Now that Gusto is home safe...

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by BostonBanker, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    something has really been bothering me, and I'm looking for your experiences.

    I got the phone call about him at 3 pm when I was at work. I initially told my mother that I'd leave instantly and come home. Of course, 2 seconds after hanging up, I realized I was the *only* person in the lab, had samples in process, and that shutting down the lab so you can leave it without anyone there safely takes about 5 minutes. So, probably close to 10 minutes before I could leave, 15 minutes drive home...I called her back and said "just take him to the vet."

    As soon as I got to the car, I called my vet, said "I am not at home, but my mother just called. My dog is extremely ill, vomiting, and can't walk. She's on her way in with him, and I'm meeting her there."

    The response? "Well, the first appointment we have is 3:45."

    I was silent for probably 20 seconds. I then asked if we had to take him to the emergency clinic, and she said they didn't really open until 5 pm, but there is staff there 24 hours and she didn't *think* they would turn us away. The e-vet is probably 15 minutes further away than my regular vet.

    I couldn't even get my mother on the phone again, as she had already left the house. So, I went right to the regular vet. My mother was there with him in an exam room. Gusto was clearly in distress, couldn't hold himself up on his hind legs, tongue out of his mouth (mouth closed, not panting), drooling, and panicked (probably from the lack of vision, which we didn't realize at that point).

    I was and still am appalled that they made us wait as long as they did. I could understand if they had said "there is another emergency here, we will get someone in there as soon as possible" or "the vets are all in surgery, they need to finish up before they can leave". But they just said "the appointments are booked back to back". We were there for over 20 minutes before anyone looked at him.

    Is this typical? I know if I was there for a non-emergency appointment, and the vet said "we've had an emergency come in, can we reschedule or can you wait 15 minutes?" I wouldn't hesitate to say yes, and I'd think that was how things are normally done. I'm at the point where I'm ready to find a new vet and to tell my vet now why, but if it is typical for a non-emergency vet to not rush care to an acutely ill regular patient...well, then I suppose it is typical.

    I know some people here work in vet's offices - how have you seen such situations handled? If you've brought your own dog in for emergencies, were they seen right away?
     
  2. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    I hope Gusto is still feeling better this morning.

    I know I've been at my vet and when an emergency comes in, they tend to it and let people waiting know it will be a little longer for their appointment. That's terrible what your vet did.
     
  3. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Same as Barb -- I shadowed a vet's office for a while when I was younger and if someone came in with a real emergency they would be seen immediately and the desk staff would tell those in the waiting room (and call the people with the next appointments if possible) and tell them that there would be a delay and they would completely understand if they needed to reschedule their appointments but that a Life-or-Death situation had to come first.
     
  4. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    This.

    I would be furious and finding a new vet. That is terrible care.
     
  5. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    I don't actually know what my vet would do (although I'm going to call and find out now) but I would be pretty irate if that happened. I would gladly wait or reschedule a regular exam for my dogs if an emergency came in while I was there.
     
  6. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    Our old vet would take emergencies and make you wait. Which is fine by me.

    I would absolutely get a new vet. What if your dog had a stroke and died or something... how awful.
     
  7. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Wow... So glad Gusto ok, but yeah, I might be looking for a new clinic. To be fair, maybe you should call them and lay it out on the table. Tell them what happened and ask how they handle emergencies. If that's really their policy... I'd have to find a new vet.

    Once we suspected my cat ate Ibuprofen (idiot). He had vomited and was acting needy and lethargic. I called my vet and they gave me an appointment about 1 hour out from when I called. Then they called right back and just said, "Nevermind just bring him in now!"

    ETA: Once I called one of our daytime clinics from work about a boarding dog that was BLOATING. Like, stomach massively inflated, spleen stick out his side, you need surgery or you're gonna die BLOATED. The kid at the desk was like, "I can get you in on Monday?" (It was Saturday). I was just speechless for like a full minute. I was torn between asking for his supervisor (he clearly had no idea what I was talking about) and just calling our other clinic. I settled for calling our other clinic. They got me in immediately. And the dog is alive thanks to them. ;)
     
  8. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    My vet, whom I love, would not make me wait. When Dekka got kicked in the head, I ran into the house called them and said "Dekka got kicked in the head I am headed in" The said ok we will see you when you get here.

