Cruelty to Cats: December 2008 Archives

cat_catheter.jpgIn what will be a two part post, I intend on giving some advice to those that have endured serious issues with their veterinary. In light of what happened to Melanie the other day, I thought it would be interesting to review what her options are.

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For those of you who might have missed what happened the other day. Here are the highlights:

  • Melanie noticed that her cat Neo was urinating outside of his litter box.
  • Concerned that there may be an issue, she was forced to bring her cat Neo to a new vet due to the fact her old vet (the vet that I use) had moved his offices far away from her home.
  • While at the new vet's office, (Dr. John Mollard of the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic) the doctor inserted a catheter in Neo's private parts without using an anesthetic. Not only did he not use an anesthetic but according to Melanie's account, he was quite proud of the fact that he could perform the torturous procedure without the anesthetic.
  • So to be clear. This is initial blog post that I intend on following up with after I get some returned phone calls from the appropriate authorities.

    On a side note, according to the a pet owner's survey taken in 2004 by the American Animal Hospital, respondents were asked "Who listens to you best?" an astounding 45% of individuals said that their pets listened to them more compared to 30% that said their spouse listens to them more. I bring this point up because I think this demonstrates the importance a lot of people place with their pets. Pets are a member of our family and no one wants to see a family member tortured.

    Getting back to my point now. According to my brief research, there are a few options in Ontario with regards to reporting an abusive veterinary, these options are probably (but not necessarily) similar to most states and other countries but you'll have to research that for yourself. What I can tell you is that the best place to start would be with the governing veterinary medical association in your region. In Ontario, the governing body for veterinaries is the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. Filing a formal complaint with the president or executive director within your local veterinary medical association is a very good way to start the process of reporting a specific incident.

    If you intend on going down this path, I would advise you to make accurate notes of the incident shortly after it happened. We all know what happens to memory with time. Secondly, I would save a copy of the receipt that you used to pay for the treatment. The receipt is important because it should show the procedures performed on your pet.

    Without being a doctor, what I can tell you is that the lack of anesthesia being used in certain circumstances is a hot button within the veterinary community. I found no shortage of examples of vets in the United States and in Canada that had their veterinary licenses revoked for performing procedures that did not allow the anesthesia to take full effect or for not using enough anesthesia. The fact that Dr. John Mollard freely admits to not using anesthesia for what is clearly a painful procedure is very concerning. Again, I'm not a doctor and I'm not a lawyer but this situation presented itself to me and I intend on finding out more information about what you can do to protect yourself from a bad vet.

    It's very interesting to note that (according to my research) there are a lot of bad veterinaries that avoid using anesthesia or don't fully understand the time required for the drug to take effect. As I've advised before, take the time to get to know your vet and ask questions particularly for any invasive procedure. The best vets will take the time to explain procedures to you, the worse ones (like Dr. John Mollard) tend to be more reticent of what exactly they're going to be doing to your pet.

    Within the next day or two, I'll be speaking to a board member within the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association and I'll report my findings to you.

    basket_comfortable.jpgI promise, I won't bring it up again after today, but I am still upset about Dr. John Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada for torturing Neo. When I think about how Neo fought so hard against them that he was weak when he came back to me, it just makes me get angry again.

    Well, more confused than angry now. Confused as to why someone who is supposedly there to help animals would want to inflict that much pain on an animal in his care. It's just baffling to me.

    I've been replaying the whole appointment in my head and going over what I said about Dr. John Mollard in my previous post about Dr. John Mollard and about Neo's test results. I am still very angry about how he treated Neo and how he didn't explain to me what he was going to do exactly.

    Even though I was angry when I wrote it, I still feel I was fair in my criticism, I know he said catheter to me a couple times, but never did he say, in another room and no anesthetic - I think my post explains my problem with him clearly.

    There was a man there in the waiting room who had been taking his dog there for 12 years who told me to trust him, that he is experienced, blah blah blah - but I had no reason to trust Dr. Mollard and it turns out I was right not to trust him.

    desk_napping4.jpgDr. Mollard even took that man's dog "into the back" to administer treatment - that man was ok with it, but I was not. Everyone has different standards, if you're a hands on owner, you're not going to like this reticent style of treatment... Maybe some people are fine "trusting" the supposed expert but now a days people are taking a more hands on approach to their own health and the health of their loved ones and pets are included too.

