Spaying Nightmare

lisalu

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Just tried to help a lost little kitty, and get a pet for myself at the same time. I am going through an extremely stressful life situation, and thought a pet would provide some comfort and stress relief, and then a hungry, stray cat showed up in my yard. It seemed like we needed each other, so I adopted her.

As a responsible person, I took her to the vet for shots, worming, and spaying. Now $1000 later, my cat is back in the animal hospital where she will spend the next 10 days.

Vet visit 1: Cat got exam, shots, and worming. ($280)

Vet visit 2: Cat was spayed and spent one night at the vet. Came home with the incision glued, and no cone. I was handed my cat, and a brief instruction sheet when I picked her up, but otherwise no instructions even though I repeatedly told them I was an inexperienced first time cat owner. Since she wasn't given a cone, and I was only instructed to "keep her in a closet for 10 days" I assumed a cone wasn't necessary. In a couple of days the incision popped open. ($325)

Vet visit 3: Cat had to undergo anesthesia again to have the wound sutured and spend another night at the vet. She came home with a cone and instructions to leave it one for 10 days. Exactly one hour after we got home, the cat got the cone off. I couldn't get the cone back on the cat (again INEXPERIENCED cat owner here!) so I bought a softer, more comfortable fabric collar on Amazon that is velcroed into place. ($200)

Kitty wore the collar for a few days although she vomited on it a couple of times so I had to take it off and wash it. I kept a sharp eye on her in the meantime, and never saw her picking at the wound, but I guess she did because the stitches popped out!

Vet visit 4: Now Kitty is once again at the vet where they intend to glue the incision ONCE AGAIN and keep her there until it heals. ($200)

I have spent a VERY stressful week dealing with this (it is an hour round trip to this particular vet, no less) and spent WAYYYY too much money. All I ever wanted to do was give this sweet kitty a safe home rather than leave her to fend for herself outdoors. If all I wanted was a cat, I could have gotten one at the animal shelter for $50 with the spaying/shots/worming already done.

Can somebody offer me any comfort in this horrendous experience? Is my vet totally incompetent, or what? Is this my fault because I did not, indeed, lock her in a closet when I first brought her home? (I did remove her cat perch, discouraged her from jumping and running around, and kept her as quiet as possible - plus we have no children or other pets in the home to aggravate her in any way. Therefore, I thought it would be okay to keep her close to me while she healed.)

Stressed to the max and out a WHOLE LOT of money. :(:(:(
 

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LTS3

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Any vet who tells you to "keep the cat in a closet" to heal post-surgery is a vet to run far away from IMO :running: I'd find a new vet for future care.

You can try putting a baby shirt on the cat to keep the cat from scratching at and bothering the spay incision. There's a TCS article with pictures of what a spay incision is supposed to look like and what it should not look like: Spaying And Neutering – What To Look For After Surgery – TheCatSite Articles
 
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lisalu

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Any vet who tells you to "keep the cat in a closet" to heal post-surgery is a vet to run far away from IMO :running: I'd find a new vet for future care.

You can try putting a baby shirt on the cat to keep the cat from scratching at and bothering the spay incision. There's a TCS article with pictures of what a spay incision is supposed to look like and what it should not look like: Spaying And Neutering – What To Look For After Surgery – TheCatSite Articles
I did try the little "onesie" (which I also bought on Amazon.) I had the vet put it on her after the second procedure, and they said she managed to wiggle right out of it. Same cat who managed to remove a cone that was pretty securely tied.
 

fionasmom

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The closet part definitely speaks volumes about the vet and after this experience I would as around for other recommendations for vets. If you have the Nextdoor app, that is a good place. If not, ask people you know, neighbors, etc.

Did you see her get out of the onesie or did the vet just tell you that she did? My impression is that this will get better, she will heal, and you will have a lovely little pet whom you were kind enough to rescue.

As for your own part in this, I have TNRed many feral females whose only chance at recovery was one night in a Havahart trap at the vet's. Released the next day, jumped a wall, ran off and went on to live for many years as outside ferals on my property. No, that is not ideal, but when you are doing serious TNR the name of the game is no kittens even if you bend the rules. Given that you were told that a closet was a good place for this cat, I have to question the surgical skill of whomever did the spay.
 

