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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Vet Techs and Bad Advice...

I like my vet. Most the staff there is nice, and they helped Scooter keep his leg and his life when the congestive heart failure set in... But theres one person there I've never liked. Always making snide - but in a 'nice' tone so as to not be overt about it - remarks about how many cats we bring in... Yes, like so many cat people, the strays seem to gravitate towards us, and we therefore feel compelled to fix them, and when possible find them homes. Otherwise, they tend to stay in ours

This woman has openly promoted declawing to us before, saying her indoor/outdoor cats are front declawed, never been a problem, etc. Very easy to do while they're under for the spay/neuter. Plus the 'teasing' - 'oh, another one?' 'wow, how many is that now?' 'are you keeping these ones, too?' etc.

So this morning, I brought in a stray, but very friendly, little girl for a spay. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with her. I ask for the spay and the FIV/FeLV test, just to know. One tech asks if they should do the test before the spay. The implication is obvious... if the test comes up positive, she doubts I'll want to put the money into spaying her. I tell her, no, that's okay. She says okay. Fine. So then the tech I can't stand comes around, and the first tells her what's going on.

She said "And if the test comes back positive..."

I honestly thought she was going to tell ME something, not the other way around, so I didn't say anything. So she repeated herself, and I finally realized it was a badly emphasized question to me, lol. I didn't know what to say and somehow conveyed that I wanted her spayed. She looks at me like I'm a complete idiot and says "those are contagious to ALL other cats." I told her we'd deal with that if necessary, and she'd been separated from my cats thus far, and I WANT HER SPAYED. She seriously stared as if I was some stupid person condemning all her healthy cats to death. Argh.

Makes me wonder... how many cats have needlessly been put down because of bad advice by vet techs who don't bother to keep up with the newest info. Because correct me if I'm wrong, but can't a FIV/FeLV+ cat live with other cats that get along fairly safely with low risks of transmission? I mean, if she is positive, I'm going to have to consider that and take it into account, but it's not a reason to put her down, IMO.


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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try here for more info. http://www.cathealth.com/FeLV.htm and here
http://www.cathealth.com/FIV.htm . Far as that Tech. goes I would talk to the vet, Meaning each time you go in with a cat or dog that you don't want that tech. Tell him/her why. I was once in that area of work and it's like a doctor/nurse if you dont like them ask for someone else and usually it should work. Good luck.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 11:50 AM
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Re: Vet Techs and Bad Advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberD
Because correct me if I'm wrong, but can't a FIV/FeLV+ cat live with other cats that get along fairly safely with low risks of transmission? I mean, if she is positive, I'm going to have to consider that and take it into account, but it's not a reason to put her down, IMO.
Theres absolutely no need WHATSOEVER to put down a FIV/FeLV+ cat unless at the end stage. They can live perfectly healthy lives in the meantime and - in the case of FIV at least - can live well into their teens.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 11:21 PM
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I think the problem is that there are so many uninformed pet owners that vets and staff tend to treat all of their clients like they were the same, and so many pet owners who just do whatever the vet tells them they should do, that they don't know how to deal with an experienced and knowledgeable client who makes her own decisions. It took my vet and her staff some time to learn that I wanted all the information and that I could follow the technical explanations and that I wanted to be given all the choices with the pros and cons and allowed to make my own decision. So there were some touchy times at first. But they learned to accomodate me and now we get along pretty good.

Apparently this vet tech isn't capable of dealing with a client on a higher level than what she's used to. But maybe she's not a lost cause. Have patience and keep working on her from your level and hopefully she'll get it eventually.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 07:20 PM
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UG! I used to work with someone like that. Not pleasant. If your vet is anything like mine, a complaint from you, made in a nice way, will go a long way. It sounds like you are a good client, and your vet should respect your wishes regarding this tech. It also sounds like this tech is misinformed about declaws. I wish I knew what to tell you about that one, because I doubt very much she would listen to you if you tried to teach her. Like I said, she sounds very much like someone I used to work with. Little know it all!

Rachael with Thurston, Sully and Ninja.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 08:57 PM
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I'm afraid I would have said politely, "Perhaps you aren't aware......." I don't think she'd appreciate being educated, but of all people, she should be! Perhaps you could print out some links and take them with you. She's a menace!




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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
"Perhaps you aren't aware......."
That would have been my response too.
FIV cats can be fine with other cats. However, Felv is much more easily transmitted last I heard. It can be passed through casual contact like grooming and bowls etc, which FIV can not. So, I think it would be very risky to keep an Felv+ cat with healthy cats. But it could find a wonderful home as an only cat, or with a dog or another positive cat. It shouldn't mean a death sentence!
I would quietly say something to your vet.

Victoria
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2007, 12:31 AM
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Good idea! And you're right. Feline leukemia is quite contagious, and that cat should be isolated. A cat can live for years with that condition, but musn't be around other cats.




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