More Info: Ovarian Remnant Syndrome in Cats
As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I have more information to share. This issue is far more common than known, based on my experience.
For instance, in my last four kitty girls, two have suffered from these surgical ‘errors’ as vets prefer to call it. I’m afraid I could come up with far stronger terminology. When my babies are hurt, I become a very protective monster.
Thanks to being put off by vets who either did not know what they were doing, or who didn’t want to accept their own failures, my 20 year old Maggie who left us in May lived an entire life of anxiety and stress from the ovarian remnant(s) left behind in a sloppy surgery. Even the vet who DID the surgery (and who charged me $1,500 in tests) claimed to be clueless as to why she had such problems. The vets just tend to chalk it up to a ‘goofy’ cat or to some sort of feline anxiety disorder. I’ve only come to the realization of what my sweet Maggie went through all those 20 years when I began to research the symptoms of my new kitten, Mhysa. I suddenly realized that Maggie had struggled with this her entire life. I’m not about to let Mhysa do the same.
Now, I have run into what appears to be more issues with vets, just trying to determine when to test Mhysa for estrogen levels. I asked a local vet tech and she said she thought perhaps anytime would be fine and she said she’d have the vet call me. I’ve not heard from him as of yet. But since I am on natural bioidentical hormones myself, I know my high and low days in my cycle for estrogen. We test once a year to be sure everything is in line on those days. We don’t test on ‘baseline’ days. So there is no reason to believe a cat would NOT have a similar cycle.
I found what appeared to be a very knowledgeable blog post by a veterinarian in Manhattan (NYC). He confirmed what my instincts told me were true – we would need to test when Mhysa was in the throes of estrus (a heat episode) to be sure of her estrogen levels. After a few days of that, this vet states that the levels drop to baseline quickly, sometimes in as few as 48 hours. http://catexpert.blogspot.com/2015/01/feline-ovarian-remnant-syndrome.html
SO, now the trick is getting the vet here for the blood draw on one of those few days, and then, another tech has told me that it is best to do the surgery when she’s in heat so they can more easily find the swollen ‘active’ ovarian tissue. :::sigh::: The vet we used for her spay, who said he’d ‘make it right’, is not in town so that means a hasty, long-distance trek and of course, the usual ‘fasting’ routine before the surgery. Then, we can just hope this doesn’t happen on days when he is not there, since he only does surgery one or two days a week.
This is yet another reason it drives me crazy to live in a place where wellness services for humans and for pets are almost non-existent and where up-to-date health care is very rare. This is why we use a wellness, integrated health practitioner 6 hours away. I’m more and more concerned about the wellness of my family when it relies on others.
Please, pet owners, be aware of this! It appears these surgical errors are even more common in dogs. Please, please, don’t let the veterinarian blow you off if your female pets are exhibiting symptoms of estrus when they’ve already been spayed. This is really important to their lives, their overall wellness and their mental well-being. AND it can be important for your HOME since often animals that are in heat mark their territories. You can’t blame it on a ‘bad dog’ or ‘bad cat’ when it’s hormonal and they can’t help it.