    Doctors make too many mistakes on people and on animals so you need to be there - no one looks out for you and yours except you and yours. Just because he's a doctor doens't meen you accept his dianosis or procedure... I don't mean to come down on all doctors, they do a great job for keeping animals and people alive, but all I'm saying is they don't know you and they don't know your pet like you do. So find a doctor you can relate to and who communicates clearly.

    So it's so important to choose your cat's health care provider carefully. Look out for a follow up post on specific questions to ask a vet, before you make an appointment. I hope that with my bad experience, you won't make the same mistake that I made with a very bad veterinarian, Dr. John Mollard in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

    Neo_pillow.jpgI am still angry at Dr. John Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada for torturing Neo yesterday. Even after I've had some time now to think about it, and even in the cold light of day, I am stilling thinking about how badly he treated Neo.

    Like I blogged about yesterday, Neo had been peeing on the floor so I had to take him in to see a doctor. So aside from the obvious abuse at the hands of Dr. John Mollard, his urine analysis came back negative. No sign of bacterial infection, no sign of crystals or kidney stones, no obvious signs of an infection. The concentration was good, which means Neo is getting enough water in his diet and the PH was an 8, which according to Dr. Mollard was fine.

    Neo did, however, have additional skin cells in his urine, which Dr. Mollard said could be from anything - "Some cats just have dirty urine"... yeah.. right... you're telling me my cat has dirty urine? Those extra skin cells in the urine have nothing to do with your barbaric catheter inserting skills?

    Personally, I do not believe Neo has dirty urine. I feed him high quality canned cat food, Medi-Cal, which is a Canadian pet food only available through vets and is subject to rigorous testing. He also gets kitty cookies made by the same company as his treats. He's always got fresh, clean water to drink, usually from my glass. I think those extra skin cells appeared when Dr. Mollard shoved that catheter up Neo's urethra.

    basket_upside_down.jpgI'm getting angry again... give me a minute to cool off...

    Ok.. I'm good now. So Dr. Mollard suggested I give Neo antibiotics anyway because even though he didn't see any bacteria, there is still something irritating Neo and making him pee outside the litter box. He said the antibiotics will catch anything that might be starting.

    Another reason why Dr. Mollard wanted me to give him antibiotics is because of the rash he gets on the back of his legs from his allergies. Dr. Mollard believed that the rash is getting infected because it keeps returning.

    I'm not sure I agree with all of that, giving antibiotics is not something to take lightly for humans or animals. They disrupt the intestinal flora - which btw, Dr. Mollard didn't think was an issue but I know from personal experience that antibiotics can wipe out the healthy bacteria too.

    So I am left with a bit of a dilemma, I do not want to give him antibiotics because there is no sign of infection in his bladder, and as for the skin irritation, it has come and gone for years, I don't think bacteria does that. But the thing that made me pull out the dropper was the reality of the fact that Neo had a foreign object shoved up his urethra and that act in itself can cause infection. So here I go, to give him the antibiotic against my better judgement.

    desk_lamp.jpgI'm supposed to follow up with Dr. Mollard in a couple weeks. I'll give Dr. Vandenbrink a call instead. I think a 30 minute car ride is worth it for a compassionate, humane veterinary visit. But I won't be taking Neo back to Dr. Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada ever again. That's for sure.

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    Other posts I think you might like:

    A Veterinarian in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Dr. John Mollard Tortured My Cat Today

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    12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

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    I_can_has_treats_please.jpgI took Neo to a horrible vet named Dr. John Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada today. I am almost too ashamed to tell you what I let him do to Neo! But I have to get this off my chest and hope that you will be smarter and more prepared than I was.

    Neo had a wonderful vet. As a matter of fact, Dr. Vandenbrink is Maddy's vet also. Maddy (Wendell's cat) had a lot of medical issues when she was a kitten so Wendell found a really gentle, loving vet for her. He made sure that Maddy was in good hands. So when I got Neo, the choice of vets was clear. I kind of forgot that not all vets are as caring as Dr. Vandenbrink.

