PDA

View Full Version : Did I make the right decision? (long)


cindys
May 27th 07, 04:54 AM
Hello, everyone! We're going away for a few days, and we decided to board
Alex (my 16-year-old early CRF kitty) mostly because he no longer uses the
litterbox (behavioral, not medical -- we've had it checked out), and we
can't ask the woman who will be feeding our other cats to come to our house
5 or 6 times a day to change the puppy training pad (which is what Alex has
been using in lieu of his litterbox). (I'm just grateful he's willing to
consistently use a puppy training pad rather than using the living room
carpeting).

I provide really good care for my kitties in terms of checkups, any required
medical procedures, medications, the best food, lots of attention, subcu
fluids and potassium and omega-3 supplements (in the case of Alex) etc. So,
I don't think it could be argued that I'm a negligent cat slave, but I do
try to avoid vaccinations as much as possible because my cats are strictly
indoors and never get out (the last "escape" was in 2001), and vaccinations
can have some nasty complications. It is the policy of the vet hospital that
all cats who are boarded must be vaccinated against distemper, so I resigned
myself to the fact that I would need to have Alex vaccinated (okay, not the
end of the world). I think I should mention that we had been taking all of
our cats (and our dog) to this vet hospital for over 15 years. It's a huge
office with many veterinarians and lots of staff and a director whom we
don't particularly care for. The first vet we had there resigned and went to
a smaller practice which was quite a distance away. Our most recent vet
recently resigned also "for personal reasons." We are in the process of
transferring the care of our animals to a smaller office with a veterinarian
we really like albeit (unfortunately) still under the auspices of the mother
corporation.

To make a long story short, when my husband brought Alex in to be boarded,
he (my husband) told the staff that we were willing for the cat to have the
distemper vaccination but that we did not want him to have another
examination since he had been examined twice in the last six months at that
office. The receptionist told my husband that this would be the decision of
the doctor to make since they don't like to vaccinate cats without an
examination. To make a long story short, the director of the vet hospital
phoned us and explained to us that our cat was "very, very, very, very, very
old" and that it wouldn't be a big deal to vaccinate a younger cat without
doing an exam first, but that he didn't feel comfortable vaccinating a
"very, very, very, very, very old" cat without an examination (funny, he had
tried to push us into letting him do a dental on our 15-year-old dog who
ending up dying two months later).

When we continued to refuse the exam, he suggested a "mini-exam." I asked
how much would that cost? He said "$36." (What a bargain! The "regular"
exam costs $42.) When I reiterated that the cat had actually been examined
three times in the last six months, the third time being by Dr. H. (at the
other practice), he wanted to know why the cat had seen Dr. H. I told him
it was because we were transferring the care of all of our cats to the other
practice, ever since Dr. A. resigned. (Cat who ate the canary look on my
face).

Finally, he announced that he just didn't feel comfortable vaccinating the
cat without the exam, and so we would need to skip the vaccination (I think
this was supposed to be a scare tactic/manipulation on his part, little did
he know that we never wanted the vaccination in the first place). He told us
that we were putting our cat at risk for an upper respiratory infection. I
asked him weren't all the other boarded cats vaccinated? He agreed that they
were, but that our cat was still at risk. We declined the vaccination (and
the exam).

Did I do the right thing? Besides early CRF, Alex has stable cardiomyopathy
(since age 2) and diabetes in remission. Is Alex really at a big risk for an
upper respiratory infection at the boarding facility (where the other cats
are all ostensibly vaccinated)? Is the risk greater than the risk of
vaccination? Was this really just about money on the part of the director of
the vet hospital? Opinions please.
Thanks in advance.
---Cindy S.

Lynne
May 27th 07, 02:10 PM
on Sun, 27 May 2007 03:54:07 GMT, "cindys" >
wrote:

> Did I do the right thing? Besides early CRF, Alex has stable
> cardiomyopathy (since age 2) and diabetes in remission. Is Alex really
> at a big risk for an upper respiratory infection at the boarding
> facility (where the other cats are all ostensibly vaccinated)? Is the
> risk greater than the risk of vaccination? Was this really just about
> money on the part of the director of the vet hospital? Opinions
> please.

