We had to put one of our cats to sleep on Saturday. Now that I've had a couple of days to think over some of the things that the vet at the emergency clinic said, I'm wondering if our regular vet is giving our pets the best care.
was 14 and a half, and about two years ago, she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which was controlled through medication. A few months ago, she started scratching at a spot over her eye and wouldn't leave it alone. My boyfriend took her in to see the vet, who thought it might be from an ear infection and sent her home with ear drops (which ended up making her deaf, a usually rare side effect of the medicine which is more common in geriatric animals) and an antibiotic ointment. The wound healed, but then she started scratching again and it came back. My boyfriend took her in again, and this time they gave her an antibiotic shot and a steroid shot.
Later, we noticed that she was breathing really rapidly, and since the vet was closed, we took her into the emergency clinic. The vet took one look at the cut above her eye and said, "That is not normal, that will need to be biopsied." As soon as she saw that Jane had been given a steroid shot, she said that most likely the hyperthyroidism had led to a heart condition, and then the steroid shot sent her into congestive heart failure. X-rays then confirmed heart failure.
After weighing her age, existing health problems, and the cost of treatment, we made the very difficult decision to have her put to sleep. When we were talking to the emergency clinic vet about it, she reiterated that even if we treated her and she made it through the weekend, once she was stable, the sore above her eye would have to be biopsied and that her hyperthyroidism most likely led to a heart condition that would need further treatment. Now I'm wondering why my vet didn't seem as concerned about the sore after having seen it twice, and why she decided to give a steroid shot knowing that Sweet Jane had a condition that often causes heart problems. This isn't as serious, but I also wonder why she would prescribe Jane a medicine that could cause deafness in geriatric animals. She never told us the possible side effects of the shot or the ear drops. She's been our vet for 14 and a half years (since Jane was just a tiny kitten), and her practice is very state of the art and very expensive. She is wonderfully warm and I've always liked her personally.
Am I over-reacting because I'm distraught and looking for someone to blame, or should we be looking into going to another vet? Is it crazy and completely inappropriate to contact the vet at the emergency clinic and ask her if she's comfortable giving her opinion of our vet?