Broadway Darling Ragamuffins — Kitten fip & guardia, avoid this breeder
We purchased two Ragamuffins kittens in June 2016 from Carol Ohlund, owner of Broadway Darling Ragamuffins. One kitten was born April 25 and the other was born May 17, 2016. They had different mothers but the same father. We live in Phoenix so were able to visit the kittens on several occasions prior to picking them up in late August 2016. Within a couple of days, we discovered the male kitten was having diarrhea. We thought it was the new environment or the food, although I gave them the same food Carol had told me she was giving them at her house. When I talked to Carol she made some suggestions regarding the food, which we did, but diarrhea continued so she suggested we take him to the Vet, which I had already decided to do. (Coincidently, we have the same vet.)
The vet checked him an asked us to get a stool sample so she could check for giardia. His test came back with antibodies for giardia. The vet then asked us to get a stool sample from the female kitten and she tested positive for giardia. We were given a regime of meds to give for two weeks, which was complete the last week of September. The diarrhea did not stop for the male kitten, so vet reordered meds for another 10 days. This time, it seemed to have stopped, but when we brought in another stool sample for the female (too early to test male because of 2nd batch of meds) she tested positive. Vet then ordered a totally new regime of one week of meds, two weeks off and then another week of meds. In addition we were to mop floors with Clorox mixture daily, vacuum carpets and any furniture daily, complete change of litter daily, wipe their paws twice daily, plus a bath at beginning of meds and at the end – both treatment times. All bowls and any toys that could be submerged had to be soaked in a Clorox/water solution daily. We did this for 33 days.
Several days and after stopping meds and the last bath, the male kitten appeared a little lethargic and slowly stopped eating food or taking water. We gave him water by syringe but he refused food. We took him to the vet first thing on Monday morning. He had a fever and was given under the skin hydration they also gave him an antibiotic to maybe help with the fever, plus drew blood for tests. The following day the vet called and said she suspected FIP but needed to run a more conclusive test and asked if I wanted to do that and gave me the cost. I agreed and told them to run the test, she also told me there was no known drug for a cure and that it was 90% fatal. I asked the vet to contact Carol and let her know what was going on. (On two previous conversations with Carol regarding the giardia issue, she was abrupt and didn’t want to talk to me, so I asked the Vet to call her.) At little while later I heard back from a tech telling me that Carol was going to pay for the last blood test and wanted my phone number because she wanted to know what was going on. I thought her asking for my phone number was odd since she has it on the contract.
Later that afternoon I ended up taking him back for more hydration and with vets consulting, they decided to try an anti inflammatory shot to bring down the fever and maybe help his lack of appetite. He perked up for a couple of hours that evening, sniffed the food, licked a very miniscule amount and then crashed and slept.
That same evening I talked to Carol, she immediately asked why I didn’t call her first, and she reminded me that the contract says the breeder doesn’t have to pay for any veterinarian bills. I told her I tried to talk to her about the giardia issue and she told me that that wasn’t a disease it was a parasite and all cats have giardia. She asked about two neighbor cats that show up at our back door for treats and inferred that the FIP could have come from them (were they still alive?). These cats have had absolutely no contact with the Ragamuffins and are healthy, outdoor cats. She had also questioned us that the giardia could have come from the outdoor cats; again they have had no contact with our Ragamuffin kittens. Again she said I should have called her and she would always take a kitten back. I told her I would talk to my husband and let her know. The conversation was getting very unpleasant and I wanted to get off the phone. After thinking about the situation overnight, we decided to give the kitten back to her for several reasons -1) we thought she would take good, loving care of him, and 2) we didn’t want to be the ones to watch him die and 3) we were concerned about the other kitten getting infected. (Vet tells me there is no conclusive test for FIP until they actually have the symptoms, most cats carry the coronavirus but their healthy immune system takes care of it.)
I texted Carol the next morning and told her we would give him back because we wanted what was best for the kitten and asked her to bring a carrier to work and I would drop him off when she got off. Carol called back several hours later and said she needed to prep her house since she had two pregnant cats before she could take our kitten. She also said had found some drug for FIP on the Internet, which supposedly had an 80% cure rate and she had asked the vet to order it for her. Turns out the drug she had found only had a 5% success rate, so I don’t know if she got it or not. The kitten was still very lethargic that afternoon, so I called the vet and asked if I could bring him back in for more under the skin hydration and called Carol to see who was going to pay for it since she was taking him back. She told me she could take the kitten after work and for me to drop him off at her house after the vet. Five minutes after I arrived at the vet, Carol walked in, said nothing to me and took the kitten from my arms and back to the exam room. She was totally insensitive to the fact I was very upset and concerned about my kitten. Two techs witnessed the whole thing and came over to comfort me because I was sobbing. Carol came out with the kitten in her carrier told me she would hydrate him at home and feed with a syringe, paid the bill and walked out without even letting me say good-bye.
I texted Carol the next day and asked how he was doing…no response. Vet called me on Friday (she was not aware that I had given the kitten back to Carol) and said test results were inconclusive, not positive nor negative but in her professional opinion based on the symptoms he had FIP. She said she would call Carol.
I called Carol on Saturday to ask how he was doing and she very abruptly told me I “gave up the kitten for money, the kitten was hers and the vet was not to share any information with me”. She told me to never call her again and hung up.
I would not recommend this breeder to anyone. She has been hostile, unresponsive, defensive, and insensitive. This whole experience has left me with very serious doubts about breeders in general. She was very friendly and helpful when we were interested in purchasing a kitten but everything changed when the kittens got sick. I would also be concerned about giardia and FIP still being present in her home since she denies any responsibility for them having it when we got them. I would avoid Broadway Darling Ragamuffins and Carol Ohlund period.