|From MTBar Farm|
While eating her breakfast this morning, my 7 year suddenly jumped up and started running for the door and yelling, “Peaches is in the pool!” It’s January, the pool is partially covered by a thin skin of ice and it’s definitely not a good place for a cat. I glanced out the window and somehow beat the kid to the door. As I grabbed the cat by the scruff she sank below the surface, stiff. I threw her at my husband, ran inside and grabbed a towel while he squeegied her off and we then wrapped her up and brought her inside. We put her, towel and all, into a sinkful of lukewarm water and started spraying the warm water inside the towel in order to bring her body temp back up. At first, she didn’t even shiver.
I made an effort to call our vet, Dr. Johnston at Gates County Animal Clinic but she is not taking emergency calls at the moment. (Someone in her family is ill, I believe). The machine recommended calling Greenbrier Veterinary Emergency Center, a place I’ve had numerous dealings with over the years. A woman answered the phone and I explained what had happened and that our cat was hypothermic and that we live an hour away from the clinic. I asked to speak to a vet. The woman refused. She said that no vet in their practice would speak to me unless I first brought the cat in. I told her that the cat would die of hypothermia if I put her into the car and drove for an hour without taking any sort of action. She said, “Sorry but none of our vets will speak to you unless you bring the cat here.” In other words: Let your cat die because unless you bring us money, we don’t care. I told her that I hope they all rot in hell.
Once the cat was actively shivering, Mark and Travis blow dried her while I outfitted the whelping box (set up for our pregnant Australian Shepherd) with a heating pad, clean towels and a ceramic space heater. We placed the dry, shivering kitty onto the heating pad and pointed the heater at her. At some point I called my large animal vet, who is not a money-grubbing jerk like the vets at GVEC. The vet on call returned my call quickly, said we needed to get her temp back up to 100 degrees and not to feed her before then. He said it sounded like we were doing everything we could and told me a few things to look out for. I’ll do a post about that blessed veterinary practice another time.
Based not only on the uncaring attitude and inflexibility of the staff I dealt with today but also on years of poor service and exorbitant prices, I cannot recommend Greenbrier Veterinary Emergency Center. If anyone has an alternate Emergency Vet they recommend in the Tidewater, VA area, please leave that information in the comments section and I will add it to my post.