Avoiding Dangerous Veterinarians

Written by Jan on June 21, 2008 – 4:13 pm

Cancer is epidemic in pets and all of us have, or know someone who has, a dog with diabetes, severe allergies, skin problems or liver, heart or kidney disease. It’s time to rethink veterinary care. Watch our video to learn how to spot a dangerous vet through his practices of over-vaccination, negligence, pushing “fast food,” price gouging and more. The information revealed in this video may well save your dog’s life.

Watch our other vet video, “Stand Up to Your Vet,” and find informative articles, referral lists for holistic vets and vets skilled in homeopathy at www.Dogs4Dogs.com/vet Also learn how to file a complaint against your vet. Subscribe to our blog at www.Truth4Dogs.com to be notified when our new videos and articles are available.

Learn your veterinarian’s responsibility to fully inform you about the risks of vaccination by reading this excellent article by an attorney/veterinarian: Veterinary Liability Related to Vaccination.

Other articles you might like:

Is Your Dog’s Vet a Vaccination Expert?

Vaccinating: Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure

Lower Your Vet Bills: 10 Tips for Keeping Costs Down

Please bookmark this article and tell your friends!

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Tags: dog food, dog video, file a complaint, find a vet, Vaccination, vaccine, vet, veterinarian, Veterinarians, vets
Posted under Nutrition, Pet Meds, Uncategorized, Vaccination, Veterinarians, Videos | 45 Comments » Email This Post

45 Comments to “Avoiding Dangerous Veterinarians”


  1. rachael plane Says:

    This video is well done and obviously looked into what is going on behind the doors of many veterinary facilites, the dirty laundry no one wants to believe exists. I find most of the well done internet sites like ww.catshots.com and the Canine Health Concern are the passionate work of a veterinary client whom lost their beloved companion because they were not granted FULL DISCLOSURE and certainly not INFORMED CONSENT. The medical hubris of our profession, we will look back at this time in SHAME and in HORROR as said by Dr. Harris Coulter on the collateral damage done by the medical profession.Dr. Jean Dodds covered the Topic in our national meeting last year, WHY are vets still over vaccinating? Is it IGNORANCE or something else? We know and have the research to state vaccines are NOT indicated past the imprinting stage of the 15 weeks for distemper in the cat or the dog and for parvo in the dog.The Rabies Laws are OUTDATED and not in keeping with scientific research.The USDA is hopelessly defecient and the FDA, well, ask Lou Dobbs about the FDA. Owners need to be proactive in both their and the pets health, unfortunatley, the very organizations defined to protect the public are all failing us. I hope this video awakens the companion animal caretakers to the INCONVENIENT TRUTHS of pet health industry.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Rachael Plane

  2. Stefani Olsen Says:

    Ms. Rasmusen, you are a personal hero of mine for posting this and for your campaign to make our dogs lives safer, healthier and longer. Of course, all the things you said about dogs go for cats too! (I have 1 dog and 4 cats!)

    In your video, you asked the question how people will know if their vets have a prior disciplinary record with the state agency that regulates them. Some state boards have this information online, many do not. In every case, you can file a public records request with you state vet board to request disciplinary records.

    The EXACT thing you talked about in your video happened to my cat. He was left in the care of the vet’s son — NOT a trained licensed technician. This young man used the wrong syringe to give my cat insulin, resulting in a 10x overdose (my cat was supposed to get 3 units, instead he got 30). He was then left alone overnight, and then after being visited in the morning, left alone again for over 13 hours. When he was found the next night he was having massive hypoglycemic seizures, was hypothermic, rigid, comatose, near death. They transferred him to another hospital leaving a note saying if he died, they would send a tech to pick up his dead body the next day. They never called me that night.

    The vet was fined ONLY $250 by the vet bord for failure to supervise.

    He never missed a day of work.

    Presumably, they still leave patients alone overnight.

    You can read many stories about such things on my blog, The Bad Vet Daily:

    http://badvetdaily.blogspot.com

    For the story of what happened to my cat, and selected disciplinary records from Maryland, Virginia, and Texas, visit The Toonces Project:

    http://www.TheTooncesProject.com

    You are right, people BLINDLY and unwisely trust their vets without critical intellectual assessment.

    We need to change that, FOR PET’S SAKE!!!

    Please let me know of ANYTHING I can do to help you.

  3. Barbara A. Albright/NH Says:

    Thank you Jan, for an excellent video, and for being a courageous companion animal advocate! The more of us that raise public awareness on these issues, the better for the lives of our pets, both in quality and longevity.

    A particularly horrific case of veterinary cruelty and abuse I experienced with my companion dog can be read at
    http://walnut-hill.bravehost.com

    Do not assume that your vet is licensed to administer humane euthanasia, ask if DEA (drug enforcement agency) licensed for schedule 11 narcotics, which is a requirement to purchase and administer sodium pentobarbital combination lethal drug solution

  4. Tom Monroe Says:

    Unfortunately, you are dead right. Our sweet Jack Russell, critically ill with pancreatitis, we now know was left all alone all night long and for 12-hour stretches on the weekend with an IV tube in her leg…until she chewed through it twice. We were never told that would be the sad case – and only found out after sitting for hours in the parking lot on a Saturday and pounding on the door in vain for someone to come. We were also not told that 24/7 expert care was available 5 miles away. The diet this Bad Vet gave our dog gave her pancreatitis – and her Bad Care killed our precious girl. Beware! They’re everywhere. Thanks, Jan for giving our dead “Jackie-O” a voice.

  5. Keri Says:

    Thank you for saying that we need to be advocates for our pets. Having moved several times, we’ve had both excellent and bad experiences with various vets, which have taught me this lesson several times. The excellent vets have always given us a plan of action and discussed problems with us before prescribing treatment. These vets also discussed prevention as much as treatment- without attempting to sell us anything! The bad vets advocated expensive treatments for minor ailments. For example, one vet wanted to do exploratory surgery on our Great Dane because he had a bladder infection. This was before he even did a specific gravity, a urine pH or a urine culture. In other words, his first diagnostic test was going to be exploratory surgery! Another vet we walked away from refused to contact our breeder about the sensitivity of her blood lines to certain anesthetics and doses of anesthetics. This vet insisted that she knew best what the anesthetic and dose should be. I later found out that this vet wasn’t even certified to treat giant breeds! I’m willing to bet that I know more about giant breeds than this so called “vet” did.