I don't think there is a right or wrong here. There is no way of knowing
if the "disease is worse than the cure" and I don't think an exam would
have made a difference for Alex. Personally, I am leaning strongly away
from vaccines for my boys, especially once Levi has his 1 year boosters (if
I could get away without giving the rabies, I would skip that, too). Rudy
has frightening reactions to vaccines and has to have benadryl and
observation with them. Since they are both indoor-only, what is the bloody
point?

That said, I would have handled the situation the same way that you did.
Partly on principle, partly resisting the vaccine. If all the other cats
are vaccinated, yes, Alex still runs the risk of catching a URI, however he
would have still been at risk after having the vaccine. His immunity would
need time to build up so exposure immediately after having the vaccine
could have actually stressed his immune system to the point that he might
get sicker with exposure. Also, vaccines don't always work and the only
way to know for sure is with a blood titer. In some ways, he may be better
off without the vaccine. I know I would feel better about that if I were
you.

I hope Alex does okay with boarding. Try not to worry.

--
Lynne

sheelagh
May 27th 07, 08:18 PM
On 27 May, 04:54, "cindys" > wrote:
> Hello, everyone! We're going away for a few days, and we decided to board
> Alex (my 16-year-old early CRF kitty) mostly because he no longer uses the
> litterbox (behavioral, not medical -- we've had it checked out), and we
> can't ask the woman who will be feeding our other cats to come to our house
> 5 or 6 times a day to change the puppy training pad (which is what Alex has
> been using in lieu of his litterbox). (I'm just grateful he's willing to
> consistently use a puppy training pad rather than using the living room
> carpeting).
>
> I provide really good care for my kitties in terms of checkups, any required
> medical procedures, medications, the best food, lots of attention, subcu
> fluids and potassium and omega-3 supplements (in the case of Alex) etc. So,
> I don't think it could be argued that I'm a negligent cat slave, but I do
> try to avoid vaccinations as much as possible because my cats are strictly
> indoors and never get out (the last "escape" was in 2001), and vaccinations
> can have some nasty complications. It is the policy of the vet hospital that
> all cats who are boarded must be vaccinated against distemper, so I resigned
> myself to the fact that I would need to have Alex vaccinated (okay, not the
> end of the world). I think I should mention that we had been taking all of
> our cats (and our dog) to this vet hospital for over 15 years. It's a huge
> office with many veterinarians and lots of staff and a director whom we
> don't particularly care for. The first vet we had there resigned and went to
> a smaller practice which was quite a distance away. Our most recent vet
> recently resigned also "for personal reasons." We are in the process of
> transferring the care of our animals to a smaller office with a veterinarian
> we really like albeit (unfortunately) still under the auspices of the mother
> corporation.
>
> To make a long story short, when my husband brought Alex in to be boarded,
> he (my husband) told the staff that we were willing for the cat to have the
> distemper vaccination but that we did not want him to have another
> examination since he had been examined twice in the last six months at that
> office. The receptionist told my husband that this would be the decision of
> the doctor to make since they don't like to vaccinate cats without an
> examination. To make a long story short, the director of the vet hospital
> phoned us and explained to us that our cat was "very, very, very, very, very
> old" and that it wouldn't be a big deal to vaccinate a younger cat without
> doing an exam first, but that he didn't feel comfortable vaccinating a
> "very, very, very, very, very old" cat without an examination (funny, he had
> tried to push us into letting him do a dental on our 15-year-old dog who
> ending up dying two months later).
>
> When we continued to refuse the exam, he suggested a "mini-exam." I asked
> how much would that cost? He said "$36." (What a bargain! The "regular"
> exam costs $42.) When I reiterated that the cat had actually been examined
> three times in the last six months, the third time being by Dr. H. (at the
> other practice), he wanted to know why the cat had seen Dr. H. I told him
> it was because we were transferring the care of all of our cats to the other
> practice, ever since Dr. A. resigned. (Cat who ate the canary look on my
> face).
>
> Finally, he announced that he just didn't feel comfortable vaccinating the
> cat without the exam, and so we would need to skip the vaccination (I think
> this was supposed to be a scare tactic/manipulation on his part, little did
> he know that we never wanted the vaccination in the first place). He told us
> that we were putting our cat at risk for an upper respiratory infection. I
> asked him weren't all the other boarded cats vaccinated? He agreed that they
> were, but that our cat was still at risk. We declined the vaccination (and
> the exam).
>
> Did I do the right thing? Besides early CRF, Alex has stable cardiomyopathy
> (since age 2) and diabetes in remission. Is Alex really at a big risk for an
> upper respiratory infection at the boarding facility (where the other cats
> are all ostensibly vaccinated)? Is the risk greater than the risk of
> vaccination? Was this really just about money on the part of the director of
> the vet hospital? Opinions please.
> Thanks in advance.
> ---Cindy S.

