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need opinions on vet's decision please

m935
March 27th, 2008, 07:27 PM
My dad's 13 year old chesapeake was taken to the vet on monday because she wasnt eating and was lethargic.
The vet performed surgery on her that day because she had an infection in her uterus. My dad said the vet told him that an owner can NOT decide to euthenize if the animal is healthy and can be treated. Britney died this morning (3 days later).

Of course Im am very sad to lose her but am ok with it being her time. What im NOT ok with is I feel this vet put her thru needless surgery during her last days and my dad thru an economical situation that he didnt need. Ive seen/heard several situations of pets being TOO old for surgery and vets deciding to euthenize instead of putting them thru a surgery that will most likely cause their death anyway - Or at least giving hte owner the right to decide. My dad was not given that right.
Was this wrong for this vet to do??? I, myself stopped takign my own pets there because i felt he was all about money and this situation makes me even more upset with him.
If he was in the wrong - what can be done to right this situation? Is suing an option - turning him in to the vet... board???

THANKS so much!!

duttypaws
March 27th, 2008, 07:34 PM
ok ... well if she was healthy prior to getting this I dont think there is much you "can" do... my dog when i was a teen went for an operation and was aged 15... we were aware that at his age as with any animal he may not recover...

i hope someone has an answer for you and im sorry for you loss.

Frenchy
March 27th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Uterus infection ? Do you mean pyometra ? If so , the vet didn't have a choice , without the spay surgery , when a female has pyometra , she dies , it's a fatal condition. Maybe it was too late for your dad's dog. I'm really sorry. :sad:

I know it's too late for this dog , but I must add , this is why it is extremely important to have female dogs spayed.

kiara
March 27th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Don't know where you live? I thought since you are the owner of the pet that you should have been given a choice as what you wanted done? There is always a big chance that the animal will not live through a surgery because of it's age. I don't know if your vet is all about the money as most public think of vets. Maybe he thought that there was a small chance your dog could pull through? Vets just like human doctors have to take a hypocratic oath in which they have to think of the patient's welfare first. If you are still worried about this situation and don't trust the vet's decision, you could call your veterinary college and find out if he broke the law.

Kristin7
March 28th, 2008, 07:12 AM
I don't know the law (btw, I live in the US, laws are probably different between countries), however, do have a friend who is a vet and she tells me that people bring perfectly healthy animals in all the time and have them euthanized. Usually they use some sort of behavioral excuse (like, 'my cat is crazy') I really don't think anything has to be physically wrong with the animal. It is sad, but people have their animals put down for all kinds of dumb reasons. That is how my friend ended up with 8 cats and 2 dogs... she felt really bad for them because there really was nothing wrong with the animals. And she named that crazy 3 month old kitten Skitzo... she was a little nutty, but didn't deserve to die because of that.

tongamoggie
March 28th, 2008, 10:20 AM
First of all, I'm sorry for your loss. I have had a bitch with pyometria before (sp?). She was a young dog at the time. My vet was a jerk about a payment plan and would have put her down. There was a lot of vet politics going on as I phoned another vet who offered to do the surgery for considerably less but she phoned back a couple of hours later to say she couldn't do it. (after speaking with my vet). Anyways, I did have the surgery done by yet another vet at an affordable price. (my vet I'd been taking my animals to for a long time..and had already payed considerable money for the exame , x-rays and ultrasound..he was being a jerk about me saying that , after paying that, I needed a payment plan for the surgery)..So, to make a very long story shorter, She had the surgery, it was risky, and I was made aware of that...the vet said to me after the surgery that she had never seen a uterus like that....it was 5 pounds of infected uterous. I'd had a breeding contract with her..so that was out the window...and a good reason to have your dogs spayed! She had to move every organ in her abdominal cavity out of the way to get at it. So, obviously, it is a risky surgery, and given the age of your dog he should have made that very clear to you with the option of putting her down. So it was a very unfair thing to do to say you have to do it.......what was he going to do, send you home to let the dog suffer? That is so very wrong ,even a young dog is at a higher risk if the problem had been there for a bit. So, that said, I do find that vets play the guilt trip...and probably because so many animals come in that should not be put down...but the fact remains that a lot of surgeries put a load on the shoulders of families and unfortunately there may not be the money for them. It's a tough one..anyways, I won't go there. My dog made it through the surgery (mastiff) and lived to be 12 years 9 months before I had to euthanize her due to gradual deterioration..loss of her hind end. So, the vet in your case , should have given the option of putting her down. I've also seen a dog who was suffering from a tumour in her chest, given a steriod to help shrink it in its last days...no longer eating etc. and the vet should have demanded the dog be put down....it died a very unpleasant death....vomiting large amounts of blood...drowned in its own fluids....so...I guess the question here is we really should get a second opinion if your heart is telling you so...it is hard sometimes to stand up for yourself and dog when it is such an emotional situation. Sometimes I think we almost need to bring a third party in who isn't as emotionally envolved who can help to bring balance to decisions.
For sure you won't be feeling that you shouldn't have put her down and should have tried the surgery...and considering the nature of her problem the surgery still would have brought relief from the terrible pain of an infected uterous...so she would have died fairly comfortably, just couldn't tolerate the shock of the surgery itself. I don't think it was wrong to try the surgery and it wouldn't have been wrong to euthanize her either. Just that that decision should have been left to you and not forced. I'd say you probably could win a civil suit against him as he put you on the spot, was apprently willing to allow the suffering of your dog if you just took her home as he wasn't willing to euthanize, and you were under duress...actually, he could be ripped apart in court but the further financial burdens mixed with the stress of a legal suit would not be worth it...find another vet. God bless you and your family. She lived a full life.

Love4himies
March 28th, 2008, 10:48 AM
As far as I know an owner can have their pet euthanized (here in Canada anyway) even if the pet is healthy, or the vet can ASK to have the pet signed over to them and they will adopt it out.

Ethically, the vet should have discussed Britney's chances of recovery with surgery or without and then your dad could have made his decision on what was best for Britney.

Good luck

:rip: Britney :candle:

m935
March 28th, 2008, 06:43 PM
thank you for the responses.... We live in jersey btw and she did have pyometra.

I do agree about neutering 100%. My dad had bred her (something I was against) and just figured she didnt need it after a certain point. Unfortunately for all of us - this happened. I hate too that she was in pain.
That upsets me more than anything and I cant imagine surgery was any fun for her either. Which is another reason why I cant get over this vet situation. Im sure hes done this to other people too. I would write a nasty letter - but if hes that kind of a human being I dont think it would effect him - plus I may just end up looking nuts. Plus as i mentioned before - i stopped taking my pets there because he did a few things I didnt like - like giving my dog a shot of cortizone for redness on her foot without asking me or talking to me about it and then charged me $20 for it. I found out later i could have bought cream for her.

Im still trying to figure out what to do - like I really cant let it go. Im the type of person who respects animals more than people - because this is the kind of selfish behavior that people possess. I really need to get the word out about this guy - i just dont know how - i dont know that many people in the area. I wrote a letter to the humane society - just cause it was the first place i thought of...


anyway - thanks again and sorry for the ranting