Pet sitter - lesson learned

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
27,360
39,018
San Diego
My kitty recently had to start thyroid meds. We've had the same pet sitter for years and she takes care of a lot of animals. So I felt like she would have no problem giving him the meds. It's not like she had to pill him. It's just a liquid that you put on his food and he doesn't even notice it. The vet said it tastes like chicken soup. They gave me a bunch of syringes to measure it. I left the pet sitter a note saying give him 2.5 ml in his food. I figured she would have done something like this before. Day two of our trip she calls me and says there's something wrong the the cat. He won't eat his canned food (which he usually loves).
Come to figure out she was measuring two full syringes instead of measuring to the 2.5 line. When I explained it to her she got defensive and said she had never used a syringe this way before.
I'm glad she called. The first time she gave him the meds he threw it up. Good thing - he would have been getting like 10 times the proper dose.
I guess if anything like this comes up again I'll make sure I walk her through it.
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
27,360
39,018
San Diego
Oh gosh thank god she called!! You'd think she would have asked first if she thought it was two and a half full syringes. [emoji15]
yes, good that she called and good that Sammy threw up after he took the first big dose.
I couldn't believe that she not only didn't understand but that when I explained it to her she argued with me. But she did the right thing by calling and eventually apologized
 
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sdkitty

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Jan 16, 2006
27,360
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San Diego
I am glad she eventually apologized. No room to let your ego get in the way when you are paid to care for someone's pet and you make such a big mistake!
really.....when she was talking to me on the phone I wondered if I'd been unclear in my note. But I re-read it when I got home and it said 2.5 ml. I guess maybe she never used a syringe that measured in milliliters before. Anyhow she was concerned about the cat so all is well.
 

BPC

Blue Jean Baby Queen prettiest Bal I've ever seen
Mar 31, 2012
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My heart sunk when I read the first post. Ugh.

Even if she never used a syringe before, the standard for liquid meds. is in ml. It's universal as far as I know. I just don't think she understood what ml means and took it upon herself to assume to give two full syringes.

Yes, at least she called. I'd still be livid though..
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
27,360
39,018
San Diego
My heart sunk when I read the first post. Ugh.

Even if she never used a syringe before, the standard for liquid meds. is in ml. It's universal as far as I know. I just don't think she understood what ml means and took it upon herself to assume to give two full syringes.

Yes, at least she called. I'd still be livid though..
What killed me was she argued with me on the phone like I'd written the note wrong. I went home and checked it. I typed out in large font 2.5 ML. I guess she never measured that way before. As I said, lesson learned. I assumed an experienced pet sitter would have done this before but I was obviously wrong.
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
27,360
39,018
San Diego
Jesus wept
Thankfully the kitty is ok
Why is it so hard to get good help these days?
I know.....it's hard to get a good, honest conscientious pet sitter. This one is the best we've had. She's always available, seems to like the cats and reasonably priced. This mistake could have been costly but good that Sammy threw up the OD and good that she called me.
 

jen_sparro

Jen
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Mar 27, 2009
6,413
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Perth, Western Australia
First off, I'm so glad your kitty is okay! I do pet-sitting and while I am lucky enough to have worked at a veterinarian practice (so experience with meds/medicating), I think you'd be surprised how little experience most sitters actually have with medications. They definitely should've clarified with you first though...

Personally, if I am ever unsure, I always contact the owner first before giving any meds... maybe next time if you go with another sitter (or with the same one), I'd ask them round and demonstrate for them exactly what to do? I'd had someone do that before going away as they were quite particular (fair enough, it's their baby!) and I have done that before as well with my own pets (that way I can rest assured they are aware of how/what to do).
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
27,360
39,018
San Diego
First off, I'm so glad your kitty is okay! I do pet-sitting and while I am lucky enough to have worked at a veterinarian practice (so experience with meds/medicating), I think you'd be surprised how little experience most sitters actually have with medications. They definitely should've clarified with you first though...

Personally, if I am ever unsure, I always contact the owner first before giving any meds... maybe next time if you go with another sitter (or with the same one), I'd ask them round and demonstrate for them exactly what to do? I'd had someone do that before going away as they were quite particular (fair enough, it's their baby!) and I have done that before as well with my own pets (that way I can rest assured they are aware of how/what to do).
Yes, I thought of that. I think she understands now but if I don't ask her to come over I'll write out detailed instructions - measure up from the bottom of the syringe to the 3 and then empty a bit out to get to 2.5 ML.