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#4497199 - 08/24/17 05:51 PM Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet)
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19806
Loc: CA
Folks,

We have been feeding a stray female cat for at least a few months, but we finally managed to get the cat into a carrier for a trip to the vet. We had a very knowledgeable family friend (one who regularly participates in cat rescues) drop off the cat at a recommended vet.

We specially requested for the vet to check out the cat since it’s a stray, give the appropriate vaccines and perform the spay if needed.

First, the vet claimed that the cat had no tattoos or visible scars, so they performed surgery on the cat and found that the cat had already been spayed. The vet also claimed that it “took longer than usual” because they had to make sure that the last doctor did the spay properly.

Second, they scanned the cat AFTER the surgery was performed and found that the cat had a chip. The vet’s technician offered the chip info but said the responsibility to research the owner info is up to us.

I feel like this visit did not go as planned. Here are my questions for the group:

1- When we ask for a stray cat to be “checked out,” is it a reasonable expectation (or assumption) that the vet would scan for a chip before performing any real work (i.e. surgery)?
2- Is it true that sometimes a vet cannot tell that a cat has been spayed, and therefore, is forced to perform surgery in order to verify?

I am supposed to pick-up the cat later today.

Thanks.
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#4497204 - 08/24/17 05:59 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
bioburner Offline


Registered: 09/19/16
Posts: 1418
Loc: Minnesota
I would think the first thing would be to check for chip. That could eliminate the unneeded surgery with a few key strokes but loss of $$$
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#4497206 - 08/24/17 06:04 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10172
Loc: OH
I've had cats all my life. Vets vary quite a bit. Hopefully a lot of research was done prior to bringing her to a particular one. It's kind of like bringing a car that has issues to a dealership. There are good and bad ones.

1. The first thing they should have done was to scan her for a chip. It seems they did it after the fact to do surgery and pad the bill. Just my opinion on that.

2. They should have been able to tell if she was spayed by a physical exam I would think or through xrays. It's a very simple procedure. The fact they stated it took longer than they thought so they could make sure everything was done properly reeks of [censored] and trying to take you for a ride. I'm thinking they're trying to prepare you for a big bill. You can offer to pay half if they try to play games(or just pay the bill move on and don't go back there). You can check the vet out now on yelp, google search, and the bbb.org.

Never heard of a cat ever having surgery all to discover it's already been done. I remember one vet sending up flowers after a cat had died. They send us an itemized bill with a $50 charge for flowers.


Edited by SatinSilver (08/24/17 06:11 PM)

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#4497226 - 08/24/17 06:34 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3865
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
when our cat came to us(showed up on the back porch one night) dad took her to an animal rescue place near us, to have her checked out. first thing they did was flip her over, grab the electric clippers, and shave a patch off her belly, to look for a spay scar. and sure enough there it was!
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#4497243 - 08/24/17 07:07 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
dlundblad Online   happy


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10045
Loc: Indiana
I showed this to my girlfriend who used to work at a small and large animal vet (7 years) while working on her biology degree.

She first said this is a tricky situation. The vet should have checked for a chip, but she said they probably wouldn't have thought about it in a situation like this since you've been caring for it so long.. it's basically yours at this point. Also, the simple fact you were in there with a stray cat to get it a.) vaccinated and b.) spayed would have impressed them so much, they probably once again wouldn't have bothered to check for a chip. Apparently microchipping felines is rare. Cats typically get "marked" after being spayed by animal control facilities. Dogs are normally tattooed, but cats typically get their ears docked so they can be identified at distances if it's a stray running around town. They should have been able to see or at least feel the scar tissue from the operation. On the other hand, if it's been a stray to you guys (outdoors) this long, her not getting pregnant is a good indication of being spayed. As much as I like cats, they are a lot like rats in terms of how often they procreate. If it makes you feel any better, I've had several pet cats over the years. None of them had their ears docked or tattoos. You can however see scars.

She also asked if they considered getting in touch with the cat's PO? One thing she saw quite often is that the owner already thinks they are dead and have moved on and no longer want the animal back.

The issue here is that you most likely signed a paper to get it spayed which is legally binding. Read what you signed, but it could say something like you are responsible for all fees. If they were nice, they should just charge for the anesthetic and other materials. In BITOG terms, like being scammed at a garage, just paying would be easier than the legal fees.

