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Re: Venting

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Jul 3, 2001
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      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
    • 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 2 of 5 , Jul 5, 2001
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        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,

        I will always be grateful to Dr. Davis, who had treated a cat that survived
        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
        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
        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
        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
        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.
        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
        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
        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
        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
        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
        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
        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
        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
        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
        similar situations with their vets.

        Kira's Mom,

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