I think that you should follow your heart Cindy.
If I lived nearer you, I would have been more than happy to look after
him for you. I am so sorry that you were made to feel that way, & that
it was wrong of them to make you feel that way @ all.

If you follow your heart, then I "know" that you would feel that you
would feel a lot better about the whole issue. IMHO, I personally
think you were right.....
S;o)

...but everyone knew her as Nancy
May 27th 07, 08:21 PM
On May 26, 11:54 pm, "cindys" > wrote:
> Hello, everyone! We're going away for a few days, and we decided to board
> Alex (my 16-year-old early CRF kitty) mostly because he no longer uses the
> litterbox (behavioral, not medical -- we've had it checked out), and we
> can't ask the woman who will be feeding our other cats to come to our house
> 5 or 6 times a day to change the puppy training pad (which is what Alex has
> been using in lieu of his litterbox). (I'm just grateful he's willing to
> consistently use a puppy training pad rather than using the living room
> carpeting).
>
> I provide really good care for my kitties in terms of checkups, any required
> medical procedures, medications, the best food, lots of attention, subcu
> fluids and potassium and omega-3 supplements (in the case of Alex) etc. So,
> I don't think it could be argued that I'm a negligent cat slave, but I do
> try to avoid vaccinations as much as possible because my cats are strictly
> indoors and never get out (the last "escape" was in 2001), and vaccinations
> can have some nasty complications. It is the policy of the vet hospital that
> all cats who are boarded must be vaccinated against distemper, so I resigned
> myself to the fact that I would need to have Alex vaccinated (okay, not the
> end of the world). I think I should mention that we had been taking all of
> our cats (and our dog) to this vet hospital for over 15 years. It's a huge
> office with many veterinarians and lots of staff and a director whom we
> don't particularly care for. The first vet we had there resigned and went to
> a smaller practice which was quite a distance away. Our most recent vet
> recently resigned also "for personal reasons." We are in the process of
> transferring the care of our animals to a smaller office with a veterinarian
> we really like albeit (unfortunately) still under the auspices of the mother
> corporation.
>
> To make a long story short, when my husband brought Alex in to be boarded,
> he (my husband) told the staff that we were willing for the cat to have the
> distemper vaccination but that we did not want him to have another
> examination since he had been examined twice in the last six months at that
> office. The receptionist told my husband that this would be the decision of
> the doctor to make since they don't like to vaccinate cats without an
> examination. To make a long story short, the director of the vet hospital
> phoned us and explained to us that our cat was "very, very, very, very, very
> old" and that it wouldn't be a big deal to vaccinate a younger cat without
> doing an exam first, but that he didn't feel comfortable vaccinating a
> "very, very, very, very, very old" cat without an examination (funny, he had
> tried to push us into letting him do a dental on our 15-year-old dog who
> ending up dying two months later).
>
> When we continued to refuse the exam, he suggested a "mini-exam." I asked
> how much would that cost? He said "$36." (What a bargain! The "regular"
> exam costs $42.) When I reiterated that the cat had actually been examined
> three times in the last six months, the third time being by Dr. H. (at the
> other practice), he wanted to know why the cat had seen Dr. H. I told him
> it was because we were transferring the care of all of our cats to the other
> practice, ever since Dr. A. resigned. (Cat who ate the canary look on my
> face).
>
> Finally, he announced that he just didn't feel comfortable vaccinating the
> cat without the exam, and so we would need to skip the vaccination (I think
> this was supposed to be a scare tactic/manipulation on his part, little did
> he know that we never wanted the vaccination in the first place). He told us
> that we were putting our cat at risk for an upper respiratory infection. I
> asked him weren't all the other boarded cats vaccinated? He agreed that they
> were, but that our cat was still at risk. We declined the vaccination (and
> the exam).
>
> Did I do the right thing? Besides early CRF, Alex has stable cardiomyopathy
> (since age 2) and diabetes in remission. Is Alex really at a big risk for an
> upper respiratory infection at the boarding facility (where the other cats
> are all ostensibly vaccinated)? Is the risk greater than the risk of
> vaccination? Was this really just about money on the part of the director of
> the vet hospital? Opinions please.
> Thanks in advance.
> ---Cindy S.

