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Stories directly from pet parents

Bloody Urine

I rushed *** to a 24-hour emergency hospital to get a UTI treated. The vet admitted him to the ICU ignored the critical information of my observation of bloody urine at home and did not start antibiotics until almost 6 hours later despite my unrelenting pressure to check urine and start antibiotics asap. She drew labs which were unremarkable at 5pm. By 10.30pm his lactate was 5.0 and his creatinine almost 3.0. I rushed back to the hospital at 3am he was so sick I had no choice but to euthanize.

Never Called

Two years ago, my dog was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. By giving him SubQs and spoon feeding him his numbers recessed (in the 2s) and he was living his best life. In July 2022 vet said he looked great and recommended a teeth cleaning. I signed all the paperwork that states something could go wrong. However, I found out after the cleaning, and by accident, that his pre-anesthesia blood work showed his creatinine/bun was 5.9. I was assured the vet would call me. Wasn’t concerned bc he was a vet right? My vet never told me the numbers were high, just said, “All went well, you can pick him up after 3.” Never called me as tech promised. In the next 12 days he was slowly deteriorating; vomiting, couldn’t keep the amoxicillin down, low energy, not eating, barely drinking etc… I called the office 5 times, left messages and sent an email thinking he wasn’t getting my calls. I really felt he would call me, and we could discuss and get him on subQs like before. On day 12 I set up an appointment just so I could talk with my vet and his creatinine was now 15.6. He sent me home with SubQs (low amounts compared to last time) and made appointment for three days later. Three days later he was >20. They immediately took him in for iv’s to flood his system for 48 hours. It didn’t help at all. Sent him home with SubQs. The following day I took him to an emergency vet, found out he also had high liver values, was anemic and a heart murmur. Prognosis was poor and he died 7 days later. He was 6 years old.

I don’t think they gave him iv’s with his anesthesia during the teeth cleaning, knowing his numbers were high. They didn’t call me to see how my dog was doing post cleaning or post iv stay. I wanted to give him subQs from the jump, but my calls were ignored, my messages were ignored. Never called me after they were informed he died.

I can’t include this in the complaint with *** but the office staff made me feel like I was being annoying. One even argued with me that the vet sometimes calls on a different line, so I might not recognize the number. A bit infuriated I assured him I saw every call come into my phone because I have a cell phone that keeps a log and he did not call me and certainly did not leave a message.

I have medical records from the last 2 years, but they aren’t detailed. After reading your site, I think I need to call back and get more. To be honest the emergency vet’s notes were more detailed.

Shattered Tooth

*** fell off my balcony and shattered his left canine tooth in 2020. *** pet hospital did his original surgery to extract the shattered tooth. His surgical site didn’t heal properly, and I had a few follow up appts with them.

Fast forward to June 2022. When I got back from vacation this summer, I noticed something poking out of ***’s gum near the botched surgical site in his gum. I took him back to *** where they said he needed surgery again to fix it. When I asked for assurance that this new surgery would be successful, they referred me to *** dog/cat dentistry.

*** did the new surgery a few days ago. The dentist called & said his CT scan showed shattered tooth fragments and exposed tooth root in ***’s gum, and he wasn’t sure what *** did in their original surgery because they did not extract the tooth fragments.

The dentist vet said *** has likely been in pain all of this time. I didn’t know & I feel absolutely horrible!

Twisted Colon

X-rays were not performed as my dog died of mesenteric torsion (twisting of the intestines). Had they done x-rays when he was admitted and had the first explosive diarrhea in the exam room shortly after he was brought in on a gurney, the ER vet would/might have seen his intestines had or was starting to twist, instead he was more concerned about working up charges the vet assistant could present me, which on the estimate did in fact include radiology x-rays, blood work, pro-bnp, fluids, etc, which I agreed and paid for any and all necessary tests to help my boy and figure out why his blood pressure was so low and heart rate was so high. The ER vet was sitting at his desk and I asked him about the explosive diarrhea and he said it looked like it had blood in it. I asked him what it smelled like and he said Parvo. I then told him I wanted a Parvo test, which was done and was negative. The ER vet also stated he would like to wait until another Dr came in the next morning to check him. When she was supposed to arrive at 7:00 AM, I do not know what time she examined him, I believe around 9-9:30 AM and when I spoke with her she said she would put out some feelers to see if we could find a neurologist for an MRI. I feel both doctors were negligent in not ordering x-rays to see if something was happening internally as I later discovered when I went back at 10 AM sometime to say my goodbye because she said he wasn’t going to make it, I uncovered him and found a huge pool of jelly like blood near his anus covered in blankets. His gums were white as snow at this point and he was retching his neck as if he was trying to vomit or gasp for air. Had they just done a simple x-ray they would have seen his intestines were twisting or had twisted already and if they had twisted already, emergency surgery could have been performed on him early early on, even though he may not have made it through surgery, but at least they could have tried to save his life.

Couldn't bother

My dog was dying from a liver disorder of unknown cause, and I took him into the emergency vet about 1830 on 9/17/22. They delayed a CMP till 2019 and a Crit Panel/ABG at 2155. They said the liver enzymes were improved and the only thing they saw was maybe a low Calcium. Can we run an ionized and I agreed. They said it was “not that bad and doesn’t warrant replacement.” When asked about paracentesis, they said it could cause more harm than good. He had put on over 15-20 lbs. in my estimation from carrying him. They were not medically treating him while he was in there, except for an injection of Cerenia. About 2320, they said you can keep him here for observation, but otherwise we close at midnight. They lightly suggested I could go to ***, but you’ll need to call ahead. I was so disgusted at that time I elected to take him home. He died the next night after rapid decline. I had them hold him there at the emergency vet to await aquamation pickup. The next morning, I changed my mind and elected to do necropsy to determine the cause. When I picked him up he was warm and rotting. I said you didn’t keep him cold?! They said, “You told us you were going to do aquamation, so yeah we didn’t bother putting him in the freezer.”

