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Author Topic: West Los Angeles CA Vet Prescribes Fatal Overdose Of Acepromazine  (Read 13225 times)
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bernynhel
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« on: February 05, 2008, 06:45:52 AM »

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.
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JanC
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 07:21:05 AM »

Bernynhel:

I am so sorry to hear what you went through with Kitty.....how awful......

There must be some place where you can report this vet......there are some very knowledgeable people here at Itchmo & I'm sure one of them will know where you can report him.  The way things are going today, even reporting a regular doctor gets you nowhere fast but I still would feel better writing a letter to a bunch of different places telling them what this vet did to your kitty.  Shameful, busy or not......this was just plain carelessness & your kitty paid for that.

I'm not a vet but if I saw a 93 lb feline, I do believe I would've double checked before I prescribed something.  Huh! Tongue
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catbird
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 01:30:52 PM »

This is very horrible.  I am so, so sorry for what happened to your kitty.
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mainecoonpeg
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 02:15:13 PM »

Bernynhel, I am so very sorry and sad about what happened to your Kitty.    Cry
This is just awful    Angry
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 04:03:25 PM by mainecoonpeg » Logged
Trudy
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 02:46:00 PM »

I am so so sorry that this happened to your kitty. And there is no need for this to happen. Once, when i was working for a vet, a very minor thing happened, and someone  called the BBB on Her. she got a letter from them, and it said if She got anymore complaints that year, she would loose Her license. There also has to be a board that takes complaints about vets. If you can't find one, i'll find out tomorrow.
Also, that much ACE sounds like what My horse was on. A huge amount. They should have known better.
PS- As an afterthought, if you ever need anything like that again, Cats can take benidrill and also dramamine.
I'm so sorry.
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sharky
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 04:06:27 PM »

Unfortunately some drs dont pay close attention it seems this drug causes many deaths ... yet it truely is safe if used properly
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lesliek
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 08:23:27 PM »

I am so sorry this happened to your cat. You should definitely report the vet.I wish I could say I'm surprised that he's still working there, but I'm not.They cover for one another just like mds.
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"the world's most inept extortionist"
JJ
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2008, 10:53:19 PM »

This happened to me with my sheltie Heather some years ago. She went in for a couple of bad teeth to be extracted. When I got her home she seemed more like in a coma than trying to come out of anathezia (phonetic). I called and they assured me she would be fine. She only weighed 14 lbs at time of tooth surgery. I should have sued them up the ying yang for that but I was lucky and she was ok after a couple of days. That's why my current dog will never go to a vet for anything-she's had her set of shots and just like humans - we get vaccinated once with all the stuff and thats for life. Titre tests from here on out. Anyway my vet asked what I would be feeding her and when I informed them all organic they commented "Well we'll never see you in here again." So there is something to be said for healthy eating as you dont need doctors then.
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And nothing but happiness
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carolo
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 08:56:02 PM »

I am so very sorry for you loss and especially sorry for what Kitty had to go thru.  How agonizing for Kitty.  How devastating for you, and especially since the two of you were like room mates, so very close.  It's never easy, but when your one very own is also the other "life" at home and you even work out of your place, I know the empty spot is palpable.

Thank you so much for sharing your story here.  It may make the difference in others' lives and habits.  I used to work for a cardiologist, and this was a very long time ago.  One of my jobs in the office was when a patient was given a new prescription in the office I looked it up in the PDR and not only was I the one who usually handed the prescription to the patient but I also showed them the picture of the drug.  Patient was instructed to let us know if what they received did not look like what they were just shown.

If I have a prescription filled at Walgreen's, they give me a sheet that tells me just about everything I need to know.  Our other drugstores do not tell me what it is to look like.  With all drugstores I get online and check it out if this is a new drug.  I also check dosage.  But you know, I don't remember ever doing this for our Jake.  From now on I'll look up the drug online.  Since the vet hospital dispenses the meds it's not as 'tho I can count on the druggist to perhaps catch an "accidental" overdose.

In addition I wonder if we should post new meds on this forum.  It's not as 'tho we can count on something like a "peer review" here, but there are many onboard w/ experience and also some vet techs.   Due dilligence should still be practiced on my part w/ Jake, and I do not want to imply that we should take even fellow Itchmo Forum members anecdotal stories over our own vet's advice.  OTOH, it surely wouldn't hurt to run new meds or problems past this very helpful group. 

I used to be "in dogs" in a very big way.  That was our Labrador Retriever days.  Also a few Arctic breeds and even livestock guarding dogs.  (and no, I've never been a puppy mill, I'm just OLD so that gives me years of varied experiences, including rescue, which brought about other dogs in addition to our Labs.)  So while very involved I learned alot.  Have forgotten so much of it and besides times have changed and also now I have a totally different dog. 

You just taught me to check before popping any new med in our Jake's mouth.  Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience.
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sharky
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 09:07:48 PM »

Does anyone on here have the PDR for vet meds??
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mainecoonpeg
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 09:11:25 PM »

I have the Plumb Veterinary Drug Handbook 5th addition.
I guess you could call it the Vet PDR
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ranger
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2008, 10:24:08 AM »

File a complaint with the state of California licensing board.  That is gross negligence at the very least and it would show up on their website if anyone took the time to check this vet out. 

I am very sorry for your loss and the suffering your kitty experienced.

Judy


Try here
http://www.vmb.ca.gov/comp-inf.htm     
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 10:29:58 AM by ranger » Logged
kaffe
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2008, 09:36:10 PM »

OMG!  That is just tooo tragic, Bernyhel!  Poor kitty  Cry  Ypu are right 75mg of anytranquilizer is toooo much for a cat, 9 lbs or not!  You should report this incident to the proper authoritative body in your area. 
Before a very very long overseas flight with my cat, I asked the vet for something to keep him quiet but not "out."  I forgot what the medication was but I remember the vet drilling into me to try 1/8 of the tablet on my cat before loading for the airport - a trial run just in case there is a reaction... he lectured me about how these drugs are really very powerful for cats and must not be given "just like that" - his goes for anything that will give a sedative effect.  Oh he spent about half an hour lecturing me but he did agree that something stronger than Rescue Remedy may be in order to keep kitty stress levels down - stress can trigger all sorts of issues.
 We did a "trial run" two days before the flight - my cat was "stoned" but not "out" - he could walk but struggled to jump - he was so whacked with the white innerfolds of his eyes at half-mast.  He loooked so pitiful.  So, the 1/8th tab became 1/16 tab on the day of the flight and cat was A-OK. 

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dingbat
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2008, 07:06:22 PM »

Bernynhel

This is such horrible news. My heart goes out to you.

ACE is one of the drugs that can definitely NOT be used on our breed, it can have some very bad side effects and our vet is told NEVER to use it on any of our dogs.

db
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I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn't weird at all and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird.
mia2
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2008, 07:36:38 AM »

File a complaint with the state of California licensing board.  That is gross negligence at the very least and it would show up on their website if anyone took the time to check this vet out. 

I am very sorry for your loss and the suffering your kitty experienced.

Judy


Try here
http://www.vmb.ca.gov/comp-inf.htm     

I live in S. Calif, and you should file a complaint with the Vet idiot who did this to your pet. I m so sorry for this having to happen to an innocent pet.  Judy is right.  Best wishes, Mia
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