    Dekka wasn't as bad as Gusto sounds like he was when we got there but they took her right in.

    I would be looking for a new vet. This doesn't sound like a vet office where they care about animals first. I highly doubt you are one of those people who rush in on a regular basis with a new emergency every week.. but even so once the dog is there and in obvious distress I can't fathom how they made the poor guy wait.

    Did the vet know you were waiting that long or was it the office staff that decided to put routine non emerg visits through first? I would call the vet and find that out.
     
  9. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    That's pretty appalling.

    My advice would be to call (or email or write a letter if you prefer) to speak to an actual doctor (the owner if possible) and explain to them what happened at some time when you are feeling calm. If the were just been going straight from appointment to appointment, they may not have even been aware you had called or were there. If that's what happened, this is a case of really poorly trained staff and/or crummy communication within the clinic and the vets/owner need to know that. IME, that's most often the reason behind something like this, just whoever answered the phone and admitted you when you arrived messed up big time. In a perfect world stuff like that would never happen, but people working at vet clinics are human beings like everyone else.

    It will be apparent from your conversation whether the doctor/owner is also appalled and thinks it is a problem to be fixed or not. If not, find another clinic, you don't want to be there. But if you just leave without even telling them why you're upset, 1. they may never be aware there was a problem 2. they don't have a chance to fix it to your satisfaction. It doesn't have to be confrontational, just an "FYI this is how this was handled, I didn't like it, how are you going to address this?" kind of thing. Some clinics are just crappy clinics, but any good clinic will want feedback on how to do things better and if you never tell them, they'll never even know you were upset. If it's a clinic you've otherwise had good experiences with, I would really encourage you to give them a chance instead of just slipping away quietly in the night.

    /.02
     
  10. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    My vet sees emergencies right away - when Z was stung by something and her face was swelling up, I took her right in, they didn't have a room, so the techs took her to the back within 5 minutes and she was back to me and I was paying in less than 30 minutes.

    I'd second the "call and check their policies" suggestion - when I suspected Z had a UTI I called my vet and they said she'd have to wait until Monday. With a UTI that of course is no good (that would have been a wait of 3.5 days), so I called back, got a different person, and they fit her in the same day - apparently the first person didn't know the policy.
     
  11. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Just seconding this. I know at my work I can't help people unless they let us know what's going on. I would at least call or write and let them know.
     
  12. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I think it's different depending on the clinic, I agree with calling and asking their policy.

    I had two dogs I was dog sitting at their vet once because one had blood in their urine. I was in the exam room waiting and was told that an emergency had just come in and it was be awhile. I had to wait probably 20 minutes or so, turns out a dog was brought in who was in a fight with a coyote and had part of his tail bitten off.

    The emergency clinic in my area is awful and I hate the thought of having to take a dog there and it would be an absolute last resort for me. If I thought the dog could make it, I'd take them to the clinic that is an hour away rather than the one that is 20 minutes away. It's that bad.
     
  13. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Oh, I would definitely let them know what the issue is. He needs to get blood work done in a week, and no matter what, I'm booking it with my usual vet so I can discuss what happened. They are relatively new to me - both dogs have been in once before, but came very highly recommended. I don't know that any of the vets saw him between the time my mother got there and when I did, but while I was in the exam room with him waiting, a nurse came in to grab something off the counter and just looked at us, smiled, and apologized for the interruption.
     
  14. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    TBH I would be seriously thinking about switching. When Auggie was squatting and straining to pee but unable to, I called my vet and told the girl at the desk what was going on... and she told me they were booked solid for the day, but she would talk to doc when he got back to see what he wanted to do. Are you kidding? The dog is straining to pee and nothing is coming out and you want to try and put this off?
    I called Auggie's chiropractor (also a DVM) since we have been working with her on his UTI's and stuff to tell her what was going on, and I was super upset and told her I didn't even know who to take him to if they couldn't get him in... and she was like "Um, no, he HAS TO BE SEEN TODAY. They have to get him in today. I'm calling them to make sure they know that."