No Antibiotics

My dog underwent intense surgery to remove a foreign object/dead baby rat from her digestive tract. She was never sent home with antibiotics and the vet was closed and could not be reached for the next two days. Over the weekend they were closed she developed sepsis and needed additional surgeries and ER stays. She was not able to improve and needed a third surgery at which time she bled out on the table.

Poor Sanitation

*** had a c section and it got high infected because of poor sanitation and she got septic peritonitis and was expected not to live. Long ICU stay and a second operation needed. Vets office says this is just a normal thing that can happen, and they refuse to refund me or come to agreement. I submitted vet to board of malpractice in ***. I need help please for ***.

Old Equipment

Well the 24/7 emergency hospital lead me to believe they were a 24/7 emergency hospital that used a CT scan on their patients. However, when my dog went in on Sunday morning; they told me that they did not use a CT scan on weekends. Their doctors insisted that I go for a CT scan when my dog’s dad went in on a Wednesday. They said that it increased their chances of finding internal injuries faster and more accurately than an ultrasound. Well when I had to bring my boy in; the doctors on Sunday sang a completely different tune for a dog that I have 4 months’ worth of video of, just before a tumor broke open in him. They found the same kind of cancerous tumors throughout his dad’s chest and lungs and his doctors were able to stabilize him for hospice and he lived for 3 weeks. My dog was leaner; younger; I walked him daily; his doctors always commented on what a strong heart he had. When I took him in; the doctors acted like there was nothing they could do for him, and I realized the negativity and comments made about how my dog wouldn’t survive treatment; was just them telling me that the equipment they had sucked, and they were not confident in their abilities. Then they gave me a $5500 bill if I still wanted them to work on him that had no CT scan OR even a blood transfusion on it like his dad’s did. I knew that they were just trying to get me to put him down so they wouldn’t have to have him die trying to save him with equipment they shouldn’t use since they have a CT scan. His Dad’s bill with a CT scan and blood transfusion was $4300. $1200 more for the weekend pets without a CT scan?

Fatal Delay

I am a registered nurse, so clinically I have a good idea of what I’m talking about… to make a long story short (tears still coming as I type this, after 127 days)… the vet killed my absolute best friend, my 10 year-old boxer on 6-27-22.

It was identified she had a non-cancerous brain tumor (cystic meningioma) after an MRI on 6-2-22… I immediately kept saying (recorded conversation) please let’s treat this as soon as possible… then there was a seven-day delay before my radiation-oncology consult (the vet I met with on 6-9-22 had less than five months of experience), they would not do a visit over the phone… she assured me repeatedly my dog could wait until 6-20-22 for a CT scan and then 6-27-22 for radiation therapy.

I objected and said the disease process is progressive, that fatal moment is coming, and I wasn’t comfortable with that… she assured me repeatedly my dog could wait and kept telling me that my dog would get 1 to 2 more years after 3 to 5 stereotactic radiation sessions… I continued to call her before 6-27-22 and email her and ask for earlier treatment… she wouldn’t do it, then ultimately, my dog went into cluster seizures on 6-26-22 (15 hours before we were to leave for SRT uggggh) and on 6-27-22 I was told it was time to let her go.

$11,000 later, my dog, who had a terrific prognosis if treated on time, is gone and my life is shattered.

Other details: The paperwork I was given on 6-27-22 said that the brain tumor could be “rapidly fatal” yet the same paperwork said that I’ve chosen radiation therapy and “most patients tolerated it well, there are very few complications.” Same paperwork said, studies show a 14-18 month life expectancy for this type of tumor. I also have a U.S. government study that shows a 536-day median survival time for this type of tumor when treated with radiation therapy. I brought up the “rapidly fatal” line to the vet and again I was assured that this was not intended for a dog like her, who was alert, oriented and active, it was implied that it was basically just a disclaimer that they needed for their paperwork.

I have some pretty strong documentation that they did not collect a phenobarbital level, despite an internal communication long telling the staff to 14 days before her death… and her seizure norm of 1 every 12 days, increasing to 4 in 5 days, and then never checked a phenobarbital level! And then on the day my dog was killed, her phenobarbital level was sub-therapeutic. That same lab says that if breakthrough seizures are occurring you should check a peak and a trough… but MedVet did neither despite being notified about a tenfold increase in seizures – 4 in 5 days, when the baseline was 1 in 12 days.

I also found in the internal communication log that the vet who wanted to wait 18 days had been calling behind the scenes on the day of my dog’s death and still wanted to radiate the tumor, but I was not told this… she was seen by a resident – a non-board certified vet – over her last two days, when she was hospitalized, and I have strong reason to believe he made mistakes.

Please note ultrasound showed no abnormalities… chest x rays of lung and heart showed no signs of cancer, healthy lungs, healthy heart… blood draw showed healthy organs, no signs of cancer. The resident vet told me my dog had the equivalent of 4 seizures in 20 minutes and it was time to say goodbye… when I obtained the EEG summary (they would not send me the actual EEG… interesting) the actual neurologist – whom I never met or heard from despite being in the building 6-26-22 and 6-27-22) documented 1 spike in activity over the course in 8 hours on the EEG that would have been seizure-like activity… not 4 seizures in 20 minutes… no way I make that same decision to let her go had I known the truth.

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