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This story absolutely BROKE my heart!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
A good friend of mine volunteers at one of the branches of the Ontario Humane Society. When she went into to work yesterday she heard this absolutely terrible story. A couple of days ago, at another animal vet/shelter in that city, someone brought in their 2 year old German Shepard pup to get fixed. All went well with the surgery, the doctors fitted the dog with a cone so she wouln't be at her stitches etc, afterwards the owner opted (due to urging by the vet/shelter staff) to keep the dog at the vet/shelter overnight so she could be monitored in case any complications should arise. When the owner went back the next morning to pick their dog up, they were told that the dog had died during the night. The dog had somehow managed to get the cone off her head and she had chewed at the stitches and her stomach, the surgical cut was torn open and the dog slowly bled to death over the course of the night. When the owner asked how this could of happened, the response was that the vet/shelter was understaffed on the night shift (the rounds made to check on the animals were few and far between) and by the time the staff had gone back to check on the dog later on in the night it was too late she was dead.

I couldn't believe it when my friend told me this! I almost cried. This dogs death was totally preventable! I was under the impression that all animal shelters and/or hospitals, vets, etc., had to be properly staffed AT ALL TIMES. Aren't these the types of places where you can leave your animal, for what ever reason (medical or whatever), with the peace of mind knowing that they are well taken care of ????? It makes me so mad, just thinking about this! The president of the Humane Society where my friend works was totally outraged. She writing letters to the newspapers, she going to push for some regulations be stated that you can bring your animal home after any sort of procedure, as long as it doesn't endanger the animal's life. Obviously who better to monitor your pet than you!

I know I've been ranting, and this story doesn't involve a cat but this could happen to any animal at anytime. This post may not even make much sense but I was just so upset! That darling puppy died for no reason, suffered when it didn't have too! I'm still in shock. I just had to share this with people I know who would understand.

I'm not sure if I posted in the right place??? Feel free to move it if I haven't!
post #2 of 8
How sad!
post #3 of 8
That sorry is really sad
post #4 of 8
This is very sad indeed! It makes one wonder what the requirements are for animal hospitals - do they not need to be accredited? Was this one actually accredited? We do check out hospitals and doctors before we have surgey - we should do no less than do it for our furry friends.

I admittedly do now know the laws regarding vet hospitals and clinics but I would like to know more about how they are regulated and monitored.
post #5 of 8
My vet clinic is sending animals home after surgical procedures for exactly this reason. A lot of people are complaining about it, saying they want their pets kept overnight. I think they should read this story before they make that decision!
post #6 of 8
Vet hospitals unless they are emergency clinics that are open 24/7 are generally not staffed after dark. If there is a special needs animal that requires feeding every 4 hours (for example) someone will come in and be sure the feeding is done. But generally, at closing time, that's it and everyone goes home.
post #7 of 8
I know someone who's cat died at the vets overnight due to them not checking. My vets send any animals to a different clinic if they have to be kept overnight as they dont have the facilities to keep animals on site overnight, and for that i am glad. If i had to use them, at least i would know they are going to a 24 hour emergency clinic so there will be someone there.
post #8 of 8
We are hearing this story fourth-hand but....

We don't need more regulations or emotional outpourings, we need people to understand the pro's and con's of the choices they make. The dog's owner won't be reading this so he doesn't need our sympathy. If we want to be constructive, let's go ahead and have a realistic discussion about how to sort out who to trust with our pets' health.

There are differences between shelters, regular vet offices and 24-hour animal hospitals. Personally I had a sub-optimal experience with the warm and fuzzy type vet offices, so now I'm always a direct patient of the closest 24/7 animal hospital (the local university clinic). There won't be much personal attention, there won't be birthday cards or toys given to my pets, I won't see the same people twice, but at least they get the obvious stuff correct and have the right equipment to deal with things. If they don't know what is going on, they get someone else to come into the room for an immediate second opinion.

Compare that to Dr. Happy Vet working out of his personal office. He has no such backup, probably doesn't have the resources to run the right tests, just hires people off the street to help with his office work, so if he doesn't know the right answer he just fakes it or gives phony explanations. And how do you confirm he actually knows anything? He might have gotten his "degree" at the University of Granada. I feel much safer with tenured instructors at a major university who are proven commodities and are on top of their game when it comes to technical stuff. But at least Dr. Happy Vet does it with a smile and always pretends to remember your pet's name, I guess.

And shelters...? You get what you pay for. They might be altruistic or low-cost but they are way overworked and conditions aren't always the best. That'd be like going to the soup kitchen and then complaining their food gave you heartburn. Want to call in OSHA or FDA to review conditions? That soup kitchen will get shut down and now people will do without soup of any kind.

So how about it?
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