CarmiesMom

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Wow thats an expensive vet at least from my view point exam shots and worming nearly $300 then after spaying keep her in a closet and glued incision? an emergancy c-section on Easter Sunday in a snow storm, here was only $450, so ohh heck no find a new vet ASAP or you will be out the money and kitty will have passed on they keep charging you for what sounds like their incompetence find a new vet ASAP if possible i wish you and kitty all the best.
 

vince

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Yes, the vet fees seem considerably higher than around here. I would suggest you shop a bit to see if you can find something more reasonable. I think my most-recent cat vaccination regime was $130 and her spay/microchip was about $200. This was three years ago, but I would expect prices not to have about doubled.

I do understand what the vet meant by "Keep her in a closet for 10 days," but that ain't the way to do it, especially with a first-timer. Another good reason to find a different vet.
 

silent meowlook

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Hopefully you are out of the woods here. Once she is healed look into a feline only vet. If the vomiting continues you will have to get her checked out. I wouldn’t use the same vet. Where I work, if we had to redo a surgery we would not charge you. But we have written out discharge instructions and are careful to send cats home with a cone. Never have I heard anyone tell someone to keep their cat in a closet.

Feed canned food 2 to 3 meals a day. Clean litter box 1 to 2 times a day. Keep your cat indoors. All of this will be worth it in the end. Thank you for saving the cat.
 

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Cheese and crackers! $300 clams for a checkup and shots!? That's freakin' OUTRAGEOUS!

We, just recently, took Casper to the vet for his regular checkup and shots and it only cost us $100, out the door!

Telling you to keep your cat in a closet doesn't make sense! No reasonable person should say that. Not just because it's mean or cruel. It isn't logical! If you're trying to keep the cat from scratching or chewing on her incision, you want to prevent her from turning around to get access to her hind end. A cone or a diaper is the preferred method. A confining space such as a kitty carrier or, like fionasmom fionasmom says, a Havaheart trap can be used as a last resort. Putting a cat in a closet doesn't make sense because it doesn't prevent the cat from turning around and picking at her stitches. It would only serve to upset the cat without doing the thing you set out to do, in the first place.

Are you sure that you actually talked to the vet and not some "newbie" vet tech or volunteer who thought they were being helpful but was actually, "Out to Lunch?"

If our vet said anything like that, I'd come right out and say, "Are you F***ING crazy!?"

On that basis, alone, if I was you I'd be calling another vet for a second opinion. Since you have been back to the same vet three times for the same problem, it would be common sense to seek a second opinion.

If I took my car to a mechanic just for an oil change and had to go back three times and spend a thousand bucks in the process, I'd be looking for another mechanic!

If it was my cat, I'd be calling our backup vet after the second visit.
 

CarmiesMom

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Cheese and crackers! $300 clams for a checkup and shots!? That's freakin' OUTRAGEOUS!

We, just recently, took Casper to the vet for his regular checkup and shots and it only cost us $100, out the door!

Telling you to keep your cat in a closet doesn't make sense! No reasonable person should say that. Not just because it's mean or cruel. It isn't logical! If you're trying to keep the cat from scratching or chewing on her incision, you want to prevent her from turning around to get access to her hind end. A cone or a diaper is the preferred method. A confining space such as a kitty carrier or, like fionasmom fionasmom says, a Havaheart trap can be used as a last resort. Putting a cat in a closet doesn't make sense because it doesn't prevent the cat from turning around and picking at her stitches. It would only serve to upset the cat without doing the thing you set out to do, in the first place.

Are you sure that you actually talked to the vet and not some "newbie" vet tech or volunteer who thought they were being helpful but was actually, "Out to Lunch?"

If our vet said anything like that, I'd come right out and say, "Are you F***ING crazy!?"

On that basis, alone, if I was you I'd be calling another vet for a second opinion. Since you have been back to the same vet three times for the same problem, it would be common sense to seek a second opinion.

If I took my car to a mechanic just for an oil change and had to go back three times and spend a thousand bucks in the process, I'd be looking for another mechanic!

If it was my cat, I'd be calling our backup vet after the second visit.

Exacly for my kitties i have decided to switch vets as our vet retired and we lost Precious with the new frsh out of vet school girl, my aunts cat had a calcium defficancy from nursing 6 lil ones who were 3 weeks old the vet kept her overnight and she strted to improve but ended up with a secondary issue Penumonia or a really bad URI and died the day affter her release home so i'm going to the vet w always had as back-up though he's half again as high as the girl who took over for our old vet
 

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I agree with above that the vet you visited sounds incompetent.

I am going through an extremely stressful life situation, and thought a pet would provide some comfort and stress relief
I'm sorry you are going through a hard time. But pets are stress. Lots of it. What to feed them, how much, how often. Making sure they aren't too skinny, too fat. Do they have enough enrichment? Are they healthy? Can that particular object, placed in that particular place, potentially injure them? Did they eat some of the chocolate cake i forgot to put away? Are they using the litter box often enough? Why aren't they eating all of their food all of a sudden? Why did they throw up?

