Categories: Veterinarians

Bad Vet Experience

Cocoa at Electric City Animal Clinic

Bad vet experience. Those are three words that make me cringe. This is going to be a long one, dear readers. Then I want you to share any bad vet experiences you've had with your cats.

Cocoa is pictured here at the clinic who is trying to help him.

I really don't know where to begin this story, so I'll start WAY back in the last century. Here's the link to that story. Sadly, it was the same vet who did this to my cats who I was forced to see on Monday when I took Cocoa in. I didn't know my regular vet was out sick.

Let me describe what's going on with my beautiful boy. He won't eat a bite unless it's fed to him mixed with lots of water and through a syringe. He practically gags at the sight of a plate of food. This has been going on for a week now. In case you hadn't read an earlier article about him, he has no claws and only one tooth in his head.

Did I mention I had a wreck on the way to the vet Monday? This just keeps getting worse and worse. I not only wrecked my car, but I arrived at the vet only to find my vet out with an attack of appendicitis. The practice owner saw my Cocoa.

I explained the symptoms and double checked as this vet looked inside Cocoa's mouth. Everything looked fine on that end. This vet then suggested I "wait several days and make Cocoa get really hungry." Then he repeated "there's nothing wrong with him," followed by "no charge for today".

I really need to stop writing for a moment and break something. Do any of you know how frustrating it is to know something is very wrong with your cat and no one wants to believe you?

On Tuesday I drove my battered body in my battered car to my hometown. There's a clinic called Electric City Animal Clinic. I think I'm going to transfer my cats over to them as they open at 7a.m.

I had to drop my daughter off at her grandmother's nearby and just stopped in to see if the vet had time to see my big boy. They worked him in. The first thing the assistant noticed was severe upper respiratory congestion. Then she took his temperature (no fever) and listened to his chest. The vet examined my monster boy (he weighs almost 14 lbs.) and told me he believes Cocoa won't eat because he's too congested to smell his food.

Now for another shocker: Cocoa is a senior cat. Didn't see that one coming. He's had a lot of years to practice that loving.

His new vet prescribed antibiotic liquid, a steroid nose drop and an IV to replace some of the fluids he'd lost. Cocoa has to go for a recheck on Monday and it was suggested that if he doesn't improve quickly blood work needs to be done.

Sure, I had a bill for this service. But at least I got service. NOT some vet who didn't think my kitty was worth more than a few minutes of his time.

I watched the faces of some of the other clients at the first vet. They looked grief-stricken for lack of a better word. Like I said, the other vet in the practice is GREAT. Too bad the owner hasn't learned a thing or two from him.

I also spoke with some of the clients where Cocoa's condition was finally taken more seriously. They offered only praise for this clinic. Word of mouth goes a long way in my neck of the woods.

It's also the best method in my area to fight bad vets. Reporting them to veterinary associations does little good. Most of these are older vets who refuse to change with the times. Merchant Circle and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are more effective.

I do have a chip-in here for Cocoa. I don't know what kind of treatment or tests he'll be needing in the future. I plan to do the best I can for him.

I just hope no one finds out it's "bring your cat to work day." Yes, he's sitting in his duffel bag carrier by my work station.

As I write this, Cocoa watches me from his carrier. He's refusing the water and the can of food I placed in there for him. It's entirely possible my boss will walk in on me cradling and syringe feeding a cat. Now THAT would be a story to tell his children.

I hope I NEVER have to go through anything like this again. It's agonizing! And the sad thing is this first vet has a very steady clientele because he's been practicing for about 50 years now. People brag on how great he is! I wonder if he prefers some pets and shoo's off the rest as insignificant?

Have any of you had a bad vet experience? What happened and what did you do about it? There are days like Monday when I don't see how I've lived 50 years without being arrested.


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Bad Vet Experience

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Apr 28, 2011
Another one
by: Michael

Here is a link to an earlier post:

Unpleasant Vet Experience

Apr 28, 2011
So many years ago but so sad
by: Letha

It was 35 years ago, I was 19. I had married at age 16 and had taken our family dog with me. We had her since I was 8 years old and she was my dog. When we first got her my Mom would not allow her in the house. Once she was allowed in the house she was not allowed on my bed. I made her a cardboard box with her name drawn on in crayon. flowers and butterflies on it. My Mom let her sleep in the box on the foot of my bed.
We lived in Dallas. Dixie got very sick throwing up and not eatting anything. Just drinking alot of water and vomiting. My husband and I took her to a vet in the expencive side of town. My husband was 15 years older than myself and not a teenager like myself. He was also chinese and I am white. He was a chef and owned a nice restaurant on in that very area. We got snubbed when we walked in with Dixie. They refused to see her (without an appt.) they said. I begged and pleaded for them to see her and the vet came out from an exam room and looked at her and told me they could not see her because of no appt, he did say to me " I suggest you find her a vet that will see her soon because she is a very sick dog." I don't know if they why for sure they wouldn't see her. Predujice or because that was a foo foo kind of a place or what.
We did manage to find another vet that did see her. He ran blood tests and had me take her home and wanted me to collect a sample of her vomit and pee or poop if I could. She started convulsing in the middle of the night and she slipped into a coma and died. The vet called me early in the morning and told me she had diabetes. It was too late. It was around that time period that people were talking about parvo. I think it was a new virus at the time. I know it is mostly a puppy ailment but it also attacks old dogs and no dogs were immune to it then as it was nothing anyone vaccinated against. I had a 4 month old puppy that died a couple of weeks eariler. This puppy never lived long enough to make it to the vet. Was throwing up and layed down and literaly screamed until she died. We lived in the country and the next door neighbor didn't like dogs, so we thought he poisioned her. So I will never know if it was diabetes, parvo, or poisioning. But I do know if that horrible vet would of taken care of her early that morning she might not of died. Here it is 35 years later and I still can't let go of it.

