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Very upset with vet nurse conversation, your view please (i go on a bit, sorry...)

23 replies

paisleyII · 04/11/2011 14:51

recently rescued a cat from an east london builders yard (won't go into it, already existing posts about it so don't want to bore you all) a cat on tuesday which i took straight to the vets to be checked over, gave all info' that i knew about it (which was hardly anything really, just that the secretarys at yard had been feeding it for the last 7 weeks, they had put up street posters etc etc). anyway, the cat went in to be 'done' today along with vacinations etc. the vet on tues gave her a thorough checking over (her tummy) AND a scan, he didn't think she was pg but would know for sure when he 'did' her today. which brings me to my upset, i get a call from a nurse who i felt indirectly accused me of stealing someone's cat and made me aware that she wasn't happy that as it turned out the cat had already been done. they wrote what i told them all down, i said she was a rescue cat, not from a charity but directly from the yard (of which i have contact name, numbers). surely the scan if not the physical examination may have made him aware she still had ovaries? my years well women check the dr feels my uterus over my tummy but SHE HAD A SCAN......if there was no womb etc wouldn't the vet have seen. they knew i had rescued her, none of us knew for sure that she hadn't already been done PLUS the first thing i said to the vet when i had gone there on tues was to check for a chip as she may belong to someone else who could be contacted. i chatted to the women on reception and said that the cat had arrived in the yard with a collar and that she clearly had belonged to someone else but the woman on the phone today, she said how the cat was on the operating table as we speak and that she had had major surgery for nothing. then immediately said 'how long have you had her, what is her history', she may as well just come straight out and asked if i had pinched her from her original owner. i am so upset and DREADING going back to collect the cat, not to mention being upset that she has been operated on for no reason. i don't want to be confrontational but feel i should say something, if they don't believe how i came to have her i am more than willing to give them the name etc of the builders yard. the women at the yard tried to get both rspca & cat proteciton (i think it was them) to come but neither would or did,i thought i was doing a good thing here, not to be basically accused of nabbing someone's cat, i am really pissed off :(

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 04/11/2011 15:51

If a cat leaves her previous owners, or gets lost and you have made reasonable steps to find them what else are you meant to do? Leave her there over the winter?.

I would be complaining to the senior practice vets and find another vets.

She is a nurse not the lost animal police. Considering chipping is usually done at neutering for only a few pounds more the previous owners were not that carefull with her.

Also why didn't the scan show she had no wombs?? They have more than one iirc.

I would be cross too. As you can tell.

MrsVoltar · 04/11/2011 15:53

She has probably got the wrong end of the stick & not been informed about you & the cats circumstances.

It is a shame that the cat has been operated on for no reason but would think its the vets mistake, not yours.

Try not to get too stressed.

paisleyII · 04/11/2011 16:06

thanks ladies, still upset though, DREADING going back to collect her. poor thing, i too can't believe that both the physical examination AND THE SCAN didn't show up that it was empty in there. apart from everything else, i have paid £85 although right now i don't care about the money (my dad pointed it out to me...). dh doesn't think i should say anything but i will although i will subtly comment on how i was upset that the cat had to go through it when she didn't need to and that i can't understand how the vet couldn't tell from the scan that there was nothing there to take out

OP posts:
paisleyII · 04/11/2011 18:13

update - went and collected her, i had calmed down considerably so was friendly, the only thing i did say in a nice way was that i was surprised it wasn't picked up on in the scan that she didn't have a uterus etc but that was explained to me that apparently they cannot see them in a scan......the poor cat, she is in such an awful way, making the most weird upsetting sounds, i had to call the vet when i got in to check that these sounds were normal. she is dosed up to the hilts on meds, breaks my heart, i had no idea it would be this bad. it was explained to me that they ended up opening her up much more than had planned as they couldn't find her uterus and had to double check that it wasn't hiding behind something. poor bloody cat. how was i to know that the original owner got her done probably when she was a kitten (but didn't get her chipped). she has had LOADS of her fur shaved, she really looks like she has been in the wars, i feel so guilty too, actually i feel quite tearful and bloody awful. i thought she was only going to have her vacsination, chip and 'a small cut' when being done, never expected anything like this...

OP posts:
Marlinspike · 04/11/2011 18:21

paisley, you are a lovely person to give a home to this cat. Just remember she had been lurking round the builders yard for 7 weeks, and you have made every possible attempt to find the owner. I am surprised that the lack of reproductive organs didn't show up on a scan, but we must trust the vet here - maybe a vet will come on and explain how this might be possible.

