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vet check for rescue charity - gobsmacked by vet comments

56 replies

IsletsOfLangerhans · 16/11/2012 16:55

Hi. Feel like I've been punched in stomach over this. Yesterday, after 4 years of grieving and missing our lovely tom cat, we bit the bullet and decided to go to a local charity to find a new cat. Chose a lovely 4 month cat and left our details so they could do a vet check. Had a call earlier from charity saying they needed more info as we only saw that vet twice ( I daftly assumed they would have obtained previous records). They said all that the last visit recorded was, " brought cat in, lethargic, and owners asked for it to be put down". Am I the only person who would find that extremely upsetting, bearing in mind the vet told us he was dying and it would be the kindest option? He hadn't eaten for a few days, eye sight had severely degenerated and the vet told us his organs were failing. We spent an hour talking options over with the vet and then making the decision to put him to sleep - it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, and the vet told us it was the right option. Am I overreacting over the brevity of the notes? I certainly don't think it looks good on paper. The vets also failed to tell the charity we had him cremated and ashes returned. Maybe I'm overreacting, but it's made me feel very upset and I'm concerned it will affect our plans to give another cat a loving home.

OP posts:
Sparklingbrook · 16/11/2012 16:58

I have never heard of a vet check, only a home check. That all sounds very strange. Sad

I am not surprised you are upset, I would be too.

IsletsOfLangerhans · 16/11/2012 17:02

If you've had a cat before, they do a vet check only. Home checks are for the first time cat owners. Doesn't completely make sense to me.

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 16/11/2012 17:02

I know of at least one rescue that does that, sparkling - it's a substitute for a home check rather than an add on.

So sorry, OP. Rotten for you.

Sparklingbrook · 16/11/2012 17:24

Thanks cozie, I suppose it sort of makes sense as long as the vets write down relevant info. Bet the Vets charge for it though.

cozietoesie · 16/11/2012 17:37

Don't know about the latter, Sparkling, but it's real unfortunate if the vets have just taken quick scribbled notes - and then may have left the practice so that they don't remember you and someone else is picking up where they left off.

Islets, I'd have word with the charity and explain to them what you set out to us in your OP. Best of luck.

cozietoesie · 16/11/2012 17:50

PS - My understanding is that it's mostly down to the fact that so many cats nowadays are rehomed by internet, phone and email in the first instance. (And the charities, which are often not completely local to the person who would like a rescue cat, are so strapped for cash that they can't travel to do home checks.) I don't know for certain that that's the case so maybe one of the posters who assist on rescue work could comment.

Are you close enough to the rescue to pop in at the weekend, Islets? That would likely ease their minds considerably.

Welovecouscous · 16/11/2012 17:52

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IsletsOfLangerhans · 16/11/2012 17:59

We went in to choose the cat yesterday, but only met one member of staff in the cattery area, who said she was new. The check was being done by someone involved in admin. I was a little upset when she rang and told me what the last vets had said and so I explained what had actually happened (in a non-ranty fashion). I rang my previous vets to see if they were happy to provide records (which they were) and gave the charity their number. Haven't heard back though, and we are supposed to be collecting him tomorrow. Getting paranoid Sad. My husband and I are gentle, quiet and friendly, so I hope we gave off a good impression yesterday.

OP posts:
JustFabulous · 16/11/2012 18:02

You poor thing Sad. That must have been such a shock.

I really hope you can still have your cat.

cozietoesie · 16/11/2012 18:14

I suspect that in this instance, not hearing back is a good sign.

Lots of luck with your new cat tomorrow.


Sparklingbrook · 16/11/2012 18:16

Yes, I would carry on and assume everything is ok Islets.

IsletsOfLangerhans · 16/11/2012 18:25

Thank you all - I'll try to stay positive. I've just had a lot of sad memories being relived today...

OP posts:
Whatnowffs · 16/11/2012 18:32

Oh bless you, how sad for you. To try and turn this around so you don't feel so upset, i just think that it was a breifly recorded record on behalf of the vet. For vet checks they often just print out a history.

