I lurk on this group frequently and post sporadically. I had an
experience with a vet today, and I need a reality check from other cat
I have been going to the same veterinary practice for about 20 years,
know the main vet well, and have taken many cats through there, and
made many reccomendations to that practice over the years. The owner
of the clinic has remained the same; the other vets there, usually
two, change with time. This is the first time I've had any problems
with any of them, but not the first time I've had a problem with this
A year ago I adopted a very fearful and skittish stray that I'd been
feeding on my deck (unable to catch) for two years. He was injured
and I managed to nab him, had him examined and neutered (at half price
by that vet practice, because he was a stray) and kept him despite
already having four geriatric cats. I didn't plan to, but couldn't
find him a home, and my heart went out to him, especially after we
felt a lump that we believe to be a shotgun pellet.
In the year I've had him inside, he has turned into a very
affectionate cat--toward me and my other cats--just very, very timid
toward others. When I took him to the vet for his shots not long ago,
that vet (not the one I'm mad at) noticed a bad tooth, and said it
probably needed extraction. He said he usually did the dental work on
Tuesdays. This morning I dropped the cat off, opted to have the $40
*** work done before what I thought would be extracting one tooth,
opted for the $20 microchip as well--and this on a very, very tight
budget. And I have three other geriatric cats. My work phone number
was clearly written on the form.
When I went to pick him up after work, I was directed into an exam
room where th vet that I don't like, and have had problems with before
(she's probably a good vet, just does NOT communicate with owners; I
think she figures she knows what's best and doesn't want to be
confused by someone who actually knows the animal) ) informed me that
she'd had to do SO MUCH dental work that the cat was in extreme pain,
and that at no charge to me, if I wanted to, they'd keep him
overnight so he could get another pain shot and antibiotic shot in the
Never mind the inconvenience of having left work early to get the
cat--I AM FURIOUS that so much and such obviously painful dental work
was done without even a phone call to discuss it with me. Maybe the
cat needed it all, maybe not. This poor guy has no reason to trust
humans and every reason not to. Had I known this vet was doing the
dental work today, I would not have taken the cat in today. Even so,
when she discovered that he needed such extensive work (if he did) she
could have phoned me at work to discuss it with me--the phone number
was right there, in two places, on the chart . (I know the
receptionists and techs there pretty well, too and I asked and
expressed my displeasure when I left today) I would have discussed it
with the primary vet, whom I've known for so long, but he was doing a
euthanasia on someone else's cat, and that's tough on vet and owner.
I don't know whether my poor guy really "needed" all that dental work
or not. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. But I feel very strongly that
it should have been discussed with me. If I'd taken my CAR into the
shop and they'd had to do a lot more work than anticipated, the shop
would have called me, and the car feels no pain. I just don't know
that I would have subjected that cat to what apparently is a whole lot
of pain just when he's begun to trust. And I am a bit suspicious of
this "we'll keep him overnight at no cost to you" stuff.
Am I wrong to be so furious?
This vet made single handed medical decisions without consulting me,
and without knowing the cat. She has never treated him.
She left a phone message -- on my home phone-- only AFTER all the
work had been done to tell me that they might want to keep the cat
overnight. (Of course, I never got the message until after I got home
from the vet) When the receptionist and I looked at the chart, it
was harder to find my home phone number than my work phone number.
It's very clear to me that she just chose not to call me.
The cost is much higher than I anticipated as well, though I always
find a way to pay if the cats need care. She had also added a charge
for clipping his claws--despite the fact that one of the other vets
there did it three weeks ago when he examined him, and the fact that I
am capable of doing that at home. Again, without asking me.
I have to believe that she has nothing to gain monetarily from all of
this, and I still trust the vet that owns the practice, and I plan to
have a long talk with him.
But I am SEETHING. I can't find anyway to justify her doing all of
that without discussing it with me. Had I known she was doing the
work, I would have asked that another vet there also look at the cat's
mouth and agree the work needed to be done. Maybe that's what she
Thank you for letting me vent, if nothing else.