A Connecticut pet owner is warning others of a local pet hospital that left her cat blind and deaf.
Cherie Nevins took little Elvis to Banfield Pet Hospital in Manchester to get spayed, WSFB Eyewitness News reported. The hospitals are located inside of Petsmart stores nationwide.
Nevins had purchased the hospital’s wellness plan for $40 a month. But when she picked up her cat from surgery, she quickly realized something was wrong.
“They called me at 1:30 p.m. and said the cat was waking up from anesthesia and she's perfectly fine,” Nevins told WSFB Eyewitness News. “[I] got there at 3 p.m. and [they] handed me the cat and she was foaming at the mouth and under major distress.”
Nevins said Elvis, who is now nearly 5 months old, used to be very active. But now, that has changed.
“The cat was doing circles to the right constantly, bumping into walls, not responding to any of our voices,” she said.
Elvis can no longer see nor hear. She has seizures and doesn’t know when she has to use the bathroom.
“She can't eat hard food anymore, she doesn't know how to chew it,” Nevins said. “I have to put the food into the bowl and put it in her mouth and constantly turn it. She can’t see it.”
Banfield Pet Hospital and Dr. Ari Zabell, a client advocate, issued the following statement:
At Banfield Pet Hospital, we care greatly about our responsibility to providing the best care possible to our patients. Upon review of Elvis’ medical records both by us as well as by an independent specialist caring for him, it appears that Elvis experienced rare adverse effects from anesthesia during recovery. All appropriate precautions were taken with regard to Elvis’ anesthesia including proper use of drugs, monitoring, and screening for anesthesia and it appears that this adverse event was something we were not able to either predict or prevent from occurring. Our local leadership is currently working with Elvis’ family to ensure that Elvis gets the best care possible and we are hopeful that he will continue along a path towards a full recovery.
Nevins wasn’t satisfied with the explanation she got from the hospital and took Elvis for a second opinion from a veterinarian in West Hartford. That vet said Elvis could have suffered a “stroke, blood clot or lack of oxygen to the brain” during the surgery.
Medical records indicate that Elvis was given a leukemia shot. Some vets don’t recommend giving the vaccine while a cat is under anesthesia.
This is far from the first complaint Banfield Pet Hospitals has received.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the hospital has garnered more than 700 complaints nationwide in the last three years alone.
“My Yorkie was brought to Banfield lethargic and not feeling well,” one pet owner from Alabama wrote in a complaint. “They vaccinated her with a Lyme disease vaccine. By the time we got home she was having seizures and almost died. Two weeks later she is still in the hospital."
Nevins now has advice for other pet owners.
“They should really research their veterinarian hard before you bring them,” she told WSFB Eyewitness News. “That's for sure. She ain't that cat no more. She's like a vegetable, she doesn't play.”