I am sure your new kitty will recover fine, and that you will give her a lovely home.

Please don't beat yourself up about this; just spend lots of time spoiling kitty this w/end.

paisleyII · 04/11/2011 19:24

thanks marlin - i have been sitting at the top of the stairs brushing her hair and chatting to her (just on her head). she is making odd noises but seems ok, she ate some food so i am happy with that. we love this cat, she already feels like part of the family. the fireworks going off doin't help however, everytime there is a loud bang i can see it is freaking her out..

OP posts:
LynetteScavo · 04/11/2011 19:40

I think it was wrong of them to phone you like this.

Yes, they were probably shocked during surgery, but no need to phone you there and then without looking at the notes.


Hope the cat recovers soon. Smile

Sparklingbrook · 04/11/2011 19:45

When I got my cat from the Cat's Protection I was told she was spayed. I took her to my vets and he asked if she was. I thought that a vet could tell?

Hope your cat (what's her name by the way?) is ok soon. When my cat had her teeth cleaned under GA she came home and acted as if she was drunk, falling over and walking into things.

Are you going to consider changing vets?

paisleyII · 04/11/2011 19:52

hi sparkling, no, i think i will stay there for now, the nurse on reception was friendly enough and to be honest, pricewise they are very reasonable compared to other vets where i live (friends with pets all tell me this). i have called her Litek, i think it is Polish! got it from a film that was based on a story in i think Poland and have always loved the name, no idea what it means though but in this film a man used to call this cat he befriended (a stray) litek !! she really looks in the wars, i can't help but feel guilty, i am supposed to have rescued her from her woes and given her a home, a place of refuge and look at her now, so much hair shaved off, bit like going to the hairdressers wanting a trim and coming home with a short back and sides, well not exactly the same thing but i thought she was only having a few jabs and a small 1/2" cut (i had been told it is usually small) but her whole tummy has been shaved etc, i can't help but feel awful despite all of your kind words. hopefully she will be better in the morning. i have pain relief to put in her food once a day

OP posts:
Sparklingbrook · 04/11/2011 20:01

Stop feeling awful. The fur will grow back quite quickly and in time she will settle in and it will all be fine. If you hadn't have rescued her she would still be mooching about the builders' yard with the fireworks going off around her this weekend. You will both feel better in the morning. x

CMOTdibbler · 04/11/2011 20:07

My big ginger boy cat was sent to be castrated when he came into the cats protection league, only to be found that he had already been done - you'd think that was pretty easy to tell in an 18 month old !

Lizcat · 04/11/2011 22:36

I'm sorry you and your cat have had a difficult time. I am a vet and hopefully can explain why they couldn't tell without surgery whether the cat had been spayed or not. The cat's uterus is only easy to see on a scan when it is either pregnant or enlarged as it is infected. If the uterus is normal it can be as small as 3mm wide and so looks like bowel on the scan.
Again palpation of the cats ovaries is very difficult they are roughly the same size as small bits of poo and hang about in the same place.
It is not uncommon for charity female cats to undergo surgery to prove that they have been spayed, though some charities wait 6 weeks and if they have not had a season are declared spayed. The wait and see approach is not full proof either recently I spayed a cat that had been very under weight and only started having season 6 months after she had been adopted. I have also spayed a cat that the charity vet had opened up been unable to find a uterus closed declared spayed only to prove a few months later to not be when I spayed her.
I do think that the nurse was rude and really that was unnecessary.
I hope this helps you to understand how difficult it can be.

paisleyII · 05/11/2011 14:06

many thanks indeed lizcat. just out of interest, how do you know when a cat is in season? ie do they behave differently? which i guess they do. just curious. funny really, even though i will for now continue to use this vet' surgery, i still think they are suspicious of my 'story' as to how i came by her (i think they think i stole someon'es cat) which is so ridiculous, i am more than happy to give them the company name etc of the company (builder) that gave me her. at the end of the day, i don't really care what they think, i do still give thought to the original owners but there is nothing i can do about that. she's a fab cat, love her to bits already :)

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 05/11/2011 14:10

Oh you would know if your cat was in season.

The howling, rolling over and arching her back is a dead give away she is, ahem, looking for a good time.