I don't think I left anything out. Hope this helps.
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#4497249 - 08/24/17 07:11 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
If the SPCA does the spay, they will put a small dime size, green X tattoo on the stomach.

The vet should have scanned for the chip first before doing anything else.

The shots the cat will need are:

1. Feline Leukimia vaccine
2. Upper Respiratory vaccine
3. Rabies vaccine

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#4497259 - 08/24/17 07:37 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: Merkava_4]
dlundblad Online   happy


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10045
Loc: Indiana
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
If the SPCA does the spay, they will put a small dime size, green X tattoo on the stomach.

The vet should have scanned for the chip first before doing anything else.

The shots the cat will need are:

1. Feline Leukimia vaccine
2. Upper Respiratory vaccine
3. Rabies vaccine


1. is pretty serious. If a cat so much as shares a bowl of food with an infected cat, it could get it. Feeding the stray outdoors could attract other infected neighborhood strays. That said, if they have it, they could still live 15+ years. On some cats, it can weaken their immune system so the 2. may help. I do not know.
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#4497309 - 08/24/17 08:29 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: Merkava_4]
JustinH Offline


Registered: 04/17/04
Posts: 5181
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
If the SPCA does the spay, they will put a small dime size, green X tattoo on the stomach.

The vet should have scanned for the chip first before doing anything else.

The shots the cat will need are:

1. Feline Leukimia vaccine
2. Upper Respiratory vaccine
3. Rabies vaccine


Our cat from New York has a small tattoo X on her ear. You can see it in the sunlight. She is fixed.

The cat we adopted down here in Texas did not get the X tattoo anywhere on her body.

I believe our vet gives a combination shot for the 3 above. That and a physical examination gets done yearly (or every 2 years).

Our cats are strictly indoors.
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#4497320 - 08/24/17 08:43 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
Silk Offline


Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 4564
Loc: New Zealand
As dlundblad says - you brought in a stray to spay, they wouldn't see any reason to check for a chip. And yeah, a non pregnant stray only happens once a month.
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#4497344 - 08/24/17 09:15 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7479
Loc: S California
In our area, they clip one ear to mark a feral cat. As posted above they should have scanned for a chip before anything else was done.

About your dealings with this vet. I'd say that when something like that happens you'd expect flowers and a dinner, first.

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#4497370 - 08/24/17 09:55 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: JustinH]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: JustinH
I believe our vet gives a combination shot for the 3 above.


They will be separate shots because each vaccine has a different timeline.

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#4497413 - 08/24/17 11:59 PM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8754
Loc: Phoenix
If you take a stray to the vet, wouldn't checking for a chip be the first thing they do?

I wouldn't expect them to check for a chip if you take a cat in and say you've had it since it was a kitten.
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#4497440 - 08/25/17 01:49 AM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
hemitruck Offline


Registered: 03/18/11
Posts: 374
Loc: new jersey
Something doesn't add up. Although it sounds like a rip off, they didn't have to mention the cat was already spayed. Near me, vets discount spaying when a cat is adopted or brought in as a stray. Hopefully you will be able to find the owner with info from the chip.

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#4497530 - 08/25/17 07:47 AM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: Silk]
Bottom_Feeder Offline


Registered: 12/07/08
Posts: 3013
Loc: Occupied Virginia
Originally Posted By: Silk
As dlundblad says - you brought in a stray to spay, they wouldn't see any reason to check for a chip.

Why not? That makes no sense. A stray cat does not mean a feral cat. Friendly strays could be, and probably are pets who got out and lost which means there's a good chance they are chipped. That's the whole point of being chipped in the first place!

There is no logical reason at all for a vet not to check for a chip on a stray when it's brought in. NONE. It takes seconds and costs nothing yet affects pretty much everything the vet can and should do once the chip is read.

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#4497700 - 08/25/17 11:45 AM Re: Need Help with Cat (Issue with Vet) [Re: The Critic]
Drew99GT Offline


Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 22128
Loc: Colorado Springs
This sounds like a communication issue from the get go with the vet; since you've been feeding the cat for months, perhaps that is why they didn't scan it first? Do you plan on keeping it as a pet?

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