Maddy: December 2008 Archives

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.

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