Apr 28, 2011
He'd tell me to go elsewhere
by: Elisa

I've dealt with him before. Michael's right and he's arrogant. If I hadn't thought long and hard how he misdiagnosed those 4 cats and flat out argued with me when I told him they were poisoned I might have listened to him.Think of the people he sends home with their pets and the animals trust him because he's a vet and the pets die.

Apr 28, 2011
by: Elisa

You should have seen it at the first vet. First he was over an hour late. There was a man carrying a German Shepherd who couldn't walk. I saw him carrying his dog around back while waiting on the vet. Everyone had already agreed to wait with their animals and let this dog go first since something was WRONG. This dog didn't even get 5 minutes. Then I spoke to a man with a very small dog as I was going back with Cocoa. I asked him if his baby was going to be all right. He just looked down and never answered me. He looked so defeated. Then there was this woman who was just a a bragging about this vet.

Electric City got Cocoa in fast, checked everything. I couldn't afford the bloodwork on him yet. They're trying hard to save him. And each person leaving with their pet was telling me how great the staff was here. And everyone was smiling. I was behind a gentleman as I paid Cocoas bill and the mans DOG was even smiling.

Plus it's hard to find a vet who opens before 8am in my area.

Apr 28, 2011
One in every town
by: Elisa

From what I've heard in feedback there's one like this in every town. My hometown has one who's been around forever. He's set in his ways and dumber than dirt.

I remember an old vet, Dr. Jamison, who had to have been 90 when he retired and he saved my cat from poisoning with a 106 degree fever. I also know another vet in my hometown whose dad was a vet. I went to him for over 20 years. He couldn't see me as quickly on Tuesday and time was important.

Word needs to get around about these bad vets. You can bet I'll get on Merchant Circle and brag about my new good vet. People need a reference to go by when choosing a new vet.

Still surprised I didn't go to jail on Monday after the vet experience.

Apr 28, 2011
by: Janet V.

You certainly should vote with your feet and paws and go to the other vet. But maybe you could talk to the good vet at the first practice, if for no other reason than to just get out your well-deserved frustrations.

Do wait until Cocoa gets better and maybe you could also write a letter to the Jerk Vet and kindly, politely inform him how off base he was and exactly what happened and how it got resolved. And how glad you are that someone figured out what was actually wrong with the cat.

I hate to think Jerk Vet thought a fat cat couldn't starve to death. Their livers fail long before they get skinny. Jeez.

Apr 28, 2011
by: Michael

Some vets become arrogant and get out of touch with client care. Maybe in part it is due to being in the job for too long. They become complacent and think they know it all.

He seems to have done a very cursory, casual job in diagnosing Cocoa's condition. I would have thought it was a serious situation if a cat refuses to eat. Cats die if they do that.

Although he is not underweight!

Sorry that you had to go through all that and a car accident as well. Bad day. I can feel what it must have been like.

I find taking my cat to the vet stressful at the best of times but to have to go to two places plus an accident sounds very stressful.

My old lady cat is about 19 and she has lost weight due to eating less. I think her sense of smell has diminished and that that is the cause. She has also become deaf.

Losing weight in old cats is serious. I feed her her favorite food - fish and stop Charlie eating it until she is done.

Good luck with Cocoa.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • It is time to vent about the Dowagiac Animal Hospital,P.C.

    I have taken Garfield there 3 times since i moved to the area, they have terrified my cat . I was told that they netted him just to give him shots,my cat is four years old going on five,he has been to the vet every year to get his shots and has never acted like he acts at this vet , i think they have mistreated him so much that he remembers what they did to him. then after they terrified my cat ,they tell me they cannot see him anymore he is just to bad. Garfied has never had a reaction to the vet like he does there. I think the Dowagiac vet miss treats the animals and would highly recomend that if you are taking your animals there, to find another vet. I have never had a vet not want you to go with animal to the exan room, I am so sorry that i took my cat to these people.

    Elizabeth Hagedorn

    • Thanks Elizabeth. Interesting. I had to delete the other Facebook replies and likes etc as the comment looked chaotic. I would ask if your cat needs regular vaccination boosters. I think you'll find he does not.

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