Cats can be great to help you relax and help you cope. My two cats are honestly my rocks, they keep me grounded. But they also drive me up the wall. Everything is great, until its not.

I'm not trying to attack you, or say you are a bad pet owner. This girl is lucky to have someone who went above and beyond for her, no matter the cost. I just want to make sure you know what you are getting into. I have seen so many people in unideal situations with a pet, purely because they didn't know what they were in for. Its not all sunshine and daisies, but that's the price you pay for having such a beautiful pure soul in your life.

[QUOTE="lisalu, post: 5394150, member:
If all I wanted was a cat, I could have gotten one at the animal shelter for $50 with the spaying/shots/worming already done.
[/QUOTE]

This is true. The vet you visited doesn't spund overly expensive, that is what I pay at my clinic, but I expect quality work to be done for that price.

Now you could adopt a cat with all its vet work done. Just because you are a new cat owner though, I feel obligated to tell you the expenses don't stop here, regardless of where you get your cat from. Cats have accidents. They get sick and/or injured. When they got older, lots of problems tend to arise, often expensive ones.

If you are taking on ownership for this animal, then you are obligated to offer the best care you can. There will be expenses like this in the future. As long as you are prepared for that, then that's great. Thank you for taking her in.

Lastly, I will say its always a good idea to do some research on your own, especially regarding after surgery care if the vet doesn't provide you with much detail. We often don't send cones home with cats, but tell clients to come back and get one if they start licking. Lots of people on here will be able to help you.

I don't think what happened was how you looked after her post surgery. As mentioned above, the incision site should be a lot more durable than that. I'm sorry for your ordeal, and I hope kitty recovers quickly!
 

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So sorry. Unfortunately when you take a kitty in from outside who has not been cared for and who has been exposed to many things it can be expensive to do all of the vetting etc. I do think this dvm sounds incompetent and should not have charged you multiple times for a failed surgery. I have never heard of gluing a wound closed, but I have not had a female cat spayed for many years, we have only boys now and it was a relatively simple process. No cones etc.

Over the years my cats have never agreed to wear or really needed the cones. More recently Jezibel removed it herself after enucleation. I was very upset they had put one on her since she was not touchable and I could not remove it without risking injury. It was stupid and after she removed it herself they said not to bother with it.

I have never heard of a dvm saying to keep kitty in a closet for a week, that is crazy. Mine said to keep Quinn in a bedroom for a day after his neuter so he wouldn’t jump around too much. Another option is to cage kitty for a day until sedation has worn off if it is about not letting them jump around and if you have a larger cage maybe a few days until the risk is over if kitty tolerates it well.

My area has even higher dvm prices than yours apparently so I am not sure about the pricing.

How is your kitty doing now? I hope she is getting better and on the road to recovery finally. Why does she have to spend 10 days in the dvm hospital exactly? That does not seem right to me even after a botched spay surgery. my cats have been in hospital with serious conditions and have never needed that long a stay.

One day this will be a distant memory and the love and times you shared will replace all the stress 🤗 it will all be worth it in the end. You have done a selfless wonderful thing to save her life and to give her a better life.
 
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bear

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I use collapsible wire cat condos for when my rescues come back from alterations.
They are 2 ft X 3 ft by 4 ft high.
I lower the shelves down to create a lower ceiling. They cannot climb or jump which reduces the load on the stitches.
The cats get out several times during the day under close supervision. Yet no climbing or jumping.
My pens are older, so I have melamine boards cut in various sizes for shelves. I just lower two 1 ft by 3 ft shelves for the ceiling.
Inside the pen, I go to as small a litter pan as I think will work for the cat/kittens and make sure they have water.
Give them something soft textured to lay on and also leave some bare floor to let them help regulate their temperatures.

It may sound small, yet at 6 square feet of floor space, it is a lot larger than my stainless steel cat kennels used to be (similar to Vets)..
Hott_Kitten_123_toungue.jpg
 
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lisalu

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Hopefully you are out of the woods here. Once she is healed look into a feline only vet. If the vomiting continues you will have to get her checked out. I wouldn’t use the same vet. Where I work, if we had to redo a surgery we would not charge you. But we have written out discharge instructions and are careful to send cats home with a cone. Never have I heard anyone tell someone to keep their cat in a closet.

