Animal Emergency Hospital

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A wonderful and compassionate Veterinary Hospital
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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. Frickly) 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 Charlies 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. Frickley 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. Fliflet, on the phone to talk to us.

Dr. Fliflet 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 and affected Charlies 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.
     
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jktshff1 on 2009-12-14:
Good for them, sorry for your loss.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you, jkt.
merope on 2009-12-14:
We have a 16-yr.-old cat. We know how precious these friends are. Sorry for the loss of Charlie.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you, merope. I hope your kitty is doing well. Give him/her a hug from me.
goduke on 2009-12-14:
Sounds like Charlie was a very lucky feline to have such wonderful people in his life, and to have such great care at the end of it. Thanks for letting us know about these great caregivers.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you, goduke, what a sweet thing to say.
Principissa on 2009-12-14:
Wow, that is such a caring vets office. I am so sorry for your loss, but know that you did everything that you could to help him. He was very lucky to have such loving owners who cared so much for him throughout his life.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you, Prin, we will miss him.

The Vet Office just called to make sure we're doing OK. Also to let us know that they faxed all the information and mailed the x-ray to our normal vets office so that I wouldn't have to come back up and get them. Free of charge.

Told us to call if there was anything they could do.

They really are one of a kind.
old fart on 2009-12-14:
Your vet treated you and your kitty like He was one of the family...
I know it will happen one day that Matilda will pass and it will be a terrible time for us.
I hope the our vet will be as caring...
Nohandle on 2009-12-14:
Mrs. V, I'm sorry for the loss of your Charlie. I've been there and know how you feel. When my local vet called and told me there was a mass in my previous cat's abdominal cavity and did I understand what had to be done, my heart sank. They could not have been kinder to me. I'll always remember that plus I received a pet sympathy card from the vet's office and notification a donation had been made to the local Humane Society. Might sound silly to someone who doesn't own a pet, but I appreciated it.
Ytropious on 2009-12-14:
::pout:: I feel sad whenever someone has to put their animals to sleep, but you did the right thing, and at least Charlie is not in pain anymore. At least the vet was keeping you well informed and happy to do so at that.
skelly39 on 2009-12-14:
Well, now that I have snot and tears rolling down my face...I'm so sorry, Mrs. V. I have four cats, the oldest is 10. The day he goes, I'm going to be a mess. I hope I have doctors as caring as the ones you had.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you for your kind words, tropious. It was hard, but the right thing to do.

I still can't get over how kind and nice the office is. I hope I don't ever need emergancy vet care again, but I know I'll go there if I need to.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Nohandle, thank you for your thoughts. It never seems to get any easier :(

And that was so very nice of your vet to do a donation for your kitty! How sweet ^_^
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Skelly, Big hugs! You can have some of my tissues, Lord knows I have quite a few right now.

I have 2 more kittys at home and the younges (9 years) keeps walking around looking for Charlie. It keeps sending into a fit of tears every time I hear him meow :(
DebtorBasher on 2009-12-14:
Mrs. V...I know it's heartbreaking to have to hold your pet while it's given 'the' shot. We went through it with our dog, my Dad took him and held him. He also had cancer. It's really heartbreaking and I am sorry for your loss. A lot of vets don't realize how much their actions mean to a person at a time like this.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Oldfart, they did indeed treat us like one of the family. It was so comforting. I really hope all pet lovers find a vet this nice.
skelly39 on 2009-12-14:
Great...here I go again. We had a kitten a couple of years ago that just died one day. I held him while he died and my kids were inconsolable. I'm immune to the sound of small children crying, but when the other cats were looking for him, I lost it. It took me months to get over it. Then when I got his ashes back in the velvet bag that says "Til we meet again under the Rainbow Bridge" or whatever, I lost it all over again. And I'm losing it again. I'm glad you have the two other kitties. They obviously don't replace the loss of Charlie, but they can help a little. Alright, I need to go find a McDonald's complaint or something to laugh at.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
DB, Thank you, sweetie. It's hard to hold them for the injection, but I, too, just couldn't let him lay on the table.

