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Possible Vet mistake?

November 11th, 2011, 11:18 PM
Hi everybody I am new to this group and am looking for some advice. If there are any Vets to answer that would be great too. So heres the problem. I had my Frenchie Duke neutered on Tuesday. Dropped him off in the morning, signed the consent forms and home I went. I called at 1:30 to see how surgery went and was told he had a bit of a problem and had some respiratory distress and was having a hard time coming out of the anesthetic. The vet said she thought it might have been an elongated palette issue that caused the respiratory distress, which wasn't a problem during the surgery only when he was trying to wake up, so he sat on a techs lap for 4 hrs to make sure he stayed breathing. She said she wanted to keep him til 6pm to make sure he was breathing ok and to see if they would have to put him back under to correct the elongated palette. I called at 5:30 and was told he was doing great. I go to pick Duke up, pay my invoice and see my dog was given Phenobarbital. I asked the Tech why he was given that drug, she told me "he has seizures, I told her Duke does NOT have seizures, she said the chart says he has seizures, he is epileptic. I told her to show my where on his chart it says he has seizures! While she was looking up his chart i explained to her my previous dog who is now deceased was an epileptic and that for my current dogs I will not be vaccinate past the puppy shots. She seen this noted on his chart and said "oh yeah, your right it does say that". I also asked her if he had respiratory distress during surgery due to elongated palette, why didn't anybody call me to have it fixed while he was still under? she told me I had declined. I had declined the stenotic nares surgery as I felt he did not need it. The elongated palette surgery was never discussed. I just assumed the vet would call me during surgery if they had a palette issue, which is usual procedure because you cannot diagnose this without the dog being under anesthetic. Anyways next morning when I spoke with the Vet and asked her about the Phenobarb being used she told me it is her usual protocol as part of her surgeries. I dont believe so considering the Tech said it was on my dogs chart he had seizures. I emailed the owner of the clinic who owns a Frenchie and asked him if this is standard procedure and if he would use it for his own dog his response was that Phenobarb is used occasionally as a sedative for surgery and yes he would use it for his dog. I might have actually believed this but my niece had her ****zu which is a brachycephalic breed as well neutered by this vet as well last week and Phenobarb was not used. THink she is full of bs? I also emailed a few vets asking if they used Phenobarb as part of their sedative protocol and have been told no it used for seizure control. Would like some thoughts and opinions on this. Am I overreacting in thinking they screwed up? The list of meds used for his surgery are Dexamethazone, oxygen therapy, Phenobarbital, Torbugesic, Midazolam, Diprivan and Hydromorphone. Does this seem excessive for a neuter surgery? Very upset right now and am looking for some advice and thoughts/

November 12th, 2011, 12:31 AM
Well first of all how's your doggy doing? I hope he's fine now
Unfortunately I don't have the expertise to advise on this but I do find your thread interesting since a lot of times we just go with the flow or accept the medications on the basis that they know what they're doing but that doesn't mean there can't be a mistake.
As I'm sure you know it is a central nervous system depressant so does that mean it can be used as a sedative? Maybe, but again I'm far from being an expert.
I tried to look about it on google and I found your same question in other boards :) I hope you find your answer either here or someone that can provide more accurate info on Phenobarbital uses and indications.

November 12th, 2011, 08:36 AM
Duke is doing ok, still a little itchy. I have had lots of dogs and I have never seen Phenobarb used for that reason, thats why I am posting everywhere. Considering the Tech told me the night before it was because he has seizures and the vet telling me the next morning thats her standard procedure, does that not sound a little fishy to you? Are they any vets on this board or tech's? I am just waiting for my niece to send me her invoice and see if it was used for her dog, same vet, same procedure, brachycephalic breed, should be the same meds used for the same procedure right? I think they are full of it and I plan on proving it! My furkids can't speak for themselves, I am the only voice they have. My biggest problem is being lied to. I understand mistakes get made, we are human, but admit someone read his chart wrong and thats why he was given Phenobarb, not SOP!! I could live with the mistake, not the lie, what if he had an allergic reaction and died? It was an unnecessary medication to use as a sedative and someone will be held responsible, I am just getting all my ducks in a row before filing my official complaint

November 13th, 2011, 12:50 PM
I've seen a vet on the board every now and then so maybe. And yes to be honest the part where the tech told you your dog has seizures is fishy as if they used the chart of your other doggy by mistake "same owner, same chart" :mad:
Did you get your niece's invoice?

November 13th, 2011, 01:42 PM
Whether the dog is a Shih Tzu or other breed, I've never seen Pheno used as a first choice for a sedative.
Found this bit on a drug library web site:

Uses of Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital is most commonly used to treat seizure disorders including epilepsy in dogs and cats.

It has also been used as a sedative.

Precautions and Side Effects:

While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, phenobarbital can cause side effects in some animals.

Phenobarbital should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.

Phenobarbital should be used with caution in animals with anemia, heart, liver or lung disease.

Phenobarbital may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with phenobarbital. Such drugs include antihistamines, narcotics and tranquilizers.

At high dose levels, phenobarbital is a sedative and can result in nervous system depression.Adverse effects associated with phenobarbital include restlessness, anxiety, lethargy, depression, increased appetite and increased thirst. These side effects are generally brief and may not be evident after prolonged treatment.

After prolonged use, phenobarbital can result in significant liver impairment.