    Here is an example of what he's like. When you go in, he talks throughout the visit, explaining exactly what it is he is doing, what medications he's using, and why he needs to do what he is doing. He also asks lots of questions about food, water, litter box habits. He checks through his fur, feels around on the stomach and internal organs, listens to his heart, lungs and checks ears, eyes, nose and throat. That's all before you get to the real reason for why you are there!

    Then he asks for details about the problem. Neo has had teeth pulled, shots and a host of other medical reasons to visit Dr. Vandenbrink and every time, I got a thorough explanation of what he had to do to help Neo, and what my options were in terms of tests and types of medicines, and he'd also let me be involved. Dr. Vandenbrink felt strongly that a cat behaves better for most treatments if his owner is there. So I was used to being in on most medical procedures (not when he was neutered though, because that is surgical)

    We'd see Dr. Vandenbrink often. Neo has allergies and gets an inflamed scalp on the back of his right leg and sometimes in his mouth so we'd see Dr. Vandenbrink every 3 months or so for a shot. I saw Dr. Van more than I saw my family!

    On_my_shoulder_can't_lift_head.jpgThen, this summer, I get the devastating news that Dr. Vandenbrink is moving his offices further away from my house. That means that Neo would have to endure a 30 minute car ride to see him! So I made a few calls and decided to take him to a new vet. Dr. Mollard, who knew Dr. Vandenbrink and who seemed experienced and caring, just like Dr. Vandenbrink. I even followed Wendell's advice for picking a new vet. But...Well...here's what happened....

    About two weeks ago, Neo started peeing on the floor outside his litter box, which is a sure sign that something is not right in his life. Sometimes he is just telling me he is angry he can't go outside, and other times it's a not so subtle reminder that the litter box needs cleaning. But this time, it was persistent, every time he had to pee, it was outside the litter box. I knew that something was up. So I took him to this new vet.

    At first, the appointment was going well, Dr. Mollard was feeling around on his belly for sigs of inflammation and did an overall exam. But then he said, he had to get a urine sample. To me that meant, catching some urine as he went pee. For Dr. Mollard it meant sticking a catheter up Neo's penis and extracting urine.

    Then without me really knowing what was going on. He took Neo out of the exam room, to another room, way in the back somewhere before I could even ask a question or even really agree to the procedure. So there I was, completely dumbfounded and shocked about the fact that he was gone. I said to the receptionist, "I am not comfortable with this, this is my first visit here and my cat is taken away from me. Why does have to be taken away and why can't I go with him?"

    Get this, her reply was, "Owners make the cats feel more stress so the doctor takes them into the back so they'll be more compliant"

    Unbelievable! Again, I was shocked and speechless.

    To me, her response translates to, "we don't like you to see how we bully your pet while we do a painful procedure without anesthetic."

    Then, the next thing I hear is the sound of Neo screaming, no, not howling, not murmurs. not meowing....screaming. I can only imagine the medieval torture he endured in that back room.

    A minute or two later, the vet returns and brings a very shaken up Neo back to me. Dr. Mollard has a vial of urine and he shows me the catheter and brags... oh you'll love this too... he said, "Most vets can't insert a catheter without anesthetic." Like that is supposed to impress me. Again, I was too shocked for words. Then he went to go analyze the urine.

    Most vets care about inflicting pain on their patients so they give an anesthetic not because they are bad at inserting catheters but because they are humane vets and don't want to hurt their patients. I couldn't believe that he was actually proud of the fact that he didn't use an anesthetic. There is a reason you are supposed to use anesthetic. It hurts!.

    If he'd only explained to me what the situation was and what he had to do, I would have asked for the anesthetic. My vet bill was already up to $300.00 for this escapade with the catheter, lab costs, and Neo got his shots too, so if I'd been asked, I wouldn't have started to nickel and dime him now. But he didn't say anything. He just did it like my opinion didn't matter.

    So now the vet is gone and Neo is coughing and salivating, like he'd just been choked and he can't stand up. He falls over onto his side on the dirty floor. I pick him up and hold him, but he is too pissed off and in too much pain to accept my attention. I don't blame him, I feel so sorry for him. He'd obviously been held down very roughly, so roughly that he can't stand or breathe properly. I opened the carrier and he went inside and laid down. I stroked his head and talked to him and he just closed his eyes.

    pictures_cats_neo_Melanie.jpgWhen the vet came back, I tried to be diplomatic, I tried to listen to what he said, but I have to admit, it was very hard, I had to sit down and be far away from him, because I was feeling like maybe Dr. Mollard would like a catheter without anesthetic ... and I was prepared to do it.

