yes it was odd about the ER visit because it seems like generally most people complain doctors/vets overcharge AND don't do the thing medically. This case, it was a hybrid. I was thankful that she acknowledged that she didn't actually do any tests or anything other than just look at him through his carrier and spend time talking to us thus saving us $190 ER exam fee + additional testing fees. Though I wasn't looking for a coupon hence why I sat through an hour of traffic to go there because it's supposed to be a very prestigious hospital. I would have rather paid the money and had them test him to see if there was anything pressing. But anyway, what's done is done.
By the way, just to make sure this point doesn't get lost - the ER person was not the regular vet. I am actually quite happy and extremely comfortable and trusting with him. only issue is that he is out of the office until monday april 17th.
Also the young doctor (young as in she is an intern at the hospital and just graduated last year and is filling in for the other internal med doctors) was not referred by my main vet, but by that ER doctor.
The reason why an internal medicine doctor is required is that they are the ones who the do the examination at the hospital where the CT scan is to be done to do a physical and blood work up to ensure the right stuff gets done and the procedure goes as well as possible. Plus, I believe that the internal doctors are a step up from a regular vet as far as they are specialists and they only see patients with referrals from family vets. So I'd assume they are a bit more experienced specifically with internal medicine as opposed to say orthopedics or some other sub-categotory of veterinary medicine. Either way, they are more acting in the capacity of screening the patient for the exams and tests needed and I was told they still work in tandem with the family vet to deal with the test specifics and exam results and plan of action moving forward. I guess two heads are better than one...
Now with regards to updates, so here is what is happening:
I cancelled the appointment today with this AMC hospital (where I went to the ER and where my appointment was with the first year intern) because at this closer hospital (link below/this is one of the original three choices I was given by my main family vet) an internal medicine specialist was available tomorrow (saturday april 15th) to do a consult and pre-testing evaluation. They did tell me the model of the CT scan machine they had over the phone (toshiba aquilion tsx 101a multi slice) but I forgot to ask how many slices it is, I googled it and it seems that there are several different models, but it was over the phone so I will now ask specifically when I get there tomorrow.
This hospital and the doctor chosen has me feeling a bit more comfortable because the doctor we are seeing tomorrow specialized her research with cats and in specific some things involving kidney disease (which my cat has) so I think that is a bit of a plus.
I did as much research as I could on sites like yelp and other review sites and it seems each vet around here has a similar level of extreme love and hate. They all (recommended ones from vet) have right around 4 out of 5 star ratings.
Now MAJOR update and this was the reason I held off on going today to the other appointment at the ritzy hospital. My cat, when we came back from the ER, and through the night, and all of today, is all of a sudden doing better, almost at the level he was doing for the 2 weeks of antibiotics which is still showing symptoms of a bit lethargic and still has little stuffy nose, but nowhere near the total apathy and sneezing blood and constant choking and gasping for air and crying. One cool tip the ER doctor gave me was make the house very steamy by running hot water and I ran the shower scolding hot for like 30 minutes then opened bathroom door and closed all windows and hugged him around the bathroom for a bit and made sure he stayed around there - I'm not sure if that's what did it or he was already getting better but after that his sense of smell seemed to come back and I was able to with a spoon get him to eat and then he drank water finally (which I was SOOO happy about as I was a nervous wreck about him not drinking) and then shortly after that he just all of a sudden "woke up" and started asking for food and literally just feasted on the food and drank water. Then overnight he was better then today he was much better and totally without any encouragement eating like his normal hungry self (he's a big tomcat boy ~13.5-14 lbs) and drinking water without any of the crazy slurping noises.
So I'm really not sure what's happening, if this is some like mirage or odd thing where he just gets better after getting really bad and he might get bad again so I'm super confused. Either way, I felt in lieu of his status change it's better to not have to goto this unknown student doctor (who holds a degree in human biology before vet degree for some reason) at a hospital much further away and with an awkward ER experience and better let him rest a bit and go one day later to this other known experienced (specifically with cats) and not do the CT scan the same day (they wouldn't unless it's an emergency anyway) but let her get a look at him and test him with bloodwork and stuff anyway and MAAAYBE I pray that he just gets better and there is no need for a CT scan, OR at least he's not in that bad shape he was in and I can speak to the ONLY person I trust with advice about him which is his main vet on monday before pulling the trigger on the CT scan after the preliminary testing is done.
So that is my plan so far after many hours spent agonizing over the right decision.
Sorry I seem to be all over the place, this is my first and only companion animal, I've had him my entire life, and luckily he's been very healthy until recently so I don't have much experience with a lot of this veterinary stuff other than basic check ups which he's always passed with flying covers through his life thus far. So when people say "pets are like your family" I say no, they are not "LIKE' your family they ARE your family. And my cat is super duper social and chatty and playful with my his whole life so I'm very close with him and it's very painful and stressful to see him go through this so I'm sort of learning as I go with all this medical stuff and dedicated to doing as much as I can and above and beyond what level of due diligence and research I would do for my own health.
PS - this is the link -> Long Island Veterinary Specialists
About the CT scan, their new machine is a huge step up from what they used to have, and is likely a more advanced machine than what most animal hospitals might have - but you'd need to know what kind of machine other places use in order to compare. I'd think the higher "slice number" of their machine is important in your kitty's case primarily because it reduces the amount of time needed for the scan.
about that - as I said I will ask, but let's say this hospital he has the appointment with tomorrow has say a 16 slice machine or something, less slices, I wonder what I will do in that case? Goto the more advanced machine but the weird ER hospital or the LIVS hospital (link above)? I guess once he gets his physical tomorrow, they wont schedule the CT for a few days anyway and I will have time to speak to the main family vet again on monday about his take on the CT scan machine issue.