**** it. Get a new one.

Cats are cheap.

Lis
May 27th 07, 11:05 PM
On May 26, 11:54 pm, "cindys" > wrote:
> Hello, everyone! We're going away for a few days, and we decided to board
> Alex (my 16-year-old early CRF kitty) mostly because he no longer uses the
> litterbox (behavioral, not medical -- we've had it checked out), and we
> can't ask the woman who will be feeding our other cats to come to our house
> 5 or 6 times a day to change the puppy training pad (which is what Alex has
> been using in lieu of his litterbox). (I'm just grateful he's willing to
> consistently use a puppy training pad rather than using the living room
> carpeting).
>
> I provide really good care for my kitties in terms of checkups, any required
> medical procedures, medications, the best food, lots of attention, subcu
> fluids and potassium and omega-3 supplements (in the case of Alex) etc. So,
> I don't think it could be argued that I'm a negligent cat slave, but I do
> try to avoid vaccinations as much as possible because my cats are strictly
> indoors and never get out (the last "escape" was in 2001), and vaccinations
> can have some nasty complications. It is the policy of the vet hospital that
> all cats who are boarded must be vaccinated against distemper, so I resigned
> myself to the fact that I would need to have Alex vaccinated (okay, not the
> end of the world). I think I should mention that we had been taking all of
> our cats (and our dog) to this vet hospital for over 15 years. It's a huge
> office with many veterinarians and lots of staff and a director whom we
> don't particularly care for. The first vet we had there resigned and went to
> a smaller practice which was quite a distance away. Our most recent vet
> recently resigned also "for personal reasons." We are in the process of
> transferring the care of our animals to a smaller office with a veterinarian
> we really like albeit (unfortunately) still under the auspices of the mother
> corporation.
>
> To make a long story short, when my husband brought Alex in to be boarded,
> he (my husband) told the staff that we were willing for the cat to have the
> distemper vaccination but that we did not want him to have another
> examination since he had been examined twice in the last six months at that
> office. The receptionist told my husband that this would be the decision of
> the doctor to make since they don't like to vaccinate cats without an
> examination. To make a long story short, the director of the vet hospital
> phoned us and explained to us that our cat was "very, very, very, very, very
> old" and that it wouldn't be a big deal to vaccinate a younger cat without
> doing an exam first, but that he didn't feel comfortable vaccinating a
> "very, very, very, very, very old" cat without an examination (funny, he had
> tried to push us into letting him do a dental on our 15-year-old dog who
> ending up dying two months later).
>
> When we continued to refuse the exam, he suggested a "mini-exam." I asked
> how much would that cost? He said "$36." (What a bargain! The "regular"
> exam costs $42.) When I reiterated that the cat had actually been examined
> three times in the last six months, the third time being by Dr. H. (at the
> other practice), he wanted to know why the cat had seen Dr. H. I told him
> it was because we were transferring the care of all of our cats to the other
> practice, ever since Dr. A. resigned. (Cat who ate the canary look on my
> face).
>
> Finally, he announced that he just didn't feel comfortable vaccinating the
> cat without the exam, and so we would need to skip the vaccination (I think
> this was supposed to be a scare tactic/manipulation on his part, little did
> he know that we never wanted the vaccination in the first place). He told us
> that we were putting our cat at risk for an upper respiratory infection. I
> asked him weren't all the other boarded cats vaccinated? He agreed that they
> were, but that our cat was still at risk. We declined the vaccination (and
> the exam).
>
> Did I do the right thing? Besides early CRF, Alex has stable cardiomyopathy
> (since age 2) and diabetes in remission. Is Alex really at a big risk for an
> upper respiratory infection at the boarding facility (where the other cats
> are all ostensibly vaccinated)? Is the risk greater than the risk of
> vaccination? Was this really just about money on the part of the director of
> the vet hospital? Opinions please.
> Thanks in advance.
> ---Cindy S.