    Anyway, I kept my cool and he prescribed some antibiotics, and I paid and left and will never return. I'll tell you more about Neo's urinary tract infection tomorrow. Right now, I just want to go cuddle with him and tell him again how sorry I am for taking him to that barbaric, unsympathetic, crude, pathetic excuse for a veterinarian, Dr. John Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

    pictures_cats_two_grooming.jpgWhat you can do to help shelter cats on an extremely tight budget. Last week I told you about my favorite humane places to shop online and I told you about animal rescue organizations where you make tax deductible donations, but these are some ideas of what you can do to offer immediate help but doesn't cost a lot of money.

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    A friend of mine, Leslie who is Mattie's human told me that she visits a dollar store every month and stocks up on toys, bowls, collars and any other pet supplies they have. Usually, it only costs about $10.00 - $15.00 to get several items that any shelter cat or dog needs. Then she donates them all to her local shelter, People for Pets a no kill organization that cares for all animals that people can't care for until the animals are once again adopted.

    White_Cat_grooming.jpgOn a tight budget, a dollar store is your best bet, you can get all sorts of wonderful things that a shelter needs without spending a lot of money. Most shelters have a list of things they need that you can buy from a dollar store, or from a discount grocery store. Most shelters have a wish list like this one. You can see from the items on this list that almost anything you buy will be appreciated. Shelters need the following items, so pick up what you can and take it over to your local shelter, the humans will be very grateful and the animals will experience less stress and be more content:

    Toys for cats and dogs

    Carriers, crates, kennels, dog houses

    Scoopable and non scoopable Kitty Litter

    Pooper Scoopers

    Disposable rubber gloves

    Food and water dishes (preferable stainless steel because they are easier to disinfect than the plastic ones)

    Leashes and collars

    Bleach, pet safe cleaning supplies

    laundry detergent

    dish soap

    anti-bacterial hand soap

    garbage bags

    paper towels

    toilet paper

    newspapers

    zip top storage bags

    plastic storage containers

    stamps and envelops

    copier paper, file folders

    blankets and comforters (clean of course)

    Cat and dog beds

    Bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths

    Mops, brooms, hand brush and dust pans

    plastic grocery bags

    rain ponchos

    heating pads

    animal nursing bottles

    grooming tools

    dog and cat shampoo

    kitten milk replacement formula

    scratching posts

    and even furniture and appliances (but check with the shelter before you bring them an item they may not need)

    Canned cat and dog food dog biscuits and kitty treats

    kitten.jpgMost shelters are run by volunteers. Everything from adoptions, to paper work to veterinary skills are all volunteered. Usually monetary donations go toward paying the rent, heating and cooling, phones, and other overhead expenses. Remember that $10.00 can go a long way at the dollar store but in these tough economic times, if 10.00 - 15.00 is too much for your budget right now, consider spending some time at your local shelter. Everyone has a skill they can use in a shelter like:

    building maintenance

    lawn or yard maintenance

    loving cuddles to needy animals

    Typing, letter writing, reception

    Computer maintenance

    Sweeping, cleaning

    grooming, nail clipping, bathing

    dog walking, cat toy wiggling

    Website building

    Professional legal skills

    Accountant skills

    Organize a fundraiser

    You don't need to donate huge sums of money or hours and hours of time to make a huge difference in the lives of the unfortunate cats and dogs of the world who just haven't found a loving home yet. All it takes is a little planning. Decide how much time or money you can afford, find your nearest dollar store and then drop off everything or head on over to the animal shelter. Any contribution is welcomed, especially now that the weather is getting colder and more animals are needing to find shelter.

    pictures_cats_kittens.jpgIf you are not sure where the nearest shelter is, visit the ASPCA Find a Shelter Page and enter in your state/province/territory or simply enter your city or county along with the words "humane society" or "animal shelter" in a search engine and a list of shelters will come up for you. If you have any other ideas for low cost ways to help animals, please comment below.

    Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.

     

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