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Kitten Spay Complications

by Desiree
(Spokane, WA)

Reader Question


Hello! Today I took my kitten, Lou Lou to a clinic to get spayed. A 7 month female lynx point Siamese. She was a playful, healthy little cat. I dropped her off at 10am, and got the dreaded call a little before 4pm. It was the assistant director. He initially left a message saying Lou Lou had gone in to cardiac arrest and was having a tough time coming out of the surgery. I called him back and she had already passed. She apparently had a heart attack.

My question is; why did this happen? And do you think she could have been given too much medicine, or wasn't monitored correctly? I feel so terrible for my family and her brother Frenchie who is so used to having company. I ended the call asking the man to give me the night to make decisions as my head was spinning.

Any additional advice on picking a facility to spay/neuter a cat?

Reaction from Dr. Coates, DVM

Hi Desiree,

I am so sorry for your loss! What a tragedy. The only way to determine what might have happened is to have a necropsy (the animal equivalent of an autopsy) performed on Lou Lou and for a veterinarian who was not involved in her case to look over her medical records.

Medical mistakes do happen, but even when everything is done correctly there is the smallest of chances that a patient (animal or human) can die under anesthesia.

When picking a surgical facility, it is important to ask what their typical protocol is for the procedure in question. In my opinion, all cats who are scheduled for a spay should receive a complete physical examination on the day of the surgery, preanesthetic blood work within a week of surgery, have an IV catheter in place and IV fluids running throughout anesthesia, be intubated and maintained on gas anesthesia, and be monitored via pulse oximetry and an electrocardiogram during surgery.

Please take care of yourself during this difficult time.

Regards,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

Comments for Kitten Spay Complications

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Oct 01, 2017
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My cat died in recovery after spay NEW
by: Anonymous

A very thin solid black stray cat with big yellow eyes showed up in our yard in early May. We saw her walking along our tree line looking at our blue birds. I did not pay much attention but was hoping she would not catch one of the birds as they were building a nest in the birdhouse. Later that day my husband heard meowing under a tarp where we kept an old lawnmower. There were 5 kittens about 2 weeks old. The mom was very protective but not faral. My first thought was to help them. I immediately went to the house and opened a can of chicken and took it to mama. One smell and she followed me to our patio and devoured it. While she was eating, we put the kittens in a large box and brought them out of the sun to a shady spot on the patio. I was going to bring them inside but mama was not wanting to come in, so we left her on the patio with her kittens. She was very devoted to the kittens and never left our patio except to go to the bathroom. I continued feeding mama and the kittens when they were old enough and started looking for kitten adoptions. We named the mama Midnight and decided to have her fixed and keep her as an outside cat. It was tough finding homes for the 5 kittens. No kill shelters were full and most wanted me to foster care them until they were adopted which meant driving back and forth every weekend to the pet store. We live in the country almost an hour from a PetsMart and I knew it might take some time to adopt them all so the drive back and forth twice a day was too much. I finally was able to adopt them all out through a church group when they were about 9 weeks old. So I was ready to get Midnight fixed but I noticed her tummy seemed quite swollen and she was in fact pregnant again. I decided to wait on the spay. Kittens were born the end of July. This time she had 8 kittens 4 males and 4 females. All perfect in every way. At about 7 weeks started looking again for no kill Adoption facilities. This time, pets from the Hurricane in Gulf coast and Houston had filled all adoption centers so once again no room. And taking them to the humane society was not an option as they only keep their animals 36 hours even if they are kittens. I finally found a no kill shelter in Dallas to take the kittens and had made an appointment with a spay and neuter clinic in Ft Worth for Midnight. She was such a good girl and such a good mom teaching her kittens to hunt and climb trees. She did not like to be held but would let us pet her and would sometimes sit next to us and put her head in our lap. She would talk to us with her meows and purrs and since we always had dogs before we were amazed at what a good pet she was. The morning of the surgery we dropped her off at 8am, filled out the paperwork, paid the fee, and were told to come back at 4pm to pick her up. At 3pm I missed a call from the vets office with the message to call her back regarding Midnight. I immediately knew something was wrong. On returning the call, the lady said that there were complications. Midnight got thru the anesthesia and surgery just fine but started having problems in recovery. The vet got her back on the table and worked on her for 2 hours but they were unable to save her. She could not give me a reason why she died, apologized, and said it's very rare and that she could have had a blood clot or a stroke or underlying condition that no one knew about. But she had no health issues, had both those pregnancies and kittens with no problems, and could hunt and run like the wind. I was only trying to do the right thing for her. I know it's hard on cats to keep having litter after litter and everything I read said how important and safe it is to have your cats fixed. I will never know what happened to her and why but it's a very sad way to loose a pet.