Thank everyone so much for your kind words. You all are so very sweet!
Ytropious on 2009-12-14:
"....but when the other cats were looking for him, I lost it."

Bawwwwwww! That's so incredibly sad ;_;
skelly39 on 2009-12-14:
{sniff} somewhere there's a guy complaining about too much lettuce on his Whopper...I got to go {sob}
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Skelly- this is the poem Jennifer gave me (it's a bit long):

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...
skelly39 on 2009-12-14:
Jeez, the little velvet bag made me bawl. Guess what the poem just did??
That's so sweet. I guess I better get home and hug the cats before they start scratching my couch and throwing up hairballs!
I'll be thinking of you Mrs. V!
PepperElf on 2009-12-14:
I remember our first cat. She was too sick and close to passing, so we brought her to the vets. Mom insisted that only she go in with the cat (so the rest of us wouldn't have that memory).

We made a little graveyard in the back yard for her with a headstone painted with her name in nail polish. (orange colors too, cos she always stuck us as a halloween cat). (actually matilda looks a little like her, just ours had a loose belly).

afterwards, we were in the habit of looking at the couch where she normally slept, only... she wasn't there.

finally I took a wooden cat-statue we have of a sleeping cat, and put it on the couch at her spot.

within a day someone else did the same thing I was doing... turning to look at the couch- either mom or sis. They saw the statue there and just started laughing.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you again, Skelly, hug your kittys once for me too!
goduke on 2009-12-14:
A few years back when I lived down in south Texas, I had a wonderful vet (never had another like him). When I had to have one of my dogs put down, the staff took his pawprint in plaster, gold-leafed it with his name, and sent it to me. It was a pretty awesome gift.

Sad that we often get better care from our vets than our own doctors. But that's probably for a different thread on a different day.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Oh my Goodnes, Pepper, you just gave me my first real laugh of the day. Thank you!

I just might to that. Charlie loved to curl up ontop of my dryer. It might be kind of sweet to have a black and white wooden cat-statue there ^_^
PepperElf on 2009-12-14:
ours was just brown. actually I have it here on the window sill. I'll see if can get a shot of it
madconsumer on 2009-12-14:
what a great and informative review.

very helpful.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
goduke, What a thoughtful treasure the vets office gave you! How sweet!
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
mad, thank you.
jktshff1 on 2009-12-14:
My momma, rest her soul, when I asked if my dog would be in heaven with me said "Sure, God will make it happen if you wish". If there is a heaven, I got to lot of critters waiting on me.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
jkt, you and me both. Loved and still love them all, too ^_^
clutzycook on 2009-12-14:
Ugh! This just had me in tears over the loss of my Harli-bear! It's been 3 years and it hurts just as much!
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Clutzy, I don't think the heartache ever really gos away :(

I still get 'side swiped' when I see another cat with my first kittys name or that looks the same. And Playful passed away 19/20 years ago.
azspots on 2009-12-14:
That Rainbow Bridge gets me every time. Am sitting at work with tears streaming down my face now. Mrs. V....Please accept my condolences on Charlie's passing. We have had 2 dogs pass after living to 13 years and it stomps on your heart, big time. Charlie is on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for you-may that be of some comfort to you.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
azspots, thank you for your kind words.

I had never heard the Rainbow Bridge before today. It's both comforting and it's making me bawl at the same time.
jktshff1 on 2009-12-14:
Here is a link to the Rainbow Bridge web site http://www.petloss.com/poems/maingrp/rainbowb.htm

Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you for that link, jkt. That's very thoughtful of you!
jktshff1 on 2009-12-14:
For the dog lovers out there, I got it from here
http://www.breederretriever.com/forums/
old fart on 2009-12-14:
I just looked in at Matilda sleeping on our bed.. when she wakes up she always hops up on to my lap and watches TV with me...
I don't believe I will never get another kitty because no one would be able to replace her...!
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
OF, no one ever replaces them. They are much to special to ever be replaced.

