I will never forget the day that my very first dog, Spots, passed away. He was the most beautiful Border Collie in the world. His fur was black and white and his tail curled in a “Q” like the top of a Dairy Queen ice cream cone.
What really bothers me is the fact the he could have, quite possibly, been saved. It was summer time and my parents had noticed that Spots was panting way more than usual. He was an outside dog and we made sure to always keep his water bowl filled.
Spots also began to lie around. Very unusual for how active of a pooch he was. One particularly hot day, we knew something was wrong because he refused to get up off of his side. My mom raced to the phone and called his vet. It was very early in the morning, but, the vet had listed on his card that he is “on call” for emergencies.
I suppose he didn’t think that this was one of those times. He told us to come in at 7:00 a.m., which is when his practice opens normally. That agitated me. This is an emergency. How could he be so…cold? As it turns out, Spots had a rare form of lymphoma where his white blood cells were attacking themselves. My parents paid $500 for an IV bag loaded with medicine. It was Spots’ only hope.
Sadly, we lost Spots later that day. The vet had made some sort of comment about “catching it earlier.” Something about how maybe he could have survived. Really? Then why did he refuse to make a house call? Spots could have had his IV 3 hours earlier and may have even lived….
Interestingly enough, this same vet was taking care of my grandmother’s Pomeranian, Frills. He had recommended that Frills have her teeth cleaned. My grandma, God love her, will listen to anyone wearing a name tag. So, she made the appointment.
As I rounded the bend coming home from college on the day of the appointment, I noticed that not only was mom’s car in the driveway, but grandma’s as well. “Uh-oh,” I thought. “Something must be wrong.” Sure enough, the idiotic vet gave Frills too much gas and she died. To this day, everyone in my family refuses to get their dogs’ teeth cleaned. And I think you can see why.
Flash forward to 2010. My husband and I had barely been married a year when we decided to get another dog. Adriel, our little Chihuahua therapy dog, came into our lives and we couldn’t have been happier. One day, I came home from work to find her literally shaking uncontrollably on the floor.
Immediately, I grabbed my cell phone and called the other vet in town (who had been seeing Theo for 2 years).
The young, teenage girl answered the phone and I did my best to calmly and quickly explain the situation. “I think my dog is having a seizure,” I said.
“I’m sorry, but we’re booked today,” was the reply.
I was stunned. “Booked?” Seriously? I decided to try again.
“Ma’am, I think my dog is having a seizure. Can’t the doctor see her now?”
“No, we are booked. You can take her to Hawthorne Animal Hospital.”
I hung up on her. I couldn’t help it. I thought my dog was dying and she tells me the doctor can’t help her and that I should drive an hour to the animal hospital, hoping that Adriel doesn’t die on the way there. Nice!
I called my mother in tears. Luckily, she is a teacher and one of her student’s mothers is a vet at Belleville Animal Clinic. She called the clinic and explained the situation. Their response, “Come right over!”
Thankfully, Adriel was not having a seizure. Her white blood cell count was a bit high and it was determined that she had a cold, which would explain the shaking. The next day, I marched myself in to our previous vet’s office and demanded that my dog’s records be transferred to Belleville Animal Clinic. Honestly, it was the best decision we have ever made.
I just wish that my mom would have done the same. After I got married and moved out, Theo, the family dog, came with me. Mom was suffering from empty nest syndrome so, she and dad adopted a purebred Chihuahua from a breeder. While I am not a fan of breeders, as my loyal readers know, this little guy was super cute.
My mom named him Popi. Yes, like on Beverly Hills Chihuahua. When Popi was old enough, mom made the appointment to have him neutered. That’s when I received the call at work. This incredibly stupid vet also gave Popi too much gas. Now, he was having seizures every 10 minutes. He was kicking his legs like crazy. He needed help and fast!
I didn’t know there was such a thing as a doggie ambulance, but, there is. He was whisked away to an animal hospital, where my brokenhearted father worried and waited. Mom was still at school teaching and couldn’t just up and leave her class.
The doctors and nurses at the hospital were wonderful, according to my dad. They did everything that they could to try to stop the seizures. They also informed dad that Popi may not be the same dog if he did survive since his brain had taken such a beating.
Popi did not survive. But, what happened next will absolutely enrage you: THE VET CHARGED MOM FOR THE NEUTERING SURGERY! Yes, down to the last penny. How could he be such a cold, heartless murderer? He killed mom and dad’s dog, but he thinks he deserves to be paid? For what? His incompetence?
I wanted so badly for my parents to sue him. And I am not the vengeful, revenge seeking type. However, not only did this man ruin my parents’ happiness, he MURDERED their dog and wanted money to boot! I wanted (and still want) this man to get shut down. He does not care about animals or the lives of the animals’ owners.
Theo actually had bladder surgery from this same vet. I thank God every day that Theo survived.
How can vets like this be allowed to practice? These are not just dogs and cats that they are treating. These are furry family members. They deserve to receive the same exceptional care that a human child would.
I hope that none of you have experienced anything as horrible as the above situations. My purpose behind writing this post is to encourage ALL pet owners to do your research before selecting a vet. Just because a vet’s location is convenient, does not mean that it is the best choice.
I also hope that if you have had a similar experience that you will stand up and fight for justice for these voiceless creatures. Unlike my mom, who didn’t want to “make waves” in our small town, I want everyone to rally and petition vicious vets wherever they may be.
These “doctors” need to be shut down. No one should have to suffer the pain and emotional trauma that these situations produced. Especially not the animals.