Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Friday, February 18, 2011

Something Vets Hate

...well, ok there is probably more than ONE thing but this is a big one (for me anyhow): Not having all the answers.  

Something this week prompted me to bring this up. I work at a variety of locations as a relief vet so I don't always know how things turn out with a particular case.

I found out this week that a sweet cat owned by some very nice folks passed away the day after I saw him.  The upsetting thing was that he came in for something NOT serious and even in the worst cases of this condition, they don't die from it.
He got some treatment and was sent home. Now this happened several weeks ago.  At this point, other than guessing based on what the owner's observed, there is no way to truly know.  I have a few ideas based on what they reported observing later that day and frankly, it sounds like it's truly a totally separate condition. Yes, that happens in the world of medicine - be it with animals or humans. You can be given a clean bill of health and then BOOM..I haven't met anyone yet who has that crystal ball. 

Ideally it would've been helpful to at least do a necropsy and see if there were any obvious causes but from what I suspect, that may have been difficult without some tissue being sent into the pathologist. And of course, if this isn't done in a fairly short window after death, all sorts of things can make this moot. 

This is the kind of stuff that truly torments your heart and mind. You wonder...

I prefer the mystery of why an animal I gave a very grave prognosis to is alive months to years after I predicted his demise.

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