Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [FH] Grief, anger and vet-choice

Expand Messages
  • Suzianne Painter-Thorne
    Catherine, I am so sorry for all of your horrible experiences with vets. And I completely understand why you would be worried about ever finding a competent
    Message 1 of 6 , May 31, 2008
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Catherine, I am so sorry for all of your horrible experiences with vets.
      And I completely understand why you would be worried about ever finding a
      competent caring one, but they are out there. When I've searched for vets,
      I've usually relied on word of mouth from people I know with animals,
      particularly people who seemed to care for them well.

      I recently moved from California to Georgia and I tried four different vets
      before settling on one that I am comfortable with. I would take one of my
      critters in for a check-up as a trial run.

      I would also suggest asking the night-vet you felt comfortable with if she
      had any recommendations. I found my current vet by asking a vet a friend had
      highly recommended, but who happened to be 120 miles away!

      Best of luck,

      Sue

      On 5/31/08 1:23 PM, "Catherine Browning" <Catherine.Browning@...>
      wrote:

      So, for those who do have regular vets who are kind, and whom they
      trust ... how did you find them? Did you have to visit a lot of vets
      to find one who cares? Did you go without your babies to evaluate
      them, for equipment, knowledge, caring? Basically, how can you find
      a GOOD veterinarian for your fur-children?
    • amanda
      Hi Catherine, I feel so sad to read about your terrible experiences with vets. I took my cat who had parvo virus to a strange vet, and was reccomended anorther
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 1, 2008
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Catherine, I feel so sad to read about your terrible experiences with vets. I took my cat who had parvo virus to a strange vet, and was reccomended anorther vet by a friend, I`m so grateful, because the present vets are kind and do as I ask them when I had special requests, please keep searching and ask other people in your area who they go to and why. Good luck, and again I`m so sorry to hear about Patch. hugs Amanda and Silver chan.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • SMO
        Catherine -- Your story about Patch has made me so sad. I m sorry for what you went through, and what he went through. My Merlin was diagnosed with HCM two
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 1, 2008
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          Catherine -- Your story about Patch has made me so sad. I'm sorry for what you went through, and what he went through. My Merlin was diagnosed with HCM two years ago this month. He last saw his cardiologist on March 26, and at that time she said he probably had about two weeks to live because his disease is so advanced. It's been more than two months since that prognosis was given, and he's still doing OK. But every single day I worry about finding him suffering from a saddle thrombosis, which sounds just horrible. My sympathy and empathy are with you.

          Merlin's regular vet is a "cats only" vet, his office is about 2.5 miles from my house. He's in practice by himself and we never need to worry about encountering a dog there. Before I moved to where I live now, we went to a different "cats only" vet, a woman who occasionally had a partner in the practice with her. Both of Merlin's regular vets, the previous one and the current one, have always been caring, gentle, informative, and respectful. The cardiologist vet is just one member of a large staff of vets at a 24-hour emergency & referral vet clinic about 7 miles away. I have seen dogs there, of course, but the staff there is very careful about transporting cats and other small animals in their carriers if they're going to be in common areas, and there are several signs saying that ALL animals must be leashed or in carriers at all times. I've never seen anyone do otherwise.

          I can say, however, that years ago and with previous cats, I used to go to a large vet clinic highly recommended by a friend, and I found the vets there impatient and cold. They seemed more interested in volume -- get 'em in, examine and treat, get 'em out, on to the next patient -- than care. A previous cat who I had, Amy, was very lovey and cuddly, even to vets. I remember taking her to this clinic once and the vet literally pushing her roughly away from himself when she tried to cuddle against him and rub her chin on him. That was it; we never went back there.

          If a "cats only" vet is an option, I'd recommend it. I think it's also a good idea, as someone else said, to find a vet you like and trust when it isn't an emergency, so that when it is you know that safety net is there.



          Catherine Browning <Catherine.Browning@...> wrote:
          Hi all,

          This will probably be long but I need to vent. There is just the one
          question at the end though, so feel free to skip ahead of the anger
          and the hurt.

          I know that one of the stages of grief is anger, but it seems like
          every time I lose a baby to HCM, it's the stage that stays with me.

          When Topsy passed in 2001, I was angry. She had saddle thrombosis
          and I knew it was her time, and I was prepared to euthanase. But she
          had the indecency to become critical on the first sunny Sunday
          afternoon in Spring. All the vets were shut, there were no emergency
          vets within 1 hour back then. We finally found someone who was
          prepared to come out. He made us sign something beforehand so that
          we wouldn't sue (though we never would), but then tried to euthenase
          her with a sandwich in one hand, and repeated injection attempts with
          the other. Of course, he couldn't do it right with just the one
          hand, so it took several attempts. He didn't give her a sedative
          first, and as she died, she was fighting the muscle paralyzer he gave
          her. She died looking me in the eyes as she fought for her last
          breath ... her last breath not by heart disease, but by being
          euthanased to death.