How i read it is that this was the first time they saw you with the cat? That sadly, it was his time and you decided to be kind to him and have him put to sleep. There was really no need for further information on his records i guess at it was a final decision, the vet who wrote that probably didn't think for one minute it would be read in this situation. It was simply a factual representation of what happened. I think that if the rescue see it any other way then they are well out of order. I also think the person who read that to you was wrong, why did you need to hear that? :(

No news is good news though, i would happily rehome a cat to you, lucky cat!!! xxx

RedwingWinter · 16/11/2012 18:35

I am not surprised that upset you. The vet should have explained the circumstances (and should have it in their notes).

Usually with the vet check they are wanting to know that you are the kind of person who gets your cats (or dogs) spayed/neutered, and keep them up to date with vaccinations.

It's good that you explained what had happened. I think it should all be alright.

IsletsOfLangerhans · 16/11/2012 18:48

Whatnowffs - I've tried to be rational about this and agree with what you say about the vet maybe not feeling they needed to put any other information down and kept it brief. It was the second time we saw him - the previous visit was for an annual booster vaccination. What concerned me was that the charity said they needed more information as there were no other medical treatment between the booster (Feb) and our last visit (September) and that there was no real explanation in the notes for him being put down aside from lethargy.

OP posts:
Sparklingbrook · 16/11/2012 19:27

It's rubbish because it's the vets failing to put the right information that's caused this. Surely a quick phone call between the rescue and the vets is all that's necessary?

This is all very upsetting at what should be an exciting time getting a new
cat to love. Sad

IsletsOfLangerhans · 16/11/2012 20:02

The more I think about this, the more upset I am with the rescue place for querying the idea we took a tired, but otherwise healthy cat in to be put down. Feel quite sick about it and it is tainting the whole experience.

OP posts:
Sparklingbrook · 16/11/2012 20:05

The rescue centre have boxes to tick though Islets. They know that a vet presented with a cat just suffering from lethargy would not advise it be put to sleep.

They just want to tick the 'Vet Check' box and are being a bit thorough.

IsletsOfLangerhans · 16/11/2012 20:08

I hope so Sparkling - I'm going to have an early night, clear my head and ring with a positive attitude tomorrow morning Smile

OP posts:
Sparklingbrook · 16/11/2012 20:10

Good idea Islets, hope all will be fine. xx

Holtby · 16/11/2012 20:17

Islets, I do understand why you're so upset - it's just badly worded in the vet's records. Please don't be cross with the shelter though. I volunteer for a little shelter and we see some horror stories - people who give cats up for adoption when they redecorate, because the cat doesn't 'go' with the new colours, kittens who've been through 4 families before they're 6 months old, people who hand in malnourished year-old cats named "Shithead". For that reason, they will just have wanted to be absolutely sure that you were the right sort of cat owner.

I am so pleased that a lovely rescue cat will have a wonderful new home with you! Post some pics, please. x

cozietoesie · 16/11/2012 20:19

.....'someone involved in admin'.... you said ? (And maybe not a great cat person.) Don't worry - and hope everything goes well tomorrow.



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cozietoesie · 16/11/2012 20:21

doesn't go with the colour scheme ? God help us.

Pourquoimoi · 17/11/2012 09:01

What happened?

This worries me massively as we have two cats from a rescue centre when they were one. They hardly ever see the vets because they are healthy cats. To be honest we haven't kept their boosters up to date, mainly as a vet friend said they didn't really need to be done every year but also cost to be honest.

We have however taken them straight to the vets if we have had concerns at all they are happy and healthy cats who have had 11 yrs with us so far but we would probably not be deemed suitable to have any more based on this?

Perhaps when the time comes we'd be better off getting a random kitten rather than a rescue centre cat and potentially being deemed bad cat owners?

Holtby · 17/11/2012 09:16

No, Pourquoi, please don't buy a kitten. I could tell you some hair-raising stories about private dealers too.

When the day comes, find a local shelter and tell them about your lovely cats and they'll probably do a 'homecheck' - which is only very slightly about checking that you can provide a suitable home and much more about giving them an opportunity for a longer conversation with rehomers about their expectations, experience, weeding out any nutty ideas (people who want their cats to have a vegetarian diet is a regular thing etc). Generally they'll only ask for vet references if there's a reason why a homecheck is impossible.

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