    Thank you again for your warning…

  6. Halo Says:

    I had a vet administer rimadyl to my 9 year old Saint without my knowledge or permission when he had a tooth pulled. 6 months later he was dead. Can never prove it was the rimadyl that did it (didn’t know about it until I picked his chart up) after we had him cremated. There wil always be doubt though in my mind the rimadyl caused a chronic underlying disease to manifest.
    Halo

  7. Greg Munson Says:

    Stempy, our beloved lil’ Shih Tzu boy, passed away at the age of 8 due to the negligence of his veterinarian in 2005. His is a long story that includes many aspects of BAD veterinary care. Unfortunately, we blindly trusted our vet. It took losing the most important thing in our lives for us to finally realize what we were dealing with – a BAD veterinarian. We miss Stempy more than words could ever express. Don’t let this happen to you. NEVER blindly trust your veterinarian!

    If you are so inclined, you may read Stempy’s Story at his website:
    http://stempy.bravehost.com/

    and also at:
    http://vetsfromhell.110mb.com/

    Visit our Texas Vet Board Watch website:
    http://texasvetboardwatch.110mb.com/

    Need to check the disciplinary record of a Texas Vet?
    http://texasveterinaryrecords.110mb.com/

  8. Cheyenne Says:

    I think unless your pet is being cared for at a 24 hour critical care facility, it seems to be the norm that sick, post-op pets are drugged and left alone overnight. A couple of years ago, my dog had to undergo emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction. When my vet said she had to spend the night, I asked who would be with her. She said no one. I then said that I could not leave her there. She tried to tell me that my dog would be so groggy that all she would do was sleep anyway and that she would be fine. When I said “And what if she stops breathing, who’s going to know? ” She just looked at me. I insisted that I was taking her home. I picked her up at 8:30 that night just before closing, against my vet’s advice, and I sat up with her the entire night. Contrary to what my vet said, she awoke often during the night. I was there to comfort her and let her know it was going to be OK. Had I left her at the vet’s, she would have awakened during the night in a cold cage, all alone and frightened. Having me there allowed her to snuggle up a little closer and go right back to sleep, knowing she was safe. Two wrong diagnoses after that and I was out of there. We now have a new vet, a wonderful lady who listens to my concerns, answers my questions instead of blowing me off and actually acknowledges that I have made it a point to know alot more about my dog’s breed than most people care to learn. I consider her my partner in my dog’s health care.

  9. Carolyn Says:

    After reading all the stories, I wonder how do you find a good vet? I’ve used word of mouth about the one we currently have and she is “ok.” Luckily my dog is pretty healthy at the moment so the vet has never been “tested” by us. We may be moving to a new community where we won’t know anyone … how would we find a good vet there? I know there are some internet resources, but if the vet is under the radar on those, then what? Jan, and others, what do you recommend???

  10. Jan Says:

    I suggest you look for a vet at http://www.holisticvetlist.com. I hope this is helpful.

    Jan

  11. Albert Says:

    Please look at this website: http://www.metacamkills.com/

    Our beautiful feline, PATCHES, was destroyed by the misuse of Metacam. I feel so bad…..

    These vets are using it off label and often not telling their clients.

  12. Candra Adams Says:

    I took my dogs to a vet in Tempe Arizona. He took my male puppy to the back room for a routine test and when he came back out he said “your dog acted up, so I corrected him”. I trusted this vet and thought nothing of it. However, Bogart (my little guy) hates people ever since. He used to love everybody, even vets and vet techs. Right after that this vet told me that my puppymill rescue senior had an enlarged heart and would only live two weeks to a month. He gave her prednisone and lasix. I gave these to her as prescribed. Sure enough she got sicker and sicker. Due to extenuating circumstances I discovered that he was giving her enough med’s. for a 150 lb. man (she’s a 5 lb. chihuahua). I found a heart specialist and took her there. He said that other than a slight murmur, her heart is fine and took her off the med’s (even the murmur is gone now). This vet did the same thing to a friend of mine. I now drive 3 hours to see a great vet who even refuses to leave dogs in his clinic overnight after surgery (my chi just had a mammary tumor removed and I picked him over the oncologists because he let her come home). He says “they’d stay all by themselves in here. That’s not healthy, if they need to stay overnight I transport them back to my house and they sleep in a kennel by my bed”. There’s a great vet!!

  13. Billie Says:

    I have educated myself and trust NO vet 100%. I think I know too much, so do they!

  14. Pat Deeds Says:

    I took my beloved cockapoo to Clinic X, in Maryland for a neuter surgery that never took place and my healthy young dog died. I am traumatized and devastated beyond any thing you can imagine. Please never ever trust blindly any veterinarian. I had to endure a painful necropsy to prove what I already knew that my precious dog was in fact healthy. I will never be the same person I once was. The pain is unexplainable, I can’t sleep at night without waking up to horrible nightmares. My dog died from a cattle & horse drug used without my informed consent. I was left alone to research what happened with only the scimpy vet’s medical report that I requested, not offered. The drug Manufacturer helped me find some of the answers. The Pathologist was compassionate to me and answered many unanswered questions that would have otherwise not have been answered. No one needs to go through this because of carelessness. Inform yourself before you ever step into a veterinarian’s office. They don’t tell you the side effects always if ever. The pain is unbearable. Mutley will NEVER be forgotten I miss him so much. I cry daily and hate the fact that this does happen more often than not. The name of the drug is Xylazine 100mg/ml. that was diluted and injected into my little dog.

  15. Jan Says:

    Thank you for posting your very painful story. I’m so sorry for your loss. Things like this happen way too often. There have been numerous cases of humans getting the wrong drug, or wrong dose, in hospitals and dying. It’s so senseless. I hope you’ll file a complaint with your local veterinary board. There’s information on doing this on my Veterinarian page. My dogs and I send you a hug.

