Advice needed - 8 days post obstruction removal

pepperpotts

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Sorry everyone this is a long one but I'm beside myself with worth and really need some other advice.

My 8 month old cat became ill late on Wednesday 30th December with persistent vomiting and I rushed her to an emergency vet on Saturday 2nd January evening.

Bit of history. She's a silver tabby British longhair. We bought her and her sister at the same time. Absolutely no issues up until now. She's a petite cat but so is her mum. Always eaten well and had high energy etc. She is however extremely anxious and did not cope well going to the vet for her vaccinations etc. She'd spend 24hrs hiding.

On the 30th December she was acting normally. Chasing her lazer pen, trying to steal food etc. She's very cheeky. That night she started being sick and this continued on and off for 1-2 days.

I contacted our vet because I was worried about her getting dehydrated. The vet told me to watch and wait as she was managing some water and to give it another day.

Well a day later, Saturday, she still wasn't eating so I phoned the vet again and spoke to someone else who still felt it wasn't urgent and to bring my cat in the next day.

Later that evening she vomited up all of her fluids again so I phoned the vet who said to bring her.

Because of covid they took her in and I wasn't allowed in with her. The vet came back full of doom and gloom saying she was dehydrated (exactly the concern I'd raised the day before and earlier during normal surgery hours) and said she needed treatment overnight and blood tests.

At midnight the vet phones saying her white blood count is low so he's starting IV antibiotics, I say that's ok but state I want to be kept updated. The vet says he thinks it's just a small bug and said he's aiming to get her home tomorrow (Sunday). We discussed her weight and he said her weight was ok and that she's clearly just a petite cat.

Sunday the nurse phones at 9am saying the cat is much brighter and they're going to try getting her eating. By 4pm I've heard nothing so I phone and speak to the nurse. Once again I'm told the cat is much better so I ask when I can come a collect her and the nurse says I can't. I ask why and I'm told they're keeping her in for more observations. I say I want to speak to the vet as I don't understand why she's being kept in if she's so much better.

An hour later the vet phones and says he's tested her blood again, without informing me or establishing consent. I ask why and he says it's because this morning there was no improvement in her condition and that she's also not made progress this afternoon. I explained that the nurse told me that she was a lot better, on two separate occasions, so I'm finding it confusing that I'm now being told that she isn't better and he's run extra tests without my consent. He then says her white blood count is still poor and that now they need to look into underlying causes and that's why she's being kept in and tomorrow they're sending off yet more blood samples for more advanced testing on top of running additional tests in the surgery. He then announced that they think she's got Parvo which made absolutely no sense as she's an indoor cat and has been vaccinated against it. He dismissed this and said it would explain the low white blood count. He also said they were considering a liver shunt which I laughed at as she certainly had no symptoms of that apart from vomiting. He said she showing neurological symptoms because she's not interested in food, I said she's not interested in food because she's scared and ill. I queried whether an obstruction could be the cause because a lot of her symptoms matched that in my opinion and he said no.

On Monday morning a different vet phoned and said my cat hasn't improved at all and requested an ultrasound. At this point I was confused as I'd raised concerns about an obstruction before and was told that there wasn't one so why the ultrasound? The vet said they wanted to check her gut as she hadn't been to the toilet.

Two hours later vet phones saying the cat's digestive system has completely stopped working. She then says it's most likely definitely Parvo and the cat won't survive. Once again I explain she's an indoor cat who's been vaccinated and once again this dismissed. I ask again about an obstruction and I'm told there isn't one.

Then 10pm that night a new vet phones saying she's done an x-ray and guess what?! Not just one OBSTRUCTION but two of them. She requests to rush the cat into emergency surgery. At midnight she phones again saying she's removed 2 obstructions.

So they kept my cat in for nearly 3 days, racked up a vet bill of over £4000 chasing an impossible diagnosis and missed 2 obstructions that showed up on a simple x-ray. Needless to say I wasn't happy and we made a complaint.

The cat had been home for 3 days doing well. Slow but steady progress. Eating, drinking, pooing all ok and no more vomiting.