A vaccination that day would have made no real difference to his risk
of getting a URI.

It's entirely sensible to do an exam on an older animal before giving
it a vaccination.

Any individual MIGHT be the one who's better off not getting a
vaccination, IF EVERYONE ELSE IS VACCINATED. On the other hand, an
elderly cat already in compromised health has a significantly greater
chance of having complications from the vaccine, so on balance I come
down on your side in refusing the vaccination (which wouldn't be
effective anyway, during his period of greatest risk of exposure to a
URI.) If he could have gotten it enough in advance that it would be
effective while he was being boarded, it would be different, because
YES, he is at an increased risk of infection while he's there, and
less likely than a younger, healthier cat to be able to fight it off.

There is no contradiction between insisting on an exam before giving a
vaccination to an elderly, health-compromised animal, and insisting on
dental care for an elderly, health-compromised animal. Proper dental
care does a lot more than give you clean, shiny teeth, and is
important to overall health.

No, vaccines aren't completely safe, but the disease they protect
against killed a lot more individuals than the vaccines have ever
caused any kind of problem for.

Lis

sheelagh
May 28th 07, 03:04 AM
On 27 May, 04:54, "cindys" > wrote:
> Hello, everyone! We're going away for a few days, and we decided to board
> Alex (my 16-year-old early CRF kitty) mostly because he no longer uses the
> litterbox (behavioral, not medical -- we've had it checked out), and we
> can't ask the woman who will be feeding our other cats to come to our house
> 5 or 6 times a day to change the puppy training pad (which is what Alex has
> been using in lieu of his litterbox). (I'm just grateful he's willing to
> consistently use a puppy training pad rather than using the living room
> carpeting).
>
> I provide really good care for my kitties in terms of checkups, any required
> medical procedures, medications, the best food, lots of attention, subcu
> fluids and potassium and omega-3 supplements (in the case of Alex) etc. So,
> I don't think it could be argued that I'm a negligent cat slave, but I do
> try to avoid vaccinations as much as possible because my cats are strictly
> indoors and never get out (the last "escape" was in 2001), and vaccinations
> can have some nasty complications. It is the policy of the vet hospital that
> all cats who are boarded must be vaccinated against distemper, so I resigned
> myself to the fact that I would need to have Alex vaccinated (okay, not the
> end of the world). I think I should mention that we had been taking all of
> our cats (and our dog) to this vet hospital for over 15 years. It's a huge
> office with many veterinarians and lots of staff and a director whom we
> don't particularly care for. The first vet we had there resigned and went to
> a smaller practice which was quite a distance away. Our most recent vet
> recently resigned also "for personal reasons." We are in the process of
> transferring the care of our animals to a smaller office with a veterinarian
> we really like albeit (unfortunately) still under the auspices of the mother
> corporation.
>
> To make a long story short, when my husband brought Alex in to be boarded,
> he (my husband) told the staff that we were willing for the cat to have the
> distemper vaccination but that we did not want him to have another
> examination since he had been examined twice in the last six months at that
> office. The receptionist told my husband that this would be the decision of
> the doctor to make since they don't like to vaccinate cats without an
> examination. To make a long story short, the director of the vet hospital
> phoned us and explained to us that our cat was "very, very, very, very, very
> old" and that it wouldn't be a big deal to vaccinate a younger cat without
> doing an exam first, but that he didn't feel comfortable vaccinating a
> "very, very, very, very, very old" cat without an examination (funny, he had
> tried to push us into letting him do a dental on our 15-year-old dog who
> ending up dying two months later).
>
> When we continued to refuse the exam, he suggested a "mini-exam." I asked
> how much would that cost? He said "$36." (What a bargain! The "regular"
> exam costs $42.) When I reiterated that the cat had actually been examined
> three times in the last six months, the third time being by Dr. H. (at the
> other practice), he wanted to know why the cat had seen Dr. H. I told him
> it was because we were transferring the care of all of our cats to the other
> practice, ever since Dr. A. resigned. (Cat who ate the canary look on my
> face).
>
> Finally, he announced that he just didn't feel comfortable vaccinating the
> cat without the exam, and so we would need to skip the vaccination (I think
> this was supposed to be a scare tactic/manipulation on his part, little did
> he know that we never wanted the vaccination in the first place). He told us
> that we were putting our cat at risk for an upper respiratory infection. I
> asked him weren't all the other boarded cats vaccinated? He agreed that they
> were, but that our cat was still at risk. We declined the vaccination (and
> the exam).
>
> Did I do the right thing? Besides early CRF, Alex has stable cardiomyopathy
> (since age 2) and diabetes in remission. Is Alex really at a big risk for an
> upper respiratory infection at the boarding facility (where the other cats
> are all ostensibly vaccinated)? Is the risk greater than the risk of
> vaccination? Was this really just about money on the part of the director of
> the vet hospital? Opinions please.
> Thanks in advance.
> ---Cindy S.

