BEL AIR, MARYLAND -- Their slogan is "Caring, Compassionate, Dedicated" and they live up to it. Yesterday (12/14/09) we took our 17 year old kitty to the Animal Emergency Hospital in Bel Air, Maryland at around 10am because he wouldn't eat or drink since 12/13/09. He was sitting and mewing at the water dish like he really wanted to drink but couldn't. They took us right away and the Vet we saw (Dr. **) was nice and very good with Charlie. He asked us to leave Charle there for some lab work, x-rays and to give IV fluids. He said that we could call anytime for updates and that he would be glad to talk with us.
At around 1pm I called for an update and he said that the blood work was very abnormal and that the x-ray showed a "mass" in Charlie's abdomen that was pushing against his stomach. He said that he thought that it was most likely cancer but we could get a sonogram to make sure. He spent a good 30-40 minutes on the phone with us answering all our questions. He let us know that right now Charlie was resting very well an was comfortable. He again stated that we were welcome to call at anytime for updates on Charlie.
I called at 6pm and 10pm. Each time Ashley (the receptionist) was sweet and never seemed upset about us calling. At the 6pm call Dr. ** made time to talk to me and keep me updated on how Charlie was doing. And let me know that Dr. King would be on at 7pm. At the 10pm call Dr. King was just as nice and patient and made time for my questions. And assured us that she would call us if there was any problems.
At about 3:30am Dr. King called and informed us that Charlie had had a grand mal seizure. She stayed on the phone with us and explained all our options and what she thought was happening. She suggested that we call her in the morning to check on Charlie's condition. I called back at about 9:30am to check on Charlie and spoke with Jennifer (a receptionist) who was just the most sweet and kind person. She got the morning vet, Dr. **t, on the phone to talk to us.
Dr. ** let us know that Charlie had had another seizure and that he was very out of it and very tired. And that it was most likely that the lymphoma and metastasized had affected Charlie's brain and that was what was causing the seizures. My husband and I talked it over and decided that it would be best for our kittie to put him to sleep.
The whole office staff was very compassionate when we came in. They allowed us time with Charlie alone and to hold him while he was put to sleep. The doctors and staff made a very heartbreaking and painful time as easy as something this difficult could be. Jennifer even gave us a very beautiful and touching poem to help us though this time. My husband and I are in their debt for teating us like family and not just another patient. UPDATE: They just sent me the most beautiful sympathy card. It was very sweet of them to do.
BEL AIR, MARYLAND -- I did a review back on 12/14/2009 of this animal hospital. They were sweet and caring then when we had an emergency with our Charlie cat and had to put him to sleep. On 7/16/10 we had to bring in Ramses, our 13 year old cat. This kitty had been diagnosed with IBD and bleeding ulcer (kind of like 'kitty Crohn's) a month before this and he had been responding well to the medications.
The vet (again, Dr. **, who put Charlie to sleep for us) saw us right away. She let us know that she was going to run a quick 'prick' blood test and then let us know what was wrong with our Ramses. About 15 minutes later, Dr. ** asked us to come into the exam room. She let us know that Ramses' Hemat and blood level was fatally low.
She then let us know our options (basically, the only thing that could be done was a blood transfusion). Then she sat down with us and asked if she could just 'talk to us plainly' because she remembered us from before, that then, we only had Charlie's best interest in mind and that I was a nurse.
She said that she felt that Ramses was bleeding out from gastrointestinal bleeding. That mostly likely, an ulcer had ruptured and that there was really nothing that could be done to save him. That they could try the transfusion, but, realistically, we would most likely go through 3-8 blood bags and Ramses would still die. That, in her opinion, he would only have less than a 5% chance to live.
She then said that she would give us a few minutes to talk things over and to just call her when we were ready with what we wanted to do. I explained everything to my husband in layman's terms and we decided that we would let Ramses go. That it would be selfish to waste that much blood that could go to an animal that could be saved.
Ramses was so low on blood and his veins were so fragile from blood loss, that they could not even get one to hold for a needle to give the euthanasia. Dr. ** finally had to give Ramses an intramuscular shot to put him into a deep sleep and then finish the euthanasia with an anesthesia gas to stop his heart.
I have never seen a vet cry with something like this before, but she sat with us and cried for Ramses. It's never, ever easy to make a decision to put a beloved pet down. But this place has made a very, very hard thing to do just a bit easier twice now, and I thank them for that.