Neo: December 2008 Archives

Picture_cat_Neo_vent.jpgThe furnace stopped working last night, so it got a little cold in here by morning. Fortunately, the furnace repair man came by ten this morning so we didn't suffer too long. It turns out it was just a faulty sensor that was easily replaced and the furnace was working just fine within a few minutes. Neo was very happy to feel hot air coming up through the vent again! This is a picture of him lying down on the vent when the heat started again.

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Apparently, cats love heat so much because if you go far enough back in their genealogy, cats are from the desert. So seeking out the best heat source is genetic! It might also have to do with the fact that kittens spend so much of their first few weeks close to their mom's warm belly, getting food and cuddles whenever the kitten wanted.

desk_napping.jpgIf you are looking for a place to designate for kitty, try a window seat in the sun or a warm blanket up on a high piece of furniture - heat rises and cats love to be on a perch above everyone. Please don't get your cat an electric blanket or heat pad - their nails or teeth can puncture it and cause serious injury. Neo also loves to sit under the lamp in my office, it's like his very own tanning salon!

It's funny that an animal with so much fur loves so much heat. Have you noticed your cat gravitating toward heat sources? Like Neo loves it when I put the fire on, and fleece blankets are his favorite. He will sit on anything warm. What about your cat? What warm spot does he or she like?

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Neo_Idog_napping.jpgNeo, like most cats, loves to take naps throughout the day. And he usually finds a funny position to sleep in or a funny place to sleep. But today was particularly funny.

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I have an i-Dog on my desk (I also have an i-Cat, of course!) I don't turn it on very often but once in a while, I turn it on while I'm listening to music and working in the office. So I had the i-Dog out and left it on the desk. When I came back, I caught Neo leaning his head against the i-Dog's face! He's such a funny cat!

Neo_loves_Idog.jpgI got a couple shots of him. He was leaning so hard on the I-dog, Neo's cheek was pushed up - very funny, that cat of mine. I thought it was cute that he chose to lean against the i-Dog, and not the i-Cat. He's such a lover. He loves all species, even electronic dogs!

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Merry Christmas to all of you, I hope you had a safe and happy holiday.



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Neo loved his new toys, well maybe he loved the wrapping paper and boxes more than the actual toys, but he had a great day anyway. These first pictures are of Neo examining his present.



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I wrapped a little bit of catnip in with the toy and once he got a whiff of the cat nip, he wanted to get that present opened!



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The toy was a wind up toy that made clicking noises and unwound itself when it was tapped. Neo likes smart toys like that, he likes toys that do things to get his attention. Around noon, he disappeared for the rest of the afternoon. I found him curled up on a sweater on my bed, he looked like he was in a deep sleep. He had a busy morning playing with his new toys as you can see.



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Merry Christmas everyone!

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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

The true story of Christian the lion...

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_cat_snow.jpegWinter is hard on people and even harder on animals. Each year, 100's of cats die simply because their owners get too busy at this time of year to remember to take a few precautions. Here are 10 ways to keep your cat safe this holiday season.

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1. Make sure your outdoor cat is wearing ID tags. I know I've said this before...once or twice... but I can't stress enough how important this is. Your cat can become disoriented or frightened and end up far from home. Without ID tags his chances of getting home again are slim.

2. Make sure your cats are visible at night. If you must send your cat out in the dark, make sure his collar is reflective or shiny so that others can see him and you can find him if he gets lost or scared.pictures_cats_Santa_hat.jpeg

3. Limit the time your cat spends outside, their little ears can freeze and fall off - I've seen it, it's painful and very sad to see a cat missing his ears because he was out in the cold too long. Not to mention they can freeze their paws and tail too... then hypothermia sets in and then it's a sad day for everyone after that. I suggest no longer than 15 - 20 minutes at a time, even if your cat has a thick coat.

4. If you have to go out of town, make sure your pet sitter knows when and how much to feed your cat, where you'll be if they need to reach you and if your cat has any special medical needs.

5. Watch what your cat is eating, chocolate is poisonous to cats and pastries or other candies can be very dangerous. Neo loves crackers, so I have to be careful to keep them out of his reach so he doesn't eat too many. He doesn't throw up, but they make him constipated so the day or two after eats crackers are rather unpleasant for him and for me because he gets bad, smelly farts and rubs his bottom on the floor to clean it off.

pictures_cats_christmas_tree.jpeg6. It's nice to start a fire, or light some candles, but so many cats are intrigued by the flames and get too close, burning their whiskers, fur and skin. I had a cat named Chloe who loved candles but she got too close to the flame and singed off her whiskers - they took months to grow back, as a matter of fact they never really grew back properly at all.

7. Holiday decorations, bells, balls, plants and garland all pose threats to your cats health. Small parts can be ingested and cause choking, or a bowel obstruction leading to painful and expensive surgery. But of the utmost importance is do not use tinsel or poinsettias - tinsel is a choking hazard and can actually cut your cat's throat and stomach with it's sharp edges and poinsettias are poisonous to cats.

8. Make sure you instruct your house guests to be mindful of your cat. Tell them the outdoor schedule so they don't unknowingly freeze your cat. Make sure they keep their toiletries and medicines carefully closed and out of reach. Neo loves my vitamins, they roll around and he thinks it's fun to play with them, but they are dangerous for him so since I realized that he likes them I keep them away from him.

Pictures_cats_holiday_lights.jpeg9. Another thing about house guests, is to make sure that children and people who are not familiar with cats are supervised when playing with your cat. Your cat could be injured by rambunctious children or by toys that are not suitable for cats.

10. Keep winter chemicals away from your cat. Antifreeze kills cats with even a small amount. Salt for icy streets is poisonous if they ingest it, and they will ingest it when they lick it off their paws. Switch to environmentally friendly choices like antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol or natural de-icers that are safe for pets and children.

Comment below if you have other ways to keep your cat safe this holiday.

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