To reader: Although I originally wrote this a month ago, I have been unable to post it as much as I'd have liked. Just didn't want to deal with it. I hope that this post will help to save the lives of some very belloved pets. - bernynhel 02-05-2008
Kitty Just Needed Something for the Ride To My Mother's in Palm Desert from L.A. - Died Horribly From Overdose Prescribed by GREGORY J. METTEN, DVM of OVERLAND VETERINARY CLINIC,
I live around the corner and Dr Schwartz helped Kitty with his fleas soon after I rescued him from abandonment after I had seen him around my apartment building and spoke to some of my neighbors who were feeding him in the lobby. So after the first trip in a pet carrier and in a car to my mother's in Palm Desert, 2 1/2 hrs away, with all his yowling, my heart went out to him and I wanted to take some of the edge off his anxiety - which seemed severe. He loved it at Mom's! Just the ride out was like torture! I thought Kitty would like a little kitty tranquilizer to ease his worried mind.
On Monday, Dec 29 I called and spoke to Alma the receptionist and yes, they had Kitty's chart and could prescribe some Acepromazine, come on in! For $36 I picked up 12, 25 mg tablets of Acepromazine prescribed by Gregory J Metten, DVM and on the bottle it had (and still has - I kept it) Kitty's and my name, the name of the pills - Acepromazine, 25 mg and 'take 2-3 tablets every 12 hours as needed.'
Three and a half hours later I telephoned OVC because I was concerned that Kitty seemed as drugged as those lions and tigers they shoot with tranquilizer darts for treatment in the wild. I thought this an extreme reaction for what I thought would be like my doctor prescribing for me a mild, anti-anxiety drug. Alma said she'd given the message to the vet. No one returned my call. I called again and OVC was closed so I called the ER number that was referred to me by their automated, after hours telephone system. I described Kitty's reaction, his weight and the dosage. I was told that "since they did not have my cat's chart that they could not say whether or not he was having a bad reaction or not." I adamantly insisted that the party on the line get another opinion. That party returned and suggested that I rush Kitty to ER. Now 6 hours after personally forcing 75 mgs of Acepromazine on Kitty I was rushing him, fighting for his life, to the Animal Emergency Clinic of the Desert. Kitty was terrified. He had broken off nearly all of his claws thrashing in spasms in the pet carrier in the 5 minute ride there. He was walleyed, his mouth hung open and, though he tried to move, could not sit up or gain control of his limbs.
By the time he got admitted and stabilized in ICU he was comatose. Even the receptionist and the kid who cleaned out the cages at the emergency clinic new that 75 Mg of Acepromazine was far too much for a 9 lb cat! Kitty suffered horribly and died in ICU of cardiac arrest less that 24 hours later at 3 pm, Tuesday, December 30.
I am heartbroken, no, devastated. I work at home, am a bachelor and me and this cat were 'like this', you know? I could tell by where he sat in the living room, staring quietly at me 'til I happened to look up and notice him, whether he wanted something 'good' to eat (besides the dry food he eats regularly), wanted to play with one of the custom flying feather thingys I customized for him from the 'dumb' ones in pet stores or just wanted to be invited onto my lap.
When the vet, Gregory J. Metten, DVM,. who, by the way would be in BIG, BIG TROUBLE right now if he treated humans, phoned to apologize, he explained the he was busy when he was handed the chart and 'saw 93 and mistakenly thought it was Kitty's weight'- for which 75 Mg of Acepromazine would've been about right. 93 had been Kitty's temperature in July of 2007 when he was treated for anemia. 'Big cat', I replied and hung up, distraught and disgusted - Kitty had died only an hour earlier. Needlessly, through gross neglect and incompetence.
HOW DOES A VET LOOK AT A CHART AND NOT KNOW HE IS LOOKING AT THE CHART OF A PATIENT WHO IS A CAT, 4 YEARS OLD AND 9 LBS WITH A HEART MURMUR AND NOT A 93 LB PIT BULL SO THAT HE DOES NOT PRESCRIBE A FATAL DOSAGE OF ACEPROMAZINE? Never mind that I named him 'KITTY' and not 'FIDO.' How about: Goldenrod charts for cats, periwinkle charts for dogs? For a start. But I'm no vet. Just a grieving cat lover.
P.S. Dr Louis A. Schwartz, DVM, OVERLAND VETERINARY CLINIC 3465 Overland Ave Los Angeles, CA 90034 was Kitty's actual doctor and the owner ofOverland Veterinary Clinic, who's employees HAD to have given him a heads up on this, as of this writing, Jan 1, 2008, has yet to phone. Happy New Year!
P.P.S. Jan 30, 2008 Dr. Schwatrz reimbursed me for the ER bills without pause. Was livid at the blundering of his employee, Metten. He showed me Kitty's chart that Metten reviewed for the purpose of prescribing the Acepromizine. It was a single sheet. Kitty's name listed prominently as well as the word "feline" several times, front and back. In addition, the most prominent entry on the chart was the record of Kitty's leukemia/aids test which, Dr Schwartz informed me, is unique to cats. In spite of all the above, I am sorry to say that I stopped by Overland Veterinary Clinic two days ago and learned that Metten is still on staff there.