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Old 18.04.2009, 23:04
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Operation on cat and post op problems

Hi all,

Really need some advice here please. Seven weeks ago my lovely Maine coon boy had a fall coming off a scratcher and broke two bones in his leg.My vet referred us to a clinic where he had a two hour op and had the leg pinned. We were given notes for after care which we have followed to the letter.

Two weeks ago he had xrays and it showed that one pin had come loose and would need to be removed, the pin structure is rubbing away inside and has caused a hole in his skin. He finally had his bandage off yesterday but it was replaced with a bandage that was so tight it caused his foot to swell. I have removed this bandage as it was due to come off after a couple of days anyway and the swelling has gone down. Im seriously starting to lose faith in the whole situation. I have paid out 1100 chf already to the hospital and I hate to think how much it has cost at my own vet, it just seems to be going on and on and no end in sight.

Can anyone advise me on how to proceed, they are now suggesting another op to remove all the pins, the poor cat is so uncomfortable I just want him to be pain free. How much of his care after the op should be included in what I have already paid, does anyone have any experience of this?

Much thanks in advance

Joxx
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Old 19.04.2009, 09:31
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Re: Operation on cat and post op problems

I'm so sorry to hear about your cat - poor little guy.

Not being a qualified vet, I can't comment on your cat's medical treatment or progress. But from an owner's point of view, I understand your frustration.

Sometimes what seems a relatively simple procedure can turn into something more difficult - healing doesn't always go as planned even with the best care and attention. But if you are unhappy, you should have a discussion with your vet in the first instance. Most vets I've dealt with here have been quite open about addressing my concerns. You could also seek a second opinion - I've done that several times.

You might also want to ask the vet for cost estimates before proceeding with further treatment . Most vets are happy to do this, especially in the case of a specialist referral. No need to feel shy about asking for it. Obviously something may be found that would change the course of treatment, and thus the cost - but usually a vet can give you a rough idea of expected costs for a given procedure.

As to the second op - when I am faced with similar decisions, some questions I ask my vet are:

Given my pet's condition, what are the pros and cons of doing this procedure?
What should one expect the recovery period to entail?
If I choose to take this step, what are the likely outcomes, in both the short and long term?
If I choose not to take this step, what are the likely outcomes, in both the short and long term?
Are there alternative options?
If this were your pet, what would you do?

The owner-vet relationship is very important. Our animals can't speak for themselves, so we owners have to be their advocates. To be effective advocates we have to know that our concerns are taken seriously. If you feel that you are not being treated as you wish to be, if you are losing faith in the care your cat receives, perhaps a change is in order.

But first, talk to your vet - hopefully he/she can address your concerns.

Here's hoping for successful treatment and a full recovery for your cat.
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Old 19.04.2009, 16:04
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Re: Operation on cat and post op problems

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Hi all,

Really need some advice here please. Seven weeks ago my lovely Maine coon boy had a fall coming off a scratcher and broke two bones in his leg.My vet referred us to a clinic where he had a two hour op and had the leg pinned. We were given notes for after care which we have followed to the letter.

Two weeks ago he had xrays and it showed that one pin had come loose and would need to be removed, the pin structure is rubbing away inside and has caused a hole in his skin. He finally had his bandage off yesterday but it was replaced with a bandage that was so tight it caused his foot to swell. I have removed this bandage as it was due to come off after a couple of days anyway and the swelling has gone down. Im seriously starting to lose faith in the whole situation. I have paid out 1100 chf already to the hospital and I hate to think how much it has cost at my own vet, it just seems to be going on and on and no end in sight.

Can anyone advise me on how to proceed, they are now suggesting another op to remove all the pins, the poor cat is so uncomfortable I just want him to be pain free. How much of his care after the op should be included in what I have already paid, does anyone have any experience of this?

Much thanks in advance

Joxx
This is a difficult situation. I have had no experience with pins or this type of surgery. What was the initial prognosis after the operation? Were the pins supposed to be removed at some point and if so, when? Did you get a price estimate from the outset and what exactly did that include? In your situation, I would get a second opinion if you have lost confidence in the doctor who operated. If the bandage was too tight, I would have taken the cat back to the doctor who put it on too tight.

Unfortunately the healing process is not predictable. Our dog recently had an operation on her foot and it took much longer to heal than expected. I also suspected something was not quite right with the sutures and took her back to the vet yet again after the first follow up checkup. The price estimate we were given up front would not have included additional visits.

We are still waiting for the final invoice. All we have so far is the fee for the lab work which is always billed separately. We are just really glad that the thing that was removed was benign.

I would discuss your cat's situation with the doctor who operated and if need be, take the Xrays and go see another vet. I hope you can find a satisfactory solution and your cat is on the mend very soon.
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Old 19.04.2009, 16:20
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Re: Operation on cat and post op problems

I would also seek a second opinion, taking all of the documentation you can gather to the second vet. We had a really good experience with the Tierspital in Irchel when we got some not-so-good blood results back for our dog.

As for the money concerns, I can totally understand - you love your animals but it's still a lot of money. I would seek a second opinion and see what they say, ask about their costs and speak to them about the costs you've built up to date, and then go back to your vet and see what you can do.

MC posed some really good questions above - I hope that your kitty gets better and that your situation improves quickly!
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Old 19.04.2009, 16:45
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Re: Operation on cat and post op problems

I would consider getting a second opinion. I can recommend a veterinarian in Witikon whom I trust a lot. Let me know if that's within your range.

Wishing your kitty all the best!
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Old 20.04.2009, 09:25
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Re: Operation on cat and post op problems

Hi all,

Thank you to everyone who replied. Sandy seems much better since removing the bandage, the swelling in the foot has gone down so much he is now able to use the foot to walk on.

Initially cost wise I was told 1700 chf,the agreement on the day was that at least half the cost would have to be paid up front,the rest would be split into installments. We received the second bill and they wanted all the money up front so I contacted them and told them this was not possible right now, still awaiting a reply. In hinsight what I should have done with my own vet is ask what was exactly included in aftercare, I have paid at least 200 chf already and feel foolish as I have no idea what should have been included. There have been visits to the vets where they have just looked at him and not actually carried out any treatment. I expect some kind of consultation fee for these visits. The vet is gong to send me a bill with a run down of treatment, they have told me not to worry about paying for the time being!

I spoke to someone on here who really put my mind to rest about the situation with the pins. Apparently if healing is going well which it is other than the pins rubbing then it is common practise at some stage to remove the pins. This was never explained to me. I had a set of notes which we followed to the letter, obviously we didn't know that the pins would cause a problem so that is a bit of a set back. Hopefully the vet will tell me Wednesday that Sandy will have the second op to remove the pins, it really depends on the doctor who carried out the initial op.

At present he is on full antibiotic coverage for infection. The swelling is going down in the leg but I have him penned to ensure no climbing or risk of infection. I will keep you posted. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Joanne
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Old 20.04.2009, 15:58
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Re: Operation on cat and post op problems

Hope all goes well for Sandy ( and the owner too ). Good to know that EFers are so reassuring and helpful.
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Old 20.04.2009, 18:30
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Re: Operation on cat and post op problems

I am glad to read that Sandy is doing better.
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Old 21.04.2009, 09:12
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Re: Operation on cat and post op problems

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I am glad to read that Sandy is doing better.
Thanks just waiting for an op date now! But think he is feeling better, he is walking better and swelling has gone down a heck of a lot.

Joxx
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Old 21.04.2009, 09:50
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Re: Operation on cat and post op problems

Thats really good to hear
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