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Not impressed with our vet


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As we are going back to the UK when we sell our place we have had to get our UK cats passports.

Now I think our vet is used to handling cows, he's really heavy handed, anyway my query

He has said to get a blood test he needs the cats most of the day, having to sedate them because he needs to take a lot of blood, is this normal? he had one of the cats recently due to an abcess and had a bit of a struggle, scratches so im wondering that he would rather sedate them, but I thoiught it was dodgy to sedate cats.

Oh, xhy im not impressed, well apart from being heavy handed, the little one lost vision in one eye whilst being treated (for the eye).


Wadda ya reckon. Is it normal for them to be sedated for a blood test?


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I have had my cat vaccinated against rabies and subsequently tested.

Unfortunately, because of the cat's anatomy, the best place to draw blood for blood tests is from the jugular vein. This is an operation which requires the area to be shaved. Since cats usually take little notice of detailed explanations and are somewhat concerned for their own short-term well-being, several very brave people will be needed to draw blood from a conscious cat.

I don't think that your vet is being heavy handed, just concerned about his own safety.

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Whilst I agree with Clarkkent re the sedation situation - IMHO it does seem more the norm here for most inspections/interventions of any kind - I also think your present vet sounds a little heavy handed.

We have had 3 vets whilst we have been here, purely due to us moving around quite a bit and having (when we came) 4 ageing cats.

The first vet was excellent and did not sedate our male cat when he had to have regular blood tests for his complaint. Very gentle, very up-to-date.

The second sounds just like your vet - rough, well-meaning but we lost a cat he was treating - possibly due to his treatment, or lack of it.

We now have another vet, who is splendid - although we have just lost our eldest cat the vet did everything he could in very difficult circumstances.

I would change your vet - if you can.


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It is quite normal to sedate a cat for the blood test, as if they miss the vein first time they only have one more chance with the other vein and if the cat moves again there is no other way of getting enough blood until the veins have healed.


Dogs are different as it can be taken from other parts of the body. My cat was sedated for his blood test. Although some vets may choose to take a chance and who knows the cat may just be good enough to stand still.


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We have three cats and had a very kind and gentle vet in the UK with whom we had a long history. We needed blood samples for rabies tests for all three before they came out.

For two cats, it went without incident, but for the third cat he needed sedating (and was in a right mess when he came out), and this cat was the vets favorite as he had saved the cat from a nasty infection a few years earlier. We have never seen him so stressed before (the cat that is).

So I wouldn't just assume the fact the vet wants to sedate the cat means the vet is bad, he might just understand the cat a little better ;-)

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Chezshells the amount of blood to be drawn is not as much as your vet is stating for the test. We had our two cats rabies jabbed at the end of last year and then blood tested in England by our English vet in preparation for our move to France. I held my quite large male Bengal whilst the vet inserted a needle into the front of his chest. An assistant stood by in case, but there was no need. The vet was quick, efficient, gentle and obviously though young, knew exactly what she was doing. Not a sound or a wriggle from my big cat. The other cat is a female Bengal; small, lithe, slippery with a smooth coat and easily frightened. The assistant wore gloves and held my cat at the front end and I held the rest of her,(the cat not the assistant!) but without gloves. Again, smooth, quick and efficient. About a syringe-ful from each and gently back in their baskets. Efficient, quick and over and done with.

I might add that the vets practice was one we had used for 16 years with our cats. They were recommended to us, though eight miles away, by another cat-owning friend in our village in GB shortly after we arrived there with two lively Siamese kittens. I took them to the local vets, but was very unhappy at the way they were handled and the comment that they were 'exotics'. This practice mainly dealt with the local farms and stables and had only a limited 'small animals' clientele. The recommended one we changed to, though much further away, proved to be superb through all the joys and inevitable traumas and tragedies we experienced with all our cats and a rabbit. They were treated extremely well, the practice was totally up-to-date and even though there were inevitably a series of young and older vets over the years, they all gave a caring, modern and professional service. We felt totally confident with their care.

On moving to France this year, we have not gone to the local vet that people have said 'Oh they were OK with so and so's dog'. After checking it out the place was smelly, dark, very hot and just a little basic. Instead we have begun to use a vets 20 mins away which is light, modern, air conditioned and sparkling clean everywhere. Our female cat has already had her teeth cleaned there and came home in fine form after the anaesthetic.

This has become really long. Sorry. What I am trying to say is that perhaps a vet who deals mainly with small animals rather than farm animals is better equipped to handle and treat cats. They will do so confidently, have a more intense understanding of your cats health and well-being and will treat them in a way that will reduce the stress to your cats and you.

I do hope that your cats can be blood tested without the need for anaesthesia. Perhaps, like us, a change of vets would make you and your cats more comfortable. If so, you could talk over your worries with them and ask what their procedures are for 'drawing blood'.

Good luck.

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I don’t know about cats specifically. However, you say that you vet knows your cat (as he/she has been treated before and struggles). From what people have said, it is not unusual to sedate a cat for taking a blood sample (not every cat, but seems to depend). To be honest, the thought of sticking a needle in the jugular of an unsedated cat is scarey and I’m not surprised he wants to sedate him/her. Just because some vets in some places have had blood samples taken from their cats without sedation does not mean that the same is right and safest for your cats.

“A lot of blood” is a very relative term and it depends on what you are comparing it with. They do need to take “a lot more” than e.g. a drop (as used for human blood type testing). In practice the word “a lot” is not particularly easy to comment on as it is quite a relative term.

Similarly, it is an unfortunate fact that vets cannot cure every infection/injury/etc. that our pets suffer from (may be due to the increasing ineffectiveness of anti-biotics, infections too advanced, etc.).

In my area, vets do not seem to overlap in their area too much (rural) and whilst I could easily travel to a nearby town for a vet, when I have needed to call the vet out-of-hours for emergencies, they initially (before they got to know who I was) always asked where I lived – i.e. was I really in “their area”. When I got my Pet Passports from another vet and even though at that time my local vets did not yet have any of the paperwork, they were decidedly “put-out” There may be benefits to using a local vet.

I have no idea about how good or bad you vet might be but my own opinion is that what you have indicated does not seem reason to assume he is not up to the task.


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[quote]As we are going back to the UK when we sell our place we have had to get our UK cats passports. Now I think our vet is used to handling cows, he's really heavy handed, anyway my query He has said to...[/quote]

We too tried to obtain blood and as one contributor rightly states it really does need to be taken from the jugular.  Thomas was having none of it and he took pieces out of both the vet and myself!


He was sedated and came back as right as rain.

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Really pleased at the successful outcome to your problem and that most of all you and your cats have come through with a reduced stress level.

You followed your instinct. Glad you and the cats are happy. Well done. It can take courage to vote with your feet, (or paws) !

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