  16. Ken Says:

    My sweet little 12 pond Chihuahua was having massive hypoglycemic seizures at 9:30 am after administering a insulin shot. When I called the vetenarian who prescribed the insulin treatement for my dog’s diabetes and who diagnosed the illness just a few days ago. After spending almost 700 dollars in medical bills just to stabalize her, the doctor at a veterinarian hospital in **** said she was too busy and to see her at 8 am the next day. At 3 am I had to drive 50 miles to the nearest city, Fresno to get her put down as an act of mercy because she was in such pain, stiff, howling and out of her mind. I guess money is all that matters to this “doctor”. Never go to this … Veterinarian, go to a where they are open 24 hours a day and care for animals who are in need of emergency care.

  17. Jan Says:

    Ken, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you’ll find a way to make something good happen from this tragedy.

    Tell your friends what happened. Report the vet to your state’s veterinary board. Find out how at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vet Send your vet an emotional-packed letter letting her know how disappointed you are in her callousness and how your dog, your friend, died because she was “too busy.” In short, make it hard for her to ignore a plea for help again. At this point, it’s all you can do, but it’s an important thing to do.

    I send you a hug.

  18. Debbie Says:

    Bless you for all you do to help people with their beloved animal companions.

    I lost three dogs within 12 months of each other… two to what the specialist referred to as “plate related osteosarcoma.” This is bone cancer related to the non medical grade metal implants used a few years ago in their TPLO procedures.

    The doctor from the university who did the research on the TPLO inferior metal implants’ association with osteosarcoma told me through emails that even though there was a percentage of dogs developing osteosarcoma associated with the inferior metals, there are colleagues that would not agree, because lots of dogs get osteosarcoma who don’t have metal implants, so they would say he’s off his rocker. The TPLO is a big money making procedure.

    When Trouble’s regular vet misdiagnosed him (telling me that he only had arthritis and to give him aspirin for pain…you DO NOT give aspirin for bone cancer) I KNEW his pain wasn’t from arthritis… so I took him to the specialist who did his TPLO. He saw the tumor immediately on the original x-ray and could feel the tumor in his leg. A biopsy confirmed OS and amputation was the treatment to relieve the pain. (He died four months later.)

    So when Fly became lame, I KNEW it was OS…. my worst nightmare…. so I took her to my regular vet who took x-rays (the visible tumor was in her L7 vertebrae) and said she did not have cancer, only arthritis. He wanted to vaccinate her for rabies, as she was “overdue”. I told him to do a titer, which he did, and IT CAME BACK NORMAL. There was no way I was going to have her vaccinated when I KNEW she had cancer.

    So I took Fly to the specialist who did her TPLO (Trouble’s doctor) since he saw Trouble’s tumor on the x-ray… I thought he’d be able to see it right away. He said he didn’t see any cancer on the x-ray so he took more x-rays. He told me that Fly had arthritis and as much as I didn’t want him to, he put her on rimadyl. She wasn’t getting better… I took her back to him. He said she didn’t have cancer as he knew my concerns (and he was afraid of a lawsuit.) He told me the other TPLO specialist had viewed the x-rays who also said there were no signs of cancer.

    Note from Jan: read more about TPLO at http://specialneedsdogsmusicandmore.blogspot.com

  19. Natalie Kramer Says:

    Dear Ms. Rasmusen,

    Thank you for the opportunity to relate the experience I have with a veterinary practice I now consider unsafe, after what happened to my cat while he was a patient there. This clinic … was recommended to me by the rescue I was volunteering for at the time. For two years I was a satisfied customer. But in early 2008, I brought my elderly cat, Smokey, there because I noticed a severe swelling of his front paw.

    In order to find the source of the swelling one of the clinic doctors took an X-ray of Smokey’s chest, which did not help diagnose the swelling. As was determined later, however, this X-ray contained evidence of a severe congestive heart failure, which the vet who took the X-ray, and later another clinic vet, totally ignored, despite the fact that Smokey was losing his appetite, wasting away, gurgling upon breathing, showed reluctance to lie down and lethargy (all symptoms consistent with congestive heart failure). As a result, Smokey went without treatment for the congestive heart failure for close to three weeks.

    Alarmed by the symptoms, I rushed him to the ER, where he died after being sedated for another X-ray. The second X-ray showed that in the three weeks since the first X-ray, Smokeys heart disease had progressed to what appeared to be pericardial effusion. And yet congestive heart failure is often treated successfully with beta blockers and diuretics. Smokey’s congestive heart failure was diagnosed on the first X-ray (taken at [the first hospital] by two vets at the ER and later by a Tufts University vet. Yet, when I confronted the owner (and head vet) of [the first hospital]about his two staff vets missing the congestive heart failure on the X-ray that one of them took, he stated to me that this disease cannot be seen on an X-ray and that it cannot be recognized by anyone other than a veterinary cardiologist.

    It has been close to two years, and I am still affected by what I see as this evasive and untruthful explanation. It scares me to think that either this veterinarian does not know the basics in diagnosing heart disease or lacks professional integrity to the degree that in order to avoid responsibility for his staff’s errors, he would pretend not to have such basic scientific knowledge.

    I believe this veterinary practice is unsafe and unethical. It is heavily involved with rescue, draws much of its revenue from rescue patients, and earns the rescue people’s seal of approval in the community. Yet, when I confronted the head vet about his staff’s errors, he banned me and three other volunteers (all members of my family) from walking convalescing homeless dogs boarded for the rescue group at his facility 24/7 with no outside runs. This did not serve these patients’ best interest. Also, when two cats were abandoned at the doorstep of his facility in the summer of 2008, the head vet ordered his staff (before they had a chance to seek other options) to have these cats picked up by animal control (this is in the county where the high-kill shelter was full that day).

    I think pet owners should be warned to be very cautious about vets recommended by rescue groups. I understand it is not uncommon for rescues to be biased and lack objectivity about the clinical skills of the vets they associate with. Had I had this warning before choosing a vet, the tragedy of Smokey’s misdiagnosis may not have happened.

  20. Jan Says:

    Natalie, I’m so sorry for what happened. I’m also sorry to tell you that I have posted your story but had to delete the name of the hospital. I can’t personally verify what happened, and don’t want to be sued.

    That said, just the telling of your story is powerful. I wish you healing and happiness.

