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Feel like Vets have butchered my bitch - should i complain?

(56 Posts)
DesperatelySeekingPerfection Thu 11-Oct-12 14:26:11

Ok so took my bitch for a spay after getting a quote for £140 (She is under 7kg small breed). When i arrived they told me that pain meds to take home were required and i would be cruel not to have them. These would be another £20. She would also have to have an e-collar at a cost of £5. They said if i didn't purchase it and she got an infection i would be culpable, howver if i purchased it they would be.

When i collected her she looked like she had been butchered, blood all over abdomen. The incision was massive and crooked, not at all like my previous spayed dogs. They told me she had bled a lot, apparently this sometimes "just happens". She had to have IV fluids. Apparently they had also had to pluck her ears due to an infection - she had not displayed any signs of an ear infection and is regularly groomed.

The bill is nowwell over £250.

10 days later when she has a check up i point out that the knotted end of the dissolvable stitch is protruding and the wound looks lumpy. I am told this is fine. This morning the wound looked hideous so i took her in. Apparently it is now infected due to a reaction with the sutures. They charge for antibiotics and pain relief and i have to go back for the 4th time in a week.

The bill is now near enough £300.

Should i just suck this up or should i question it. I am uneasy with everything that has happened. I feel a bit ripped off tbh and wish i had used my old vets. Or am i just being cynical and tight?

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Thu 11-Oct-12 14:29:15

That doesn't sound good to be honest. I mean it's possible for dogs to bleed alot sometimes but it is a routine operation and they should have cleared her up a bit !! And I don't think stitch removal shoulda been extra the check ups are included in original price.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Thu 11-Oct-12 14:32:25

Wound shoulda also been clean and smooth it not right it's all puckered and lumpy!!!

Bubblemoon Thu 11-Oct-12 14:48:46

Could you let another vet check her out and give a professional opinion?

DesperatelySeekingPerfection Thu 11-Oct-12 16:55:19

Thanks for the advice wheres.
Bubble I had thought about that, and I guess if there is no sign of it clearing up within the next 7 days will have to get a second opinion.

It looks awful and I am very annoyed that I was quoted £140, not told about a whole host of hidden charges, and now have a poorly dog with a hideous wound and am nearly £300 lighter. She has worn her e-collar the whole time and hasn't been running around.

I am annoyed they say its a reaction to the sutures (the knot is still protruding - dissolvable) but I have to pay. An also really worried how long this is going to drag on after doing far too much googling! sad

bochead Thu 11-Oct-12 19:39:31

TBH at this point I'd take the dog to a pdsa vet asap (in case the op's been done badly as you don't want any complications) and pay "normal vet rates" for a 2nd opinion. I wouldn't leave my dog to suffer for another 7 days, & if there is a real problem then the longer it's left before someone with expertise looks at it the higher the final bill will be anyway.

My reasons for getting a PDSA second opinion - simply that as an organisation they, like the RSPCA have "clout" and if it is shoddy vetinarary work then they'll know exactly what steps to take on the legal front etc iyswim.

LtEveDallas Thu 11-Oct-12 19:47:02

I agree that what your vet has done doesn't sound good, and would definately get a second opinion, but I hope to put your mind at rest a little if I can.

When MuttDog was spayed her wound, whilst clean, was quite 'untidy' and she also had a lump at the end of the scar. I was annoyed at the time and mentioned to the vet that I didn't think she'd done a very good job. The vet said then that these wounds often look at lot worse than they are, and that the swelling made everything look bad.

Sure enough the wound did settle, and after around 6 months Mutt only had a linear scar. 2 years on and I can't even find the scar!

I hope the same is true for your girl x

feesh Thu 11-Oct-12 21:32:46

I would definitely get a second opinion. I don't live in the UK, so I am not saying this will happen to you, but we adopted a dog from a rescue over here last year and unbeknown to us, they were using the cheapest place in town to spay dogs prior to reforming them (if I'd known I would have signed a release form and got her spayed at a vet of my choice, but anyway...hindsight). We adopted her straight from her spay and she came back with an awful looking wound and she was ill for days, although we didn't realise how bad she was as we thought it was just 'new home' issues.

Unfortunately, she died 3 days later, because she had a massive internal infection - the first we knew of it was when she collapsed one evening and had a fit. She was in the 'good' vets all night and they couldn't save her sad

Now I've seen what a good spay should look like, I am even more shocked - we have since adopted another dog and got her spayed at the good vets and the wound was tiny and very neat in comparison.

I didn't know there were cowboy vets out there, but you seem to have uncovered some - I would be seriously questioning who did her operation and how or where they qualified. Are they members of the RCVS? They sound completely unethical to me.

notanotter Thu 11-Oct-12 21:39:36

bochead i do not think pdsa have any clout - they wont give a fig

toomuch2young Thu 11-Oct-12 21:47:51

Ok, this is completely unacceptable and unethical!
Your poor bitch. Routine pain relief should be given to all bitches to go home with post spay, not the ones whose owners wish to pay extra for it!! FGS!!
All our patients are cleaned both after surgery and also monitored carefully until home time - if any slight oozing of blood this is checked by vet then gently wiped clean.
All prices for routine ops are inclusive of everything that will or may be needed - pain relief/ collar/ follow up checks, plus if anything extra to normal was needed say antibiotics then this would be included also.
Some vets especially newly qualified or in larger bitches or if the dog is overweight etc do make larger incisions as a bitch spay can be a tricky procedure, but the rest is totally unacceptable - I would be fuming!!

