I wanted to share this article with all animal lovers. I have had some bad experiences with vets and maybe you have too. Hopefully not. I had a regular veterinarian for years and was pleased. They were in a small trailer. Then they moved to a fancy building, very nice and large. But with the new accommodations, they lost their compassion. I had a number of issues before I finally said enough. Luckily nothing as serious as the story you are about to read. I finally found another vet that I am happy with and shows compassion for my pets and truly cares. To me, this is number one! Most vets I have been to seem only to care about the bill and not about the animal. Sad, but true. I understand vets need to be paid and there are certain fees, but there is a time to be humane, compassionate and understanding when a pet owner turns to their veterinarian for pet care advice or medical NEEDS!
Guest Blog: A subtle form of cruelty and the need to be a patient advocate
from Allie Phillips Blog
From Allie: Stemming from my blog on July 12th called We Can No Longer Remain Silent, this is the second guest blog in a series that will let you hear directly from experts in the field about animal abuse and ways that we all can get involved to prevent it and protect animals. Please share your thoughts and share with others!
By Sandra D. Sylvester, J.D. Sandra Sylvester is an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Prince William County, Virginia and a certified dog trainer. She has been a prosecutor for 25 years and has been prosecuting animal abuse cases for 10 years.
What a sight-a small, frail nine year old girl and an eighty pound German shepherd named Abby walking the halls of the courthouse together. They met a year prior, when the child was preparing to testify in a preliminary hearing against the man who raped her. She was at first afraid of this big dog, but after showing her how to take the oath to tell the truth, counting to ten and teaching the child not to take treats from strangers, the little girl warmed up to this gentle giant.
A year later, things had changed and now the sight of this child and this dog walking together had new meaning. The child was preparing to testify in the trial of her rapist. She requested Abby come to the courthouse to help prep her testimony. In the year since they had first met, Abby had undergone two major surgeries and two MRI’s- four procedures requiring general anesthesia. She now had to wear a diaper due to a surgeon’s mistake. The child was told about what happened to Abby and responded by saying “It’s OK, I wet the bed sometimes too.” There they were, hand in hand, walking the halls of justice- both victims and both survivors.
For anyone who may be aggrieved by poor veterinary care, I suggest you take the following steps:
- Pay with credit card. We filed a contest with the credit card company for poor service for the initial surgery and the boarding fees and received a full refund.
- Document everything-names of all personnel and every conversation you have. Follow up and if you live in a state where tape recording is permitted- do so.
- Demand the best care for your pet. You are paying for it. We researched everything we could about caudal equina syndrome (the final diagnosis for Abby) and learned about cutting edge technologies including stem cell replacement. I regret not being more demanding and will not make that mistake again.
- Do your research! We are managing our new puppy’s care, by researching side effects of vaccines, etc. We are now controlling what is done to our dogs and have partnered with an open minded veterinarian. If I don’t like the care my pet is receiving, I will take my business elsewhere.
- Obtain all your vet records- you paid for them!