  21. Natalie Kramer Says:

    Jan, thank you! I understand about the name of the hospital. I do have all the documentation, however, so if you would like to see it, I’d be happy to send it to you. The main purpose of my posting the story on your site though is to warn other pet owners to be cautious with respect to rescues’ recommendations, not expose the veterinary establishment. If you would like the documentation in any case, please let me know.

  22. Natalie Kramer Says:

    Jan, an update: the veterinarian who missed Smokey’s heart failure on an X-ray has been issued a formal letter of censure by the state veterinary board. A censure is a matter of public record. This veterinarnian also attended classes at a regional conference to “improve his ability…” to interpret radiographs and ultrasounds. I feel some measure of peace, knowing that his future cardiac patients may receive better care than what Smokey received. I am still very sad though. I have created a blog in Smokey’s memory. You can link to it at http://cpahclientsbeware.blogspot.com/2009/11/college-park-animal-hospital-vet.html. Thank you again for all you do to raise awareness of this difficult issue.

  23. Jan Says:

    Natalie, thanks for the update. If more people would file complaints, as you have, when their pets get substandard care, our pets (and our hearts) would be in much better shape.

  24. carlie Says:

    could someone please tell me what kind of dog food is best for my chihuahuas? one is 4 months and the other two are 8 months, the 8 months old are on iams lamb and rice and the 4 month is on exclusive puppy food

  25. Jan Says:

    Carlie, you need a food for both dogs that are approved for “all stages of life.” Check out the foods at http://www.dextersdeli.com. Dexter’s carries most of the best brands.

  26. rick Says:

    I have reciently fostered a cat and baby kitten the baby had an infection we took the baby to the [….] vet hospital they wanted us to spend 2400 dollars for all kinds of tests when we said we couldnt afford that they called the shelter complaining we didnt want to pay for all the tests we ended up agreeing to pay 800 dollars for an over night stay several hours later they called to ask to put the kitten down after they said the kitten was doing better when we said we were coming down to be with the kitten they said it wouldnt make it after getting permission to put the cat down they said the kitten bit the vet andsaid they were going to cut its head off to check for rabies when i said no they said it was the law this kitten was born in captivity neaver outside mother doesnt have rabies this was a hartless greedy vet only in business for the money they can exploit from people trying to help also ive been out of work for 11 mos. loving owner of 4 cats 1dog 6 birds.

  27. Tracy Says:

    If you love your dog, would you take it to a vet that was going to do major surgery on it without administering pain medication afterwards? I had been very satisfied with the vet that I had chosen for my fur baby’s first visit. They seemed very caring and knowledgeable with an interest in my observations and thoughts. Because of that, I decided they should be my “forever vet”. When it came time to have my baby spayed, I was quoted a price of $140. It never occurred to me to ask if that included pain medication after the procedure. I just assumed that it did. When my fiance took her into the office this morning, the receptionist told him that she highly recommended paying an extra $31 for a pain shot after the procedure since it was a highly invasive procedure and she would be in considerable pain afterwards. WHAT?!? I was mortified! Why would anyone even think of cutting through skin and muscle and NOT including some form of pain control after the operation? To me that is simply inhumane, and no critter of mine will be left in the hands of a vet that would even consider making pain management an OPTION for a FEE. She now has an appointment with another vet who has come highly recommended by friends and family members. That vet is charging $120, and YES, that price DOES include a shot that will manage her pain for 3 days after the operation. Is there anywhere to report this vet, or am I just going to have to suck it up and accept that without my almighty dollar my baby was going to be allowed to suffer?

  28. Jan Says:

    Tracy, I don’t think vets are required to offer pain meds, although it’s really cruel not to. Spaying is very painful. Even with meds, my little girl would just stand in one spot for hours and look pitivul. The vet will say he was trying to save you money, although it does sound like a misleading practice. Most people would expect the meds to be included in the price.

    Get your dog’s file from the vet, or at least a copy. You have a right to the file. Ask the receptionist in person. Just say you’re moving to a new area. Smile. If you get the file, great. If not, send a registered letter demanding the file.

    Once you have the file, contact your state’s veterinary medical association or examiner’s board. That’s where you tell your story. Don’t expect a lot. Vet boards usually protect their own. But at least you’ll embarrass the vet.

    I’m not an attorney, but this is what I’d do. You can also report him to the Better Business Bureau.

  29. Tracy Says:

    Thank you so much, Jan. I have posted a review of his practice on every single website that Google can find that offers the option, and another review on my community’s website that is visited by many in the surrounding area. It seems that it is common practice around here to make pain medicine optional and is up to each owner. I made the mistake of assuming that it would be taken care of because that is the humane thing to do. And, please don’t think that I begrudge paying for the medicine. That’s not it at all. I would have gladly paid for it if it had been mentioned at the time the price was quoted for the procedure. Anyway, thanks again and keep up the great job on this website. I have enjoyed it very much.

  30. Shannon Bailey Says:

    On Friday June 24, 2011, I brought a Yorkshire Terrier “Nya” in to________ (hereafter to be referred to as “The Vet”) to be spayed and have a dental done.

    I had requested to be called to let me know how the surgery went. When I got the call, The Vet informed me there had been some “complications” with the surgery. I asked what had happened and she told me they had problems getting Nya under anesthetic. The Vet said Nya’s body was not accepting anesthetic and she was responsive enough to have voluntary respirations, meaning she was over riding the breathing machine and breathing on her own.

    The Vet then went on to say she had tried to administer more anesthetic but then Nya’s heart rate was dropping because of the increased anesthetic, so The Vet backed off the anesthetic at which point Nya was in a “very light plane of anesthesia”. I asked The Vet what that meant and she explained that Nya was not ADEQUATLEY anesthetized, however she went ahead and continued with the procedure.

    Not only did she spay her she also extracted 7 teeth all without the benefit of adequate anesthesia. I then asked if that meant that Nya had felt what was being done to her and The Vet’s response was “I cannot say for sure what she felt or did not feel”. I was quite upset at this point and when I went to pick Nya up, I spoke to The Vet about the procedure and I asked again if Nya would have felt what was being done to her, and again I got the same response, “I cannot say for sure what she may or may not have felt”. The Vet then explained aftercare to me; medications and such. So I took Nya and we left the office and went home.

