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NikkiB November 13th, 2012 03:45 PM

Review needed - Cat death
A little bit about Lucy:

We rescued her about 1.5 years ago as a senior. Had been living wild. Extremely stressed and fearful. Extremely small, weighed around 3kg when we got her, max weight we ever recorded was 3.4kg. Over time she became a happy sociable cat. Approximate age on rescue - 10 years.

Medical history: Shortly after adoption we had her teeth sorted, cleaned and 1 extraction. Had a blood panel done on her to check all major health issues - none noted except slightly low potassium.

4 months ago thought she had lost weight, took her in for a full geriatric blood panel and urinalysis to be on the safe side, nothing noted except the potassium again.

This is where is gets drastic/fatal: (This has all happened within the last 2 weeks)

Wednesday/Thursday - noted diarrhea, extremely liquid, no vomiting, eating & activity normal
Friday - taken into the vet, weight 2.8kg, abdominal mass detected by palpatation. Ultrasound given, small cell lymphoma suspected from ultrasound results. Cat prescribed prednisolone starting this day. Still had diarrhea, eating & activity normal.
Saturday - Eating & activity normal, vomited clear liquid approximately 5 hours after eating. Stool starting to thicken.
Sunday - Eating & activity normal. Vomited food appromately 4 hours after eating followed by a large hairball. Diarrhea returned.
Monday - Eating & activity normal. No vomiting. Solid stool.
Tuesday - Eating & activity normal. No vomiting. Solid stool. Official ultrasound report back, small cell lymphoma highest suspect, possiblity of acute IBD. Blood work recommended to be sure before starting chemo drugs.
Wednesday - taken into vet for bloodwork, weight 2.7kg. Thought to have slight anemia, given iron/b shots and a broad spectrum antibiotic just in case of infection. Would not eat for the rest of the day, tried to syringe feed, all foods tried. Activity and eating normal before going to the vet. Activity zero after returning, lethargic, vague, wobbly.
Thursday - taken into vet for assistance with food. Vet thought breathing off later during the day (had not been at home prior). Xrays given, fluid in the lungs along with a vague mass (not analysed or determined what it was) Syringe fed A/D food and given fluids and nutrients. No activity or eating on own. Visited vet, she recommended PTS. Took cat home for final night at home. Died overnight. Bloodwork returned, high percentage of abnormal blood, bone marrow affected, turning leukemic. Didn't understand all of the blood work results - told stage 3-4 lymphoma.

Now this has all been a bit of a shock and I am one of those people who likes to understand things. One for my own peace of mind, and two because I have other pets and if it was something specific I want to make sure it doesn't happen again if possible. I cannot get my head round how fast this all became.

I know cats are good at hiding things, but I have had cats with cancer before and nothing like this. I also cannot find any veterinary journals or records reporting death in under a week from lymphoma. However I can find a vast number of cases reporting death after antibiotics.

Could the shot on Wednesday morning have been fatal for my cat? She was stabilising and about to start chemo up to this point. This is the exact point she turned for the worse.

I hve not had the final bill yet from the vet so at this point do not know the specific antibiotic given, just that it was broad spectrum.

Any thoughts much appreciated.

growler~GateKeeper November 14th, 2012 01:38 AM

:grouphug: I'm so sorry about Lucy

My last cat had Lymphoma & Chronic Renal Failure along with possible IBD and near the end a persistant infection. From the time the lymphoma was diagnosed & confirmed until she was pts was only a few months. She was being treated with homeopathic remedies and near the end we added Clavamox antibiotic pills.

Lymphoma & IBD have been linked in some theories, if she had IBD then it's harder to absorb nutrients. Lymphoma is a rapid growing cancer because it spreads through the lymph system which is all throughout the body.

You mention an antibiotic shot - I'm going to assume it was Covenia. There have been suspicions/reports about various reactions pets have had to the shot, as of yet I don't think there is any concrete studies to confirm/deny a link.

It is possible the lymphoma was very aggressive and the shot had little/nothing to do with her death, it's also possible her system was overloaded and being so tiny she couldn't muster enough of a fight.


marko November 14th, 2012 08:26 AM

I'm so sorry to be reading this and please accept my deepest condolences.

Growler has some good theories here and being so tiny likely didn't help at all.
When my cat Ziglet passed away a couple of years ago, it also happened very very quickly (within 2-3 weeks).

I just wanted to thank you for adopting a senior cat, you made Lucy's short time with you special and that is a very beautiful thing.

:rip: Sweet Lucy :candle:



NikkiB November 14th, 2012 11:32 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I will know the specific antibiotic in a few days when I go to collect her ashes. The printer at the vet wasn't working so I never got the invoices as I went along. I have however read plenty of those reports about specific ones so I will be paying close attention.

Yes she was very tiny, that always did worry me. It was not for want of eating though, her appetite was great!

The only thing I can say for her dying at home is at least we don't have that endless question of did we do the right thing.

Attaching a picture for anyone interested :)

Dog Dancer November 14th, 2012 01:21 PM

Lucy was beautiful and I'm so sorry for your loss. But know in your heart that you rescued a senior and filled her final days with love. There is a special place for people like you.:grouphug:

hazelrunpack November 14th, 2012 08:53 PM

Oh, she was gorgeous. I'm so sorry for your loss :grouphug: You were her angel when you adopted her and now she's yours, watching over you.

:candle: Lucy

NikkiB November 17th, 2012 03:28 PM

Thank you all for your words.

