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Old 25.10.2013, 09:30
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Cat Died

Our cat died two days ago. He was sick, not sure with what, but seemed like some virus (runny nose, lethargic, not eating, drinking). It was sudden, the illness. Vet saw him next day, gave him some shots, he seemed a bit better. But next day he seemed a bit worse than before the shots.

He was brought back to vet and vet decided to put him to sleep for examination. No obstructions were found, nothing life threatening (at least not that my wife was told). And the cat was sent home (still asleep from medication).

I got home at 7pm and cat was still under medication. He was suppose to be up by 5 or 6pm. I figured he was tired and weak and it was just taking longer to wake up. At 11pm he was dead.

Any vets out there that can tell me its normal to send an animal home that was put to sleep and still asleep?

Does it sound like the doctor is at fault?

I plan not to pay for the services. Do i have a leg to stand on? We were not informed of any potential risks prior to procedure nor given any instructions if the cat didnt wake up when scheduled.

He was a long time family member (12 yrs) and we are all heartbroken at our sudden loss.
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Old 25.10.2013, 09:34
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Re: Cat Died

Sorry for your loss - it's always heartbreaking when you lose a family pet.

Did you already inform the vet that the cat died? You should also voice your concerns that the cat was sent home still in a sleepy state. In my experience they normally send the animal home fully awake and normally after they've shown that they can eat, drink, poo and wee without issue.

I would take it up with the vet and if the answers are not satisfactory only then take it further.

Was it an elderly cat? History of illness? It would be difficult for a forum full of strangers to come up with any answers.

I would be wary of defaulting on the bill at this stage, though.
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Old 25.10.2013, 09:47
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Re: Cat Died

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In my experience they normally send the animal home fully awake and normally after they've shown that they can eat, drink, poo and wee without issue.
That's not my experience, I've taken then home asleep or drowsy, with instructions to leave them in the carrier until morning.

Last week, a neighbor was carrying his still sleeping lab in his arms (NOT a small dog!)

Tom
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Old 25.10.2013, 09:51
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Re: Cat Died

I'm sorry for your loss. I agree with Sandgrounder - I would definitely voice your concerns to the vet, and see how they respond.

I am quite surprised they sent your cat home still under anesthetic, to my knowledge, it is fairly common for cats to have adverse side effects from being put under. It is my experience that vets usually keep the pet until it is awake, and can eat, drink and relieve themselves on their own and only then send them home.

Do you have local friends who could go with you to the vet's office to make your queries? It is an emotional thing for you, but what you need to discuss is business - if you may not be up to keeping it businesslike, it may be best to bring someone along who can speak "for" you.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss.
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Old 25.10.2013, 09:54
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Re: Cat Died

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That's not my experience, I've taken then home asleep or drowsy, with instructions to leave them in the carrier until morning.

Last week, a neighbor was carrying his still sleeping lab in his arms (NOT a small dog!)

Tom
And this has never happened in my experience ( not only in Switzerland but elsewhere too)

All my experiences have been as Sandgrounder described. The vet has never let any of my animals leave until they've been fully awake and able to eat, drink and pee.

The first thing the OP should do is go back to the vet and explain what happened.
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Old 25.10.2013, 09:54
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Re: Cat Died

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That's not my experience, I've taken then home asleep or drowsy, with instructions to leave them in the carrier until morning.

Last week, a neighbor was carrying his still sleeping lab in his arms (NOT a small dog!)

Tom
Having read the OP again, I guess if the cat just went in for an examination, perhaps it was just given a low level sedative rather than the full knock-out juice that would be administered if it were having a surgical procedure, so perhaps sending the cat home drowsy and sleepy is acceptable, although I would want some explanation and instruction.

Dunno. His best option is to talk with the vet.
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Old 25.10.2013, 09:58
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Re: Cat Died

It's always sad when a loved pet dies, so I feel your grief. But you must forget this:-
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I plan not to pay for the services. Do i have a leg to stand on?.
No, you do not have a leg to stand on. The vet, I'm sure, tried his very best to find and fix the problem. Trying to fight it will just make the whole situation worse and prolong the pain. Just pay up and then you can start to move on.

Instead be thankful, at least you had him home and didn't have to go through the pain of standing there while the vet put him to sleep permanently.
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Old 25.10.2013, 10:01
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Re: Cat Died

Sounds dangerous to me to send an animal home when they haven't woken up from the anethestic. You never know if there are going to be complications especially if there may be breathing problems. Go back to the vet and voice your concerns. They need to know anyway because they need to arrange with you about what you want to do with your pet's body. Cremation is the usual I think, but they'll want to know if you want to have the ashes back.

My condolences on the loss of your little friend.
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Old 25.10.2013, 10:10
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Re: Cat Died

I am so sorry for your loss. It is heartbreaking to lose a beloved pet.

With my cats (and before that my dogs - different vet) I was told / allowed to take them home just after they woke up from the anaesthetics with instructions of when to feed them and when to let them drink.
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Old 25.10.2013, 10:13
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Re: Cat Died

Unfortunately there's no 0% risks when an anesthesia, be it for humans or animals (it's actually more dangerous for animals).

I'm very sorry for your loss, but I'm not sure what it would have changed if the vet had kept your cat overnight. He would have been alone there, as vets do not keep overnight staff (except in a hospital), so I'm not sure he could have done anything...

