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Old 07-30-2012, 12:47 PM   #1
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Default Steps to take regarding a Vet misdiagnoses

I'm not going to get into the whole story again, but I'll briefly explain. My baby Ace, 4 yrs old passed away 7/19/12 due to eating a big hairball. We took him to the closest Vet we could find because he was vomiting and not able to stand up. The vet diagnosed him with a stomach virus. His white blood count was up. She next did an xray. She showed us xray and said here is his food, showing us an xray of his stomach. We explained he hadn't eaten in a few days although he was drinking fluids and holding down water. She acted like we were lying and didn't believe us about food situation. My husband said "you can feel his stomach it feels like something hard." She didn't even feel his stomach until my husband mentioned it. She said yeah, he could've eaten something, but we'll keep him here overnight with antibiotics and fluids. If that doesn't work we'll look into an obstruction.
The next day they called said Ace was doing worse and it must be an obstruction and he would need an ultrasound and they didn't have that equipment. We had to rush Ace to ER where they looked at Xray and felt his stomach and KNEW he had an obstruction. They didn't even need an ultrasound! Little Ace had surgery but passed away a few hours later.
My question is why did the first vet keep him there when an Xray showed obstruction? Looking back they should have said look "we're not sure what it is but if he hasn't eaten then there is something in his stomach. We're not sure becasue we son't have that good of equiptment to tell so take him to the ER where they can definatley tell you." Instead they kept him overnight and treated him for a stomach virus. I feel like they just tried to get money from us by misdiagnosing him. He stayed overnight and maybe if he had went sooner to ER he would've been stronger and survived surgery.
I know nothing will bring Ace back. I know that the first vet is not directly responsible for him eating the hairball. But by misdiagnosing and being negligent she did not help his condition by keeping him overnight and allowing him to get weaker. I already called up and spoke to front desk but I was so upset and explained but they weren't listening. They said they would call back but didn't. My husband is going to call them tomorrow, he's more calm. The more time passes the more upset i get. I just want her looked into by a Vet board or something. I also don't want this happening to another pet. Also, when she left the room after seeing Ace, she said "yorkies, yorkies, yorkies," in the hallway in a very rude manner. Basically she sounded annoyed. So horrible, my Ace deserved better than this.
If anyone has advice on steps i can look into as far as vet malpractice or something I'd appreciate it. Or has had a similar situation, please let me know. I've tried to research but vet malpractice is I guess more difficult to prove than human malpractice. Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:17 PM   #2
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I'm so sorry.
I Agree with you. This is not right if the vet saw what looked like food in the stomach and did not think more of it after being notified that pup had not eaten in several days. A barium study should have been done. Any vet with an xray machine and baium can do this.

When something is sitting in the intestines, they can start to die off. The longer it sits, the more problematic things become. So yes, waiting several days may have caused his death. Abdominal palpTion should be part of any exam done on a dog with GI uoset.

You can file a complaint with our stTe veterinay board.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
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Again, I am so sorry for your loss, it is devastating. From the sound of it, it really shouldn't have happened. Our former vet, I feel, was responsible for what happened with our Starr too

Anyway, I'd start by reporting them to the State Veterinary Board State Board of Veterinary Medicine Since companion animals are viewed as property in the eyes of the law (I KNOW, it isn't right!!! ) we can only sue for monetary damages in small claims court. I believe that you can go for the cost of "replacing" him, but the law doesn't provide for emotional distress or anything else like that

I wish we could change the laws to reflect how a good many of us see our animals, and that is FAMILY. They may be "owned" by us, but they certainly aren't property in the usual definition, that is, they are NOT inanimate objects

Good luck and I hope that you are able to accomplish some kind of peace in your heart through this, and with your new pup
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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I am so very sorry for your loss. I am not sure legally what you can do but one thing I would do is tell everyone you know about it and leave reviews and stories about it on every possible review website that you can.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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Can you talk to the vet who correctly diagnosed him and did the surgery and see what their professional opinion is? For example, they may say "that's a normal mistake for a vet to make, it happens and there's nothing we can do" OR they may say "that vet was incompetent, any vet would have palpated the abdomen".

Since that second vet is your only witness to what happened, their professional opinion would go a long way toward determining what you can do about reporting/suing that first vet, IMO.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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Can you talk to the vet who correctly diagnosed him and did the surgery and see what their professional opinion is? For example, they may say "that's a normal mistake for a vet to make, it happens and there's nothing we can do" OR they may say "that vet was incompetent, any vet would have palpated the abdomen".

