fact
            that I wanted to create a database of case studies of animals who have been
            successfully treated for ST, or at-risk cat's who have avoided clots through
            either drug or natural therapies, as well as emerging research on new
            pharmaceuticals and supplments that have proved successful on clots inside
            and outside the heart. I thought that such a site could be a valuable
            resource to owners and vets as they worked together.

            And although I will develop such a site, I remain furious at the frankly
            shoddy treatment, I believe Kira got in the last 24 hours. I have tried to
            forgive the doctor, because of his lact of experience, I've got to tell you,
            it isn't working. I received a bill in the mail today for Kira's treatment
            over that 2 day period, which concerned me because I had paid it off last
            Tuesday. When I called to ask why, they said they'd research it. When she
            called back she apologized, and said the check had been misplaced. However,
            she'd found another $57 charge for the syringes DR. W had last given me
            who
            told me there was no charge and apologized for not returning my calls.) The
            syringes I never got to use..... So she wanted to know if I could just sent
            payment in, or if I needed a statement....

            This phone exchange has just served to revive my anger, frustration and
            tears. Although I was thrilled with Dr. P, I'm second-guessing my choice of
            this practice. I believed that a hospital, by definition, provided more
            cutting edge care. Believe me, that was not the case. I want to be able to
            effect some positive changes from this awful situaion, but just don't know
            how to procede. Ask for a conference with the DR?

            It's funny: I've learned to be a better advocate for my own healthcare, and
            have gotten more assertive and questioning of my own doctors over the years,
            but part of me believed that anyone working with animals was somehow more
            trustworthy.... Dumb, huh?

            I would appreciate any input from members of this list, who may have run
            into
            similar situations with their vets.

            Kira's Mom,
            Victoria

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