Friday, January 18, 2019

Uneasiness at the Vet

Poor little Brulee had to be taken to the veterinarian two times in one day this week. 

Brulee inside her Cuddle Clones® Box

Brulee was congested, sneezing, and nauseous. 


Mom Paula woke up to Brulee sneezing and huddled beside the dresser in the guest room. On the way to the bedroom, she saw where Brulee had vomited. The ruff of her neck was soaked from all of the sneezing. Mom Paula quickly called the vet because she suspected another Upper Respiratory Infection (URI). The only time the vet could see Brulee was during the same time Mom Paula had an appointment with the pulmonologist. Mom Paula reluctantly agreed to drop Brulee off at the vet so he could check her out before she got worse. Mom Paula received a phone call an hour later from the new vet and he said he thought she had an URI. She had a slight fever and was congested. He recommended Clavamox for Brulee and Mom Paula told him that both Brulee and Truffle got sick when taking the liquid medication and it should be in their records to not administer it to them. The vet recommended Amoxi/Clavulanic Acid tablets. Mom Paula asked him to give Brulee the first tablet at the hospital. When Mom Paula went to pick up Brulee, the vet was at lunch and she couldn't talk to or meet him. The tablets the vet prescribed were quite large, even for the administration of half a pill.


Brulee in her Strawberry Red Sleepypod® Mobile Pet Bed on the way to the vet

We're turning this over to Mom Paula so she can talk about her experience and concerns about the visit with the vet.

Mom Paula: Before I tell you more about what happened with Brulee and our experiences with the new vet, I want to let everyone know that this will not keep me from taking my girls to the vet on a regular basis for wellness checkups and when they are ill. I truly believe in appropriate veterinary care and trust the animal hospital and staff who've treated the girls in the past. I also don't believe in publicly naming individuals or facilities; instead prefer talking privately with the necessary person/people. This post is more about being an advocate for your feline family member.

Brulee came home and appeared to be okay and even cleaned her bowl of wet food. About an hour later, Brulee vomited up all of her food and was lethargic. About two hours later, Brulee was vomiting again. I immediately called the vet again because I was concerned Brulee would get dehydrated overnight or even sicker, which may require a trip to the emergency animal hospital. I suspected Brulee was reacting to the antibiotic she'd been given. When I called the vet about my concerns, his response was to watch Brulee overnight and if she didn't get any better, to bring her in the next day. The veterinarian didn't even talk to me; he relayed this through one of the staff members. I wasn't too happy with his recommendation and felt the veterinarian was brushing my concerns aside.  I told the receptionist on the phone about how quickly Brulee could "go South" when she shows the first sign of illness and I felt that vet was brushing her concerns aside. I told them I wanted someone to see Brulee again, even if it wasn't the same vet. The staff agreed to let me bring Brulee back and they would work her in.


Brulee resting comfortably now

I quickly gathered up Brulee and rushed her back to the vet. We were the last to be seen before closing. The veterinary assistant was wonderful. She cuddled Brulee and took her temperature, which thankfully, was lower than the morning. The new vet came in the room and didn't even shake my hand as an introduction. To be honest, I don't remember if he even told me who he was! He stayed near the doorway to talk to me and didn't examine Brulee. He didn't ask me what was happening; he just looked at me as if to say, "why are you bringing her back in?" I felt that he either didn't like cats or he was upset because I chose to bring Brulee back to the hospital and question what had happened earlier in the day. I didn't give up. I talked to the him about Brulee's history of illnesses and how quickly she could go downhill. During this time, the veterinarian never asked about Brulee or examined her. I continued to talk about Brulee's symptoms and asked if Brulee may be getting dehydrated because of the vomiting. His response was neutral and I finally asked him if he was going to check Brulee for dehydration and he reluctantly walked over and checked her skin and mouth and he walked away again to stand by the door. He said she appeared to be a little dehydrated, but didn't offer any recommendations for care. I was already stressed and concerned because of Brulee's health, but I wasn't used to this type of treatment from a veterinarian. I continued to talk about the medication being the possible culprit for the nausea. He finally agreed to give her a Cerenia injection for the nausea, a Convenia injection to replace the earlier antibiotic (I made sure I asked him if she'd had this shot in the past), and to administer fluids. He then walked out of the room. The veterinary assistant took Brulee for all of the injections and I could hear Brulee loudly sharing her displeasure with the injections outside the door. I asked the veterinary assistant if this new vet even liked cats. She was very professional with her response, but I could tell she was uncomfortable responding to me. I respected her for this.

