Banfield Pet Hospital - Our Healthy Family Cat Went for a Regular Checkup at Banfield Hospital and Came Home Sick and Deaf
This is a letter that I thought I never would have to write.
We have used Banfield Hospital in Oviedo, FL for our pet cat, Prince, ( he is a Tonkanese) since he was 7 months old. Our experiences with the staff there was positive and the doctors were competent and professional. They helped Prince during a time when he really had a problem with his lower spine.
The staff offered us the Wellness Plan which we did buy. We were contacted every few months by the staff when it was time for Prince to get a check up. The last check up with the Oviedo office was in April 2014.
Now we live in Davenport, FL. There is a Pet Smart and Banfield Hospital close to us so we decided to just transfer our plan to the Davenport hospital.
On Thursday, August 28th, we brought Prince for his first scheduled checkup. The front staff was friendly and accomodating. We were brought in to an examination room shortly after we arrived. The Vet. assistant, Amy, came to talk to us to get the information she needed for Prince's file. She listened to his heart and took his temperature. I asked Amy to please apply Revolution because he was due for a dose. Amy handled Prince very carefully and gently. After that, she took him to the back for the rest of the exam. We were a little taken aback that the Dr. did not come into the room to do the exam in front of us as we were used to from the Oviedo office.
About 15 minutes later Dr. Juan Cuellar carried Prince back to us. He told us what was done to him in the back. I held Prince while he was on the examining table and I noticed that his coat was wet from the top of his neck, down to the sides of his collar and onto the hair of his bib. I asked the dr. why he was so wet and he said that he did not know. My thought was that it was the Revolution that was applied incorrectly.
Dr. Cuellar told us that they found that Prince had a yeast infection in his ears and showed us some brown wax that he swabbed from his ears. He did another swab in front of us and indeed there was brown wax that came out of the ear he swabbed. I believe it was his right ear.
Dr Cuellar told us that we needed to clean his ears every other day for a week. I have never cleaned his ears so I asked him to please show us how to do it. He put an ear solution into one ear and then the other. After Prince shook out the solution the dr. began to massage his ears.
I need to say at this point that when Dr. Cuellar was massaging Prince's ears I was concerned that he was doing it too rough. I wanted to tell him to stop being so rough but I did not say anything. After the cleaning he again swabbed both ears and again he was quite rough. I could see that Prince was very anxious and was using his front paws to try and push the dr's hands away. Prince is a very good patient. He is compliant and calm during his examinations. That is why I was concerned about the rough way that the dr. was handling him.
Amy came into the exam room and gave us a bottle of ear cleaning solution, two syringes filled with Pyrantel Pamoate for Intestinal Deworming and three months supply of Revolution. I had no idea why we were given the medicine for intestinal deworming because Prince did not have worms but I accepted it anyway.
I told my husband on the way home that I didn't ever want Dr Cuellar to touch Prince again. I did not feel comfortable with him and I know Prince didn't either. I know my cat and I can sense when he is comfortable or not with anyone. My husband said that he was going to say the same thing.
When we got home and Prince walked out of his carrier, we noticed that he was stumbling and falling over. We assumed that his behavior was the result of the ear washing. Two hours later he vomited. It was my assumption that he vomited because he licked the Revolution that he was able to get to on his coat. He tried to walk up the steps but was not able to climb them. He fell backwards. At this point I was very concerned with what could have happened to him from the time we brought him to Banfield for a normal checkup to the time we brought him home.
As the evening went on, I noticed that he was not responding to me when I called his name. I stood behind him and clapped my hands very hard. He did not move. I repeated the same thing several times over the evening with no response at all. He vomited 2 more times during the night. In the morning, (Friday), I called for him but he did not respond. Prince had always responded to his name and would come running from any part of the house.
I found him asleep in a spot where he goes often go to hide and sleep. I called him then touched him and he jumped as if he was being attacked. I left him alone to sleep and checked on him several time during the day. He was sound asleep in a way that I have never seen him sleep before. Prince slept for the rest of that day and night. Saturday he was still stumbling and when he looked up at me he would fall over. I tried several sounds to try to get his attention but nothing made him respond. These were signs to me that Prince had somehow lost his hearing.
I am an Interpreter for the Deaf and I recognized signs that I experienced with deaf clients. For example, when I walked up along side of Prince and he saw me peripherally, he jumped away as if he was very surprised. When I approached him from the front so he could see me he did not move.
Amy called me Saturday afternoon to check up on Prince. I told her that he was not doing well at all and explained to her what was happening. She said that I should have called Banfield as soon as I started noticing Prince's unusual behavior. She was right but I was attributing everything happening to the Revolution and the ear washing. I was also hoping beyond hope that all was going to clear up.
We went with Prince for 2 more visits to Banfield. No one could figure out what was wrong. My greatest concern was that Prince was permanently deaf. Dr. Genna Norton from Banfield examined his ears then gave us a referral to the Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Orlando. Her tentative diagnosis was R/O vestibular syndrome.
We got an appointment on September 9th for Prince to see an ear specialist and a neurologist.
The ear specialists Clinical Findings/ Diagnostics were very mild waxy exudate in both ears, but no signs of any yeast infection. Intact TM in both ears; Ear cytology: both ears - NSF. Her diagnosis was "Possible idiosyncratic reaction to ear cleaning solution or ear medication. " The dr. also explained to us that cats ears are very sensitive and should be treated gently in order not to damage them.
The neurologist performed a BAER test while Prince was under anesthesia. The test showed that Prince is totally deaf in his left ear and has only slight amount of hearing in his right ear. The diagnosis, as it stands, without further testing is: Deafness at the level of the cochlea. His hearing loss is possibly an idiosyncratic reaction to ear cleansing solution or ear medication.
We wish to be in contact with you concerning this situation. We are devastated, of course, that our healthy family cat could have been hearing when we brought him in for his physical exam and by the time we got him home he was deaf! Prince's behavior, fortunately, has not changed significantly. He hides more during the day and has taken to meowing much louder. From what I read, that is normal behavior for a deaf cat.
We want to talk to you personally about this situation.
As the parent company of Banfield Hospitals we want you to take on the cost for the testing from Affiliated Veterinary Specialist. ($866.00). And since we will not be going back to Banfield we want to cancel the Wellness Plan.
We look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Robert and Judith Saunders
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.
Monetary Loss: $899.
Preferred solution: Full refund.