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My vet killed my dog and hasn't been disciplined by bcvma

paisleypearl
August 17th, 2009, 11:52 AM
I had a gorgeous purebred male german shepherd named Timber. I got him when he was 8 weeks old, he would have been 10 yrs old on Feb 14/09. He was in great shape and didnt look his age at all.

Late in August/08 I was rubbing his tummy and noticed a lump right by his groin. I don't know where it came from but of course the word "cancer" starting racing through my mind.

2 needle biopsies come back inconclusive. I did not want to put my dog through a surgery if it was unecessary and I had heard older dogs could die from being put under anestitic. Anyways, the vet said because it wasnt bothering Timber and wasnt growing, we could monitor it. I also made it clear that if there was any sign it was cancer and had spread I would not put my dog through any surgery as it would be pointless.

Anyways, I took Timber back a few months later and the vet said the lump had grown which I thought but still Timber was not affected by this. It was decided it was best to remove this lump in case it was cancer so it would not spread through him. This surgery was close to $1000.00 which I had to fundraise to get. An animal rescue group asked me if the vet was going to take x-rays first to see if in fact this lump was cancer, if it had spread to his lungs as there would be no point then in putting my dog through this surgery. I asked the vet about this and he told me because of the isolated nature of this lump, he felt comfortable doing it without x-rays. This should have been my first clue he was incompetent. I demanded he take xrays first. He took them and they showed Timber had a healthy set of lungs and heart. He also took xrays of his stomach, no sign of cancer spread so I felt relieved.

This vet did not warn me of any risks or complications re: this surgery whatsoever and when I say whatsoever, I mean whatsoever. After the surgery he called me at home where he knew I was waiting anxiously to tell me that the lump was not attached to anything and that he had successfully removed it. However he then tells me that he found a lump on Timbers tongue and decided to remove it because Timber was already sedated.

The results came back 5 days later and by this time Timber's health was rapidly declining. He was not the same dog he was prior to this surgery. The vet looks at the results, tells me they are not good, my dog has malignant cancer and is going to die. I was so confused as he never discussed any thing with me prior to this surgery about what the results may bring. I told him Timber was not doing well and I thought the surgery had done something to him. He seemed confused and said he didnt know why Timber was reacting the way he was. Well when he told me this what he failed to tell me is that the results showed that he had been unsuccessful in leaving clean margins on both sites from the lumps he removed which I didnt even know was a possibility of happening. And both cancers were highly metastic. He didnt offer me any form of treatments knowing this. I found this out after I had to euthanize my dog 3 days later when I got his medical reports.

I went back to this vet again 2 days later as Timber was banging into walls, dazed and I was so worried and again he played stupid but then informed me my dog must have a brain tumour. I said a brain tumour, where in the hell did this come from. Anyways he refused to help my dog, offered me a $1500 mri scan which he knew I could not afford and my dog showed no signs of a brain tumour prior to this surgery. The next day he chooses to email me with all these possibilities that may be causing Timber to be reacting the way he is but never tested him for any the prior night or suggested to this day. I was so upset, crying hysterically as I knew my dog was not right. I took Timber to the animal emergency clinic where they told me Timber was in pain and suffering, the cancer has spread through his body and I would have to put him down.

I could not understand how this happened, I was not warned this was even a possibility of happening and there I am sitting on the floor with my dog, crying so hard I couldnt see, telling him how sorry I was, this wasnt supposed to happen and he was gone. The vet who did the surgery has shown no remorse whatseover for his actions. He admits he did not warn me of any risks and tried to justify removing the lump from Timbers tongue without my permission and this is what caused Timber to die. Because he had unsuccesfully removed it and offered me no treatments, the cancer cells he agitated from the tongue spread rapidly to my dogs brain.

I filed a complaint with the BCVMA 6 months ago and they refuse to tell me anything about it, wont answer my questions. what they do there is protect their members not the public and animals which is their mandate. I would love to post the name of the vet on here but I dont think I am allowed even though it would not be slander or libel because its the truth and I have more than enough evidence proving this. I live in Vancouver, BC and if any of you want to know who this vet is so you can avoid him please email me personally and I will be happy to tell you as I would hate any one else to lose a pet in the tragic manner I did.