          So I was wary of vets, when Buttons threw her clot in 2005. I
          thought I found a kind, considerate vet, who was really fighting for
          her, when we took her to an Emergency clinic 45 mins away. The
          emergency clinic was 24/7, and also had the only registered cat
          doctor in the state. And she was a great doctor. But of course she
          can't work 24/7 herself, and it was a different doctor who rang to
          say Buttons had passed. It was probably her time too, though she'd
          been going 100% up until the second before she threw her clot. When
          we got the bill and treatment statement, it included a charge by
          another vet at the clinic for "euthanasia". We hadn't been told she
          was going to be euthanased, and hadn't authorised it. The original
          vet waived the charge, said it was a mistake, that she hadn't been
          euthanased, but I'm forever left wondering if the mistake was a
          miscommunication between staff about treatment protocols, rather than
          a billing error.

          And now Patch. The night-vet was the best I've ever encountered so
          far. She stroked his head softly, rather than the night-nurse, who
          only stroked him once, and did so with those hard strokes that make
          their upper eyelids pull backwards over their heads. But the night-
          vet used soft strokes, spoke TO him, not just ABOUT him, and seemed
          to genuinely care. He arrived with soft hind limbs, as the clot was
          new, and she gave physio and kept the limbs mostly flexible. Even if
          she didn't truly care, she faked it well, and that's part of the job.

          But we had to take him to a different vet clinic in the daytime, and
          the feeling was different from the get-go. I had the feeling that
          they saw me as neurotic, weren't interested in what I had to say. I
          wanted to explain to them just how petrified he was of dogs - one had
          broken into our backyard from a neighbour's and bailed him up a few
          years back. And how much he dislikes other cats - they also come
          into our backyard, and he chases them out - his siblings let him
          defend them. I told them about the foods he likes, because what they
          may see as anorexia, may just be his natural food preferences.

          But when we went to the day vet to collect Patch to transfer him back
          to the night vet, it was straight out of a horror movie. As I
          waited, 2 rottweilers dragged a young woman into the clinic. They
          were bouncing and jumping and pulling on their leads, and growling
          and barking those loud, deep throated barks that carry for miles.
          Then a spaniel came in, and the sight of a foreign dog drove the
          rotts into a frenzy, drooling and snarling. The owner could barely
          hold onto the leads, which were at full extension. The spaniel
          likewise went nuts.

          And it was into THAT environment that they brought Patch out. Not in
          his box, with the cloth over the top. They held him with their arms
          at full extension, holding him under his arms, facing away from him,
          his back legs rock hard from lack of physio and just dangling from
          his body with no support. Like he was a soiled pair of
          underpants. "Here's your cat" they said. Not his name. In fact,
          when I entered, one said to another that I was here to pick up my
          puppy. How much attention did he NOT receive, that they didn't even
          know he was a cat?

          The dogs ALL went apesh!t, and I screamed at the nurse holding
          Patch. Get him out of here. Get him out of here now! We went into a
          consultation room and DEMANDED his box. My mum got him out of the
          clinic while I waited to talk to a vet. Eventually she came, but she
          didn't know much about his case, even though "in theory" for over an
          hour she had been his vet. As I tried to get information out of her,
          one of the rottweilers, who had been taken out the back, burst into
          the room through the open rear door, and jumped up on the table where
          Patch had lain only minutes before. He was LOOKING for him.

          I know, it may sound like a grief stricken mind over-exaggerating
          things, but I swear it is not, and I am just so angry, and so
          scared. I know that probably nothing would have changed the outcome,
          but his last hours on earth should have been better.

          I have 2 more cats with this horrible disease. One (Claude, Patch's
          brother) has fallen into a deep depression. The other (Tuppenny,
          Patch's sister) didn't want to know me at first, because the last
          time she was near Patch, he was on my lap in the car crying in pain
          and about to be taken to the vet, and she was on the outside of the
          car door. But she seems to recognise my sorrow and to possibly have
          forgiven me.

          My babies NEED a regular vet, but how can I trust any of them? The
          only one I trusted, the night-vet, kindly explained to me that she's
          knowledgeable about emergencies, but that she wouldn't be the best
          vet for maintenance and regular check-ups, and indeed she doesn't do
          that kind of work. I disagreed with her, saying that a kind,
          committed vet, who perhaps may not have a huge amount of knowledge in
          a particular area but who knows how to find things out is a million
          times better than a cold-hearted vet who thinks they know everything
          and who no longer cares about his/her patients.

          So, for those who do have regular vets who are kind, and whom they
          trust ... how did you find them? Did you have to visit a lot of vets
          to find one who cares? Did you go without your babies to evaluate
          them, for equipment, knowledge, caring? Basically, how can you find
          a GOOD veterinarian for your fur-children?

          Catherine, Kitty, Claude and Tuppenny
          Topsy-Angel, Buttons-Angel and Patch-Angel







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.