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Vet operated on wrong area



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 11th 07, 04:06 PM
Ginny Ginny is offline
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First recorded activity by DogBanter: Jan 2007
Location: Ozark, Missouri
Posts: 2
Post Vet operated on wrong area

In December I took my 9 year-old Jack Russell bitch to the vet to have a raised area on her lower belly looked at that looked a little unusual. It was about the size of a dime and a little pink. My vet said that at her age I could expect things like the small fatty tumor on her breast bone area, but that the other looked questionable and if I were her, she would have it removed just to be safe. We made the appointment for January.

Yesterday I brought her in early and handed her over signing some paperwork prior to leaving. They called me twice before and after the operation on my cell phone. The first call was about a problem with the blood screening machine, but they said not to worry since she has always been a healthy dog and seemed fine. The second call was regarding her teeth that they were cleaning after the tumor was removed since she was asleep already. When I got back in the early afternoon the Tech said she did fine and she was ready to go home. I then asked if they needed to give me anything to keep her from licking her belly. She looked at me funny and said that she couldn't possibly reach it. Right then I knew something was wrong!

She brought my dog out to me and we discovered that they operated on the wrong area! She claimed that they operated on the area that I indicated with a green marker on my dog. Well, I didn't mark her anywhere! The Receptionist piped in and said to the Tech, "since we had so many patients arriving I didn't ask her or have her make any marks on her dog." Needless to say I was a little upset. I was trying not to upset my pup since she could hear me and I'm not one to make a big scene, but I couldn't help but cry with a 2 inch hole in my dog that I didn't anticipate!

The Vet came out and apologized and said if I gave her 10 minutes she could work on the other site. I went ahead and let her take it off since it was a true concern to me for the last three weeks. Fifteen minutes later they came to get me and handed her over to take her home.

After spending the night by her side trying to comfort her I'm wondering if I made the right decision. This was the first time I have ever had any operation on any of my dogs, but I now realize that I SHOULD HAVE marked the area to be removed. What should I do now?

Thanks for your advice.
  #2  
Old January 11th 07, 07:33 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
Jean
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Posts: 8
Default Vet operated on wrong area

Did the vet offer to reduce or cancel the cost of the operation? I
suggest you raise this with them, as this is clearly their mistake and
your dog's well-being has been affected by unnecessary surgery. They
should be offering you a full apology and some sort of financial
renumeration, like dismissing the surgery cost or offering you a year's
worth of free vet check-ups.

I'm not in favor of litigation so I cannot tell you that you should run
out and sue them. It might occur to you to do so, but in the long run,
suing someone does very little good and takes much time, money, and
energy. And the truism that the lawyer is the only one who makes money
is correct.

If your vet will not "make good" with you and act in a resonsible and
dignifed manner, find another vet and move your dog's health records
over to them.

  #3  
Old January 11th 07, 07:36 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
Jean
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Posts: 8
Default Vet operated on wrong area

Sorry, one other thought. Did your vet perform a needle biopsy before
recommending surgery? Most vets like to know what they're dealing with
*before* they make a dog submit to surgery. In my case, my little dog
has fatty lipomas all over the place...my vet uses a needle to take a
small cell sample to peer at under the microscope. In every case, the
cells have been benign and my vet has said leave the lumps be...not
worth the risk to the dog to do surgery on a benign lump.

  #4  
Old January 11th 07, 07:39 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
Janet B
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Posts: 1,260
Default Vet operated on wrong area

On 11 Jan 2007 11:36:30 -0800, "Jean" , clicked
their heels and said:

Did your vet perform a needle biopsy before
recommending surgery? Most vets like to know what they're dealing with
*before* they make a dog submit to surgery.


Unfortunately, it's not always possible to get a conclusive answer
from a FNA.

In my case, my little dog
has fatty lipomas all over the place...my vet uses a needle to take a
small cell sample to peer at under the microscope. In every case, the
cells have been benign and my vet has said leave the lumps be...not
worth the risk to the dog to do surgery on a benign lump.


Maybe I just have bad luck. FNAs have rarely been conclusive.

--
Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
  #5  
Old January 11th 07, 07:48 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
shelly
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Posts: 6,155
Default Vet operated on wrong area

Ginny wrote:
The first call was about a problem with
the blood screening machine, but they said not to worry since she has
always been a healthy dog and seemed fine.


For future reference, that is where I would have said, "No thanks
and never mind, I'm on my way to pick her up." No way am I letting
my dog be anesthetized without a blood panel. And I'd be leery of a
vet who was that off-hand about it.

