Posted by Lisa (Wickliffe, Ohio/usa) on 02/19/2012
I took my 8 year old cat Stinky, to the vet for slight hair loss around his eye, eye brow, and mouth. We were fostering a cat at the time and she had fleas. We had gotten rid of the fleas but I was concerned that maybe he had caught some sort of skin mite. The vet did a biopsy and found no bacteria or mites of any sort. He said he wasn't sure why it was happening but that it could be a sort of "cat acne" and said he could use cortizone to clear it up. I asked how often it needed to be applied and he said he would just give it to him in a shot form so he didn't ingest it. He said nothing in regards to side effects or risks.
Around the same time we dewormed our cats because of the flea problem. I noticed about a week later that Stinky lost a bit of weight (He was a 12 lb cat and looked like he had lost about 2 lbs). I assumed that it was from deworming them because sometimes the cats get upset stomachs from it. A little while later I heard him fall from the edge near our stairs. He was bull legged so I just figured he slipped. He had been eating well, and his weight loss seemed to have stopped. He stayed that way for about another week when I noticed his fur condition looked poor. I had just quit my job due to my own health issues so I had to try and find money before being able to take him to the vet. I managed to borrow my mom's care credit and made an appoitnment for him. This took a couple of days to happen. By then he looked terrible.
I took him to the vet (a different vet since the first vet's shot didn't clear up anything and seemed like a waste of time), he was well mannered and enjoying the attention. The vet said his one kidney was swollen and did blood work. They told me he was diabetic. I was relieved because he looked like he was in kidney failure. They prescribed insulin and let me take him home that day (they didn't even say they should keep him over night to check his sugar and make sure the insulin worked correctly) I was told to make sure he ate and to give him his insulin twice daily. I was also to give him Sub Q fluids. I had been giving fluids to a cat, and insulin to my boyfriend's dog before so I was okay with the diagnosis.
The next day, Christmas eve, a vet called from the office to tell me the rest of his blood work came back and he was in kidney failure. I was devastated and confused. How did the first vet not feel his kidney was swollen? She also told me that she felt the cortizone shot caused the diabetes and put him into kidney failure. About a week into his treatment he was doing alright until one night he came wobbling into my kitchen and attempted to jump onto my lap. He looked like he was having a stroke. I called the emergency vet to verify that I should give him some honey (the weak neck often a sign of low blood sugar and potassium) and they wouldn't give me any advice except that I needed to bring him in. I took him in and told them I had 300 dollars and to do what they needed to up to that amount. That was my rent. They gave me a $600 estimate and wouldn't be straight up with me on what they felt needed done first. The whole process was a sloppy mess. Finally we got the price down to $300 by not doing blood work on sight (even though they were very rude about my not being able to) and they checked his sugar levels. His sugar was down to 30 even though he had eaten each time I had given him insulin. They also said that the cortizone was probably what caused the diabetes and kidney failure. In the end I spent my last bit of money on the emergency visit over the insulin, and still had to take him back to the vet that prescribed it four hours later. I managed to borrow more money from family and got him to the vet. I told them I was almost out of money and they said there wasn't much they could do. They said they wanted to keep him over night, that his blood work looked terrible and his prognosis wasn't good. I couldn't afford to have them keep him over night so we took him home. I took him off the insulin because they thought that his diabetes may have been in control just from changing his diet. He stayed stable with fluids and food, no insulin for about two weeks. Then he slowly stopped wanting to eat. He started hiding away and even when I tried to force feed him, he couldn't swallow. I gave him fluids and pretty much had him on kitty hospice. It was the worst thing I've ever had to do in my life. There was no fixing his kidney failure and borderline diabetes.
After peeing himself twice and seizure my cat died. All of this, because a vet gave my cat Cortizone over something he called "cat acne. " I loved my cat more than I've cared for most people. My cat was in prime health minus a little hair loss that was still, probably from rubbing scent glands on things. His punishment for being friendly was death by a crappy vet using outdated poorly regulated cortizone. I would love to sue him for malpractice but in the real world, there is little that can be done to stop it. Who knows what things doctors are shooting into our children, family members, and pets, without consequence. :( I had my cat cremated at a different vets office. I didn't want any of the people responsible for his death touching him. He weighed in at only 5lbs.