Since that second vet is your only witness to what happened, their professional opinion would go a long way toward determining what you can do about reporting/suing that first vet, IMO.
I think that is a good idea. I find it upsetting that the two surgeons at the ER didn't even need to see an ultrasound to know there was an obstruction. All they did was see the Xray from the first vet and feel his little stomach. Makes me so mad. I will get a hold of the surgeons and see what they say. And, I am also going to leave reviews on websites for this horrible vet. Thanks, everyone.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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Ultrasound is not usually used to diagnose obstructions.
It would be good to get a statement by the diagnosing vet, but not all vets woud be willing to speak against their colleagues like that.

The board should open an investigation. the vet was wrong about when to do more testing or surery. Unfortunately, that really is not uncommon.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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I think that is a good idea. I find it upsetting that the two surgeons at the ER didn't even need to see an ultrasound to know there was an obstruction. All they did was see the Xray from the first vet and feel his little stomach. Makes me so mad. I will get a hold of the surgeons and see what they say. And, I am also going to leave reviews on websites for this horrible vet. Thanks, everyone.
I would wait to leave any bad reviews until after any and all legalities have been resolved....
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:18 PM   #9
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I would wait to leave any bad reviews until after any and all legalities have been resolved....
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:20 PM   #10
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I would wait to leave any bad reviews until after any and all legalities have been resolved....
I have a right to tell other people about my experience with a Vet. The vet misdiagnosed my baby, plain and simple. She did not listen to us and didn't even feel his abdomen until my husband suggested it to her. This was our experience and I have a legal right to tell people about this. That's why they have patient reviews. If the shoe was on the other foot, and I was a yorkie mama or any pet mama again, I'd wanna know. In hindsight, maybe it would save another animals life.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:28 PM   #11
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Don't they usually run a little flexible scope down and look around the eso/tummy if they suspect a dog has swallowed something or has a possible FB in the belly, whether it shows on x-ray or not?
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:46 PM   #12
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Don't they usually run a little flexible scope down and look around the eso/tummy if they suspect a dog has swallowed something or has a possible FB in the belly, whether it shows on x-ray or not?
You would think that they would do something like that. The vet that ended up killing my Starr never did that, he said he had to open her up to see and retrieve the obstruction.

I don't know if that equipment even exists for animals, and if it does, if a regular vet would have something like that? Good question!!!
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ellie May View Post
Ultrasound is not usually used to diagnose obstructions.
It would be good to get a statement by the diagnosing vet, but not all vets woud be willing to speak against their colleagues like that.

The board should open an investigation. the vet was wrong about when to do more testing or surery. Unfortunately, that really is not uncommon.
She can request the written report, usually one is drawn up by the surgeons and sent to the general vet.

Also for the OP. Write down everything now! Journal it with days and times and symptoms. Write down what you told the vet on all your visits, timing of phone calls you made to the office,etc.

I would also request (if you don't have them) all your dog's medical records from the general vet. Just a note; nothing gets done on my dogs without a hard copy report that I leave with. I then document in point form the discussion we had that day. Any questions I asked, and answers given. It takes me maybe 10 minutes to do.

I also ask about pulse rate, heart exam, etc. I also make a note which leg, any shots are given and if blood is drawn where from.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:15 PM   #14
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You would think that they would do something like that. The vet that ended up killing my Starr never did that, he said he had to open her up to see and retrieve the obstruction.

I don't know if that equipment even exists for animals, and if it does, if a regular vet would have something like that? Good question!!!
I know when Tibbe was young and I took him in for some upset or other and the vet said that anytime he suspects a FB or obstruction of any kind in the tummy he just scopes the dog and it is very fast and efficient, but that not all objects can be retrieved through it so some FB's or obstructions have to be removed thru a small belly incision. But he said he never uses the scope unless symptoms, other testing and history lend to a diagnosis of possible FB or obstruction in the belly. He said B4 the flexible scope, they had to open the belly for those cases but now, the scope is further diagnostic and very often therapeutic and far better than an incision.

Sounds like a scope of Ace might have shown that hairball day one if the vet had listened to Ace's mommie about the dog not eating for a long while. Such a tragic and seemingly senseless loss of a wonderful little Yorkie who should be playing in the den floor tonight.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yorkietalkjilly View Post
Don't they usually run a little flexible scope down and look around the eso/tummy if they suspect a dog has swallowed something or has a possible FB in the belly, whether it shows on x-ray or not?
Not every Vet Office has that type of tool, and then the animal must be seen by specialist to have it done.
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