The Receptionist piped in and said to the Tech, "since we
had so many patients arriving I didn't ask her or have her make any
marks on her dog." Needless to say I was a little upset.


I should think so! I've never been asked to mark up my dog prior to
surgery. I don't know how common that is, but it would make me very
uncomfortable with my vet if I were ever asked to do so.

The Vet came out and apologized and said if I gave her 10 minutes she
could work on the other site. I went ahead and let her take it off
since it was a true concern to me for the last three weeks. Fifteen
minutes later they came to get me and handed her over to take her
home.


That really sucks. I don't know what I would have done, had I been
put on the spot like that. Ideally, though, I think it would be
best to cut your losses and go to another vet. I wouldn't want to
give them a chance to screw up again.

After spending the night by her side trying to comfort her I'm
wondering if I made the right decision. This was the first time I have
ever had any operation on any of my dogs, but I now realize that I
SHOULD HAVE marked the area to be removed. What should I do now?


I can't even begin to advise you on what you *should* do, but if it
were me, I would find a new vet, and I'd make it clear to the old
vet why I was changing practices. I wouldn't bother trying to sue,
if that's your question, mostly because I doubt it would be worth
the time and effort.

--
Shelly (Warning: see label for details)
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
  #6  
Old January 11th 07, 07:55 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
shelly
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Posts: 6,155
Default Vet operated on wrong area

Jean wrote:
Sorry, one other thought. Did your vet perform a needle biopsy before
recommending surgery? Most vets like to know what they're dealing with
*before* they make a dog submit to surgery. In my case, my little dog
has fatty lipomas all over the place...my vet uses a needle to take a
small cell sample to peer at under the microscope. In every case, the
cells have been benign and my vet has said leave the lumps be...not
worth the risk to the dog to do surgery on a benign lump.


Good point. My Boxer is starting to get lumpy in her old(er) age.
Based on needle biopsy, I decided *not* to have the big lump on her
butt removed, as it's a plain old fatty tumor, and isn't bothering
her in the least. I don't think it's worth putting her under for
that, though if she has to be anesthetized for something else, then
I may have it removed.

In the meantime, I sing the Lumpy Old, Grey Old, Leaky Old Dog song
to her. It helps to laugh at that sort of thing, I think.

--
Shelly (Warning: see label for details)
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
  #7  
Old January 11th 07, 07:58 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
shelly
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Posts: 6,155
Default Vet operated on wrong area

Janet B wrote:

Maybe I just have bad luck. FNAs have rarely been conclusive.


Harriet's had some inconclusive ones. Hrmf. But, the newest lump
is all fatty, bay-BEE! So, it'll be sticking around for the time
being. It's kind of like her own little Mini Me. Or maybe it's her
pop-up timer?

--
Shelly (Warning: see label for details)
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
  #8  
Old January 11th 07, 07:59 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
Janet B
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Posts: 1,260
Default Vet operated on wrong area

On Thu, 11 Jan 2007 14:55:50 -0500, shelly ,
clicked their heels and said:


In the meantime, I sing the Lumpy Old, Grey Old, Leaky Old Dog song
to her. It helps to laugh at that sort of thing, I think.


it does. we used to say that my nephew lab looked like he swallowed a
bucket of golf balls. This is where having a coated dog is handy -
the lumps and bumps don't stare you in the face constantly! But I
know they're there.........

--
Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
  #9  
Old January 11th 07, 08:00 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
Tara
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Posts: 1,408
Default Vet operated on wrong area

Ginny wrote in
:

What should I do now?


The short answer is that I'd seriously get a new vet.


The longer answer involves (unfortunately) many experiences with veterinary
surgeries and also involves my STILL not being anywhere NEAR qualified to
tell my vet where exactly to perform surgical procedures.


Tara
  #10  
Old January 11th 07, 08:06 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
shelly
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Posts: 6,155
Default Vet operated on wrong area

Janet B wrote:

it does. we used to say that my nephew lab looked like he swallowed a
bucket of golf balls.


Aw! Poor thing. Did they bother him or get in the way of him being
petted? Harriet doesn't seem to notice hers. I poke at it
regularly ("Just checking!"), and I don't mind petting her lump, but
I always wonder if some dogs get shafted because people think the
lumps are icky.

This is where having a coated dog is handy -
the lumps and bumps don't stare you in the face constantly! But I
know they're there.........


The nekkid factor is a plus and a minus. On the plus side, it's
obvious when she gets a new lump. On the minus side, I've had
strangers stop me and ask me what the hell is wrong with my dog.
"She's lumpy, dumbass," just doesn't seem to satisfy them, for some
reason.

--
Shelly (Warning: see label for details)
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
 




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