Tig's Story:

My beautiful Tig was a very sweet boy who enjoyed "patrolling" the yard, sitting on the roof, and just generally being a real cat.  One day he came into the house and went past his food dish and went straight to his room, which I thought was odd.  That night he didn't come out for dinner.  I went back to check on him, and when I called his name, he moaned in pain.  We brought him out of his room and called the vet.  As it was after hours, the vet didn't want to see him because she had to get up early in the morning and was just going to bed.  "He probably just had a fall and is sore.  Call us in the morning if he isn't any better."  When morning rolled around, Tig did seem a little better.  So we didn't call.  All week he just didn't seem to feel good and wasn't eating well or talking.  By the end of the week a swelling on the right side of his face appeared.  We took him to the vet, and they thought it was the beginning of an abscess.  They gave him a heavy-duty antibiotic shot and told us, "This should make it clear up, but if it is still there at the end of the week, bring him back for another antibiotic shot."  At the end of the 2nd week, there was no improvement, so back we went for another shot.  At the end of the 3rd week, there was still no improvement, so back we went to the vet again.  This time I wanted blood work and x-rays so that we could find out what was really going on.  Well, the vet drew the blood studies but did not want to do any x-rays until the results of the blood work came back, which would be the next morning.  In the meantime, he wanted to give Tig an appetite enhancer and an antiinflammatory.  He gave Tig the appetite enhancer tablet and a shot of Metacam.  There was no discussion of side effects by the vet.  He said he thought Tig may had broken his jaw and the antiinflammatory would help with the pain if that was the case.  He would call us in the morning with the results of the blood work.  When we arrived home, Tig went straight for his food dish and ate better than I had seen him eat in 3 weeks.  Good sign.  He then napped the rest of the evening in the livingroom with us.  My husband went to bed at 10.  Tig seemed to be feeling a little better.  About midnight, I put him in to sleep with my husband like he usually does.  At 5:30 in the morning, my husband is shouting, "Come help me.  Tig has himself tangled up in the bed springs."  We have an antique bed with the open bed springs underneath the mattress.  There was Tig, hanging halfway up in the springs and his eyes glazed over and unresponsive.  When I got under the bed and talked to him, he looked at me and his eyes cleared.  We got him out, but within half an hour he went unconscious, started agonal breathing, and passed out of our lives forever.  From what we could piece together of the events of after I put him to bed with my husband, a loud noise woke up my husband and we believe Tig took a bad fall and hit his injured jaw and head on the heater under the window.  We think he then threw up from the trauma or before the fall, and then crawled under the bed to die.  We do know with all of our hearts that Metacam was responsible to his death.  If the vet had just warned us of the side effects of that 1 dose of Metacam, we could have taken the precautions to make sure Tig was in a safe place where he could not have been hurt, and he would still be with us today.  Tig was only 2 years old.  

Bob and Darlene , Grants Pass, Oregon