Hari-Fred-Gibbs Hurts: Versed/Midazolam

Gibbs was limping.
When you see the way the cats tear around playing it isn’t such an odd thought…

BUT, he also has put on weight (he is going ot be a BIG cat)
and worse, he was moving stiffly.  Too stiffly for a “kitten.”

We took him to our vet and she wanted to do xrays because he got ferocious
when she touched him certain places.  She thought it might be his back.
Now here  is the reason I’m writing this…

They had to knock him out for a very short time.
They gave him a common mix of Butorphanol, Midazolam and Dexdomitor.
Under, out quickly, and no back issues (thank the god/dess).
He has to go see a surgeon because he may have luxating patella, unusual in cats,
and so we will go see them — that is another story —
and whatever is wrong with his paw is healing and he is walking again.

I am writing about Midazolam, which is another name for Versed.
One of these miracle drugs that allows animals and humans to endure a short procedure (or a long one) calmly and without memory… yes, that is right, it messes with your memory.  It doesn’t knock you out, but makes sure that you don’t remember or experience the pain/surgery/etc that you went through.

I know about this because my mom had it during her heart surgery and she had experiences that were like dreams but so real — hallucinations —
that she never completely stopped believing that she didn’t have those experiences…
She never quite believed us though she sometimes acquiesced
because all of us told her the same thing.
This memory drug worked with her mind so that she didn’t recognize me,
insisted that this or that happened, and this went on for months.

When I mentioned it to a few clients MOST (not all) of them had terrible experiences on it, feeling disturbed after, having memory lapses, hallucinations.
All had had it during routine procedures — short times
when they didn’t knock you out but you needed not to feel what they were doing.

All said they put it in their charts never to use that drug on them again.

This is the second cat that has has this drug: Savitri had it and was out of it for days.
She could walk after about 2 hours, but she was frightened, loopy, not herself.
We kept her confined long after they suggested because her judgement was off.

Now Gibbs didn’t come out of it either.  For a week.
They sent him home, and we have confidence in our vet, she is very very good.
He could walk, but he was frightened, drunk, judgement off…
The next day he tood a flying leap and belly landed on something hard.
Maybe that part is not the worrisome part — maybe it is normal for a cat
to be slower after any ordeal where they are subject to things they don’t like,
but days later he is not himself.

He is frightened.  He is skitterish.
This cat is the solid rock of Gibraltar of cats normally, completely unflappable.
He is not running after springs or balls,
though he did finally run and play a bit yesterday.
He became the biggest love-bug ever (he is a lover) BUT that took the form of
wanting to hide his head under our armpit, hide his face under covers, and sleep on Mitchell (he seems to be a hot-body sleeper and usually can’t stick around all night.)
He is  not himself.

I am going to get wu-wu on you now, or some of you may consider it that.
But think about this, and how disturbing it is…
You have a painful experience but supposedly you don’t remember it.
We know now that the body has memory (legs that are removed still itch)…
and your body has memory of being held down, stretched out, and
you don’t understand this.  Or cut into, pain.  Take your pick.
Confusing, making you untrustworthy, scared.

At least with my mom we could reason with her but that reasoning took the
form of her swinging at me and insisting she didn’t know me…
telling doctors I was lying about her medical history…
her taking her clothes off repeatedly in the hospital and they nearly tied her down.
(Thankfully I had family to corroborate and assist.)

And it was the beginning of her dementia.

So I am writing to tell you all:
I will never let this be used on an animal of mine again.
It is in my charts as well, no Versed/Midazolam.
I am not fond of mind-altering drugs.  And frankly, the FDA is not what it should be… Think of the many drugs that  have been found to have side effects, some deadly.
This one is good for the docs because they can bring you up and get you out of the hospital faster, and so I suspect this one is being driven by the insurance companies.
They say this is all anecdotal, but the coincidence of my mom’s experience, 90% of my female client’s experiences, and now our two cats is enough for me.

Remember, doctors are not gods, not all-knowing.
They listen to pharmaceutical companies before they listen to you,
and most dismiss your anecdotal experiences.
(BTW, our vet did not.)
And yes, all our treatments in the USA are driven by insurance companies not wanting to pay.  And, it is the go-to drug for surgery and procedures now

The “good news”…

I can’t tell you the joy I felt when I saw this in the bathroom.
He was playing his old game, the hiding-under-the-rug shark game.
I cried, that was how different he had been.

He is still not himself, but he is coming around a week later.

I’ll keep you updated on if he needs surgery or not.
If he does, we will do it when we can be off for a few weeks (we are looking at this possibility) as he has to be kept DOWN after surgery.

And no Versed/Midazolam!

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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6 Responses to Hari-Fred-Gibbs Hurts: Versed/Midazolam

  1. loisajay says:

    “They say this is all anecdotal,” This burns me, Katie. How do ‘they’ know? Has it been tried on them? When my little Teemu started his downhill journey, our vet would not even do a dental on him b/c she was afraid of him being under anesthesia, but she did suggest a neuro to see what was going on (Teemu had had seizures for 9 years and they were getting harder on him). First thing the neuro said was she wanted to ‘see what is going on with his little brain’ by doing an MRI. But he will be put under for that, was my question. Yes, but only for 30 minutes. Was she serious? We never went back. Teemu had enough going on without have meds make him even loopier. Poor little Gibbs. My heart breaks, Katie. I hope all goes well for him and for you.


  2. bikerchick57 says:

    Katie, I will keep Hari-Fred-Gibbs in my prayers for good health and recovery. It’s an awful experience that you and Mitchell have to witness in your cat. I’m glad you made the choic to ban this drug. Sending hugs!


  3. Maggie says:

    How sad for you, your mom and your cats. No one should have to endure such things. I hope no surgery is needed and you can just be a family, at home, and playing under the rug.


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