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A Vent about Message Boards

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  • A Vent about Message Boards

    Everyone here on COTH seems to be wonderful, opinionated and helpful. I just need to use this anecdote to remind people that as wonderful as a BB can be, its not the same as getting veterinary care.

    "Kitty" has been vomiting once a day for a few weeks and licking at its fur. Owners ask on a BB what could be causing it. The majority of the responses were food allergies.

    Owners read all the wonderful stories about grain free diets for cats, and that it made "Sally's" cat stop vomiting and the haircoat was great.

    Owner took cat to the vet, with their mind made up that they wanted to try grain free. Vet couldnt feel anything on palpation, but recommended radiographs and bloodwork as a first step. Owners discussed their wishes with the vet, who said to give it a try, and if it doesnt get better to come back in.

    For another week on the grain-free food, the kitty continued to vomit. Back to the BB- try raw food. Heard all the excellent outcomes of cats that transitioned to raw food and their ailments disappeared.

    Back to the vet as kitty has lost a significant amount of weight. Vet again recommends full workup. Owners ask if it could be food allergies, and vet didnt say no, but was trying to persuade them to do blood/radiographs as a first step. Cat wasnt clinically dehydrated, still eating just vomiting and weight loss. Owners felt the vet was "stiffing" them and just wanted medication for allergies. Vet did not give them anything. Back to the BB.

    BB members suggested giving raw food more time. To try beef or pork instead of chicken, because a lot of cats have chicken allergies.

    3 months later the cat is 6 pounds. Owners go back to vet, vet feels firm mass in the cranial abdomen. Refers for ultrasound.

    Result, the ENTIRE stomach is a hard mass, maybe 1/8 of the stomach wall is normal. Owners feel extremely guilty knowing that surgery may have been an option 3 months ago when the mass was small and non-palpable. Owners very much love the cat, and want to do anything they can to save it. They tell us the story of how they were convinced it was just food allergies...they seriously thought that if it was something serious the cat would stop eating, and become dehydrated.

    They want to know "what" it is, to see if it will be responsive to chemo since its far past the point of surgery. Biopsy mass and it comes back as an adenocarcinoma. In the stomach, the best paliative treatment is to remove affected area. We can do that with 50% of the stomach affected, but no more.

    The owners are extremely nice, and love their cat to pieces. But the information they received they just took too seriously. This was not supposed to be a "grain free or raw will cure all", but a reminder as to if your animal DOES have a problem, give a different food a chance but dont ignore veterinary advice.

    We just put this kitty to sleep yesterday. He was only 6.

  • #2
    Sounds like more of an "if you're that stupid, you shouldn't have animals" story than a "BBs are dangerous" story.

    Tragic, but seriously, why even go to the vet if you're not going to do anything they suggest? If you think advice from BB land is more valuable than your vet's, you either need a new vet or a smack in the back of the head.
    Last edited by SaturdayNightLive; Nov. 20, 2011, 11:56 AM.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
      Sounds like more of an "if you're that stupid, you shouldn't have animals" story than a "BBs are dangerous" story.

      Tragic, but seriously, why even go to the vet if you're not going to do anything they suggest? If you think advice from BB land is more valuable than your vet's, than you either need a new vet or a smack in the back of the head.
      Totally agree with this. Common sense should automatically tell the normal person that a BB does not have a medical degree. Fault lies with the owner, not the BB.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
        Totally agree with this. Common sense should automatically tell the normal person that a BB does not have a medical degree. Fault lies with the owner, not the BB.
        I think that tale ought to give everyone pause, because you don't know who is receiving the information that is out there on BBs and how they will use it.

        I see that when some posters don't want to hear any other than what they want to believe and go off on those that present other.

        Sure, lets all give our side of the stories, but be sure others get to be heard and respected also.
        The internet seems to weigh in too much on testimonials and alternative medicine, not so much on sound science and common sense.
        COTH thankfully is a bit more balanced than other places.

        Lets all learn from that one sad story.

        Comment


        • #5
          A cat vomiting once a day for 3 months? And they didn't go to the vet? Owners may be nice, but they aren't very bright.

          Times are very tough, and many people struggle with vet bills, unexpected and routine. But that doesn't sound like the case. Sounds like they were kinda dumb and kinda cheap.

          Rant understood. Putting down a young animal sucks. So sorry for you, poor kitty, and clueless owners. The 'net is here to stay. Thank Godot, so are vets. It's up to us, the pet owners, to do the right thing and make the call.

          Comment


          • #6
            Squish, I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for the kitty who lost it's life, I'm sorry for the owners and I'm sorry for you...the vet (or if you aren't the vet, whoever it is).

