Thursday, February 9, 2012

871. An e-mail to Dr Sing about a cat

Feb 10, 2012. Veterinary medicine is a diverse topic. Feedbacks are valuable but most are complaints. This is one feedback that was surprising to me.

Dear Dr Sing

A belated Happy Lunar New Year to you. I trust this email finds you in good health and standing. Its been quite some time since our male cat Tobi was treated at your wonderful practice. Unfortunately our beloved Tobi has passed away on Saturday, 4 February 2012.

Just a bit of history. Tobi was admitted to your care on 24 April 2011. His case is listed in your website under cat cases-UTI -1st FLUTD.The cat can't pee again dated 12 June 2011. Shortly after his discharge, we moved into our new home. Tobi recovered well as there were no territorial cats and stress was kept to a minimum. He was maintained strictly on Hill's C/D wet food.

However, sometime from October 2011, he seemed to be licking his private area again though not as frequently as when he had UTI , he was also peeing normally with good volume. His disposition and general health was very good. This continued until February 2012 when we noticed his urine volume seemed to have lessened somewhat and his penis appeared to be inflamed. We brought him to a vet(shall not mention the company name) who gave him an injection of antibiotics and anti-inflammation and discharged. Two days later, it did not seem to get better, we brought him back to the vet again, a blood test was performed with several struvite crystals detected. The vet advised us that a similar injection could be given or a catheter could be inserted. We chose the injections as we were trying to avoid Tobi being warded as it may be more stressful. In order to give the injections, Tobi had to be put under G.A. as he was putting up such a struggle. Anyway it was done and he went home.

Yet again two days he was still having difficulty peeing, this time we opted to bring him to another branch (this branch was 24 hrs with larger facilities). Tobi was sedated, warded with a catheter inserted and put on a drip via a Y-site. He was also given daily IV feeds with Cephalexin and calcium, diazepam amongst others. He seemed fairly alright the first two days, it was only on the 3rd day that we noticed he appeared rather "subdued", quiet, not he's normal fiesty self. By the 4th day ,he was lying down the whole time and didnt seemed to respond to us. We attributed this to possible lethargy and medication. The next day, his blood tests were normal and after a cursory examination he was declared fit for discharge despite the fact that by now he could not even stand up or move, we bascially had to carry him into his carrier to be brought home. We reached home in the mid afternoon and put him in the room, again we had to carry him out of the carrier. From the time we reached home right until 10 pm, Tobi condition just deteriorated, once in while he would sort of jerk himself to another area in the room, Im not sure how he did this as he was immobile from the front quarters, his eyes could not track movement, he was drooling brown liquid and had raspy breathing. We took him back to the 24 hr branch at around 10.30 and the vet on duty arrived about 15 mins later,another blood test was conducted plus a chest x-ray, all looked normal, tests for leukemia and FIV was also done, clear as well. At about 11.30am, Tobi convulsed, expelled fluid and stopped breathing, we had opted for DNR. An immediate autospy was done, organs again were all fine. Nobody seems to have an answer for his death.

Needless to say, we are extremely saddened as well as puzzled by his sudden demise, more so when he was brought in for what ought to be a routine treatment for am inflamed penis. Instead five days later, we are having to cremate him. We have since search everywhere for anything information that might explain his sudden death. From what we found, we suspect, of course this may speculative at best, but it appears to be anaphylactic shock ( the question is what was the cause). Again we suspect it could he may have been allergic to one or more of the medications prescibed via the IV drip. Admittedly there could be numerous other possible causes. However we feel it seems to fit the symptoms Tobi displayed - pale gums, immobility, drooling, low temperature, increased heart rate.

We are not ones to assign blame or find fault. Nonetheless, suffice to say we are disappointed with the level of monitoring at the vetirinarian branch Tobi was in. We are well aware that cats are notorious for masking pain and discomfort but honestly to discharge a cat that can't even stand on its feet! It would be like a doctor discharging a patient who can't walk and asking him to go home. While Tobi's blood tests looked fine, a more thorougly physical examination would have raised one or more red flags. From the time of his passing, not one person from the vet had called to offer their condolences or at least offer some theory as to Tobi's death. It's as if that there was no obvious cause, so nobody can be bothered about it.

My wife and I are still coping with his passing but we are doing well. I just thought that since you treated Tobi twice and did such a wonderful job each time, we would like to let you know what has happened since then.

Thank you for taking time to read this long email. Meanwhile, we wish you all the best in your practice and your great care towards all animals, big and small.

P.S. we would have like to gone back to you but the distance was a bit prohibitive. Anyway we thought it would be just a routine treatment but......

Best Wishes & Regards
Name of young couple



I thank you for your compliments and good wishes.

1. You mentioned "a blood test was performed with several struvite crystals detected"? Is it a urine test?
2. What is DNR?
3. Was an X-ray done?
4. Was a urine test done?

Please accept my condolences for the passing away of Tobi. Pl phone me if you have any queries about Tobi as it is easier to discuss on phone than by writing emails.

With best wishes for both of you.

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