    That evening Nya was very groggy, which was to be expected and did not even want to drink water so I syringed fluids into her to prevent dehydration and still was not overly concerned as this was merely hours after she had surgery, so it was to be expected.

    The next morning, Saturday, Nya was no better and her pain medications did not seem to be helping her much, The Vet had told me she was sending her home with “the strongest pain medications they carried in the office”, but she was not sure that even that would control her pain so she also sent a secondary pain medication to be used if needed. Still I figured we were less than 24 hours post op, so I was not terribly concerned. I was however concerned as the day wore on and she still would not eat or drink anything and I was having to syringe fluids into her frequently to prevent dehydration, and then I started syringing food into her as well because that evening she still would not eat.

    By this time I was starting to get concerned, I have had female dogs in the past and they have been spayed and never had this kind of reaction this long after surgery. I also consulted with many friends who also had female dogs who had been spayed and none of them had experienced this kind of reaction either, in fact with my own dogs and the dogs of the many people I had consulted with by 24 hours post op, the dogs were pretty much back to normal, a little tender, but eating, drinking and slowly resuming normal activities. Nya was doing none of this. It was around this time (24 hours post op) that I noticed a fair amount of bruising from her rib cage to down between her back legs and a fair amount of swelling. Again none of my other female dogs had ever had this kind of bruising or swelling nor did anyone I spoke with who had, had females spayed. While I was concerned as this clearly was not a “normal” reaction, I know just as in people no 2 individuals react the same, even if they have the same procedure, so I thought Nya was just taking a little longer to bounce back. I continued to syringe feed her and syringe fluids into her and tried to keep her pain under control.

    The following morning, Sunday, I looked at Nya’s abdomen and saw it was purple, from the middle of her ribcage all the way down to between her back legs and she was extremely swollen, in fact she looked like she was ready to deliver puppies, that is how swollen she was. Again, I have had female dogs and never, ever has any of them ever bruised so badly and never have I ever seen that much swelling after a spay surgery. Again I consulted with many people, many of them breeder friends of mine (who had several females and had them spayed when they retired them from breeding) and none of them had ever experienced this either.

    By this time I was extremely concerned. Nya was still not eating or drinking and she was in severe pain, she was in so much pain she could not even tolerate it if you were to touch her flanks. Now I can understand being tender at the surgery site, but she was very tender even up in her sides, nowhere near the surgical site. I called a Veterinarian close to my house and arranged to bring Nya in to be seen on an Emergency basis. As soon as we walked into the Veterinarians’ office Nya started to cry, at the time I thought it was because she was doing so poorly.

    Dr. ____ looked at her abdomen and gasped when he saw the bruising and swelling and was immediately concerned that there may be internal bleeding because of the swelling and purple abdomen, so he ran x-rays and they showed no bleeding going on internally. Since he did not have her surgical records or her pre-op blood work, he gave her sub cutaneous fluids, an injection of pain medication and a sedative to help her relax and hopefully make her comfortable enough to feel better. I was advised if this continued on Monday I was to bring her back and he would run more blood work to see if anything was abnormal to explain all of this. By Sunday evening, Nya was still no better, she still would not eat or drink and was still exhibiting severe pain.

    The next day, Monday, there was still no change so I contacted __________ and explained to her what was happening. She agreed this was NOT normal. She advised me to have Nya seen again and have tests run, which I had already planned on doing. She offered to take a look at Nya, I declined. I did not want this woman anywhere near this dog again. I asked her to send Nya’s medical chart to the Veterinarian I was taking Nya to see. She again offered to do a follow up with Nya and I again declined the offer.
    I had to take time off work so I could take Nya in to be looked at again, Dr. _____ ran blood work and found it was normal, except her Red Blood Count was a little low, which could have meant blood loss during surgery. Other than that he could find no medical reason for her to be reacting this way, his thought was it was because of “Trauma” due to her not being properly anesthetized during surgery. He gave me a herbal supplement in hopes of stimulating her appetite. Still she would not eat or drink on her own. By this time I was extremely worried and thought we might have to euthanize her, because she was doing so poorly and suffering so much.
    Nya was a rescue dog, I was fostering her (I have since adopted her), I had gotten her May 15, 2011 and this dog NEVER EVER barks or makes a sound, now since she had this surgery the minute we go into a Veterinary office she SCREAMS and cries. Clearly she is terrified and traumatized. I do not know if she will ever stop doing this.

    Thankfully, Nya very slowly started improving, but it was well over a week before she would eat or drink on her own and start to feel better.
    I had asked The Vet, why she would continue the surgery knowing full well she could not adequately anesthetize the dog and she replied “I made a judgment call”.

    As the care giver and representative of the dog I feel I should have been notified and told of the complication and given the choice of what to do, continue with the surgery or cancel it. This was NOT The Vet’s choice to make, the dog did not belong to her. This was NOT something she had the right to decide upon or make the “Judgment call” about. Any responsible Veterinarian will call an owner or caregiver of an animal and ask what owner or caregiver wants to do if there is a complication. It is the owner or caregivers place to decide what they want done with their animal.

    What she did was beyond cruel and inhumane and if I had been notified that they could not get her under, I NEVER would have given permission to go ahead with the surgery. It was an elective surgery, the dog was not in a situation where she was fighting for her life and her life depended on her having the surgery. It was a SPAY!!!! In my opinion this poor dog was tortured at the hands of this vet and she was put through severe pain and suffering needlessly. The bottom line is: The dog did NOT belong to The Vet, she had NO right to make the decision to proceed with the surgery without notifying me and asking me what I wanted to do, CLEARLY knowing she could not get her properly anesthetized.

    If Nya were a human being and The Vetwere a M.D. would she have made the same judgment call? I have very little doubt that if Nya were human andThe Vet did this, she would be making an offer in the high 6 figures right about now. This is clearly a case of malpractice, bad judgment, and cruelty if not abuse of an animal. Just because Nya cannot speak and say ouch, does not mean she did not feel pain and did not suffer.

