Thank you so much for your website, without it I may not have seen the serious dangers Metacam has presented for my cat. I visited my regular vet a few weeks ago because my cat, Sidney, was having some pain in her hips I suspected to be arthritis. $400 later, the vet diagnosed her with arthritis of the hips and prescribed her Metacam. The vet ran blood tests on her to be sure her kidneys were healthy before giving me the "okay" to go ahead and administer the medication to my cat. The vet got back to me saying her bloodwork looked really good for a 9 year-old cat. I did notice that the medication insert read "Do not use in cats", but I knew this was not prescbribed to my cat by mistake, and therefore, trusted my vet.
Sidney seemed to be feeling so much better at first, and I was delighted that I had done something wonderful for my cat, helped her to become pain-free. She seemed to have more energy, and seemed to be in a significantly less amount of pain when I touched her hips.
Then, on Wednesday May 27, 2009 I fed my three cats, two came in to eat, but where was Sidney? Sidney is a happy fat cat who is the dominant one of the group so she is always first to eat. I looked outside my kitchen to find her sitting there, staring, looking agitated. I went to pet her upper back and she growled. I nudged her a bit and she walked into the kitchen to find the food. She took a few licks and growled as I tried to pet her, then walked away and sat down in her chair. She was maybe an hour overdue for her Metacam so I thought maybe she was so used to being pain-free that she was just in need of her medication, so I gave her the Metacam. I had her sleep with me that night just so I could keep an eye on her. I am allergic to my cats, so they haven't slept with me for awhile. She enjoyed me petting her, but she layed still while the tip of her tail flipped back and forth, as if to say she was very irritated.
I couldn't figure out what was going on, so I waited to observe any changes and she seemed a bit better the next day, but still not eating. I wasn't sure because I was gone most of the day. The very day she started acting strange, I had just plugged in a Feliway diffuser, so I wasn't sure of she was adapting to that or what, but I couldn't think of any reason why that would affect her in a negative way. Then on Friday May 28th, I came home from work and decided to research Metacam to see if this could be causing her problems. I found your website and I read several stories. She had been on the medication for a while so I hoped she was just having some stomach issues. I got up first thing the next morning and called her vetrinarian's office. I spoke with the other vet there and he said he could give me some Sucralfate to coat her stomach and that she could be suffering from some Gastritis or gastric ulcers. I mentioned that she was not drinking water and so he offered to administer a subcutaneous fluid injection. I told him about your website and that I was really concerned about her kidneys, so he said that I could choose to have some bloodwork done to test her kidneys, "just to be on the safe side". I took her straight in and chose to do all of the above. The vet said that it was a good thing I followed my instincts because she was in Acute Renal Failure, her kidney values were off the charts! I tried not to panic and I transferred her over the the hospital where she remains today. After a little over 24hrs, her kidney values have gone down, but they cannot say exactly how much because they were off the charts when they first tested them. Nevertheless, the vet at the hospital said he was happy with the improvement so far.
This is going to end up costing over $2000 when it's all said and done and I am just so heartbroken and devastated. I am so angry with myself for not taking her in sooner, when I knew she was not behaving like her normal self. I feel like you always take a risk when you give medication to your pet, but I wish I would have been warned of these signs beforehand and I trusted my vet. I am trying to figure out who should be held liable for the poisoning of my poor precious kitty. Since the label reads, "Do not use in cats", shouldn't the vet be held liable, not the manufacturer? I need your advice in how to handle and approach this with my vet, or if you think the manufacturer should be held liable, how is that giving what the insert reads?
Thank you so much.