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Misdiagnosis of serious injury by vet- I'm so angry and upset :-(

(45 Posts)
fudgesmummy Thu 19-Feb-15 23:09:34

One of our adored cats Hugo was diagnosed with muscle damage last week after coming home unable to walk properly. The vet we saw said that he would be fine after a few days rest-he has spent the last week just sleeping only managing to walk as far as the litter tray. He went from being a lovely crazy 3 year old hunter who could come down the stairs in 2 bounds and jump up over 6 foot to a sad, spitting unhappy cat who can hardly move.
We took him back to the vets today as we were so worried that despite the rest he wasn't getting better for him to be seen by another vet. He took one look at him and immediately said it was obvious he had got a broken pelvis shock
The vet said because of the delay in treatment the pelvis would be fusing back together. He is going in first thing tomorrow to be operated on sad I am so angry and upset that such a serious injury wasn't picked up by the first vet so he has suffered needlessly for a week.
I'm worried about the operation and how long it will take for him recover from it - has anyone got any experience they can reassure me with please? I have 2 adult children but Hugo and his big brother are my babies and I love and worry about them so much. I feel so guilty that I excepted what the first vet said and he has had to suffer so much sad

cozietoesie Thu 19-Feb-15 23:16:05

Poor Hugo.

Was it your normal vet who saw him originally or an OOH vet?

cozietoesie Thu 19-Feb-15 23:16:34

*normal practice

fudgesmummy Thu 19-Feb-15 23:17:56

It was just one of the vets at the practice we have been taking our pets to for 40 + years, not an ooh one

ShebaRabbit Thu 19-Feb-15 23:29:41

I don't have any experience of broken pelvis thankfully.
Write a letter to the practice manager/ head vet asking for an explanation of how it was missed. Hopefully the other vet has been carpeted already for this but it sounds as if he/she is incompetent.
That is a very serious cock-up, poor mog in pain like that for a week. I don't blame you for being upset, I would be fuming about it. Good luck with the op tomorrow Hugo, he's young so that will stand to him and cats are widely known for their remarkable healing capacity.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 20-Feb-15 14:01:30

There are multiple different variations of a broken pelvis so without the specifics of the case it is very difficult to comment.
After a long time in practice I would hesitate in any case to say definitely broken without an x-Ray unless it was massively unstable.
I have to say in many years I have never had a cat with a broken pelvis require surgery every single one I have seen has healed with 6 weeks cage rest and anti-inflammatories, but again without seeing x-Rays it's impossible to comment.

fudgesmummy Fri 20-Feb-15 17:38:47

Thank you all for your replies-the good news in that after X-rays under a general anasetic this morning they have decided that the break is healing ok and won't require surgery. The swollen tail is due to an infected wound which was missed last week. He has had antibiotics and painkilling injections and is on total "basket rest " for the next few weeks. We are very relieved but will be making a complaint to the surgery about what happened. I think he has lost at least 2 of his 9 lives and I have gained a few more gray hairs! I dont worry about my dc's as much as I do my cats blush thanks again for your comments x

ShebaRabbit Sat 21-Feb-15 11:13:16

Delighted to hear that- was it a fall or a car do you think?

fudgesmummy Mon 23-Feb-15 15:30:33

Things have taken rather a dramatic turn. Over the weekend he has been walking much better and trying (but failing) to jump. Last night we noticed a scabed wound on his back, about an hour later we noticed he was licking a very fresh looking wound on the other side. On closer inspection we could see it was oozing blood and puss. Trip to the vets this morning and a complete shave of his back has shown that he has a burn the size of my hand on his back shock sad it is raw and infected and caused according to the vet a car exhaust pipe. His thick black fur was unaffected. We are shocked beyound belief that it was there and we didn't know about it. My dh said the vet was speechless and stunned that he was alive. We don't know what to think as to wether the vets should have noticed it. He is now under house arrest for another month while it heals. He is going back tomorrow to have it cleaned and treated again sad

RubbishMantra Mon 23-Feb-15 16:34:52

Oh poor you and poor puss.