Oct 01, 2017
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
My cat died in recovery after spay NEW
by: Anonymous

A very thin solid black stray cat with big yellow eyes showed up in our yard in early May. We saw her walking along our tree line looking at our blue birds. I did not pay much attention but was hoping she would not catch one of the birds as they were building a nest in the birdhouse. Later that day my husband heard meowing under a tarp where we kept an old lawnmower. There were 5 kittens about 2 weeks old. The mom was very protective but not faral. My first thought was to help them. I immediately went to the house and opened a can of chicken and took it to mama. One smell and she followed me to our patio and devoured it. While she was eating, we put the kittens in a large box and brought them out of the sun to a shady spot on the patio. I was going to bring them inside but mama was not wanting to come in, so we left her on the patio with her kittens. She was very devoted to the kittens and never left our patio except to go to the bathroom. I continued feeding mama and the kittens when they were old enough and started looking for kitten adoptions. We named the mama Midnight and decided to have her fixed and keep her as an outside cat. It was tough finding homes for the 5 kittens. No kill shelters were full and most wanted me to foster care them until they were adopted which meant driving back and forth every weekend to the pet store. We live in the country almost an hour from a PetsMart and I knew it might take some time to adopt them all so the drive back and forth twice a day was too much. I finally was able to adopt them all out through a church group when they were about 9 weeks old. So I was ready to get Midnight fixed but I noticed her tummy seemed quite swollen and she was in fact pregnant again. I decided to wait on the spay. Kittens were born the end of July. This time she had 8 kittens 4 males and 4 females. All perfect in every way. At about 7 weeks started looking again for no kill Adoption facilities. This time, pets from the Hurricane in Gulf coast and Houston had filled all adoption centers so once again no room. And taking them to the humane society was not an option as they only keep their animals 36 hours even if they are kittens. I finally found a no kill shelter in Dallas to take the kittens and had made an appointment with a spay and neuter clinic in Ft Worth for Midnight. She was such a good girl and such a good mom teaching her kittens to hunt and climb trees. She did not like to be held but would let us pet her and would sometimes sit next to us and put her head in our lap. She would talk to us with her meows and purrs and since we always had dogs before we were amazed at what a good pet she was. The morning of the surgery we dropped her off at 8am, filled out the paperwork, paid the fee, and were told to come back at 4pm to pick her up. At 3pm I missed a call from the vets office with the message to call her back regarding Midnight. I immediately knew something was wrong. On returning the call, the lady said that there were complications. Midnight got thru the anesthesia and surgery just fine but started having problems in recovery. The vet got her back on the table and worked on her for 2 hours but they were unable to save her. She could not give me a reason why she died, apologized, and said it's very rare and that she could have had a blood clot or a stroke or underlying condition that no one knew about. But she had no health issues, had both those pregnancies and kittens with no problems, and could hunt and run like the wind. I was only trying to do the right thing for her. I know it's hard on cats to keep having litter after litter and everything I read said how important and safe it is to have your cats fixed. I will never know what happened to her and why but it's a very sad way to loose a pet.

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