Love4himies
August 17th, 2009, 12:00 PM
I am so sorry for your loss :grouphug:.

bendyfoot
August 17th, 2009, 12:12 PM
I'm sorry for this hard experience.

I have to tell you, though, that even with humans cancer can be hard to detect, and it can spread like wildfire. I lost my FIL last week to complications from cancer. Five weeks ago, he was active, driving, seemingly healthy. Three weeks ago, he was in a lot of pain in his arm and leg, having trouble walking. Xrays and MRI showed a lump in his lung, but nothing in his limbs or anywhere else. A biopsy of the lung tumour was at first inconclusive. Three days later another biopsy revealed cancer. More scans still showed no cancer elsewhere in his body. 2 weeks ago, MORE scans/xrays revealed multiple tumours in his kidney, arm, leg, hip. His health deteriorated rapidly during the past few weeks and he died from a blood clot in his lung.

Even with many doctors, including cancer specialists, the cancer was very difficult to detect, it spread rapidly, and little to nothing could be done other than pain management. I'm sorry you lost your pup, I would be heartbroken too, but I suspect that the vets did everything they could with the information they were able to get, and that nothing could be done in the long run. This is probably not what you want to hear, but laying blame will not bring your beloved companion back. Again, I'm so sorry, but try to find some peace in the fact that he had a good, loving life and didn't suffer for very long from the disease. Cancer is a really horrible disease. :grouphug:

paisleypearl
August 17th, 2009, 01:59 PM
I am sorry for your loss also but I have to tell you that the surgery your vet recommended, removing a lump from your pets lung is what caused the cancer to spread. What these vets don't tell you is that there is a huge, huge risk of these surgeries agitating the cancer and causing it to spread like wildfire. And they also don't tell you that they may not successfully remove it all either. They just want your money. Had I known these huge risks I would have just let my dog live out his life until his quality of life diminished.

No pet owner in their right mind would put their pet through this type of surgery and pay some vet almost $1000.00 to butcher up their dog with no guarantees, ecspecially one that is 10 yrs old and was not in pain whatsoever.

And for this vet to lie right to my face when the results came back failing to tell me that he had unsuccessfully left clean margins on not one but both of the sites is disgusting.

And he had no right whatsoever to remove that lump from Timbers tongue without my permission. A vet must have informed consent before they perform any sort of treatment on a person's pet and he certainly didnt have mine for this one. Neither did he have it for the one I did agree to as he failed to tell me of the numerous risks involved with it.

And then he refused to deal with the complications this surgery caused my dog forcing me to take Timber to the animal emergency clinic. Horrible horrible little man that vet

bendyfoot
August 17th, 2009, 02:12 PM
I think you misunderstood, I was speaking of my human father-in-law. Some cancers are extraordinarily aggressive (as was his) and will spread to many types of tissues very rapidly. His lung tumour was NOT operated on, only biopsied; the other metastases which went undetected at first were there already, only too small to see at the time of the biopsy. Surgery did not cause the cancer to spread, it's the nature of the disease. Nothing could have been done.

All surgeries have risk involved, even the most routine procedures like spays/neuters. Even if everything was done correctly, things can still go wrong. My GSD had a "routine" amputation of her front leg, done textbook perfect, but developed terrible swelling/seroma afterwards that took weeks to get under control. The vet did nothing wrong, it just happened. Some dogs and cats will have very strong reactions to general anaesthetic, and will act horribly sedated/ill for some time afterwards. Most of the time you can't predict that this will happen, and can only use the knowledge in the future when making other treatment plans.

I do agree that the lump in the tongue should not have been removed without discussing it with you first. The only time I could see this happening would be if something imminently life-threatening was evident and the vet was not able to reach you by phone during the surgery. It is possible that the vet simply wanted to help remove other visible tumours and avoid another round of general anaesthetic for your dog.