    This vet needs to have the scalpel removed from her hand permanently and should not be allowed to treat anything living, after this experience I would not trust her with my plants!!!

    She had NO right to make the decision she did, that was my decision and mine alone.

    In closing I would like to say I feel this vet was neglectful, abusive, cruel, and showed very poor judgment in this case. A veterinarian is supposed to help and animal not cause them pain and suffering needlessly. IF this was a case involving a human and this was done there would be a very large lawsuit in progress right now.

    NOTE FROM JAN: This addition to the post above was emailed to me. Here it is: “I currently have a complaint in with NY Licensing board, NY discipline board< NY vet med Association, ASPCA, PETA and the BBB. Her insurance company has gotten involved also so this is just heating up. I also have CBS news interested in airing the sotry, but I am holding off on that until I know I cannot get into legal trouble for Liable. From what I understand tho once you have a complaint in with the licensing board no matteer what the outcome you cannot be sued for liable, at thattime I will be taking this story very public as I do not feel what she did was right."

  31. Jan Says:

    Shannon, I think you’ve covered all the bases. Just don’t be too disappointed, especially by the veterinary establishment which tends to support its own. One thing, emails go largely unnoticed. If you’ve emailed an organization, also consider writing to them. Letters are harder to ignore. And if you’ve contacted CBS but nothing happens, try elsewhere.

    If this is something that just happened, you might want to inquire about Arnica Montana and Traumeel at your local health food store. These are homeopathic remedies that will help with pain and heeling.

    There are other remedies that help with pain and even emotional pain. Inquire at your health food store. And please let me know what happens.

    Thanks for taking the time to post this very important story.

  32. Julie Says:

    Jan, we’ve corresponded before, but I just had to tell you again what a wonderful service you provide the public. Every week I get mail from grieving pet guardians who cannot believe the incompetence, negligence, and outright cruelty inflicted on their pets at the hands of some vets. I hear these same type of stories over and over, as I’m sure you do too. My web site celebrated its 11th anniversary this year – my precious Suki has been gone for 12 years, and I still miss her every day. I am still in shock at what was done to her, and to so many others. The vet who did this to her walked scot-free, never missed a day of work, and continues to lie about what he did. We caught him in provable lies in his deposition. Again THANK YOU for all of the education, information, and resources you supply to the public. For anyone interested, please read Suki’s Story at

    http://www.vetabusenetwork.com/sukistory.htm

    Julie Catalano
    Founder
    vetabusenetwork.com

  33. Jan Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Julie. Same back at you. Congratulations on your 11 year aniversary. We and more and more people like us keep fighting the good fight. It helps dog by dog. Wish we could change the world a lot faster.

  34. Ana Maria McGuan Says:

    I was referred to an animal emergency {clinic name omitted for legal reasons} by my regular vet because my 9 year old Maltese dog Skitter had developed sudden pancreatitis which could be fatal.

    We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 PM, Wednesday, October 19, and they would not admit Skitter until 8:00 PM, not before they thoroughly check my pocket worthiness, even though he was in need of immediate attention.

    {Paragraph omitted for legal reasons.}

    By the next day, at 4:00 PM, our dog was not improving in spite of being 20 hours under hydration. The liquids had moved to his stomach cavity which is the second stage of pancreatitis and she should have know it. Vorathavorn, instead proceeded to tell us he needed more exams because he could have stomach cancer.

    By the next morning (Friday, October 21) at 8:00 AM, the liquids had gone to his lungs, third stage of the decease, and he was drowning in his own liquids. It was only then she recommended to euthanize him. When she was asked why did she not tell us the day before, at 4:00 PM, that Skitter was not responding to the pancreatic treatment, all she said was that they had to observe him for 24 hours. What was she going to learn in 24 hours she had not in 20, after taking blood tests every 2 hours? She should have known his condition was not improving and was advancing to the second stage, instead of confusing fluids in his stomach with stomach cancer and ordering more tests. According to his regular vet, that referred us to {vet} because he does not have 24 hour care, fluids in the stomach cavity is the second stage of pancreatitis. She was not up-front with us when asked on Thursday how was Skitter responding to the hydration; she said, fine, he was doing fine. That is gross misdiagnosis for a so call specialist!

    She treated our pet like a cadaver for her to practice and experiment. She made him suffer unnecessarily for another day while she rack up the bill. She should have known after 20 hours of observation, blood tests every 2 hours that his body was shutting down and there was not much it could be done but allowing him to pass without suffering.

    By 8:00 AM on Friday,when she called recommending euthanasia, Skitter had been in the hospital exactly 32 hours, he was drowning in his own liquids and his bill was $4,092.90. (She was hydrating him to treat the pancreas and at the same time giving him injections to take the water of the lungs!!!)

    I just logged a complaint about the Internal Medicine vet that treated my beautiful Maltese Skitter. All my Maltese are rescues from Nortcentral Maltese Rescue. He was put down yesterday and I’m still so angry by how he had to suffer at the end because of the greed of the vet. She should be put out of business!

    I would appreciate your help in referring me to as many web sites, boards, etc. that accept complaints against irresponsible veterinarians.

  35. Jan Says:

    Hi Ana Maria. I’m so sorry for your loss. I just lost my beloved Chiclet who was bleeding into her lungs in emergency. I’ll forever mourn her passing as I know you will as well.

    You can post your story at http://badvetdaily.blogspot.com/ Just be careful not to put yourself into danger legally. You can file (and may already have filed) a complaint with California’s vet board, but be prepared for them to be disappointed. Medical personal too often protect their own. Still, it’s an embarrassament for the vet. You can also file in small claims for the vet bill. It’s a big nuisance for them and you might win. Also, contact local media. Sometimes they’ll do a story.

    Thank you so much for posting your story here. Someone will read it and maybe it will make a difference for another person’s beloved dog. I wish I could do more.

  36. Bonnie Davis Says:

    This is my story……….
    I Live in Oklahoma. It has been 8 days since we had to bury our dog Chico. He died at the hands of his Vet. (DMV S.) Someone who we are suppose to trust to take care of our babies.