Feed canned food 2 to 3 meals a day. Clean litter box 1 to 2 times a day. Keep your cat indoors. All of this will be worth it in the end. Thank you for saving the cat.
I am using a cat vet, that is why I chose them. I also chose them because no other vet would take us - some weren't taking new patients, others insisted on sticking to the letter of the law (The "stray hold" law which says all strays MUST be turned in to animal control before being released for adoption.)

As far as the closet thing - I might have exaggerated a little (I'm VERY upset about this) but what it actually said was to keep her in an enclosed space like a laundry room or walk-in closet for 10 days. Basically a room without even a window for TEN DAYS where the kitty is probably going to be frantic, wanting to come out and be with us. I failed to do my part in this, I own it, but I did keep her as quiet as possible, and prevented her from jumping as best I could.
 
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lisalu

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I agree with above that the vet you visited sounds incompetent.



I'm sorry you are going through a hard time. But pets are stress. Lots of it. What to feed them, how much, how often. Making sure they aren't too skinny, too fat. Do they have enough enrichment? Are they healthy? Can that particular object, placed in that particular place, potentially injure them? Did they eat some of the chocolate cake i forgot to put away? Are they using the litter box often enough? Why aren't they eating all of their food all of a sudden? Why did they throw up?

Cats can be great to help you relax and help you cope. My two cats are honestly my rocks, they keep me grounded. But they also drive me up the wall. Everything is great, until its not.

I'm not trying to attack you, or say you are a bad pet owner. This girl is lucky to have someone who went above and beyond for her, no matter the cost. I just want to make sure you know what you are getting into. I have seen so many people in unideal situations with a pet, purely because they didn't know what they were in for. Its not all sunshine and daisies, but that's the price you pay for having such a beautiful pure soul in your life.

So sorry. Unfortunately when you take a kitty in from outside who has not been cared for and who has been exposed to many things it can be expensive to do all of the vetting etc. I do think this dvm sounds incompetent and should not have charged you multiple times for a failed surgery. I have never heard of gluing a wound closed, but I have not had a female cat spayed for many years, we have only boys now and it was a relatively simple process. No cones etc.

Over the years my cats have never agreed to wear or really needed the cones. More recently Jezibel removed it herself after enucleation. I was very upset they had put one on her since she was not touchable and I could not remove it without risking injury. It was stupid and after she removed it herself they said not to bother with it.

I have never heard of a dvm saying to keep kitty in a closet for a week, that is crazy. Mine said to keep Quinn in a bedroom for a day after his neuter so he wouldn’t jump around too much. Another option is to cage kitty for a day until sedation has worn off if it is about not letting them jump around and if you have a larger cage maybe a few days until the risk is over if kitty tolerates it well.

My area has even higher dvm prices than yours apparently so I am not sure about the pricing.

How is your kitty doing now? I hope she is getting better and on the road to recovery finally. Why does she have to spend 10 days in the dvm hospital exactly? That does not seem right to me even after a botched spay surgery. my cats have been in hospital with serious conditions and have never needed that long a stay.

One day this will be a distant memory and the love and times you shared will replace all the stress 🤗 it will all be worth it in the end. You have done a selfless wonderful thing to save her life and to give her a better life.
They said she needs to stay 10 days until it is time for the stitches are completely healed, just to be sure this time that she doesn't manage to rip them out. But I am very unhappy about this, especially with the weekend coming up and thinking about her being there alone. :( I am so unhappy about all of this, and I really miss my kitty!
 

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I have what could be called a regular sized walk in closet for a house in my general area. I would not keep a cat in it for 10 days. Don't beat yourself up. You were not given proper help from the vet, along with a big bill. While my closet has a window, it is still a closet which means it is still much smaller than a room, is filled with stuff, and is dark and cramped. Most people don't keep a completely empty closet just for emergencies. Wire cat condos, by the way, are different as they give the cat a sense of openess, fresh air, and visibility. Laundry room are not ideal either. The appliances have to be blocked off or the cat invariably goes for the back of the dryer, shreds the dryer coil vent, and necessitates you moving things to extract them.

I do remember your posts from about a month ago about one vet wanting the cat turned into animal control.

Is the cat healing now? Do you think that this whole episode is coming to a close with a happy ending for both of you?
 
