Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sterilisations - get them done properly

Disturbing - someone emailed to say that they had a cat that had been sterilised by a visiting vet from another country who came in at the request of an acquaintance. The cat was not sterilised properly and subsequently gave birth. It has since died of an infection that may or may not have had anything to do with the blotched surgery.

She said she had to pay $40 for the surgery. She didn't mention where it was done. Please do be careful if someone offers to do a surgery for you somewhere because there is someone who can do it cheaply. Every vet practising here must have a license - in fact that's why we've had so much trouble getting vets in to do high volume spay neuter because of the licensing restrictions. Even getting a demonstration done proved to be very difficult. However, if there IS a problem, you can get the AVA to look into it, whereas if you get some vet who is doing the sterilisations under the table so to speak, you can't do anything if the cat bleeds out. You also want to make sure it's done in sterile conditions - infections can kill a cat. IF something does go wrong during the surgery, you also want to make sure that the cat has proper medical equipment.

This is not in any way to run down foreign vets, many of whom are fantastic. However, it's to basically say we should all be careful. These are the questions you should be asking :-

1. Where is the surgery done - if it's not done in a proper vet clinic or with proper equipment be very wary;
2. Whom the vet is and whether they're licensed;
3. What is the protocol should something go wrong - ie where do you bring the cat to? Sometimes things do go wrong despite everything - you want to know where you ought to be bringing the cat to in that case; and
4. What the post operative care procedures are. Ask the vet or vet assistant or person who is admitting or releasing the cat if you're not sure.

It's not worth risking the cat's life for a cheap operation done under shoddy conditions.


Blogger Jesse said...

I chanced upon your blog rather accidentally. I've read quite a number of the postings here. They're highly informative. Lovely. Regarding the latest posting, I'd say that since a cat is a living being, it's incumbent upon the people to treat it as such. Properly-trained, and licensed vets are a must. If the cat's perceived as a valued being, nobody would be gullible enough so as to solicit an unlicensed vet to carry out a surgery on it. Therefore, hopefully, common sense will prevail. Keep up the good work. You've just got yourself a new avid visitor to your blog. :D

PS: On another completely different matter, I was wondering if you might be able to post Glenda Chong's picture (s) on your blog? The one where she appeared on Dare's magazine's front cover. I couldn't get my hands on the magazine earlier on. Thanks....

22/9/05 3:20 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I dont' think a person who willingly spend her or his time caring for the community cats would want to bring harm upon them.
There are many obstacles in carrying out the TnR&M without much support other than subsidized rates. He or she has to grabble with transport. Some taxi's will not stop for a person with a carrier. Booking a taxi adds to the cost.
Some vets do not allow cats to be lodged prior or post sterilisation. So by hook by crook, he or she has to trap the cat way before the clinic closes. Then he or she has to find a place to lodge the cat, short of which, is to release the cat back on the day of retrieval.
Sometimes when offers of "cheaper" sterilisation, it can be "perceived" as "heaven sent". Not everyone has the degree of suspciousness that some of us have and find out if the vets are licenced or not.

Hopefully the day will come when the Government supports TnR and provides all the necessary framework for sterilisation.

22/9/05 8:44 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I agree Vegancat - didn't mean to imply the caregivers were being mean spirited, just that they may be very trusting. I'm sure we've all heard stories of trusting people who've been cheated out of money or almost cheated out of money because they wanted to protect the cats or get them adopted out. That's why I hoped that by posting this, someone may think twice about sending the cat to a vet that isn't licensed.

Thanks Jesse - drop me an email about the cover?

22/9/05 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Liyana said...

Hi Dawn,

It would be helpful if you could put up a list of cheap and reliable vets on the CWS bulletin board. As what Vegancat mentioned, many caregivers have to grapple with lots of obstacles to have them sterilised and having subsidised rates sure helps to reduce the strain.

22/9/05 8:15 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The problem Liyana is what is cheap and reliable? We have some people who LOVE one vet, but hate another, and others who love the vet the first lot hate, but hate the one they love.

23/9/05 12:46 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I think the vet standards in Singapore vary a lot.
I wonder how some vet clinics can ever pass any inspection.
What is the governance of vet clinics here? Under the jurisdiction of AVA or the vet association.
A audit on the vet clinics can also assure standard.
In some countries like Australia, medical institutions are publicly "shamed" on the media, such as the internet, when they failed the mininum standards of care.
Can this be applied here to our medical insitutions, including the vet clinics so that one click on the mouse key and we know who are the bad ones to avoid.

23/9/05 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Liyana said...

There are standard prices for sterilisation and I met quite a number of cat owners who are quite hesitant to sterilise their cats due to the high cost. Putting 'love and hate' vets aside, how about listing those with lower mortality rates and slightly cheaper rates?

23/9/05 6:11 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Vegancat, AVA is the one that governs it. SVA is a mandatory association - a lot of vets aren't even members.

Liyana - the vets would prefer the rates not be put online for everyone. It does make it difficult for them. Otherwise everyone will start asking them why THEY can't get the rates instead of going through us, which we have been told is very problematic for them.

23/9/05 11:01 PM  

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