    I took him to the Animal Hospital in town to have a growth removed from his shoulder, I was asked to bring him to the back to a holding cage to wait for Dr. S. Then asked to return to the front office to sign a paper for the surgery. I left and came home, expecting to pick him up later that afternoon. About 30 minutes later Dr. S. called me to tell me that Chico was gone. I asked what happened? He told me that Chico got a hold of his arm and he hit him on his head. He said he had to put him down. I still don’t know how this could have happened. Doctor S. never did call us to explain what had taken place or to offer any condolences, so my husband went to find out exactlly what happened. This is what Doctor S. told him: Chico was not agitated so he didn’t see any need to restrain him and was leading him to another room and Chico stopped and rolled over on his back, that is when he said Chico got a hold of his arm, and that is when he hit him, He said he tried to hit him on the nose. I guess some of my grief has turned to anger now, because I still can’t believe something like this has happened. No one I have talked to has ever heard of such a thing.

    This was our baby we raised him from a puppy, he was an orphan because his mother died when he was born, he loved everyone and has never bit anyone, he was rolling over on his back to have his belly rubbed.

    When we got Chico home to bury him , I was saying my good-byes and kissed him good- bye. He had a hole on the top of his head and it looked like his little skull was cracked. So does this man kill every dog that nips at him or grabs a hold of him? Why didnt he follow procedures? And if he was trying to pop him on the nose , why did he have a crack on the top of his head, hitting him hard enough to kill him. The whole explanation sounds fishy to us. This man should not be treating any animals. He was cruel and unethical. It is so hard to lose a member of your family. Our grief is tearing us apart.

    Thank you for listening to me……

    Sincerely,

    Chico’s Mom

  37. Jan Says:

    Bonnie, that’s a horrible story. I’m so sorry for your loss. Since we last communicated (by email), I had a thought. If Chico wasn’t restrained, I wonder if he fell off, or on the way to or from, the operating table. Might that explain a cracked skull? But why would he make up such a nasty story?

    Here’s the response I sent you earlier plus another thought. Thanks for posting this. It is my hope that it will help others.

    I hope you’ll report the vet to your state veterinary medical board, also called a licensing board in some states. Don’t spend your life wondering if he’ll kill another dog. Take action! You can get the vet reprimanded, which is very embarrassing, or even get his license yanked.

    Before the report, get your dog’s file. It is your property. They can’t refuse.

    Don’t be sad, get even!

  38. Jessica Says:

    On Wednesday, December 14th, we took our 4 year old America Bulldog to
    Dr. H’s [name deleted] emergency office at 11PM because her eye looked odd and
    she was acting very strange. After a good chuckle labeling us as “over
    concerned parents” and $300 worth of pills, he sent us on our way. He
    promised to see her for “free” if we felt she wasn’t improving.

    We returned with a very sick puppy on Sunday, December 18th. Dr.
    Hassan felt that he should keep her over night, run some test and we
    should take her to his cancer specialist in the morning – he would
    make the appointment for us. He expected our cost to be around $1,000
    and assured us on many occasions that his pricing was the best around
    – about half that of any other office. He also told us that we were
    saving a great deal of money letting him run tests because we could
    then take these tests to any other office for use where other offices
    pricing would be double to perform the same diagnostics. Funny that
    “free” visit was a $35 charge, we should have known what was to come.

    When we arrived to pick up our dog the next day we told him we had
    made an appointment with a specialist we found through a friend, at
    this point he decided that he should actually keep her for an
    additional day. He said that he could provide her with care at half of
    the cost of the specialist we selected and that he would be saving us
    thousands if we left her for one more day. We agreed and asked to
    review our bill.

    Our bill was at $1,700 at which shocked us. We asked to speak with him
    regarding the bill which he said would be $1,000 for two days – we
    were only on day one. He was very sharp with us rattling off medical
    terms and again telling us that we were paying half of what we would
    pay anywhere else. He assured us that leaving her with him another
    night would only be a minimal addition to our current bill since he
    had performed everything he felt necessary.

    Image how shocked we were when at check out the next day, our bill had
    grown from $1,700 to $2,700.
    That night our dog got sicker by the hour. I called the office
    multiple times and asked that the doctor call me back because her
    condition was very concerning. He never returned a call.

    We took our dog to the cancer specialist in the morning for
    evaluation. They were not able to use any of the diagnostic he
    performed though he told us that his diagnostics would be able to be
    transferred (this was the only reason we let him do it in the first
    place). When our estimate for the diagnostics came back from the
    specialist, we were shocked to see that their pricing was half of Dr.
    H’s pricing. For example, three x-rays that cost us $505 with Dr.
    H were $240 at the “over priced” specialist.

    We realized at this point that we had been taken advantage of. The
    doctor cared nothing for our animal, he just wanted to get his hands
    on our wallets. Our four year old dog died a day later. While we don’t
    blame the office for her death, it is clear that he did not care about
    her or our best interests. He intentionally mislead us to get his
    hands on our money – money we could have used to save our puppies
    life. Since that day, we have called and emailed the office on many
    occasions requesting that he refund $1,000 of our $2,700 bill for his
    complete misguidance. He has never returned a call.

    If you have any suggestions of where we might turn, I would really
    appreciate it. We are getting married in three months and spend a nice
    bit of our wedding money being haggled by Dr. H. We are
    heartbroken for our little Casey and the only thing that makes it
    worse is knowing that this vet got away with using her.

  39. Jan Says:

    Jessica, I’m so sorry for your loss and this horrible experience. I’m also sorry I had to delete the vet’s name for legal reasons.

    You can dispute the bill with your credit card company if you paid by cc. You can also file a claim in small claims court. Other ways to report a bad vet can be found at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/ Just skip the beginning.

    Vets often get away with this behavior because no one complains. So make a stink. Call your local paper and TV station. Complain to the state. Make him wish he’d behaved better. And make him pay.

  40. Kathy S Says:

    THANK YOU so much for all your work. This is something i have been concerned about for so many years. so people are receptive and other think i am crazy and i share the dangers of vaccinations. Often its too late. and people learn the long hard way. THANK YOU AGAIN.