I shared my concerns about the treatment from the veterinarian with the staff as I left. I told them that unless there is an emergency, I didn't plan on letting this veterinarian see the girls again. I'm used to much better care and concern from the staff at this hospital. They are always pleasant, professional, and caring. I wanted to share our story so others will be advocates for their fur children. Don't ever settle for something when you don't believe it's best for your feline. I plan on contacting one of the lead vets/owners about my concerns.

Thankfully, the injections and sub-Q fluids appear to have helped Brulee. She hasn't vomited anymore and she isn't hiding. She's still a little congested and sneezy. The veterinarian suspects she may have the Herpes virus in her system and is recommending we try some L-Lysine with her. We'll write another post about URI, Herpes, and L-Lysine in another post.

Follow-up: The veterinarian did contact me the next day to check on Brulee. On the whole, he was pleasant on the phone and even gave me some recommendations about possible tests for the future and supplements. However, near the end he suggested getting tested for feline leukemia and I mentioned that her parents tested negative and they came  from a reputable breeder. His response was - "if they got Herpes from the reputable breeder, they could get other things." I thought this response was very unprofessional and uncalled for.

2nd Follow-up: I did contact one of the lead veterinarians, who is also a co-owner of the animal hospital, this afternoon. I explained the situation and shared my concerns. He was very open to listening to me and said he would talk with the new veterinarian. I did tell him that unless it was an emergency, my girls wouldn't see this veterinarian and he told me that he understood.

28 comments:

  1. Yikes that was frightening. I think I'd find a new vet.

    Thanks for joining the Feline Friday Blog Hop.

    Have a purrfect Feline Friday and weekend. My best to your mom.😎

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    1. The other vets who see the girls are wonderful! This vet was just different!

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  2. We are glad that Brulee is feeling better. It's awful when vets don't listen to you about the cats. We had this problem when Chey was dying and it was very scary to feel so alone and be unable to get anyone to help us (though we are thankful for the ER vet and the lovely vet who came to do the euthansia).

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  3. I hate it when vets don’t listen (or read.). I have my cats charts marked no covenia but they have given it to Plush without permission 😡. The first time I took Treeno in after I adopted him - this is a cat with special needs and was in diagnosis when I adopted him. The vet hadn’t even read his file. I was so mad. I raised the roof over that and said I’d wait while he read the file.

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  4. Poor Brulee, that is just not good care. I am pretty sure our Dad would have knocked him on his butt.

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  5. I'm glad Brulee is better, but geez! That was shoddy treatment from that new vet. I'm glad the rest of the staff is more professional.

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  6. That does sound like an awful vet. I am glad Brulee is improving.

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  7. Yikes that is scary and I would be hesitant also but am happy that Brulee is improving. I am taking Layla to a new vet next week and a little concerned although everyone raves about this Pet Hospital so am praying all will go well. I just feel lately in so many ways they are thinking more of money than the pets and many in the dog park are saying the same

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  8. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Yes, we have to be very determined advocates for our cats' health!

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  9. That makes me crazy when the vets don't take your concerns seriously. At least you can choose to see a different vet at the same place. Sending healing thoughts to Brulee.

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  10. Years ago a new vet was added to the practice we go to. He was even supposed to specialize in cats. He terrorized Bear so badly I refused to ever see him again. Maybe this sounds stupid - but he picked Bear up in his arms and started meowing in Bear's face from a few inches away - it seemed confrontational even to me. Nope. My cats are #1 and the rest can just find their way around them. We hope Brulee is feeling better - and you too, Paula.

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  11. I'm sorry you had such a frustrating experience. Trusting your vet is so important for you and your cats. All the best to you and your kitties!

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  12. How awful to have to go through that. We're glad Brulee is feeling better.

    The Florida Furkids

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  13. I hope that Brulee is doing well! That's so frustrating about the vet. I've gone through a handful of vets with my dogs for various reasons. It can be hard to find the 'perfect' one that you trust and mesh well with.

