Sunday, May 12, 2013

Insult to Injury

So a couple weeks ago I took Vegas back to the vet, post-rest period, to see if he felt her ACL was any different. I was struggling with doing so following the first visit because he manhandled her. I was afraid she would have broken a tooth from the way they forced her to the ground while she struggled, was concerned about stress and bloat, plus her back injuries recurring.

So I called and scheduled and asked for the tech that had been present the first visit to call me. She did so on the day of the scheduled appointment. We chatted and I expressed my concerns. I told her I didn't want Vegas manhandled and if they needed her down, etc., I could get her there willingly. She assured me they had another plan altogether including sedation and x-rays. I felt much better, albeit knew I would be spending more money.

We arrived for our appointment and only spent a couple of minutes in the waiting room. My oldest son attended with us.The doctor almost immediately tried to take Vegas from me. He wasn't communicating what he wanted and he walked out of the room then returned with a sliplead. He put it around her neck and tried to take her from me. I spoke up and asked what he was looking to do. Turns out he wanted to see her move. Fine. I took her out in the hall and gaited her down and back a couple of times.

We returned to the exam room and he started grabbing at her again. She didn't know what was going on - neither did I - and backed away. She ended up sitting and he listened to her heart and lungs. This alone was a difficult task she was breathing so hard what with the stress of being taken from me or handled/forced. Then, before I knew what was happening, he and the tech had all but muscled me out of the way and were forcing her down onto her side. I was appalled, and in shock. I couldn't believe it was happening again. I tried to go to her head where I could comfort her and he told me not to, that she needed to "Grow up and act like a big dog and pay attention to what he was doing [to her]." Then, THEN, before my very eyes, they muscled her over to her other side via rolling her on her back on a hard, vinyl floor. No blanket. No towel. No nothing. She, of course and reasonably so, flailed and fought, and ended up on her other side.

We were out of there a few minutes later and I was appalled and shocked. I am kicking myself to this moment in time for not having walked as soon as he tried to take her from me. I am so angry and disappointed and all I can think is that I gave them the benefit of the doubt because of my phone call and because I used to work there.

Shortly after we got home I was petting Vegas and realized she had a lot of heat in her back. I started checking along her spine and discovered she was very, very touchy. So much so she whipped her head around at me in pain when I palpated her mid-back. I was so angry I saw red!

We ended up spending the next 3-4 days icing her as often as we could. She was put back on muscle relaxers and pain meds for a couple days and saw Dr. Mike of Hindsight Veterinary Care on Friday of that week (Her follow-up appointment where this had occurred was on Monday.) When she saw Dr. Mike, he said she had a lot going on but we were fortunate nothing was deep in the joint. I guess I'll attribute that to being in a good spot before the damned incident due to our vigilant care with Dr. Mike before. He worked her over from her head/neck all the way to the base of her tail and declared her good.

Then Dr. Rachel treated her to a little acupuncture on Saturday, declaring her pretty good and only needing maintenance points.

So thank goodness, alls well that ends well, but I am still upset about it, upset with myself. I wish I had done better by her. I wish I had walked out. Hindsight is always 20/20 though. I did write a letter and mail it and plan on sending one to the AVMA and OVMA if they do not address my concerns, or perhaps even if they do. The incident cost me the recheck fee, the chirpractor fee, Rachel's time, and half a day at work. Plus, it may have compromised all the work I've done to make sure Vegas is cooperative at the vet.


  1. UGH!! That's such BS. Another thing you can do is to leave a comment on one of the public sites. Like if you google the name of that vet hospital, google or another site comes up with a place to leave reviews. You might save someone else from the same incident. Hope you both feel better soon.

  2. Im sorry that happened to you and your dog. Thats horrible.