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lisalu

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I have what could be called a regular sized walk in closet for a house in my general area. I would not keep a cat in it for 10 days. Don't beat yourself up. You were not given proper help from the vet, along with a big bill. While my closet has a window, it is still a closet which means it is still much smaller than a room, is filled with stuff, and is dark and cramped. Most people don't keep a completely empty closet just for emergencies. Wire cat condos, by the way, are different as they give the cat a sense of openess, fresh air, and visibility. Laundry room are not ideal either. The appliances have to be blocked off or the cat invariably goes for the back of the dryer, shreds the dryer coil vent, and necessitates you moving things to extract them.

I do remember your posts from about a month ago about one vet wanting the cat turned into animal control.

Is the cat healing now? Do you think that this whole episode is coming to a close with a happy ending for both of you?
The kitty is healing now at the vet - they said they need to keep her the full 10 days until the stitches come out. I really miss this cat! Even after only six weeks of having her, we have really bonded.

I'm glad to know I wasn't a bad "cat parent" because I didn't keep my kitty in a closet or laundry room for 10 days. You're right, she would still be jumping up on the washer/dryer and crawling behind them. And I can't even imagine keeping her in a walk-in closet for a week and a half - she'd be miserable and so would I. Otherwise, there is no room in my house which has no furniture whatsoever for a cat to jump on (guest room, for example, still has furniture to jump up on.) I did my best to keep her quiet but I guess it wasn't enough.
 
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lisalu

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Cheese and crackers! $300 clams for a checkup and shots!? That's freakin' OUTRAGEOUS!

We, just recently, took Casper to the vet for his regular checkup and shots and it only cost us $100, out the door!

Telling you to keep your cat in a closet doesn't make sense! No reasonable person should say that. Not just because it's mean or cruel. It isn't logical! If you're trying to keep the cat from scratching or chewing on her incision, you want to prevent her from turning around to get access to her hind end. A cone or a diaper is the preferred method. A confining space such as a kitty carrier or, like fionasmom fionasmom says, a Havaheart trap can be used as a last resort. Putting a cat in a closet doesn't make sense because it doesn't prevent the cat from turning around and picking at her stitches. It would only serve to upset the cat without doing the thing you set out to do, in the first place.

Are you sure that you actually talked to the vet and not some "newbie" vet tech or volunteer who thought they were being helpful but was actually, "Out to Lunch?"

If our vet said anything like that, I'd come right out and say, "Are you F***ING crazy!?"

On that basis, alone, if I was you I'd be calling another vet for a second opinion. Since you have been back to the same vet three times for the same problem, it would be common sense to seek a second opinion.

If I took my car to a mechanic just for an oil change and had to go back three times and spend a thousand bucks in the process, I'd be looking for another mechanic!

If it was my cat, I'd be calling our backup vet after the second visit.
No, I didn't talk to the vet at all. When I came back to get the kitty after the spay, I asked if I could talk to her - or one of the assistants, at least - and the receptionist told me, "Everything you need to know is on the discharge papers." And the post-surgical instructions were barely a paragraph "Keep the cat in a laundry room or walk-in closet for 10 days. Make sure she doesn't lick the incision" (I'm supposed to sit IN the closet with her for 10 days to do that?) Every time I've called back, I've never been put through to the vet.

OTOH, the last vet I had with my dogs was amazing, he would call me personally and spend 15 minutes on the phone patiently explaining everything I needed to know about my dog's condition. But that practice is no longer taking new patients or I'd be there in a heartbeat.
 

fionasmom

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Wow so they actually put that you could keep her in a laundry room or walk in closet in writing. Frankly, most people do not have a dedicated, ideal room in their house, no matter where you live, for a cat to be completely safe. At least she is healing and will be home in a few days when you can start your life together. Hopefully, as a young cat, she will not have medical issues for a long time and you will maybe be able to locate another vet. Would the dog vet put you on a waiting list since you used to go there? A vet refusing to talk to a client would also be a big red flag.
 
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lisalu

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Wow so they actually put that you could keep her in a laundry room or walk in closet in writing. Frankly, most people do not have a dedicated, ideal room in their house, no matter where you live, for a cat to be completely safe. At least she is healing and will be home in a few days when you can start your life together. Hopefully, as a young cat, she will not have medical issues for a long time and you will maybe be able to locate another vet. Would the dog vet put you on a waiting list since you used to go there? A vet refusing to talk to a client would also be a big red flag.
Okay, so I had to look at it again to be sure - my bad, it said bathroom, not laundry room.

I don't know that the vet refused to talk to me, just that the receptionist deflected me when I asked to talk to her. When I have talked to her in person, she does seem very kind and caring, I'm not saying I dislike this vet. But I'm just out a lot of money AND the trauma of three surgical procedures and a lengthy hospital stay for my little kitty and that's not cool.
 

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