On Friday during the post op check she had gained a little weight but had a temp of 39.5. I queried whether we needed additional antibiotics and they said no but that they wanted to see her on Monday. They also stopped her pain relief. After her pain relief was stopped she climbed on her cat tree and I think she pulled herself. We've since found out she should've been kept immobile as possible for 7 days but this was never explained to us by our vet.

Over the weekend she deteriorated and went back to looking stressed and in pain. Her appetite reduced. I was sure it was because she'd hurt herself climbing her cat tree.

During the check on Monday they said she'd only gained a little weight so they did additional checks. She still had a slight temp of 39.5 but the ultrasound was clear. She wasn't dehydrated. I explained about her possibly pulling herself and they dismissed it.

At this point they announce that they still think she has a liver shunt. I was speechless. I was like how can you possibly think that when she's no longer being sick? They then said she's not recovering quick enough and are now saying her growth is stunted when the first vet said her weight was fine. I lost it and said she's clearly stressed and in pain so I demanded additional antibiotics, pain relief and said I was taking her home.

Since providing pain relief again she has started eating again and seems more comfortable. She's hobbling around, eating, drinking and going to the toilet with no issues. She will try to hit a toy if it's near her and she's following the lazer pen with her eyes. We personally feel she is still in discomfort though.

We've now found out the painkiller we've giving her, Vetergesic, is actually absorbed in the mouth and we're supposed to be putting it in her cheek pouch but we've been giving it orally as this was not explained to us. So we're wondering if she's not been getting the correct amount of pain relief.

The vets are now constantly hounding us about putting her through additional blood tests and to start looking into a liver shunt diagnosis. They've quoted us £2,000 just to diagnose her. I've explained we can't afford that (our insurance is now maxed out) or justify putting her through that just yet when, in our opinion, she's recovering, slowly admittedly but still improving. When I told the vet this earlier she said we need to have a frank discussion about what's best for the cat and if we can't afford additional diagnostics then maybe it's time to consider putting her to sleep.

How the vet can say this about a cat who's only 8 days post major abdominal surgery that's eating, drinking, pooing, gaining weight etc we don't know. Especially as they missed the obstruction for 2 days. Their only argument for additional testing is the original low white cell count (but this doesn't make sense for a liver shunt diagnosis anyway) and that they're now claiming her growth is stunted despite originally telling us her weight was fine. We personally think she just needs to be left alone to recover in her own time.

I personally think they've behaved really irresponsibly by chasing several ridiculous diagnosis when an x-ray clearly showed 2 obstructions.

To now say she is seriously ill with something she has no symptoms for is utterly unbelievable to us.

This morning I've phoned the breeders vet who says the cat consistently put on weight and was always just a small cat. He says there was never any indication of any other issues and he feels he would've picked up on them if there were. He says her growth certainly wasn't ever stunted. He says her temperature could be stress and has advised us to watch and wait for now and try to keep her as stress free as possible. He suggested calling another local vet for a second opinion and maybe to change her pain relief. Unfortunately we can't take her to see him as he's too far away.

I'm waiting for a call back from a different vet this afternoon but would really value some other opinions on the situation until then as I feel like I'm going mad :(
 

Furballsmom

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I'm so sorry!!
Hang in there until you have a chance to talk with the second vet. If that conversation still doesn't seem right, call the breeders vet back and talk to him, --he seems to be a good vet. Hopefully the second vet can sort things out for your cat.
 
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FeebysOwner

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Hi. Make sure whatever new vet you are going to engage with is NOT of the same practice as the other vets you've been dealing with (to avoid colleague bias), and ask for a copy of all her records - either for you to pick or to have emailed/faxed to the new vet. She needs to be checked out by someone a bit more reliable and trustworthy than the vets she has been seen by already.

Keep us posted, please!
 
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pepperpotts

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Thank you both of you for your replies.

Second vet did his best to be impartial but clearly wasn't impressed. He said she's clearly got a post op infection and that's why she's not picking up so quickly. He's told me to carry on with her antibiotics and pain relief and is seeing us on Friday to review her. I'm having her notes sent over in the meantime.

Will keep you all updated,

Holly x
 
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