Friday, May 21, 2010

The first half of this week.

After a low week last week what with losing Mischief, life hasn't really improved in respect of running smoothly. All three of my kittens who have intermittent sneezing and oozing eyes which I treat as it occurs started to get much worse with the onset of the colder weather. The two boys wouldn't eat and although I managed to feed the smaller boy, Toby, with a teaspoon or a syringe, he wasn't really getting a lot of fluid or nutrition in. The little girl although skinny was still eating well. The bigger boy wasn't eating either but I couldn't handfeed him as he is quite strong and wriggles. Anyway, I had a look at my battered credit card and discovered that I had some credit on my budget facility. I decided to take all three to the vet. Rushed home with Bradley on Monday afternoon, piled the kittens into a basket and made my way to the vet. Once there, a male vet whom I had never seen before came out to greet me. I had an impression that he seemed impatient and fussy. One look at my kittens had him exclaiming "These kittens have got something seriously wrong with them like leukemia or FIV and they need to have blood tests. In the conversation that followed he intimated that I was causing them unnecessary suffering and the kindest thing would be to have them put down. That's when I got stubborn. I told him I wasn't going to put my kittens down and asked him if he wanted me to take them away. "No, I'll treat them but if they don't improve in a week you'll have to bring them back for further treatment". I asked him if he would give them an injection or do anything to rehydrate them. No he would have to admit them to put them on a drip but I could inject them at home to rehydrate them. I have never done this before but his whole demeanour said that he didn't think it was worth treating the kittens. He slammed in and out of the consulting room several times. Two of the kittens, as listless as they were, put their little legs up on me wanting me to pick them up off the table. They could sense this guy's hostility. His eventual treatment: Synulox tablets which I used to be able to buy over the counter. I cannot get these tablets over the counter now and have to pay for a consultation to get them. The tablets were about R75 and the consultation R160. He didn't examine them at all or take their temperatures just weighed them. Now I know that chronic snuffles can also cause weight loss. Mothers know a lot of things and experience counts for a lot. I left there quite insulted and rather upset. I said a few rude things about him to the receptionist as I was paying and behind her hand she agreed with me. However I was absolutely livid that I had paid that money and he did nothing to stabilise my babies.
Anyway, I decided not to let it go. I phoned next day and spoke to the other receptionist who passed my message and opinion of this vet onto the owner who is one of the vet's that I usually see and who phoned me that same afternoon from her other practice. She was very apologetic and thanked me for letting her know what had happened. This guy is a locum and was chosen for his experience but not for his manners, obviously!
Anyway, they gave me a free do-over consultation where the kittens were seen by the other lady vet, a younger girl. She was also concerned about the kittens but gave them an injection and checked their temperatures. They also gave me two cans of nutritious vet. food which they use to encourage cats to eat. The two gingers with the benefit of a couple of doses of tablets ate ravenously but the beige boy only ate a little. I paid extra for the injections and also for a bag of kitten crumbles to help them pick up weight.
By the next afternoon, all three were eating the crumbles enthusiastically and are totally perked up, meowing for attention, with little Toby again climbing my leg at every opportunity to get onto the counter.
I know with kittens, they can come up as quick as they go down. Even if they have a virus, they will always have a home with me, as long as I judge they are not suffering. I am not one to put down a furry family member at a moment's notice. If a cat's spirit is strong, they can regain their health and I always give them that fighting chance.


  1. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't give any animal the best fighting chance. Good for you! And then good for you again on complaining about that nasty male vet. What a chop!

  2. Thanks Tamara, My decision not to put kitties down has been proved best on several occasions where the animal has fully recovered and become a healthy happy pet. Sometimes the decision to put an animal down is for the sake of the owners inconvenience and not to prevent the animal from suffering. I really dont let people get away with bad customer service or rudeness anymore.