Monday, July 22, 2013

Another Visit to the ER


Wesley Chapel, Florida

We ended up back in the ER yesterday afternoon, but it was the animal hospital instead of the people hospital.

Baxter was not doing any better and was still refusing to eat.  He was acting like he was uncomfortable and it seemed like his tummy was hurting.   We were trying to wait until Monday to see the regular vet, but we knew the animal emergency room was an option.  An expensive option, but an option.

Finally, after watching him squirm as if in pain, and not being able to sleep, we decided we would bite the bullet, and run him over to the emergency veterinarian.  We’ve done that before with different kitties and it can be very, very expensive.  One nice thing about these emergency animal hospitals is that they have 24 hour nursing care.  If you bring a very sick animal to them that has to stay overnight, they are monitored all night long, just like in a human hospital.

We were concerned that he may have eaten something he shouldn’t have. Several months ago, Al dropped a rubber band and before he could pick it up, Baxter ate it.  He managed to pass the rubber band with no problems.  We are VERY careful about leaving things around like strings, thread, rubber bands, and anything kitties might ingest.  I don’t know what it is about cats, but they like rubber bands and they like to eat strings, tinsel, thread, that sort of thing.

The vet checked him out and when she palpated his abdomen, he didn’t seem to be hurting, and actually acted pretty normal while he was there. 

The vet did some x-rays and didn’t find anything visible that he might have eaten.  I was concerned we might find a twisted colon or something wrapped around it, and I was prepared for surgery.  She said certain things  may not show on an x-ray, so we aren’t 100% sure he didn’t eat something he shouldn’t have.

We opted to have some blood work done and that turned out fine.   He got an injection for pain, some subcutaneous fluids and was released. 

While we were there waiting for Baxter, a couple things happened that really bothered me.  This animal hospital works with animal rescue people, and if you find a baby bird, squirrel, raccoon, or anything like that, you can bring it there and they will  treat it and then release it to one of their local rescue people.  We brought them a baby bird a few weeks ago.  We like the place, despite what happened next.

In the main waiting room they have some cages where they have some kittens up for adoption.  We noticed their kitty pans were disgustingly dirty.  When the vet came back out to talk to me I mentioned it to her and shortly afterwards one of the two female receptionists came over to clean them out.  This was the same one that was a little snitty when we checked in.

She bitched the whole time she cleaned their cages, and kept saying how she was going to get all itchy handling the kittens.  These were not mangy kittens, but adorable and healthy looking babies. (I could easily have taken them home). I went over to help her (mostly to make sure she didn’t let the kittens get loose) and she commented that she didn’t know why they had to tip over their water.  I said, because they’re kittens, that’s why. They were just playing.  I was getting angry at her.  She kept complaining the whole time. Then before she put the water dishes back in the cage she tipped it over and had a mess to clean off the floor!  Served her right.  She had inch long plastic fingernails that really made it difficult to do anything.  Obviously, she was in the wrong job.  I didn’t want her anywhere near Baxter.

As upsetting as that was, what came next was even worse.

There was a lady that came in after we did. She was teary eyed, and appeared to be very upset.  I guess they were working on her kitty in the back.

A while later, one of the tech’s came over to her and gave her a box and told her she was sorry or something like that.  I knew what that meant and instantly started crying with her.  I’ve been there and done that, and in fact this was the final place that we had to take our little kitty Squeaky two years ago.  I was feeling a bit fragile just being in that place again.

As the lady proceeded to open up the box, I turned away, not wanting to see what she was seeing.  Then I heard her say, “this is not my cat.”   OH MY GOD!  They gave her the wrong dead animal.    I was really crying by this time and so was she.  Immediately after she said that, another lady that was in the waiting room, went right over to her, looked into the box and realized it was her hamster that apparently was their to be euthanized.  She took the box with her hamster and tried to calm the first lady down. She had been expecting a box containing her hamster.  A minute later,the technician who brought out the hamster and handed it to the wrong owner, came back and apologized.  Evidently, the first woman’s  cat was not dead, and was still being treated.  Can you imagine, sitting there waiting for news on your pet and to be handed a cardboard box?    The poor woman.  She was there all by herself and I felt so sorry for her.  I was certainly thankful I had Al with me.   I think her cat was in serious condition, but when we left at least it was not dead.  What a horrible thing to happen.  It was careless, and should not have happened, but I understand things happen, but man, was that a bad one!   They were extremely busy at the time and I guess a mistake was made.   I sure hope the woman’s cat is okay.

We brought Baxter home and following doctors orders gave him some broth a few hours later.  He ate some and didn’t throw up. I went to bed feeling he was doing better.  This morning, he didn’t look too good and at first refused any food, but finally he licked some turkey baby food off my finger.  No vomiting so far.  We’re hoping for the best since we really still have no idea what has caused this.  His appetite seems to be improving. 

We’re hoping for a quieter day today!


  1. Gosh, hope Baxter gets better soon and you don't have to go back to the animal hospital! What an awful experience there complete with grumpy personnel and mistaken identity. Makes you wonder....

  2. WOW. People make mistakes, but mixing animals up?

    They need to be a lot more careful.

    Overall, it sounds as if most of the staff should be released, or maybe moral is being driven down by management. In any case, something is wrong there.

  3. I agree - something is wrong at that place. I would have said something to the vet or the owner or something about the snitty one. She needs to be fired so she can find a job somewhere doing her nails. I feel so bad for the lady with the kitty who is so sick. That is just horrible.

    Sure hope Baxter is doing better. Sometimes our girls just don't feel good for a day or two and then they seem to get over whatever is wrong. But it is so scary and we too have made those very very expensive trips to the ER. Be sure to keep us updated on him. We've all grown to love that big ole fluffy cat.

  4. Hope Baxter is getting better soon.
    Thats a sad story about giving someone the wrong dead animal when their's is still alive, a pretty stressful time for sure.

  5. Glad to hear Baxter is out of that place - what a terrible sounding place.

    Hope Baxter's back to normal very soon.

  6. Oh what a horrible story. I cannot believe they can make a HUGE mistake like that. I feel so very sorry for both women. I don't think I would visit that place again if I were you two.

    Hoping that your next blog will tell us how great Baxter is doing.

  7. Don't know what to say, just too shocking to comment.

    Hope Baxter gets over his sickness soon, he's lucky to have such loving owners to take care of him.

  8. Could they assume Baxter has a hair ball and just treat that? It might work and it won't hurt him. I hope you said something to the vet about the tech with the constant complaints. That is very unprofessional behavior. She doesn't seem to an animal lover and probably needs a different line of work.

  9. Wow - what a shock that one woman must have had. Hope Baxter is on the road to recovery soon!

  10. Does Baxter ever eat grass? Maybe some wheatgrass to chomp on will help him clear out whatever is bugging his tummy.

  11. OMG, you poor guys! I feel so bad for you and for Baxter. But you did everything that can be done, and maybe he'll just have to slowly get well on his own.

    Yeah, a pox on that long nailed bi**h. How can she complain about kittens like that. What an ass! Definitely in the wrong profession.

    I'm really glad you were there for the woman with the sick cat. What an awful thing to happen. Of course mistakes do happen, but that definitely wasn't good. Can you imagine looking into the box expecting to see your dead cat and seeing a dead hamster? And having it's owner walk in? Too much going on in that place. :(


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