But no matter how many times I've said, "No more. Never again. This is too hard.", I always seem to end up with a little 'furbaby' that needs help.

I hope that you have many, many more years with your sweet Matilda and when the time comes, if it's in the cards, you will find another 'furbaby' that will need and love you ^_^
old fart on 2009-12-14:
I know I've told this story before but Matilda turned up on our back porch as a 5 or 6 week old kitten meowing from hunger.. we fed her a can of tuna and she took up residence in our shed.
It took six weeks to lure her into the house and when we shut the door, she stayed in!
She will NEVER go outside even if the doors are wide open.
She knows that it's not safe for old (14) kitties out there!
Ytropious on 2009-12-14:
I've only had one cat in my life, and she was a stray my dad took in before I was born. She took up residence outside my dad's large industrial warehouse job and he would feed her. He took her home only to find out she was pregnant, and she gave birth to a litter of kitties. He gave them all away but kept her. She lived until I was 10 or 11, who knows how old she was when he found her. She was such a tolerant cat too. Name was ebony, since she was jet black. She didn't suffer, we found her stretched out in an eternal sleep on the floor. I do miss her, and I can't wait until my husband and I's home is ready to move into, we plan on getting a shelter cat.
old fart on 2009-12-14:
Basher had the good sense not to put her two cents in... she knows she's outnumbered...
DebtorBasher on 2009-12-14:
I did post my comment on here...but there's a time when joking isn't appropriate and I know what it's like to lose a pet and I wouldn't make light of it in any way. My heart goes out to Mrs.V.
old fart on 2009-12-14:
Basher... My apologies... I missed your comment..
DebtorBasher on 2009-12-14:
No Prob!
Nohandle on 2009-12-14:
Mrs. V, you know what? I had made my mind up no more cats period. I honestly couldn't take it again. Well, guess what? A starving critter began eating out of my garbage can in the garage and yep, I've had Miss Kitty since. She's now the most gorgeous cat you've ever seen, mean as a snake and I wouldn't take anything for her. Hang in there, it really will get better.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you all again. You all are very sweet people, indeed!

Every kitty I've owned has been a shelter cat, a stray, or a rescue.

Ramses is now sleeping in Charlie's old spot (now that really choked me up something fierce). And Selena will not go anywere I or 'daddy' are not.

I think the hardest thing today, besides the obvious, was taking Charlie's food dish up...

But I know it will get better with time. It always does.
old fart on 2009-12-14:
It always amazes me how quickly your cats become your "babies"...
Our old siamese "Genghis Khat" was meaner than a snake but he kept us laughing day and night!
He would do the usual cat things during the day but at night he would wait until I crawled into bed and then attack my foot through the covers...
Every time he pounced on me I swore a mighty oath which sent my son into gales of laughter in the next bedroom..
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
LOL! We call that game 'Bed Mice' ^_^ All my cats have played it at one time or another.

And I just love that name 'Genghis Khat'!!!
old fart on 2009-12-14:
I got to tell my wife about the "bed mice"...LMAO
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
You've never heard the term 'bed mice' before? It's really cute, isn't it? ^_^
Skye on 2009-12-14:
I'm truly sorry for your loss, Mrs. V.

Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you, Skye. That's very nice of you to say.
Anonymous on 2009-12-14:
17 years, think of all the good times you had with him. We lost a 14 year old dog this year, it's tough for a few weeks expecting them to be right there. Sorry about your loss.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Thank you super, it was a wonderful 17 years. Charlie was a great cat. I'm sorry you lost your dog this year :(

The sadness does get better.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-14:
Bed time now (really tired and have one heck of a headache).