            As an partial antidote to the "listen to the BB over the vet", yesterday I called my vet for an appointment for the last intact bitch here. She came out of heat 4 weeks ago and has been reluctant to eat, reluctant to go up and down stairs and seems to be brewing for a fight with the other dogs. I was worried about a pyo and so called. I thought we would get an appt for the beginning of the week, but he extended his hours for me and took her in yesterday. He did rads (doesn't have ultrasound yet), pulled bloodwork and did an exam. WAY after the clinic closed he called with the results and told us she was ready for pick up. He did not see any distention of the uterus (thank God), but there was some discomfort around her shoulder area when palpated and we're doing a whole chem panel.....in house for liver and ? were good. She came home with antibiotics and Novox.

            I love my vet, he takes very good care of my money and he treats me like gold.

            The bill yesterday was expensive for me, but you know what? Both the dog AND the vet were worth the expense. I'm lucky to have such a decent person doing such a hard job in my area.

            God speed Kitty....I hope you weren't painful as well as young.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think that info learned from other animal owners can be a great starting point for a discussion with your vet. Most vets I've worked with for all of my animals are happy to have an open dialogue with you about things you have read/seen/learned online or from others IRL. A medical degree doesn't mean that every vet (or people doctor) knows everything there is to know about every malady in the world. But it needs to be an open discussion on both ends, and for that to happen, there needs to be an accurate diagnosis first, IMO.

              Anyone who would blindly believe the info given on either side is very short-sighted.

              I'm going through this now. My cat was just diagnosed with diabetes. My vet prescribed a food for that, but I've been researching as well, and much of what I've found suggests that feeding a grain-free, low-carb diet works better in helping to control the disease. I will be calling my vet first thing in the morning to discuss this, because the insulin dosage I was given is for the RX food, which is different. Had I not done the research online (and a lot of the info I've found is from other vets), I would A) not have known that there may be a better alternative out there, and B) may have overdosed him with insulin based on different information, which can be fatal.

              IMO, the owner needs to have open communication with the vet first and foremost, but researching on your own, getting advice from others, and then taking that advice and information back to the vet for an open discussion. Not doing either part of that can be a disservice to the pet.

              RIP little kitty.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                Owners felt the vet was "stiffing" them and just wanted medication for allergies.
                A vet who wants to do bloodwork to find out more about what's going on or to confirm what he/she might already suspect is "stiffing" them? They should've known going in that some kind of testing beyond palpation would be called for under the circumstances. The vet is supposed to make a diagnosis about an internal problem entirely by external observation?

                Agree with others that these people are too stupid to have animals at this point.
                Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sounds like the owners didn't like the answer the vet was giving them (something could be wrong here, we need some diagnostics) and found an answer they liked better online.

                  Doubt that would have been any different 20 years ago, before message boards or newsgroups. They would have just found another vet that gave them answers they liked better. Outcome would have been the same.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
                    Sounds like more of an "if you're that stupid, you shouldn't have animals" story than a "BBs are dangerous" story.

                    Tragic, but seriously, why even go to the vet if you're not going to do anything they suggest? If you think advice from BB land is more valuable than your vet's, you either need a new vet or a smack in the back of the head.
                    I totally agree. People this stupid should not be allowed to have animals. Or children for that matter. Not the BB's fault. You can't fix stupid.
                    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      With people like that, they would have kept looking until they found an answer they wanted to hear. If it hadn't been on a message board, it would have been from another website, friends, or the crazy cat lady down the street. It sounds like they had made up their minds about the vet trying to "stiff" them and there was no convincing them otherwise.


                      RIP kitty.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        While I agree that the owners were idiots, I also don't want to let the food nazis off the hook. What is with the "you must feed how I do" brigade? If you want to blame the owners, that's fine, but since they very likely told their BB buds all about the vet visit, the dimwits online who glossed over that aspect of the health issue and went on blaring about how grain-free will resurrect the dead and turn day into night are also to blame. Sad story.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bloodwork isn't all that expensive to do ... and neither is an xray or 2.

                          I guess they felt they were doing 'good' by taking kitty to the vet, even though they weren't letting the vet do anything diagnostic ?

                          Poor kitty. :-(

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            3DP, I have vet envy. What a great guy! My vet of 25 yrs. is a great diagnostician, and she's great at....actually, she's rather horrid in every other dept. You are truly lucky....hope your girl is doing better.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              The owners werent stupid people, just completely ignorant. The vet (who refers quite a lot to us) is a good vet, and did suggest diagnostics. The cat (in the first 2 months) was not dehydrated, still eating and acting normal. He would vomit after eating (not entire meal). The owners did their own research (which is fine), but chose to follow their own research and got hooked on the fact that "it must be food allergies" instead of trusting the vet and allowing the vet to suggest what else it may be. Unfortunatley, vomiting cats can be one of 1000000 things and the owners just didnt want to spend money on useless tests (because people on the message board were telling them that changing the food will make kitty better!)