It is not always possible to excise a tumour or lump and be absolutely certain that all the tumour was removed. Parts of a tumour can be microscopic, and it can be more damaging to the patient to remove huge chunks of tissue "just to be safe"...that's why they do the cellular analysis after the tumour is removed...to verify...and if need be (and safe/warrented in terms of quality of life) more surgery can be performed. If your dog had tumours elsewhere, the cancer cells already have spread to other parts of the body...the surgical procedure would not have caused the cancer to spread.

All I'm really trying to say is that I understand your sadness and disbeleif and anger...it's such a difficult thing to wrap your head around...but don't let the anger eat at you...

sugarcatmom
August 17th, 2009, 02:12 PM
I'm also sorry for your loss, paisleypearl. It's never easy, no matter what the circumstances are surrounding a pet's death.

paisleypearl
August 17th, 2009, 04:00 PM
Yes I did misunderstand, I didnt realize it was a human you were talking about and I appreciate what you are trying to tell me and you are correct with your information but this information is something the vet HAD A LEGAL AND ETHICAL AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY to tell me prior to performing surgery on my dog. And re: the lump he chose to remove on Timbers tongue, no it was not a matter of life or death. My dog was not affected by this lump on his stomach at all, it was a preventative measure.

And a biopsy is removing the lump and you said he had a biopsy on his lungs which is surgery and is removing it.

I have also never heard of any dog that has to have its leg amputated as being a "standard" surgery. The reason my dog was 10 years old and in great shape except for this lump I found was because I never took him to vets. Whenever you do, they find something wrong with your pet just because they want your money or they kill it as in my case.

And yes I am sooo soo angry at what this vet did but you know what I am more angry at myself because I feel like I killed my dog for trusting this man and this guilt and pain I will have to carry with me for the rest of my life.

bendyfoot
August 17th, 2009, 04:09 PM
I'm sorry you've had such bad experiences with vets...mine have all been compassionate to a fault, and have even waived the costs associated with many procedures/hospitalizations/etc. when my pets and I were in need. They're not out for my money, they're interested in helping my animals.

I hope that with time, your heart can heal and you no longer blame yourself...this was no one's fault but the illness, and you did the best you could for your companion. I'm sorry for your loss. :grouphug:

kathryn
August 17th, 2009, 05:02 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss :angel2:

I unfortunately do see things from the other side of the table though, and sometimes vets may seem incompetent but aren't always. Your vet really should have sat you down and gone over everything with you. When you pay for private practice vets you are paying for customer service. I work in a low cost clinic where you pay minimal price to get VERY basic care & service...

Veterinary boards always aren't in the best interest of anyone but themselves.. I wish you luck with everything

CearaQC
August 17th, 2009, 05:30 PM
I'm sorry for your loss.

But may I add, that while we trust for the most part what veterinarians have to say, it's ultimately up to the customer to do additional research and ask a million questions before agreeing to cancer surgeries. And if necessary, to gain a second professional opinion. If the first vet is not forthcoming with information, take your business elsewhere. That is, unless you live in an area where you only have one vet. Then that makes things a tad more difficult.

You shouldn't be persuaded in the vet office, under emotional strain, to make a decision there and then.

Ideally if someone receives a diagnosis and treatment/surgery suggestion, they need to take that information and research it. Even just a couple of hours reading online will give you lots of information and case studies to peruse.

The same thing goes for humans. You wouldn't make snap decisions regarding your own health, would you? And never, ever let a "professional" scold you into submitting to tests and surgeries without being informed. Just because they have a university degree, it doesn't mean they know everything.

That's why informed consent is so very important. Never walk into a situation blind.

CarolynInPEI
August 17th, 2009, 07:40 PM
I'm sorry for your loss. I know first hand (as do most people on here) how hard it is to lose a pet.