He will start to recover now.

Sending healing thoughts out to him.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 23-Feb-15 16:49:17

Heat injuries can take time to show themselves some times as long as 3 weeks after the original injury, so it is not uncommon for it to take several days to find them. The damage to the underlying tissues causes the skin to gradually due and then Slough off and this can take some time.

ShebaRabbit Mon 23-Feb-15 16:50:09

Has he been outdoors to get the burn or is this part of his original injury? If it is I'd change vets, they sound crap esp since they had him knocked out for x rays for his pelvis, poor little cat.

fudgesmummy Mon 23-Feb-15 17:33:37

No not been out since the day of the accident shebarabbit. I just cried when he came back from the vets this morning, It looks so sore sad

ShebaRabbit Mon 23-Feb-15 17:58:53

That poor animal, and you too fudge, its awful to see your pet suffering.
I'd raise merry hell with that surgery. They should have checked him properly after the first f*ck up. Its their job to spot things, that's why we pay them.

fudgesmummy Mon 23-Feb-15 18:42:53

We are going to get him well luckily he is insured so we haven't got to worry about that side of things. We are then going to ask for an investigation into why things were not picked up. Thank you for your concern shebarabbit xx

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 23-Feb-15 19:31:55

I'll just talk to myself then.
With the kind of injury you get from an exhaust there would have been nothing to see last week.

readysteady Mon 23-Feb-15 19:38:59

Plus tbh I would think you need a ga to get a pelvis xray of a very sore cat. So I think they are doing the right thing now although I don't understand why the first vet sent him home with no investigations/cage rest. Poor puss

fudgesmummy Mon 23-Feb-15 19:45:28

Thankyou for your replies. Readysteady-he had the x-rays under ga on Friday (9 days after the accident)

eatyouwithaspoon Mon 23-Feb-15 20:03:51

My old cat was knocked over and broke his pelis on both sides, he was on cge rest and pain killers no surgery required. Regarding the burn Tbf to the vet I think like Lonecat said there probably wasnt anything to see last week. I hope he is better soon

ShebaRabbit Tue 24-Feb-15 09:03:19

I'll just talk to myself then.
With the kind of injury you get from an exhaust there would have been nothing to see last week.

Are you saying that there would be absolutely no sign of a burn the size of a human hand if the cat was examined under GA on Friday yet there would be a scabbed wound as well as an open infected one by Sunday?

I'm suspicious given that the original vet totally missed a broken pelvis and left the animal suffering for a week.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 24-Feb-15 09:53:10

The burn yes, animals don't blister like humans heat. Injury is transmitted to deep tissues and it can take up to 3 weeks for skin changes to occur. Often the first sign is the skin sloughing off.
Well documented in small animals.
So yes there could have been absolutely no sign when the x-rays were taken.

cozietoesie Tue 24-Feb-15 10:01:26

I'm perplexed as well though, Lone. Surely there would have been sign on the fur of something burning?

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 24-Feb-15 10:43:44

Often no there is no burn on the fur, each individual hair is a hollow air filled fibre that transmits the heat down to the deep tissues. Our hair is not the same structure and is not hollow.
It is tricky to get your head around, but heat injuries in animals if there are no flames involved there is often no sign in the hair or initially on the skin.

cozietoesie Tue 24-Feb-15 13:06:45

Lone does 'Cat Burns 101'

Thanks, though. That's very informative and interesting. smile

fudgesmummy Tue 24-Feb-15 15:27:30

Thats interesting lonecat thanks for that infomation. Hugo went back this morning to have the burn cleaned etc. my dh said that a lot of orange puss was cleaned out-I don't know if the colour is a good or bad sign? He is going back again tomorrow. They are talking about giving him a ga and cutting off the scabed skin. Lonecat-any thoughts as to weather this would help?

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