Hope you and your dog get sorted ASAP.

Aquelven Thu 11-Oct-12 22:32:21

This is just not on at all & you definitely need to go get another vet to look at her as soon as possible.
I have never, ever known a vet where all post operative care is not included in the price of the op, so you have been over charged for a start.
But what incenses me more is the state they have released your poor little girl in. It's just not right, some vets seem to think they are above criticism, but they are not believe me. I've come across some very poor standards over the years.
For your little girl's sake, please take her to a vet you trust, from personal experience or recommendation, ASAP.

DesperatelySeekingPerfection Fri 12-Oct-12 08:27:14

Right firstly thank you to everyone for confirming what I thought.

It was Companion Pet Care (Pets at Home) I didn't particularly like the is of using them but she was registered there as had all her injections as a pup before bought her. My husband wanted to use them as they were (insignificantly) cheaper - not so much now!

I will ring the vets I used for 15 years with my previous dog. I feel guilty as I should have pushed my husband to accept using the vets that I am happy with. I have no doubt that she wouldn't be in this state if we had gone there.

Do you think I should carry on with the antibiotics and see how it looks in 6 days or shall I jut get her down there today?

PetiteRaleuse Fri 12-Oct-12 08:39:01

I would take her in for the second opinion today. It may be that the antibiotics work and everything works out fine, but not worth the risk to the poor animal.

feesh Fri 12-Oct-12 08:47:39

Definitely go today, the infection could be deeper than you realise.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Fri 12-Oct-12 08:52:19

Go today. In ur shoes I'd rather pay for a consult and leave with the same instructions to finish the anti biotics, than risk leaving it.

A good vet u trust is a valuable thing and that's most definately worth paying for rather than paying less with strangers.

I hope u can get seen today and ur poor dog gets sorted sad

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Fri 12-Oct-12 09:10:15

Oh and if need be I'd be turning on the tears and begging to be seen if they say they r full blush

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Fri 12-Oct-12 11:30:16

Did u get an appointment? How did it go? thanks

DesperatelySeekingPerfection Fri 12-Oct-12 11:41:40

Just got back, they were really lovely. Actually they cleaned all the wound up and had a good dig around and put her on an additional antibiotic to make sure it gets hold of the infection. He thought it wasn't a great job tbh. He pulled the suture and cut it off but is worried that there is a not under healed skin at the top and is hoping they won't have to re-open sad .

I made another appointment to get her checked in 5 days. Not going to bother going to the other vets at all now. Would rather pay a little more and get my local vet to continue treatment from here on.

Fingers crossed it heals up, they also advised arnica cream and sudocream for the bruising and wound which I went and bought.

Thank you everyone, I really hope that this is the end of it and he makes a speedy recovery and can have that bloody e collar off!!!

Bubblemoon Fri 12-Oct-12 11:47:09

Sounds like you did exactly the right thing. Hope your dog's soon on the mend.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Fri 12-Oct-12 11:53:06

Glad they have sorted her out smile

Aquelven Fri 12-Oct-12 12:10:58

That's really good news.
Glad she is getting the proper care now, I'm sure she'll be fine from now on & you can put your mind at rest that you've done the best for her. It's good that they want to see her again in five days to make sure her recovery is going as it should. Sounds like a really sensible vet too, advising you to buy really useful things that you can get cheaply over the counter rather than pushing you with expensive alternatives from them. To me that shows a vet that cares more for the welfare of both the animal & the owner, rather than just a money making practice. Something to instill faith in their integrity.
You just need to keep the wound clean now, as I'm sure you already know, & get her to rest.
Hope she makes a speedy recovery, which I'm sure she will now.

toomuch2young Fri 12-Oct-12 14:39:25

I am so pleased you have got her sorted as that is by far the most important thig, bless her.
I think the other vets should have some follow up - can you do a strongly worded letter? It terrible they treat their patients and clients like that, and shouldn't be stood for.

DesperatelySeekingPerfection Fri 12-Oct-12 15:01:05

Yes toomuch I will definitely be writing. They also microchipped her when she was under and she had blood all over her neck and it was really lumpy. Have had dogs microchipped before (not under anaesthetic) and they looked nothing like this.

The local vet was very surprised they had not fully cleaned the wound before diagnosing a suture reaction. He scraped out all the old glue to get a good look and felt it was bruising and an infection not necessarily a reaction. He asked for the phone number of the other vets and said he was going to call them.

I feel much better (albeit much poorer!) now I have faith in who is treating her and that they know what they are doing.

Aquelven Fri 12-Oct-12 15:27:08

With a bit of luck your vet will have strong words to say to the one who operated! He'll have more clout than a complaint from a client.

What on earth was the glue he scraped off?
I've never known of glue being used in a wound stitching. How on earth were you supposed to keep it clean?

As to an anaesthetic & BLOOD for having a microchip.....well frankly I'm just gobsmacked.

DesperatelySeekingPerfection Fri 12-Oct-12 16:28:22

Thanks Aquelven when I mentioned that I was quite shocked by her appearance around the neck they literally got a flannel out and cleaned her up, no apology, they obviously thought it was acceptable and made me feel like I was a nutter for bringing it up! My other dogs were chipped whilst wide awake and were fine, I would have thought the fact she was under for her spay would have made it easier!

They used glue to close the top of the spay incision with 2 layers of dissolvable sutures underneath. They told me not to get it wet at all otherwise the glue would come off. Therefore it has been nigh on impossible to clean so I was glad that the vet got rid of it all. I think they should have done this on Friday at 10 day check up at least?!

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