In March we lost our beloved Monty. Besides a lump on his side, Monty was the picture of health before his surgery. Our vet told us about the risks associated with the surgery and Monty's age. We knew that risks, but the surgery was something that Monty needed. What we didn't realize was that just 7 days after his surgery, Monty would develop severe seizures that were most likely caused by a brain tumor and would eventually lead to us losing our best friend.

We had no idea that Monty had a brain tumor and our vet didn't either. Being put out for the surgery was just too much for Monty. The decision we made to give Monty that surgery was the reason that Monty died. But it was something that he really needed. In our case, our vet was great and very informative but he didn't see this coming either. So I would never and could never blame him. I wish your vet would have been more helpful and informative to you and again, I'm very sorry for your loss.

Tundra_Queen
August 17th, 2009, 11:26 PM
Yes I did misunderstand, I didnt realize it was a human you were talking about and I appreciate what you are trying to tell me and you are correct with your information but this information is something the vet HAD A LEGAL AND ETHICAL AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY to tell me prior to performing surgery on my dog. And re: the lump he chose to remove on Timbers tongue, no it was not a matter of life or death. My dog was not affected by this lump on his stomach at all, it was a preventative measure.

And a biopsy is removing the lump and you said he had a biopsy on his lungs which is surgery and is removing it.

I have also never heard of any dog that has to have its leg amputated as being a "standard" surgery. The reason my dog was 10 years old and in great shape except for this lump I found was because I never took him to vets. Whenever you do, they find something wrong with your pet just because they want your money or they kill it as in my case.

And yes I am sooo soo angry at what this vet did but you know what I am more angry at myself because I feel like I killed my dog for trusting this man and this guilt and pain I will have to carry with me for the rest of my life.

I am so very sorry to hear about your poor dog. :grouphug:

Is there some way u could take this vet to small claim's court? I know it won't bring your dog back, but if u are correct, the vet could be in trouble for removing the lump on your dog's tongue without permission. If u won; the bad press might let others know not to go to this vet!

Debbie

Sammi028
August 18th, 2009, 01:58 AM
A biopsy is not removing anything but a small tissue sample so they can test what it is. For the most part is is not surgery and includes minimal, if any, pain meds. I have had a couple biopsies and they are not meant to remove something entirely (they take the smallest amount possible to test on, especially if they have a pretty good idea what it is, like in the case of cancer testing) and as it was said earlier, there are many different forms of cancer, and some spread quickly while others don't spread at all. If they found another tumor then the cancer had already spread and there was nothing they could have done to stop it from spreading more. I'm sorry this happened and I know how you feel (my cat was just diagnosed with cancer and there is nothing they can do), but before the surgery the tests that they had done did not show that it had spread, but the tumor on the tounge prooved that it did between the test and the surgery, which there was nothing they could do at that point. Cancer is vicious and hard to deal with.

lUvMyLaB<3
August 18th, 2009, 08:39 AM
i am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful timber. I think you should try to forget your anger and spend the energy remembering timber in a positive way and let him rest. You chose tn remove the lump as a preventitive, if he had asked about the tongue would you have allowed it? Hindsight is always so clear. I truly do not believe he tried to kill or butcher your dog, vets go to school and practise for a long time not to become rich but because of their love for animals. Please try not to let this anger consume your life. We cannot go back and see what different choices would have done. Try and spend your time remembering timber and all the good times. Good luck.

friend2animals
August 25th, 2009, 12:38 PM
I'm so sorry this happened to you...:sorry: But, "LuvmyLab" is right.... Focusing on the positive memories is a great thing to do. It may be tough at first, but you will hopefully find that over time, your heart and mind will only be carrying memories of warmth and softness for your beloved pet...

:candle::angel2:

pbpatti
August 26th, 2009, 12:57 AM
I'm so sorry this happened to you...:sorry: But, "LuvmyLab" is right.... Focusing on the positive memories is a great thing to do. It may be tough at first, but you will hopefully find that over time, your heart and mind will only be carrying memories of warmth and softness for your beloved pet...

:candle::angel2:

Ditto to all of the above, try to forgive and remember Timber and the love you had. I am so sorry for your loss of your best friend. pbp