Every single thing that Lis has reiterated is absolutely true. In
fact, I couldn't have expressed it any better myself had I tried to...

Please don't beat yourself up over this one, because you are a very
dedicated cat slave & have cared for many speacial care kitties along
the way as well. I understand your reasons for not injecting very
well, & I would probably take the same view as you do were I in your
position. Unfortunately, I am not, & we have quite a few escapee's
along the way, & had to go looking for more than one of them
occasionally, because it is in the nature of children to be
irresponsible when it comes to security & leaving unattended doors and
windows open too....

In my view, on balance, I feel that if Alex is @ risk, then it would
be more inclined not to inject, because the chances of him suffering
from a UTI are very marginal.
It also sounds like a bit of a case of sour grapes simply because you
chose to be honest & tell the vet that you will be taking your cat to
a different vet in the near future. I am surprised that a professional
would take that stance over that issue, especially over such a small
fee. I would have thought that if they have seen Alex recently, even
if it was by a different vet, there should be no need to check him
again so soon after, & if he did feel that strongly about it, you
would think he would offer the examination for free!!? but it seems to
sound that way, doesn't it?

I am not trying to imply/insinuate that the vet is at fault by wanting
to examine Alex @ all;far from it in fact, because he has a duty of
care to your pets. However, given your recent experience with your
dog, I would be lightly dubious too...

What ever you do, don't loose sleep over it Cindy!!
S;o)

-L.
May 28th 07, 10:00 AM
cindys wrote:
>
> Did I do the right thing? Besides early CRF, Alex has stable cardiomyopathy
> (since age 2) and diabetes in remission. Is Alex really at a big risk for an
> upper respiratory infection at the boarding facility (where the other cats
> are all ostensibly vaccinated)? Is the risk greater than the risk of
> vaccination? Was this really just about money on the part of the director of
> the vet hospital? Opinions please.
> Thanks in advance.
> ---Cindy S.

I wouldn't have vaccinated my cat either. I also wouldn't have
boarded my cat, but that's neither here nor there...Bottom line: get
another vet.
-L.

look at us we're beautiful
May 28th 07, 05:18 PM
On May 26, 11:54 pm, "cindys" > wrote:
Opinions please.
> Thanks in advance.
> ---Cindy S.


I'm sure it's not easy either way you decided