  41. Rebecca Says:

    This is the most depressing blog ever. I work so hard at being a vet and try my hardest for all animals – obviously sometimes there are complications/ problems which will happen in any situation.I just wish owners gave us more credit for what we do – clients are always very quick to complain but it is much less that you get thanks. Its ridiculous to say we are in it for the money – compare the salary of a vet with the salary of a lawyer ( who has spent less time at university ) and then work out if we are in it for the money. I thik a lot of the problems are probably related to commuication and this is an area that I am really trying to improve so that I can meet and go beyond the expectations of my clients. Im sure that there are a few “bad” veterinarians but I think that they are far fewer than you think.

  42. Julie Says:

    Here we go again. Dr. Rebecca says, “This is the most depressing blog ever.” Only it’s not depressing because we’ve lost our pets at the hands of some of the most incredibly incompetent, cruel, stupid vets ever to walk the earth; it’s not depressing because our lives have been shattered and our ability to trust destroyed forever.

    No, it’s depressing because we don’t give vets enough credit for what they do, we don’t thank them enough, and — ready for the kicker here, the one that ALWAYS gets brought up no matter how much negligence and tragedy are involved — how poor, poor vets don’t make as much money as lawyers, or physicians, or whatever the career of choice is.

    If, Rebecca, you say you are trying to improve communication with your clients then here is the best way you can do it: KEEP GOOD RECORDS — accurate records that reflect what happened in an exam, what the owner said, what you said and did, and supply a copy of that record to the client after every visit. Another tip: USE CONSENT FORMS – unauthorized procedures are against the VPA but some vets spit in owners’ faces and do whatver they want to animals who do not belong to them. Another: USE DRUG CIS – Consumer Information Sheets, so that the client knows what substances they are administering to their own pets, or what substances YOU have. Yet another: STOP OVERVACCINATING OUR PETS.

    Here’s one last tip, which may or may not apply to you: NEVER LIE TO YOUR CLIENTS. That one may be harder than you think since you can easily lie to anyone you want and we — poor stupid uneducated chumps that we are — will never know the difference.

    Oh – I forgot — TRUSTING chumps. That’s really the key here. TRUST was the major factor in every one of these tragedies where innocent animals suffered and died that you so blithely dismiss as “miscommunication” (one hospital vet trying to save Suki actually warned me that that is the predictable default position of a really bad vet — they will ALWAYS blame it on miscommunication or the client — NEVER will they take responsibility themselves, and he was RIGHT). These hideous vets cannot do what they do to our pets without our TRUST. That is much more valuable to a vet than money — he/she cannot get our money or our pets without our trust, and some of them abuse it every single day without a moment’s thought.

    As for your last sentence, I could not disagree more. Actually, it’s the opposite — there are far MORE bad vets than people realize, because they are so busy TRUSTING their vets it never occurs to them that their pets could very well be in serious trouble.

    That’s not even counting the corrupt veterinary boards that PROTECT the worst offenders — the drunks, the drug abusers, the incompetents, repeat offenders, the outright cruel ones (Google William Baber cruel and illegal euthanasia Tennessee). Go to my blog Suki’s Safe Haven and read about Gene Giggleman DVM in TX who smashes squirrels’ heads in and freezes snakes to “euthanize” them and he still has his license. The list goes on and on.

    My cat suffered slowly and interminably at the hands of one of the WORST vets you can imagine. There was NO “miscommunication” of any kind; there was, however, outright LYING and records that were basically WORTHLESS – missing weight, temp, diagnoses, PE, names/dosages of Rx, no amts listed for anesthesia or routes of administration, controlled substance administered with no corresponding DX or symptoms, etc. etc. etc. Three expert vets found numerous breaches of the standard of care; of nine vets I had weighing in NOT ONE could explain what this freak did. He lied and lied and lied like he has his whole career (Suki is not his only victim) and happily practices to this day, thanks to one board vet who had sole authority in the board case and deliberately ignored all the evidence and let him walk. The TX board just got THAT vet for controlled substance recordkeeping (and I think you know what that means) so now it all makes sense — one crappy vet helped another crappy vet get away with murder. Suki’s killer then dragged me and my family through 2 1/2 years of legal hell trying to get an unconstitutional injunction that would prevent me from telling Suki’s Story. HE FAILED. The judge kicked his injunction to the curb but he kept going, determined to get his way. He ran the night before trial like the coward that he is. He is a monster and I will shout it from the rooftops forever. He has his family ALL OVER THE REVIEW SITES posing as clients giving him five stars to offset the TRUTH of what he did to Suki. He is the sickest freak imaginable. I can’t even print a fraction of what I know about this scumbag.

    So before you dismiss our stories as “miscommunication” you might want to look at the FACTS and PROOF of some of our cases. You can read mine at vetabusenetwork.com.

  43. Cynthia for Mia Says:

    My Baby Small to mid Terrier Mix, MIA just had her rabies vaccination and after three weeks she is developing an inflamation/swelling at the injection site. I’m freaking out after reading all of this. But I did see that there are some holistic remedies that can help “Clear” out. Can you please respond to me with the names of the remedies? Thank you

  44. DENISE STEFANELLI Says:

    My old vet passed away. I had a health certificate issued on February 10 for both dogs to fly cross country. One of the dogs could not come at that time. new vet after 2 months of correspondence tells me day before flight to bring dog in again. Earlier He said not necessary. Tells me he purchased business and has no health records for any past pets. Also, old vets partner said lots of problems have been reported to her. New vet does not even know how to turn on lights. New vet does not have answering machine. New vet never in building etc etc etc. How can you buy a practice AND not have any previous vet records. How can you not have an answering machine.i DON’T BELIEVE NEW OWNER IS EVEN LICENSED.

  45. Kim Contino Says:

    My dads dog was given shots at vet, 3 year, and parvo, she did not fair good with those shots, vet never told us the after effects of shots, just made my dad sign form, after one day when she got home she could barely open her eyes, kept falling down, the next day she could barely lift her head. We brought her back to small animal hospital on Elmwood, for emergency visit, they said she may not make it through the night and needed to be hospitalized and they could not do anything so we took her to emergency vet in Cheektowaga, Ny, they said she was also diabetic had we known the after effects we would had never got her shots, she never recovered, had seizures, was shaking eyes dislocating breathing heavy, could not stand to go out, would hardly eat or drink, she passed away in the middle of the night.

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