Little strumpets.

snailoon · 05/11/2011 14:12

Your cat will be fine. I would be extremely angry with the vet, and would complain that they operated unnecessarily and that the nurse was rude. You have been generous and kind; they have been incompitant jerks.

suzi2 · 05/11/2011 18:08

Cats in season are usually pretty obvious. But I have known of one or two 'quiet' ones who didn't display their usual lap dancing type moves.

paisleyII · 05/11/2011 22:17

thanks snail. tbh i am trying not to think about it as i feel guilt that she went through all that. there was noway of knowing apparently that she had already been done and i certainly didn't know. in my ignorance i assumed that my paying for her to have a scan a few days before would tell them but it didn't. she is such a good cat if that is the right word but seeing her with all those stitches and shaved off fur kills me, really it does, i feel it is somehow my fault whatever anyone says. but i really didn't want a house full of kittens as i am allergic to cats and am only just getting by having one in the house, more than one would be overload and i don't want to give her up. she is a very loving cat and has only known us since tuesday. she is freaked out by all the fireworks but one thing is for sure, she loves eating. thing is, i get up for work early ie 4:30 am and when i creep out of my bedroom (i won't let her sleep in there due to my allergies) she so far is ALWAYS wide awake waiting for me and STARVING, i have to give her her breakfast but i think it is too early so i think tomorrow if it happens (i will be up at 05:30) that i will put out just half a sachet and maybe add a few of those dried food 'bits' and then leave a note for my dh to give her the other half at ie 08:30, what do you think?

OP posts:
moajab · 05/11/2011 22:45

We had this when we adopted our cat who had moved into our garden for several weeks. She had not been microchipped or on any lost lists so no way of finding her owner. The vets checked her for a scar but couldn't find one so had to operate. They went in through her flank and couldn't find anything s had to open up her tummy:( And all for nothing as they couldn't find her womb. I think it is hard for the vet to tell. Even having opened her up in two places they said that it was possible that the womb was hiding and that she would go into season and we would have to get redone, but luckily that has never happened. She came back very sorry for herself and I felt so bad at putting her through it, but by the next day she was obviously much better and never seemed in any pain and stitches came out a week later (apart from the ones she removed herself a day or so early!)
Don't feel bad - her fur will grow back and she will be back to normal very soon and you needed to be sure you weren't going to get a family of kittens - there are too many unwanted cats already. Your allergies may well improve - My DH is allergic, but after about 4 - 6 months was fine. And your cat will set her own feeding times - ours makes the most horrible noise in the morning until someone gets up and feeds her - it was once as early as 4.30 in the summer! :)

MyLittleFluffball · 06/11/2011 01:45

Although it is upsetting for you to see her fur shaved away, I would not worry about that at all as it is standard for any vet procedure, including an ultrasound or inserting a drip or whatever - shaving the fur away is just a practical step and it will grow back. You'll probably have to see a lot more shaved fur at different points in your cat's life and actually it's quite cute. :)

Don't feel bad at all, your cat will be fine and you were acting in her best interests. Sounds like a good idea to try to feed her twice in the morning if she's acting starving, maybe she needs to catch up on months of having little food.

paisleyII · 06/11/2011 05:42

thanks ladies, it is 05:41 and true to form here she is as usual wide awake wanting her breakfast so it seems to work my giving her a small portion of an early breakfast, she seems happy :)

OP posts:
TheBrideofFrankenstein · 06/11/2011 06:00

Glad the cat is better- don't feel bad though. How could you have known?

When they do "catch, neuter & release" programmes on stray populations they actually clip the ears of the females to show they've "already been done" so I think it is hard to tell until you open them up.

rubydoobydoo · 09/11/2011 13:01

Hi, glad she's feeling better!
One of our cats was a stray from my work car park who used to share everyone's lunch tilbI took her home, and we had a similar dilemma - she was quite young and not chipped - thankfully not pregnant either.
Our vet advised the "wait and see" method - and she came into season quite dramatically a few months later! Whoever asked how you tell - let's just say we had to shut her at the opposite end of the house and wear earplugs, and Tom cats were traveling miles just to queue up in our garden! We booked her in for her spay as soon as possible!

Paisley, you've done a lovely thing! x

HellonHeels · 15/11/2011 15:34

I've been away and only just caught up on the latest news of your cat. Don't feel bad about her op, you had to do it and it sounds as if there was no other way. I think you are lovely for taking her in and caring for her so well xxx

I'm sure she is recovering well now and the fur growing back. (When I first got my kitties, the boy one was very adventurous and singed all his tail fur by running past the gas stove top. I was weeping with guilt and very upset about his poor singed tail. He was unharmed and the fur grew back quickly).

If you feel a bit more calm now, you could call into the surgery and speak to them about the phone call and the other things which bothered you. It does sound as if the person who called you was unnecessarily rude :(

Have you had her microchipped?

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