What would you do - Vet mistakes

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by Kat09Tails, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    So without going into the gorey details an acquaintance's 10 month old puppy died two days ago at the vet office following a fairly benign procedure which didn't require general anesthesia. The puppy was fine one moment, shrieked and died in their arms. They attempted to bring her back but it was to no avail, she was dead. The vet and the vet tech told her that they suspected a sudden cardiac or neurological event, that it would be unlikely that they'd get answers from a necropsy, and she took her puppy's body home to be buried in the garden. Of course she was heartbroken, she had arrived with a bouncing happy dog and was leaving with a body.

    Later that night the vet who owned the clinic called and asked her to bring the puppy back in for a necropsy to get some answers. The vet was a little miffed that she had been talked out of a necropsy right after the pup died. Today she got her answer, the puppy's aorta was ripped open very likely during a bladder tap and she basically bled to death internally. :( It was a horrible, horrible medical mistake.

    So what would you do? What could you do? I honestly have never thought about this.
     
  2. DogKisses

    DogKisses Durp Dog

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    If she signed anything then she can't do a thing. I even had to sign a "we are not to blame if you pet dies since you are leaving our clinic" type of waiver when I was taking my cat from the emergency vet to my person vet. (the er vet is only open during after hours, you are supposed to take the animal to your personal vet when they open).

    She can call a few lawyers and get their opinions, I've heard of lawyers that specialized in animal cases too.

    That is just horrible.
     
  3. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    If it had been my puppy, I would have taken the pup's body to the state lab for a necropsy, but that's just me. It would have been completely impartial and thorough.

    I have a hard time understanding how a pup's aorta could have ripped during a cysto. Was it a horrible medical mistake or was it just bad luck? I guess my question would be was there truly negligence there?
     
  4. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Ditto to the aorta vs. bladder thing.... I'm no medic, but anyone with a basic grasp of physiology knows they're like chalk and cheese.

    Random... and horrid.

    But yes, when you agree to an op. you waive your rights. However, this does seem like an abnormal circumstance, so I'd probably push it... I don't think the waiver covers incompetence.
     
  5. Giny

    Giny Active Member

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    How sad for these people!

    Why wouldn't they put the pup under general anesthesia? I can't see any puppy, or dog for that matter, willing to sit still during a cystoscopy. Shoot, I had one done and wished I was under something. My vet don't even xray if dog isn't under.
     
  6. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    I would have gotten a necropsy done somewhere else (so to remain impartial), to see what really happened, and if there was any negligence. If it was honestly a freak-accident type thing, and not anyone's fault, then fine. If it was a mistake someone made, then I would most likely be talking to a lawyer.

    How do you rip the aorta during a cystocentesis/cystoscopy? Generally you're just inserting a needle...not making any sort of incision...
     
  7. Moth

    Moth Mild and Slightly Nutty

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    That is awful :(

    I would like to know how on earth they managed to damage the aorta while performing a cysto as well o_O

    I would probably have taken the dog to get a necropsy elsewhere as well...
     
  8. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    i don't think we're talking about cystoSCOPY, which would be done under anesthesia, but rather a quick cystocentisis to get urine (that's what i take from "bladder tap" anyway). for that, it's not really worth the aggravation (pre-op bloodwork, iv catheter, pre-op fasting, time, increased cost) or risk to use general anesthesia for something that takes just a few seconds. we do them routinely, though admittedly mostly on cats.
     
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  9. Giny

    Giny Active Member

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    That would make more sense, don't know why I thought CS.
     
  10. bjolly

    bjolly New Member

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    is that a feasible complication from a cystocentesis? because I had a cat die in that exact sequence of events a couple of years ago and the vet chalked it up to sudden cardiac death. He was about 5-6 years old with no major health problems, had the procedure and died several minutes later at the vet's office. :(

    not that it makes any difference now, but wow, I had never considered the procedure could have been the cause, always thought it was an awful coincidence.
     
  11. Bigpoodleperson

    Bigpoodleperson Megan and Draco

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    I guess with the right positioning, depth of needle, depth of patient, etc. one could hit the aorta on a puppy (what breed/how big). I have been warned about it in cats if you have them on their backs, go straight down, and go too far you could hit it. Depending on how small of a puppy, it could be possible.
    I dont know what they can do. Like Elegy said, freak accident or negligence?
     
  12. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    Doesn't matter how many waivers you sign, if somebody really screwed up, they aren't protected by a waiver for that screw up. But you have to be able to prove it and that's the tough part. I know nothing of either procedure, never saw one, never had to have one, but i'd be talking to some experts and getting some answers. There's risks involved in everything, but the extent of the injury and necropsy findings would be important to get into the hands of those experts.
     
  13. Bailey08

    Bailey08 New Member

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    What did the clinic owner say? Having the puppy's owner come back in seems like a stand up thing to do, so I would ask her/him what they intend to do to try to make it right.

    Personally, I wouldn't hire a lawyer and go after damages, as it's most likely more trouble than it's worth. But I would consider checking into the operating vet further and contacting the state board/governing body.

    I'm so sorry for your friend. And the poor puppy. :(
     
  14. phyllis cox

    phyllis cox New Member

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    This exact chain of events just happened to me TODAY with my 7 year-old shi-poo, and it is devastating!! She was having a Cyctocentesis, was fine when they took her back, then next thing I know, they tell me they are having problems with her. That she passed out after the needle. I heard my Bella cry out, but figured she got stuck with a needle, but I had no idea it would kill her!! The vet seemed just as shocked(?). She told me her stomach was filled with blood which was not a result of the insertion of the needle (?), and that she's a very sick little girl, but she wasn't sick and showed no signs of being sick and was super active and happy on the way to the appointment. I was NOT prepared for such news. I had no idea what my options were other than did I want an autopsy(which may not give us answers), take her home to bury her, or cremation. My answer was, "None of those - I want to walk her out of here the way I walked her in!
     
  15. Adel9631

    Adel9631 New Member

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    Sad :'(
     

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