Cat anesthesia

jenna1October 19, 2009

First, to give some background. Last year we took in a 4-6 mo. old kitten from the street. He was from a litter of a wild cat. We waited for about a month for him to get used to us, our dog and our other cat. Then we took him to the vet to be fixed and start his shots.

When my husband brought him home later that day he went absolutely crazy in the carrier, in the car, as he was starting to come out of the anesthesia. He actually busted the top off the top just as my husband was pulling the car into the garage. He got the cat into the house then all h*ll broke loose. He literally kept trying to throw himself at walls and glass sliding doors. We managed to get our dog and other cat outside for their safety. The kitten got even worse. We couldn't find him for a few minutes then heard glass breaking in the kitchen. He had gotten up onto the ledge above the kitchen sink and was throwing himself against the window, meanwhile kicking and knocking glass stuff off the ledge. I grabbed him and he not only scratched me but bit me three times. Not ever been bit by a cat and honestly not aware at the time of the infection it could cause, I didn't think anything of it at the time as we were trying to round the cat up and put him somewhere safe. I didn't wash the bites for at least another hour and ended up in the hospital several days later as the infection spread so fast.

He spent the next 24 hours under our bed and my husband, dog and other cat slept in the guest bedroom that night. We spoke with the vet's office several times during all this and were told that some cats react to the anesthesia and it can cause severe hullicinations. I've never seen a crazy cat before and this was our first experience and an extremely frightening thing to go through and to watch him go through as well. Needless to say, we were a little ticked that they didn't warn us that there was a possbility of a reaction like this.

About a week or so later (sorry, can't remember how long) we took him in for his second shot. That was another bad experience as they had let him out of the carrier and we could literaly hear him bounching off the door and walls trying to get away. To this day he won't go near the carrier and we've tried to coax him in over the past months.

Trying to be proactive I asked the vet a couple months ago if there was a cat tranquilizer because in December he's due for his next shots and we're not looking forward to it. We were told that there is no cat tranquilizer that could be given him because of his reaction to the anesthesia.

I know that there are dog tranqs so it doesn't sound right. I know I'm not an expert on things like this but wanted to ask if anyone knew of any cat tranquilizers that doesn't act like the anesthesia or a substitute that can help calm him down through a simple 5 minutes visit to the vet.

BTW, the anesthesia he was given was Telazoo (I believe that's the correct spelling) if that would help.

Sorry this is so long..............

Jenna

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sduck2

Holey Moley, he must have been scared to death! I don't think many cats like carriers and traveling but I think you have the 1% that can't travel at all. Some vet's or a vet technition might be able to travel to your house, expecially since it's only for annual shots with no other problems.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 4:11PM
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newhomeseeker

Your poor little guy. That was a really bad reaction! Last year my female kitten had a bad reaction after she was spayed. When I went to pick her up she was still drugged and I was paying the bill and I bent down to her cage and put my fingers through the front and spoke to her and she flipped out. She SCREAMED and threw herself against the cage so hard it fell over. Two vet techs came running out into the waiting room because they thought a dog had gotten a hold of a cat and was killing it. THat is how terrible her screaming sounded. I have never heard a cat make that noise. They told me she was probably having a bad reaction to the anethesia. I took her home and when I carried her to the house she was snarling like a dog and screaming and throwing herself all over her cage. It was as though I had a rabid animal in that carrier. I was terrified by this time because this was my normally sweet kitty and I thought she was in pain. I let her out of the cage in the bedroom and she ran out and then fell over (still drugged) and ran into walls and the door and if I'd get near her she'd scream. It scared my other three cats so bad that they hid (they were not in the same room).

I tried to get her to lay down or something and she just kept running around the room blindly and smacking into things. (not as violently as your cat though) About an hour later she jumped up on the bed beside me and started sucking on her blanket (she has this habit) and cuddled against me and started purring like nothing was wrong.

As far as something to calm your cat- my vet gave me bneuphrine (not spelled correctly) for my kitten when I took her on vacation. It is a pain killer but has a calming effect. You have to give it to them about an hour in advance. It didn't do much for my cat except she sat there the whole time looking like she was stoned. But she was definitely calmer and didn't cry throughout the trip. I don't know if that is an option for your cat or not.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 9:59AM
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jenna1

Thank you both!

