VET Lack of Duty of Care - Cat Accident

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VET Lack of Duty of Care - Cat Accident

Post by Katkaland »

Hello, My 10 years old outdoor cat had a hip dislocation, could not walk. The accident led to a big problem with my “new” VET. So I am going to submit a complaint to the RCVS Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Dispute Resolution Centre, and also to Cats Protection. Could anyone recommend me where from I could collect supporting evidence to support my case?

Case details:

My 10 years old outdoor cat had a hip dislocation, could not walk. I moved towns around 16 months ago, so I took him to his “new” local VET on a Sunday. They x-rayed him under general anaesthetic and apparently a nurse with a normal VET put his hip back. They have not called me to offer any options about this treatment they just went ahead. They called me that all is good his hip is back, I can pick him up, but just so I prepare if he dislocates his hip again, he will need to have surgery.

Upon pick-up they told me that as they lifted him up to put him back to his travel box, the have re-dislocated his hip again, and they gave him back to me broken. They said this is not a problem they booked him in for surgery, as now the only option was surgery with a specialist for Tuesday. They asked me how much money my insurance covers. I took my broken cat back home and I called my on-line video VET once again, I am subscribed to, and they said I urgently need to find a specialist as they should NOT have given him back broken and he needs care urgently. As you can imagine I was furious for various reasons. I phoned around to many VETs to find one with a specialist as soon as possible. I also called my previous VET, where they said they have a specialist in on Monday, (the next day). I asked my “new” VET to transfer all medical files back to my previous “old” VET as I am taking him back there. They then suddenly said, they also have a specialist in on the Monday. But they only offered this upon knowing they are going to lose me as a customer. At his “old” VET he had to go under a so-called toggle implant surgery to keep his hip in place. This comes with 8 weeks of being cage/room bound and arthritis for him is now inevitable. All of this caused us massive distress, and this has determined a much poorer health future for my cat, as well as an on-going increased costs for us for the rest of his life.

In my opinion they should have referred him to the specialist they had available the next day but they kept this quiet from me. Also, they should have explained my options to me, i.e strapping vs not strapping. They do not know my household and work set up nor my personal discipline nor the type of relationship I have with my cat, all of which are serious determining factors in choosing the right treatment for my cat. But the main point is the lack of referral to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon at the first opportunity they had, i.e the next day, or to offer an alternative for this (i.e another VET place with a specialist surgeon that is also affordable to me).

They “new” VET chose to use my cat as a Guinea pig. At least they should have strapped him to give him a better chance. But the other serious point is they have not called me to offer me options, they just went ahead with treatment, that seemed to serve the “new” VET surgery with no consideration me as the owner of the cat, and with little consideration about my cat’s future health prospects. In my opinion they were negligent, careless, and money driven.

I paid thousands of pounds to my “old” VET, to solve the problem. This is not a problem at all I was happy to pay them to do good job and I had trust and faith in them due to previous good experience. But I am not happy to pay this “new” VET. Our “old” VET was communicative and informative with me all the way through clearly explaining all our options and possible future health prospects allowing us to make an educated decision about our cat’s welfare. From here on I rather travel towns just to take my cat back to his old VET as I no longer trust this “new” VET anymore.

I am utterly disappointed with the “new” VET. Why did they not referred him to the orthopedic specialist when they knew they had one in the next day? They could have offered painkillers and a tight cage for the next 12 hours after which he could have received the specialist care he needed. Why it is the business of my VET how much the insurance covers? Is this because they can then offer the most expensive treatment? Common sense with mammals, in case of joint dislocation once it is back to its place it needs to be strapped to give it at least a chance to heal. Why did they not use common sense? They have not called me to explain my options to give me choices. As far as I know I took my cat in with a hip dislocation and I got him back the same broken way but with a nice bill to pay. In the process I see several levels of failure to care adequately.

I want to fight for this! I do not want to pay this bill to the “new” VET for the general anesthetic and x-rays, and if they insist, I will be looking at compensation, because due to them not caring, both us and my cat ended up with more distress, much worse health prospects and increased costs.
If anyone can help me where can I turn for advice and / or generic evidence to support my case? I have already listened to VET advice on You Tube many suggested the strapping is the right way to go. But even if this is arguable, I ask who knows my personal circumstance and ability deal with my cat in such way that I truly believe strapping with him would have worked just fine. But in my view the lack of care and lack of communication very strongly contributed to this outcome.

Extra Info:
Not sure how much there is to do with this, my cat has been coming to this new VET for just over a year. Every time he would throw such a loud hissy inside, that the whole surgery and people in waiting room can hear it. With his old VET he went in calm, was reasonably calm inside and finally, came home calm too no problem. And there are many other signs too, like heavy breathing, peeing himself, showing distress when approaching this “new” VET. My personal mistake, I should have left this “new” VET after the second distressing visit and to find a VET where they have the skill to deal with him, as he is a special cat. We rescued him and at a very young age he was abused and put in a rescue center so needs to be treated a bit like a “human” and not like a numbered product passing by on a conveyor belt.
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