Thank you all again. Your sweet and kind words did help a lot ^_^
WScott on 2009-12-14:
A society is judged by how it treats animals and the aged. Thank you for giving us some hope!!!!!!!
DebtorBasher on 2009-12-14:
Super...I didn't know your dog passed...was that the little white one that I groomed? Or was that Steve's dog? Either way, I'm sorry to hear that.
Anonymous on 2009-12-14:
Thanks. No, that one is alive and well. It was the much older of the two little Diva's.
DebtorBasher on 2009-12-14:
It's still sad to lose a pet. And if you ever need my assistance with the grooming again, you know where to find me.
Ytropious on 2009-12-15:
RAMSES! I think I'm stealing that name for my future cat.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-15:
Your welcome to use Ramses for your next pet, Ytropious. Just don't do what I did.

I gave this cat that very regal name and he is the silliest cat I have ever owned. Really doesn't fit him lol.
Mrs. V on 2009-12-15:
WScott, thank you. That is very sweet of you to say.
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Still here and caring in our time of need.
Posted by on
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. Fliflet, 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. Fliflet 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 waist 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. Fliflet 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.
     
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Skye on 2010-07-23:
I'm sorry for your loss Mrs. V. Sometimes people think Vets do not have any feelings, but believe me they do. The animal hospital I work at, has very caring vets, and we all have cried together. Vets need to keep it together, and be strong for families, as one doctor once told me.
Mrs. V on 2010-07-23:
Thanks, Skye. I understand what you mean. Drs and nurses have to keep it together in the emergancy, but I *always* break down after. I've just never seen a vet do that, and I was very touched by it.
goduke on 2010-07-23:
What a cool name for a cat! It sounds like he was a wonderful friend, and while I know how hard it was to say goodbye, I admire your ability to do what was best for him, even though it would have been easy to prolong the suffering just to keep him with you.

It sounds like you found an awesome vet. I had one named Dr. Mims in San Antonio, and if I could fly my pups back and forth there today, I probably would.

Best wishes on your journey! Sending positive energy your way!
goduke on 2010-07-23:
I mentioned this once before earlier today. Check out a place called laserpals. They make the most amazing memorials by etching the photo of a pet onto granite. I don't make any commission and I don't work for them, but they made me a beautiful resting place for one of my friends who has left us.
Skye on 2010-07-23:
Great advice goduke. It's very painful to lose a pet family member. It hurts, no matter what the pet was, and that sounds like such a beautiful way to remember her precious Ramses.
Venice09 on 2010-07-23:
By the time I finished reading this I was crying myself. It takes strong people to be pet owners. Ramses was lucky to have you and such a caring, compassionate doctor. I'm sorry you all had to go through this, but at least Ramses knows he was loved.
Skye on 2010-07-23:
Also Mrs. V, remember in the end, you gave Ramses the greatest gift, peace. You will see him again.
Nohandle on 2010-07-23:
Thank you for sharing this. Many among us have gone through this experience with a beloved pet. Heartbreaking is an understatement. I've dealt with it twice and actually received a sympathy card from my vet, a contribution to the local Human Society in my pet's name plus a follow up call later to ask how I was doing. I'm so sorry for your loss.
old fart on 2010-07-23:
Our Matilda kitty is 13 years old and slowing down... I hope when that time comes,the vet is as compassionate...It puts a lump in my throat thinking about Ramses...
Mrs. V on 2010-07-23:
Thank you all so much for your well wishes. Ramses was 13 but still acted just like a little kitten. He followed me everywhere (yes, including the restroom, lol) and greated me every time I came home. He even played fetch with thoses little bouncy balls, lol.

I will miss him so very much. Our last living kitty, Selina, is still looking for him :(

The vet office did send a beautiful card with the 'Rainbow Bridge' poem. That poem always brings me to tears.

godduke, I will check out laserpals. It sounds like something that would be perfect. Thank you.
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