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Old April 8th, 2014, 12:29 PM
dirdie dirdie is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Puppy broke it's leg, 2 months later vet says it needs a $5,000 surgery.

First off i will tell you the entire story from the start, My puppy broke its 4 bones going to the toes in his front left leg at around 3 months old. Vet x-rayed reset bones and put on a cast. The first week into the cast it was a Saturday morning we noticed the cast had turned and was falling down the pups leg, we tried to stabilize the pup the best we could while trying to contact the vet to explain what happened. The vet answered the phone and denied help, (the vets office is 5 mins from my house) and suggested a emergency vet clinic that is 45 mins away. By this time the cast has fallen off the pup and the pup is crying in pain. so we drive the 45 mins trying to keep the pup stabilized and in as little pain as possible. Emergency clinic xrayed and put on a new cast.

We continued to bring the pup to our local vet throughout the rest of his broken bones and the vet kept saying its healing nice and recast roughly every 2-3 weeks. It was my understanding from research on the internet that with a puppy it should be checked and recast every week, i asked him and he said he hasn't been growing enough and the cast and everything is looking fine. throughout the entire 7 weeks they never did another xray and they never charged us for any other visits after the original one due to the complications on week 1. I thought it was odd not to xray agian but anyway.

week 7 comes, they take the cast off and xray and say everything healed up 100%, We are thinking great thast good news maybe this is all behind us now. We get him home and notice it looks a little crooked, my wife and i think its because his muscles are so weak he cannot straighten it and once he builds the muscles back up it will straighten back up. so far he seems to be running and walking fine for the most part, limps occasionally after extended activity but over time the foot is looking more and more crooked every week.

He's 7 months now and today we took him into get nurtured, it was a different vet in the office, a women who we usually get and i like much better then the man that dealt with the pups broken leg, but anyway she says she wants to do xrays on the pups leg because it isn't looking right. So they do xrays and say that a growth plate was injured and is making the leg go crooked. they talked to a surgeon and want between 3500-5k to fix the issue. My wife and i were tied up so got my mother to go to the vets and pick up the pup. She went in and asked a few questions, recorded the conversation so she would be able to get al the exact info relayed back to us. Well when i listen to the conversation the vet Sounds like she was ready for a argument and is giving all answers and attitude to my mother. Saying there was no way they could tell the growth plates were injured and the only way to tell is through trial and error, whatever that really means in this situation is beyond me. My wife is going in this afternoon with our other dog and is going to get the xrays and we are going to get a second opion from another vet.

There is no doubt something is wrong and it will be fixed, but why im here is i am not really sure what i should be doing. I feel this entire situation was handle very poorly on the vets part and i have this feeling they could of done something to prevent this or they could of caught it sooner to not be at this point. I feel the vet is liable for this situation. Am i wrong to think the vet is in the wrong here? if im not wrong should i go after the vet for the money it will cost to fix my dog. Or did they do their job the best they could? what would fellow readers do in this situation?

Sorry its so long im really stressed out about this entire thing.

Edit: Please move i put it in the wrong section.... Been a bad day.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 02:15 PM
rottysrule rottysrule is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: British columbia
Posts: 95
i'm thinking that they should have been doing xray every time they changed the cast as things could have shifted.. hate to say it but i would be taking my dogs to a totally different vet. as trail and error don't go well ya ok you didn't have to pay for the other vet visit but as pups grow fast or not move things around, so there is always possibility of damage or things shifting so ya ok xray aren't cheap but they should have been done... might want to look for a different vet that you can talk to clients and see what they say, cause clients are almost always more willing to tell you what they like about a vet and what they don't like about the vet they are using.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 03:07 PM
dirdie dirdie is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3
I will be finding myself a different vet clinic for the future, I have been with this clinic for close to 20 years now and they have always been good. But now there is this new guy working there and i don't feel he is as qualified as i would like.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 04:23 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4,371
I really can't understand why the cast was taken off and replace so often. Is that normal ? No, I don't think you're wrong in feeling the vet is the cause
of your puppy leg not healing right. The jerk refuse to reset the cast that he put on wrong in the first place . That should not cost you anymore money having the cast fixed when it fell off your puppy leg. I really feel you should go to an second vet in an other office and see what they say. I would not trust the vet put the cast on in the first place. I am sorry to hear your poor puppy have to go through all this b/c of some vet that should not allowed to practice in the first place.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 04:58 PM
Lynne&Co. Lynne&Co. is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Lindsay, Ontario
Posts: 497
Veterinary care is not always an exact science and sometimes the care that has worked well for one patient goes horribly wrong for another patient. It sounds like you have not only had the care go wrong but are also dealing with a vet who has poor interpersonal skills. Definitely time to seek a new vet for your puppy. You need to keep all detailed records of visits, phone calls, etc. as well as ask for copies of puppies chart BEFORE you leave them. Once puppy has been treated by a new vet (again obtain all records, etc) and has recovered, you would then have more of a chance of recovering through the legal system. Vets will likely not turn on each other so you will need to build your case yourself. It will cost you only the court filing fee so there is really nothing to lose when you are out an additional $5k. Good luck and hope your puppy recovers soon.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 05:07 PM
dirdie dirdie is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3
thanks for all the great onions and best wishes, i really appreciate it. So far we now have all copies of xrays, and the majority of the paper work. Waiting on the papers from the emergency clinic we had to take him to to get the cast reset. I have paperwork that the emergencies clinic suggested to have our regular vet check out his "wrist?" because there seems to be something wrong. And they denied ever getting that paperwork from the emerge vet.

But once again thank you all for the replies. Anyone know of a good orthopedic veterinary surgeons around the Barrie Ontario area?
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Old April 9th, 2014, 08:57 AM
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marko marko is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal Quebec Canada
Posts: 12,651
Sorry you are going through this dirdie but I agree w/Lynne+Co in this case.

IMO, It will be difficult for you to prove negligence on the part of the vet at this time and possibly even in the future.

You'll need another vet to say (in a legal way) that the first vet made errors. Given that saying this (or even writing it) puts the time of this new vet in jeopardy, (court appearances, potential paperwork) most vets will likely not want to do this. If you pay them for their time as an expert witness or to write an affidavit, or they have a huge heart and do truly feel the first vet was negligent...maybe they'll do it. Most likely they will want to be paid though as their time is now implicated.

If you went head to head with this first vet in a legal way, after gathering your own evidence, you should expect that the vet would have a reasonably good chance to explain why what happened happened so that he wasn't at fault. You'll really need somebody with you (probably a vet) for your best chance at recovering any expenses.

No matter what though - I wholeheartedly agree that a new (recommended from somebody you trust) vet is in order.

Good Luck!
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