                              You really need a good relationship with your vet. Talk to them about your concerns, yet listen to them and let them explain "WHY" they are suggesting various foods/diagnostics etc. Most good vets will not push something on you, and most good vets will listen to client concerns and work with them while keeping the animals health top priority.

                              I do feel bad for the owners, and for the kitty (who thankfully didnt appear to be in too much pain) and for their two little girls who came to the appointment with the cat. They were absolutley the nicest family, unfortunatley just ignorant to the severity of their cats problem.

                              This story wasnt to fear people from taking suggestions from a message board, especially COTH with so many helpful and educated people. This was mearly a push to followup concerns with a vet you trust.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Roxyllsk View Post
                                Bloodwork isn't all that expensive to do ... and neither is an xray or 2.

                                I guess they felt they were doing 'good' by taking kitty to the vet, even though they weren't letting the vet do anything diagnostic ?

                                Poor kitty. :-(
                                The rads and bloodwork on my girl yesterday came to nearly $150. But let me say again, it was worth it and I don't mind spending the money. Both the vet and the dog are worth it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                                  The owners werent stupid people, just completely ignorant. The vet (who refers quite a lot to us) is a good vet, and did suggest diagnostics. The cat (in the first 2 months) was not dehydrated, still eating and acting normal. He would vomit after eating (not entire meal). The owners did their own research (which is fine), but chose to follow their own research and got hooked on the fact that "it must be food allergies" instead of trusting the vet and allowing the vet to suggest what else it may be. Unfortunatley, vomiting cats can be one of 1000000 things and the owners just didnt want to spend money on useless tests (because people on the message board were telling them that changing the food will make kitty better!)

                                  You really need a good relationship with your vet. Talk to them about your concerns, yet listen to them and let them explain "WHY" they are suggesting various foods/diagnostics etc. Most good vets will not push something on you, and most good vets will listen to client concerns and work with them while keeping the animals health top priority.

                                  I do feel bad for the owners, and for the kitty (who thankfully didnt appear to be in too much pain) and for their two little girls who came to the appointment with the cat. They were absolutley the nicest family, unfortunatley just ignorant to the severity of their cats problem.

                                  This story wasnt to fear people from taking suggestions from a message board, especially COTH with so many helpful and educated people. This was mearly a push to followup concerns with a vet you trust.
                                  We nearly had an eruption in my house when DD read the first post. Her statement/question was ....if they weren't going to follow the professionals advice, why did they bother going?!

                                  DD doesn't have the money needed for the vet visit yesterday. But we have an installment plan at our house and she's going to pay me back. The point being....even though she's working for minimum wage, she takes responsibility for her dog and finds a way to get her to a vet when needed. She was furious that these people didn't do the same for their kitty.

                                  Squish I know what you were getting at, and I agree totally. I blame the owners for the end result but if they had not had access to BB's, they might have been more likely to listen to their vet. Sometimes more information is detrimental rather than helpful.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                                    While I agree that the owners were idiots, I also don't want to let the food nazis off the hook. What is with the "you must feed how I do" brigade? If you want to blame the owners, that's fine, but since they very likely told their BB buds all about the vet visit, the dimwits online who glossed over that aspect of the health issue and went on blaring about how grain-free will resurrect the dead and turn day into night are also to blame. Sad story.
                                    Oh please. Improving the diet is always a good idea but not even the most hardcore grain-free or raw believer is going to think it replaces vet care.

                                    The cat owner barely tried to find out what was wrong (I'm wondering why they took the cat to the vet at all if they weren't willing to get to the root of the problem) and it's doubtful they shared all the details with whatever BB(s) they were frequenting to find cheap and easy answers. It's also doubtful that anyone who's thought beyond feeding Meow Mix would hear about months of vomiting and weight loss on a variety of foods and continue on the allergy/intolerance path. A random person might and it's more likely that the cat owner hopped around and started anew at each place without providing the full background. "My cat vomits and the vet can't tell me why" is pretty generic and like dangling a carrot in front of some of us. It's the corn/by-products/recycled tire bits that are causing it. Try this instead and the problem will clear right up!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      There is no substitute for a vet in medical situations..To go to a BB for advice and discount what your vet is saying is not very smart as these people found out...Especially advice that always goes to its the food, which most times it really is not. The current trend is food is always the problem..it is simply not true..people are too easily led, and no longer are taught critical thinking skills..they spend to much time on BB's searching for a magic bullet instead of consulting a professional that has the education, experience and obligation to give the proper answer...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by tradewind View Post
                                        There is no substitute for a vet in medical situations..To go to a BB for advice and discount what your vet is saying is not very smart as these people found out...Especially advice that always goes to its the food, which most times it really is not. The current trend is food is always the problem..it is simply not true..people are too easily led, and no longer are taught critical thinking skills..they spend to much time on BB's searching for a magic bullet instead of consulting a professional that has the education, experience and obligation to give the proper answer...
                                        Did you have to be so reasonable?

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