I collected her ashes the other day and they had also done a clay paw print mould and a car with inked paw prints and a lock of hair. Set me right off again.

On another note I was chatting to my dogs vets and she said it certainly sounded like some sort of reaction rather than the lymphoma that killed her.

angeldogs November 17th, 2012 04:03 PM

Lucy was a beautiful cat. sorry about your loss

NikkiB December 11th, 2012 11:56 AM


Okay I am spitting now! I received all the complete pathologists reports, albeit slightly reluctantly, from the vets about 10 days ago.

Turns out when all the tests were done back in May and we were told nothing was wrong the pathologist has noted possible IBD on the reports.

The follow up tests done in June, again when we were told nothing wrong, upgrade it to lymphophenia, with a 10% drop in her lymphocytes and tons of warnings over the reports. Also suggest possible kidney/renal issues kicking in at this point.

I am so mad right now - I just want to storm into the vets and ask if they even read the damn reports 6 months ago or just filed them away. The progression of IBD into lymphoma over this time frame is bang on for untreated IBD.

I am thinking of moving vets for my other cat. Suggestions of what to do here if anything?

RUSTYcat December 11th, 2012 02:07 PM

[quote=nikkib;1050627]...i am thinking of moving vets for my other cat. Suggestions of what to do here if anything?[/quote]

Niki, two thoughts for you:

1. If I were in your shoes today, there'd be no [B][I][COLOR="Red"]thinking[/COLOR][/I][/B] about finding another Vet....pardon me, finding a competent feline Veterinarian....I would be on the hunt for one.

2. Secondly, I would pursue this avenue:
[quote]The college of veterinarians of british columbia (cvbc) is the statutory body created to serve the interests of the public and animals through the regulation and advancement of the veterinary profession in bc.

The CVBC's mandate is to create, promote and enforce a high standard of qualification, conduct and competence by practitioners of veterinary medicine.

The CVBC complaints process
Complaints about veterinarians
Veterinarians are required to in every aspect of the handling of a case, meet the standard of care, skill and knowledge, and conduct, expected of a competent and ethical professional.
If you have a concern about the care your animal has received or your veterinarian's conduct, often the best first step is to discuss the matter with your veterinarian.
However, the CVBC ensures that a complaint process is in place and all concerns from the public are addressed.
Complaints must be in writing and signed and the original copy must be sent to the CVBC.

I can still feel some of what you've described. I, too, have lost a very beloved kitty at the hands of an incompetent "Veterinarian". It's infuriating and heartbreaking, and your story just brings it all back for me.

You are way ahead of where I was left, have the EVIDENCE.

About a new Vet...there's someone on here who lives in your "neck of the woods" who just raves about his/her Vet. I can't pinpoint the member. I will have a look on here for you. Meantime, maybe someone else will know of whom I'm speaking.

This link might be a place to start (you'll still have to make your own assessment, though. "Simple" membership in the AAFP doesn't guarantee competence) [url][/url]

Hoping some of that helps, and thinking of you:pawprint:

NikkiB December 17th, 2012 10:14 AM

The grating thing is this WAS a cat specalist. I took the cats there seperately to the dogs vet because of this very reason!

dbg10 April 28th, 2013 03:30 PM

Lucy was a beautiful cat and I am so sorry for your loss. :rip: :candle:

I am also at the point of looking for a new vet for my cats but if I were in your situation I'd be really angry and would 1) not even think about changing vets, i'd do it immediately before I ran into a problem with my other kitties. and 2) I'd lay a complaint with the veterinary college of BC because she obviously ignored things that might/probably would have saved Lucy's life.

all the best to you NIKKIB :grouphug:

Jim Hall April 30th, 2013 09:21 AM

I am curious as to wgat the vet said when you confronted him/her with this ?

NikkiB November 18th, 2014 11:30 PM

Hi Jim,

Just realised I never replied to your question here. I waited a while, moved my other cat to the same vet I use for the dogs and when I had calmed somewhat I sent a courtesy email to the vet in question explaining my thoughts and why I had moved my other cat. Remember at this point I had no requirement to tell her why, or even speak to her at all.

In response to my email I got a phone call from one screaming angry vet. She said she had already phoned the new vet when she saw where the other cats records had gone to say I would probably be bad mouthing her and to make sure they believe her not me.

She also said she had mentioned cancer months before and I was the one who had not taken it further. Bearing in mind I am the kind of person who comes home from the vet a googles the absolute ****e out of everything. I am not someone who accepts someones word for things. With this in mind she did NOT, repeat NOT mention lymphoma/cancer/IBD already otherwise I would have already known everything there was to know about it.

She basically acted like a paranoid mess, said I couldn't sue her I had no grounds. Which made me think I should sue her just because. Said I should have calmed down by now. Tried to blame us, said she asked us if Lucy was still vomiting and we said no. What we actually said was we had no idea as the cats had free access to outdoors.

Anyway, top and bottom, she obviously knew she dropped the ball otherwise she wouldn't have phoned the new vet. I had also had done 2 independant second opinions. Now these 2 reports said they would have pursued different avenues initially but the really telling thing was both reports said they would have investigated back in May, which was one of my biggest issues here. I mentioned these 2 reports to her and she went even more spazzy.

To be honest the pain was too raw, I never took ti any further. But I have told everyone I know in this small town. Mentioned full names and even found another person with a similar story.....

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