November 13th, 2011, 05:06 PM
its possible that when the tech glanced at the chart, and saw notation that due to the other dogs having epilepsy , and thus you were skipping the vacines because you felt that they were the cause of it..ect. My guess is she didnt READ all of the notation. She just saw the word epilepsy...and ran with it.
proper protocol for dog that has epilepsy would be pheno. But IF it has epilepsy.
Not trying to start a whole nother ball rolling. But I'd bet my lunch that the combo of the pheno (on a non epiliptic dog) and then the what complicated the breathing issues. (but im not a vet, and I know nothing to little about palates)
I think the vet is trying to cover the tech, the tech is trying to cover the vet..and everyone is doing a song and dance..isntead of saying..hey we screwed up and gave the dog something we should not have. sorry. it wont happen again. and NOTE VERY CLEARLY IN HIS CHART< NO PHENO.

and also teach tech to READ "fully"

November 13th, 2011, 11:28 PM
Thanks for your 2 cents guys. I just sent an email to the vet calling her on all the discrepencies and asking her to explain. I even asked if there was a mistake and someone read the chart wrong. So we'll see what she says tomorrow. And noboby is starting the ball rolling on anything. If they had been upfront and said it was a mistake I could deal with that. Mistakes happen and he is sitting beside me right now, still with me. The problem is that they lied and covered it up. Even the owner lied to me, when I asked him about Pheno being used for surgery and he has a Frenchie as well. I am very familiar with all the AED's as my previous dog was a severe refractory epileptic. Actually refractory to every AED there is. I take my dogs health very seriously and am quite knowledgable in the care of my furkids. They just assumed I have no knowledge of dogs especially my breed and wouldn't even notice what was on my bill. Not too good for them. Next is my complaint to the OVC. This is not going away anytime soon. I know lots of people who use this clinic as well and will be changing because of this. Word of mouth is very powerful. I do not want a mistake like this being made for anybody's furbaby! Next time that kind of mistake could kill someones baby! I am just getting all my ducks in a row before I start firing. And I am not someone who takes screwing with my furkids very lightly. THey cant speak for themselves, we are the only voice they have!!! I feel much better now...needed to vent a bit

November 13th, 2011, 11:30 PM
the epileptic dog was not even seen by this clinic!!!! There was just a note stating why I declined a vaccination because my previous dog was epileptic. :wall::wall::wall: Oh yeah, I hot my nieces invoice....No Phenobarb, it just keeps getting better and better

November 13th, 2011, 11:35 PM
I get it being protocol for an epileptic dog, but even then wouldn't it be IV infusion and used in case the dog starting seizing during surgery, not a 30mg tablet. Im not a vet and I know this.

November 13th, 2011, 11:37 PM
Wont be using this clinic again because all anybody does is LIE!!!

November 15th, 2011, 03:01 AM
So you were perfectly right to suspect this.
Plus epilepsy medication when a dog or cat is NOT epileptic is not to be taken lightly, it could have an adverse reaction. Good thing you spotted that.
You're not in Calgary right? Because I wouldn't like to go there although I bet in a lot of clinics they screw up and don't tell you, we just never find out.

November 16th, 2011, 12:11 PM
I dont know what recourse I have other than changing Vets and filing a complaint, which I fully plan to do. I emailed the vet Sunday around midnight and now it is Wednesday and I still havent received a response. THis is the actual email I sent to her:

I need some clarification on why Phenobarb was used for Duke. It is really not sitting well with me. I know you told me that it works well as a sedative for surgery, but I still don't understand why it was given to Duke? To me it seems a strange protocol for a healthy dog. I see it wasn't used for Daizy's spay. And after asking friends of mine (brachycephalic breeds as well)who have had the same surgery done by you, Phenobarb was not used. When I asked John about using this drug he said it was used because it wasn't hard on the heart. Was there something in his bloodwork prior to surgery that suggested this was a better drug to use? And I am also starting to wonder if this was the reason he had issues after surgery? I know brachycephalic breeds are prone to issues with anesthetic, but I am wondering if a different protocol might have been followed he might not have such an issue with the waking up after surgery. When I picked up Duke and questioned the Tech about him given being Phenobarb, she told me that "Duke has seizures", I told her he does not, she said "he is epileptic it is on his chart". I told her to show me where on his chart it said this because the only time seizures have ever been mentioned was when i declined a vaccination and the reason for me declining was because my previous dog was epileptic. She looked at his chart and said "oh yeah your right". Your receptionist Sue was also present for this conversation. When I asked you the next day about the Pheno, you told me it was your standard protocol. Was there a mistake made in reading his chart? Do you see why I am a little confused by this?

Do you think she is trying to put her ducks in order before she responds to me? If I call the clinic, it will not go well. If I go in, I will probably get I figure this should be more than enough time to respond.
Can I mention the clinic name on this forum?

November 16th, 2011, 05:31 PM
Do you think she is trying to put her ducks in order before she responds to me?

Yes, most likely

If I go in, I will probably get

:laughing: LOL!

I hope they respond you'd think they would

November 16th, 2011, 10:16 PM
Can I mention the clinic name on this forum?

No, the clinic name & Vet's name should not be mentioned in open forum, it could be cause for a liable/slander lawsuit. Thank you for asking first :)

November 18th, 2011, 02:36 PM
Thanks Growler :D for letting me know