Yes, it was probably the most frightening experience I've ever seen, other than several years ago driving behind my husband when he was on his motorcycle and watching a car run a red light and hit him.

Because I was hospitalized with the cat bites the hospital had to report it to the county. Animal Control came out twice to check on the cat to make sure that it wasn't rabid or a danger to others. Altho they didn't see the cat either time (he hides from from strangers) after I explained to them it wasn't his fault they accepted that. We certainly didn't blame him. During one of their visits one of the guys mentioned about mobile vets and actually gave me a list of some to call. Unfortunately, due to county budget cuts and few people using those services they're no longer in business. I checked several months ago, again trying to plan for his upcoming shots.

Newhomeseeker, I wrote down the name you gave me and am going to call our vet today. We'll do anything to make this easier for him (and us as well).

Sduck, I think you're right about him not being a traveler. Our other cat absolutely loves to be in his carrier, in the car, as long as our dog is right next to her. They're best buddies anyway so I'm sure that has alot to do with it.

Anyway, thank you both again for your responses.

Jenna

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 2:17PM
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carmen_grower_2007

I am amazed that after that first incident, the vet didn't advise you to buy the shots (at Farm & Fleet or on-line) and administer the shots yourself instead of putting the cat through another trip!

Our animals get their one year and thereafter three-year rabies vac. at the vet and for the puppy and kitten shots, we take care of it. Huge savings in time and $$ and especially for the cats, the trauma.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 3:03PM
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jenna1

You know, Carmen, I think that was something that the vet and my husband discussed not too long after the first incident. But we kennel our 'kids' when we go on vacation and the kennel advised us that they had to have a vet certification of both updated rabies and feline leukemia (think that's the one), which we wouldn't be able to provide if we did it ourselves. Altho our vet didn't mention anything online she did tell him about an animal feed store in our area that does have various vaccines, but I never did check into it further.

Newhomeseeker, I did call our vet's office this morning and I'm going in the morning to pick up something that will hopefully help. She recommended two different drugs, one a sedative and the other a pain killer, altho it's not the one that you mentioned. This actually had me somewhat confused as prior to today, her office had told me that there wasn't anything that they could recommend. I'm guessing that my mention of a pain killer had them thinking. We're going to try him out on a reduced dose to see how he handles it.

Hopefully this works cuz we've seriously considered not having him get his next shots due to his reactions. We've even gone as far as having a neighbor come in and take care of him (feeding and cleaning his box) several times a day while we were on our last vacation. Our other cat and dog were at the kennel (where they get spoiled rotten).

Thanx again all!

Jenna

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 2:27AM
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Meghane

If all they used for his neuter was telazol then there are definitely options for sedation for vet visits. Telazol is a combination of drugs similar to ketamine (street name: Special K) and diazepam (brand name: Valium). Ketamine is probably the culprit for your cat's spastic behavior.

Acepromazine is a completely different class of sedative from both ketamine and diazepam. You may want to ask for it by name but try it a day other than for his vet visit. Some cats get just as trippy on acepromazine as they do on ketamine, in which case it wouldn't do your cat any good. Test him on a non-vet day and see how it affects him.

Another option is to have an IM shot of dexdomitor and butorphanol ready and waiting for your kitty as soon as he enters the building. Dexdomitor is a great reversible sedative and butorphanol is excellent for sedation and pain control. I'd IM the cat upon arrival, let him sit in a dark quite room in his carrier for 15 minutes, then do my exam and have everything done including your check out at the reception desk. Once you are done, reverse the dexdomitor and have you leave immediately. The butorphanol will wear off slowly and not lead to wild hallucinations.

BTW, I just had a canine patient who has a history of seizures upon entering the vet hospital, and at no other time. She freaked out about 2 minutes upon entering the hospital and sure as heck had a grand mal seizure. You never know how an individual patient is going to respond to a vet hospital.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 9:56PM
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sue36

I have never heard of a cat being sent home until it had safely come out of the anesthesia. I would be curious to know that Meghane thinks of that. Personally, I would find a different vet.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 10:07PM
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