    Like Emily's experience, it might seem minor that the person at the desk is just stupid and doesn't know what's serious and what isn't... but that's major to me. Poorly trained staff is not good, particularly when that staff is standing in the way of you getting your dog in to the vet.

    I wasn't ready to bail just on that, but it was alarming, and things have happened since that are all combined into why Payton's annual is with a new vet's office. I would honestly trust your gut on this one. If you're ready to find a new vet over this... do so.
     
  15. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    I know our vet bumps appts. for emergencies. I was there once for vaccinations and someone ran in, said, "My dog was hit by a car," two techs ran out, carried him in on a blanket, took him straight to the back and we all waited an extra half hour to be seen.

    I'd call and talk to the vet about this, and think about switching practices.
     
  16. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

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    I actually left my family vet of 15yrs. over something like this.

    I had a Ragdoll kitten (7 months old) named Logan who randomly got very sick the day after Christmas. He was lethargic, vomiting, had diarrhea, just a mess. Took him to the vet and they did blood work, x-rays, all that stuff. He was anemic, dehydrated, and his white blood cell count was so low that the vet questioned the accuracy of his machine. He had 20% of what he should've had. He also had some other counts (that had to do with the liver) that were off. He also had some blood in his stool & a bacterial overgrowth in his intestines. The vet gave him some fluids, and 2 shots to help with the vomiting, and to calm his intestines. Told me to come back if he hadn't improved, but that he probably just ate something he shouldn't have. Sent me home with 3 different meds.

    I really wasn't satisfied, I knew something BAD was wrong. I should've insisted he stay there, but again, we had known the staff there for 15yrs., I trusted them. Within a couple hours after leaving the vet, he was 10x worse. I rushed him in (called first to tell them) and when I got there, they put me in a room and left me there with him.. didn't even rush him to the back. I was flipping out, opened the door leading to the back of the clinic and told them that he was dying and someone better do something, so they finally took him back.

    We ended up putting him down that day.. he was some crazy auto immune disease, all of his organs were shot. So it was bound to happen, but the way they handled it was just awful. Sorry that was a little long/ranty, but I know how you feel. I would definitely look into switching clinics.. I did and couldn't be happier.
     
  17. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    I'd be pissed. My vet gets me in ASAP on an emergency. They get me in quick anyway. I would have heads rolling in the situation you described.
     
  18. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    It's an emergency. Of course you drop the appointment and take care of the emergency. I know I've been at the vet's office before when an emergency is in, and the emergency takes precedence over whatever is scheduled or any walk-ins for flea meds/food/etc. As it should be!

    I think you are doing the right thing by keeping your blood work appointment to take the time to discuss the matter with the vet personally. It could be something as simple as a receptionist not doing his/her job properly.
     
  19. Moth

    Moth Mild and Slightly Nutty

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    I would be talking to them and probably switch vets. I worked at a small rural vet clinic years ago and I know when we got an emergency in we would shuffle everyone else around to make sure the emergency got handled.

    I think I am going to have to call my current vet now and find out what their policies are about this sort of thing...
     
  20. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I know humans make error, but at least at my vet, theres always 3 or so receptionists... so that wouldnt be ONE person making an error, it would have to be all of them/their staff is improperly trained which is not ok with me and I'd be finding a new clinic.

    When Renegade was going into anaphalactic shock at the vet, I opened the door to grab my vet and couldn't see her. So I walked into the next room and said something like "I need a vet NOW, or he's going to die". That vet definitely excused themselves and left to tend to Renegade. I saw the people in the waiting room later and apologized, and they completely understood.

    The next day, when he was having trouble breathing, i called them while i was on the way with him to say be prepared, and 2 people were outside waiting for me to pull up so they could grab him.

    IMO if they won't put emergencies first, they are in the feild for the wrong reasons.
     

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