Should shelters do bloodwork on new arrivals?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2007
Should shelters do bloodwork on new arrivals?
4
Sun, 02-19-2012 - 6:27pm

Hi,

So I adopted a very sweet angel Ms Kitty from our local shelter last September. She was skinny from the start but also was a stray, so we didn't think anything of it.After 5 months of her not gaining weight we brought her to the vet who did bloodwork and we learned she is hyperthhyroid.She is only 5, and we don't believe in putting her on medication for the rest of her life, financially it makes no sense and it is not fair to her.Plus since the medication only controls the problem, the non-cancerous tumors on her thyroid can still grow, therefore we would need to change dosages as the years go on. Not to mention every few months she needs blood work done to check her levels.Anywho, since medication doesn't make sense long term we are willing to pay for the radio iodine injection.Its almost 2 grand, but worth it, as the clinic and my vet claim it has a 98% cure rate, with only 3% chance of re-currance. From what I have read on many many websites this is true.

We are willing to do what needs to be done to bring our kitty back to perfect health, especially since she is so young, however I have a problem with the fact that she was up for adoption with such an illness.Obviously they don't take blood when new arrivals come into shelters, but I do believe they should start.That way they know if the animal has something that could pose a threat to the other animals, not to mention it is nice for us adopters to know what we are getting into.We are a young couple in our mid twenties, we don't have tonnes of extra cash to just throw around.Just to pay for her treatment we will be sacraficing our lifestyle and cutting back for 3 months.(we are paying if off over a 3 month period) I don't want to make this sound like I am complaining about spending the money, because we are glad to do it if it means our baby being happy and healthy, espeically since she is still quite young.I just really can't see why shelters don't do bloodwork. I udnerstand it can affect the animal getting adopted, if in the animals file it lists any diseases or illnesses the animal has, yet in the same breath what if we were people that just didn't care? Or if we couldn't afford the treatment, or if it was something alot more serious than just hyperthyroid? We live in Whistler, and people here are quite different when it comes to animals. They either love them and will sacrifice their own life for the life of their pet, or they don't give a dam and if they find out their pet is ill they just open their front door and say good luck!! That is why there is a stray problem out here, especially with dogs.In fact we figure Ms Kitty did once have a home, we can tell from her behaviour, but we and the vet figures the prior owners just didn't care or couldnt afford to give her treatment so they just let her outside to die.

Anyone else think shelters should do bloodwork on new animals? Something like hyperthyroid, or anything for that amtter

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Mon, 02-20-2012 - 9:58am

Most of the no-kill shelters I have dealt with in the US DO do blood work and most vaccinate as well if the animal is to be adopted out. However, I'm not sure that thyroid activity tests and the like are in the routine testing. I think they are more interested in making sure the animals are free of infection and worms and have all their up-to-date shots...

I know how you feel --- we had a hyperthyroid cat as well. It took a Chinese vet from the Ministry of Agriculture who, when checking her out when we brought her into China, mentioned that he thought she had thyroid issues when he examined her for the start of her in-home quarantine!!! And he didn't even know the word for cat! LOL He kept calling her a dog! Anyway, he didn't do blood work; she was at least 8 years old at the time and had been under treatment by very good vets in both Houston, TX and London, England before arriving in China. So we weren't sure we should trust his opinion --- but when she met her first Cnadaian vets (in Saudi Arabia, of all places) she was diagnosed with blood tests then... She lived to the age of 13 with absolutely no treatment --- just hyperactive (like all Abby's are) and thin as a rail her whole life.

Community Leader
Registered: 11-21-2001
Mon, 02-20-2012 - 2:08pm

Don't feel bad about complaining about the money you now have to shell out....I complain all the time....LOL...

Laura
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2007
Mon, 02-20-2012 - 9:06pm

Thanks for the reply. All the animals at our local shelter are fully examined by a vet and given up to date shots, minus bloodwork. She was actually vet checked twice while she was at the shelter. Since our vet easily felt the tumors on her thyroid, I don't see how it was missed at the shelter by the vet (s) that checked her. I've wanted to ask my vet this, however it doesn't really matter now. I feel like our shelter most likely could not afford to blood test the animals when they first arrive but I still think it would be a good idea.

Community Leader
Registered: 11-21-2001
Tue, 02-21-2012 - 12:42pm

My ^Samantha^ suffered with fatty tumors as she grew older.

Laura