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  14. I'm sorry you had such a bad vet experience. I have had vet problems before, most recently when Puck died in the care of the vet. My issues have always been with competence, not rudeness. Puck had a urinary blockage and the vet took a very long time working up a detailed treatment plan. An hour later we got a call saying that his heart stopped and they were doing cpr. A half hour later we got another call saying he was gone. I can't prove it but I think they were way too slow in starting treatment.

    Currently Chris is congested and vomiting sometimes but I hesitate to bring him to the vet because I fear they will give him a drug that will make him worse. I am watching him closely.

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  15. It's so hard to find a good vet! Since Dr. Plotnick retired, I've been to four vets. The last one was okay, but Lola only went for an ear infection, so it wasn't anything major. I may end up going to Animal Medical Center in Manhattan for their community vets. I'm so sorry you had to go through this, after all the time you've been going there. I hope Brulee is on the mend soon.

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  16. First of all, we're glad Brulee is feeling better. We're sorry you had to go through that bad vet experience ; we think you handled the situation very politely, and it's great that you could talk about it to one of the lead veterinarians. We hope that new vet will improve thanks to your remarks to his boss, and are glad you can chose someone else in the staff. Purrs

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  17. so sorry to hear this. i have had many problems with vets over the years. since 2001 i have been through abt 10 vets and finally found a great one. i even went to the nc vet school and was so pissed, i stopped my donations. however, you might want to see if there is a vet school in the area or a vet that you can go to with referrals only. sometimes these practices have more information and studies on things. most vet schools require a referral as well.

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    1. I like the veterinary hospital and the vets the girls usually see. This was an unusual experience for us.

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  18. Oh my gosh, such a scary time! I'm so relieved that Brulee is feeling better though! We wrote an entire article about giving feedback to vets - it's so complicated because they are often what's between you/your pet and good health! I'm so glad you said something - it's so important!

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  19. You are extremely respectful Paula and quite right not to name names BUT I would seriously consider my options with such an attitude as loitering near the door, and not even introducing themselves.

    Your cats are a hugely important part of your lives, they are family and I would beat the vet with a wand toy until they said sorry GRRrrrRRrrrr

    Sorry but hearing Brûlée not treated the best makes me mad.

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  20. I'm glad that you were able to let the lead vet know about the unease you felt with this new vet. I hope Brulee is feeling better.

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  21. Oh my gosh...I am sure glad Brulee is feeling better. What an experience. So good that you shared your feelings with the lead vets. I, too, would not see him again unless an absolute emergency. It is so important to feel confident and secure in our relationships with our furbabies' vets and to know they are listening and care. I am fortunate that the new vet in our hospital's office (who we just had to see for an emergency for our one Husky) was just as wonderful as our lead vets. I hope after your chat, and I'm assuming they will be chatting with said new vet, things will change a bit. Maybe he had a case of newbie nerves, we can hope! But, that sure does not instill confidence...and what was with the Herpes comparison phone comment? Sheesh. Sending big hugs to Brulee!

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  22. Bad vet experiences are so hard to get over. I know it emotionally takes it toll for sure. I now have two vets - one is a lot more holistic reaching for natural remedies first and turning to conventional methods if those don't work. His motto is "no chemicals if we can help it" it fits with our lifestyle. But it's taken 9 years to find him! We keep our other vet for all the travel papers etc. she's become a pro at them! So in that sense I don't want to loose that expertise .

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  23. How frightening for you and Brulee. Glad she is feeling better. Hope you are too. I definitely would not see him again. I wonder how she picked up what sounds like a virus if she does not go anywhere or see other cats. It sounds awful. What are the symptoms of the herpes virus in cats? I did not know they could get it. Awful.

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  24. I am so sorry you had such a negative experience with that Veterinarian! It's such a shame you couldn't see one of the other Vets there, I know how wonderful they've been. I wouldn't let this new Vet touch my furbaby with a 10 foot pole! You and the girls deserve way better than that. Prayers & Hugs for Brulee, I hope she is fully recovered very soon. *Hugs*
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  25. It never gets easier, does it? Going to a vet can be stressful. Though one would think you're pros at it by now ;-)

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  26. Glad to hear Brulee is on the upswing. It's already so stressful when your baby is sick, I can't imagine how you dealt with that lack of communication too.

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