But I would definitely go speak with him, to try understand what happened.
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Old 25.10.2013, 10:15
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Re: Cat Died

Thanks for the replies.

He was 12 yrs old, always very healthy. It was not mild sedative, he was out cold, limp, under what I would think was way too much sedative for a general examination.

I did go to vet yesterday, with the cat (so they could dispose of his body) but vet was not there and I expressed concerns with the desk lady. She was understanding but said she needed to defer to vet who did not call back yet.

The cat was having breathing problems so it seems illogical given what you have all said and which is self evident (to me) to send a cat home, sedated, limp, etc which has breathing problems and to have sedated in the first place without consulting the owners and defining the risks.
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Old 25.10.2013, 10:19
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Re: Cat Died

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Unfortunately there's no 0% risks when an anesthesia, be it for humans or animals (it's actually more dangerous for animals).

I'm very sorry for your loss, but I'm not sure what it would have changed if the vet had kept your cat overnight. He would have been alone there, as vets do not keep overnight staff (except in a hospital), so I'm not sure he could have done anything...

But I would definitely go speak with him, to try understand what happened.
I guess what should have happened (again, thinking logically), is that they should have not put him under at a time when he may have still been asleep when the clinic was closed. Perhaps waited an effing day and done procedure in morning? And otherwise, they should i imagine be prepared to sit with an animal they have sedated until they are confident its awake and no ill affects are occuring because of the sedation.
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Old 25.10.2013, 10:30
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Re: Cat Died

Tapazoah, I am so very sorry. Losing a pet is always heartwrenching, even more so when so unexpected. My sincere condolences on your loss.

As Sangrounder and others advise, the first thing you must do is to speak with the vet. To get the most out of this conversation it would be best not to start in a confrontational tone, rather approach it from seeking clarification. This is usually the best way to find information or solutions in Switzerland.

There is always a risk under anesthesia. But you cannot know what happened without a postmortem - and even then the cause might not be clear - so speculation here is unhelpful. If you wish to have a PM done, contact the cantonal Tierarzt to have it done. (A PM should not be done by the attending vet in the case of a dispute.) Be aware that the cost might fall to the owner.

This from the Zürcher Tierschutz re: relations between an animal owner and the vet makes for interesting reading:
http://www.tierrecht.ch/beim-tierarzt.html

Pay special attention to 6.6.1, 6.6.3, and 6.6.4

If there is a dispute as to treatment, the article recommends first a discussion with the vet. If no understanding is reached, a pet owner has the possibility of contacting the Gesellschaft Schweizerischer Tierärzte GST ( http://www.gstsvs.ch )

I know that you are hurting now - any pet owner would be. I truly sympathise, and understand your anger. But I would advise caution as you proceed further, including being careful of what you write here, as you are venturing into legal territory. Speak first with the vet, then with the GST.

Again, I am so very sorry.
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Old 25.10.2013, 10:31
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Re: Cat Died

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I guess what should have happened (again, thinking logically), is that they should have not put him under at a time when he may have still been asleep when the clinic was closed. Perhaps waited an effing day and done procedure in morning? And otherwise, they should i imagine be prepared to sit with an animal they have sedated until they are confident its awake and no ill affects are occuring because of the sedation.
Don't know if this is an over-reaction but perhaps tell the vet not to dispose of the body (sorry, don't know how to make that sound any kinder ). If you want to contest the treatment, they'll probably have to examine the cat.




EDIT: Meloncollie said it better.

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 25.10.2013 at 10:32. Reason: Read Meloncollie's post
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Old 25.10.2013, 10:40
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Re: Cat Died

Very sorry to hear about your cat.

Better not complain.
It will only make you more sad and will not bring your cat back to life.
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Old 25.10.2013, 10:50
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Re: Cat Died

Again, thanks all for the kind and thoughtful words and information. I think i am mainly venting. i do need to speak with the Vet and will do so, calmly.
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Old 31.10.2013, 13:12
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Re: Cat Died

Just wanted to give an update, the cat had blood test and was found to have bactria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The antibiotics where not effective against this. Doctor was of course sympathetic when I talked to him and said it was his opinion that examination needed to be done asap due to no improvement since the earlier visit and the bad breathing of the cat. However, there was disagreement on what he did after procedure, he said he offered to keep cat there but that my wife could take him home if she wanted, my wife says he never offered that nor said anything about any risk.

I told him, if nothing else, that it would be great if he could put together a brief handout for cases where owners take their pets home while still sedated with perhaps signs to look for, number to call if a problem, etc. He agreed that he would do so (of course, I will never know, as I will never go there again).

We will start looking for a new kitty in the new year.
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Old 02.11.2013, 14:41
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Re: Cat Died

Hi,
Im really sorry to hear about the loss of your kitty.

Did your wife fill in a form before the cat was sedated? This should be done beforehand as some cats react badly to anaesthetic and the form is basically covering the vets back.

I have had cats come back from the vets unconscious, and its not something I feel comfortable with. I always put them somewhere warm and watch them until they are fully awake. Im not sure you are going to get any satisfactory answers, not paying the bill would just prolong the stress and upset and would result in a debt against your name.

I wish you all the best and good luck for your search for a new kitty.

Darcy
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Old 11.11.2013, 14:02
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Re: Cat Died

Hi Darcy, thanks. As far as I know, no forms signed. As all have said, bill will be paid if it comes. We want to just move on.
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