A warning for all pet owners to please pass along

I saw this in an article a couple days ago, made sure it wasn’t a med I was using, and went on with my day. I completely missed how the parent company has chosen to handle this.

Short form: the flea and tick medication named Promeris has been determined to cause severe heath issues in a signifigant percentage of cats and dogs. If you are using this medication you should stop and contact your vet for an alternative. Pfizer however has decided to NOT recall the medication already on the market. Instead they’ve simply halted production. They estimate there is enough already on the market to last through September, or basically the entire flea and tick season.

See here for more information including basic information on the symptoms of the afor mentioned health problems.

Thanks to K9 Solutions blog for the link.

Don’t mess with my pets’ health.

Ok, this is going to be a long winded rant as I get something off my chest that has been building for a couple weeks now.  I’m going to touch on (but not get into) a controversial topic in pet health, I’ll get into detail later, because its not the real cause of my upset.  For those of you who don’t want to read further, lets just say that my (now) former vet should be very happy I’m not the sueing type!

For those of you who are willing to read further, its a long story…..

Back on 2/28 we took our new puppy into our vets office for his new puppy checkup.  We knew going in that we were probly not going to meet a happy vet as we have chosen a non-standard vaccination schedule for our dog.  Sure enough the vet walked into the office prepared to administer vaccines (which even under the standard schedule shouldn’t have been the case at 10weeks of age), and then had a fit (I’m a vet, you’re not, I went to school…..), insisted we sign a waiver that we knew we were going against her wishes, then tried to tell us that the blood work we wanted (a vaccine titer, it tests for antibodies for the diseases vaccinated against) wouldn’t tell us anything helpfull, that she didn’t want to do one, and that she had no idea where to send it out to have it tested (which frankly OUGHT to be complete BS, any lab that can test for Lime disease can do a vaccine titer, never mind we’re all of an hour from Cornell).  We stood our ground, and insisted that we would have a vaccine titer done between 11 & 12 weeks of age.  She finally agreed.

Fast forward a week and a half, I bring Apollo in to have blood drawn for his titer, and they inform me that its going to cost $212 to have done.  I took a deep breath and agreed to have it done at that price.  I’d neglected to do my research to find out what the going rate was, and since at that point the puppy wasn’t travelling well at ALL I decided it wasn’t worth hauling him home to do so.

I fixed that lack of information as soon as I got home.  Online research showed that Cornell charges less than $40 for the titer in question.  Calls to several other vets offices resulted in an average rate between $50 to $100 depending on the lab used and their base rate for a vet tech’s time.  I was seriously peeved at that point and made the decision that once his titer results came back I would move all 3 animals to a vet closer to where we live now (the former vet was closer to where we were living).  And I did.

Apollo’s first checkup went fine.  The vet questioned my choice of vaccination schedule, but after determining that I was sure that was what I wanted, and that I knew WHY I wanted it, she agreed that they would work with me to manage what I wanted.  They charge $63 for the titer in question.

The first appointment for Trouble and Janie weren’t quite as smooth, or rather Janie’s wasn’t.  Trouble has always been healthy as a horse inspite of being a pudgy kitty, and so her portion of the visit was fine.  However when we got to Janie we discovered that not only was there no record of what medication the former vet had chosen to treat her thyroid with, they hadn’t recorded her thyroid levels in the records either.  Thankfully I knew the numbers that the vet had told me, and I had brought her pill bottle with me to the appointment.  I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I wasn’t going to have to deal with that vet any further.

The new vet suggested a different medication for Janie’s thyroid, one thats in a chewable flavored tablet that might be easier for us to get down her (and it is!), took another blood sample from her to make sure that her thyroid had settled properly, and we went home.

The next day (!) the new vet called me with the results of the bloodwork.  Her thyroid had finally settled at normal, but her kidney and liver numbers were still high, better, but high.  News that I greeted with dead silence.  The previous vet had never said ANYTHING about her kidney and liver numbers being off.  AT ALL, but apparently they had put it in her medical records (but they couldn’t be bothered to record her thyroid levels???).  I said as much to the new vet, who promptly had her own moment of silence.  She explained then that high kidney and liver values weren’t unusual when the thyroid had been off for as long as Janie’s had been, and that although they weren’t back down to where they should have been they WERE dropping.  She wanted to test again in another 6 weeks to check on them, but at the moment Janie didn’t seem to be suffereing from any negetive affects from them so she was willing to leave her be.  I agreed and went on with my week.

Unfortunetly a week and a half ago that changed.  My husband called me at work to inform me that Janie was puking up everything, AND had diahrea that looked like flem.  I told him to call the vet, and I took her in that afternoon.   Two Xrays, and more bloodwork later (some of it very expensive bloodwork), and we have a diagnosis of pancreatitus.  Thankfully it seems to be responding to medication, and there’s a very good chance that has her liver and kidney numbers return to normal it will become less and less of an issue.  Sigh.  Poor kitty!! She is NOT happy with the number of pills she has to take, and I don’t blame her.  I’m just peeved.  Though I’m liking the new vet more and more!

The difference a single pill makes….

So back in mid-January my husband hauled the cats into the vets for me, as I was unable to get off work, for their yearly checkup and rabies shots.  Had to have the vets check both cats’ ears (both have had ear infections in the last year), as well as various odds and ends.

Trouble has allergies to something, vet says they’re not severe enough (at least at this point in the year) to be worth medicating her for (I won’t argue, I just wanted to be sure it wasn’t a respitory infection or something).

Janie on the other hand has been having some odd issues for a while.  None severe, none regular, just odd, they finally got regular enough to make me ask the vet about them, and after some discussion the vet ordered bloodwork.  A week later I got a phone call, Janie has a hyperactive thyroid.  Not hugely bad, but enough to be throwing her off.  Normal is 3 (3 what I didn’t catch), she’s at 5.7 (ditto…), but the vet said thats not as high as its sounds, she’s seen as high as 13 previously with no more symptoms than Janie is showing.  End result is a little pill shoved down her throat once a day and a return for more bloodwork in 3 weeks.

Its been a week and a half since we started medicating Janie for her thyroid, and the difference is amazing.  She’s got to have been having thyroid issues for a whole lot longer than I ever thought possible.  Her coat is fluffier, and shinier, she LOOKS better, and is acting just overall like a whole new cat.  I gotta say, if your cat has a “sensitive stomach” with no obvious cause or regularity, is loosing weight, or just can’t seem to put ON weight no matter how much you try to feed her, occasionally seems to have trouble jumping, and you realize that she isn’t the perkiest you’ve ever seen her you may want to have your vet check her blood levels.  I now feel horrid for not bringing the various symptoms to the vet’s attention sooner, but I really never did put them all together.

Sigh.  At least we figured it out eventually, hopefully before any real damage was done!