How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Scarlett Your Own Question

Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
13866827
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Scarlett is online now

Can you please clear up a matter for me. My brother and sister-in-law

Customer Question

Can you please clear up a matter for me. My brother and sister-in-law are heartbroken today after their dog (Which I bred) had to be put to sleep this morning. I am mortified. He was only 6 and a beautiful dog. He was showing signs of lameness last year but a problem could not be detected. He was then given steroid treatment for 7 months and finally 2 weeks ago they said his shoulder needed to be stabilised, so he underwent surgery. I have to say I was shocked that he was sent home after the surgery WITHOUT being given a course of antiobiotics. He then 2 days after started showing signs of an infection, my sister-in-law was in and out of the vets every day and he was given pain killers and anti-inflamatories. It was not until Friday that he was finally given a course of antio-biotics, bearing in mind that infected fluid had been seeping for days and my sister-in-law kept bathing it with saline solution. This morning when they got up, his stomach had gone black and skin had died and ripped open revealing his bone and flesh. They went to the vets again and were told there was nothing else that could be done as the infection had taken hold and he was put to sleep. I am horrified. Surely after surgery there should always be a course of anti-biotics, especially after such surgery that this dog had and bearing in mind he had been on steroids for months which we all know decreases the level of ammunity. Can you please give me your views on this
Carolanne Lewis
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Scarlett :

Hi,

Dr. Scarlett :

I am so sorry for your loss (and your family's) of Freddy. Sounds like it was pretty traumatic for everyone, especially Freddy.

Dr. Scarlett :

You said the surgery was to "stabilize his shoulder." Can you give me more details? Was it an orthopedic surgery or had they detected an infection? Was bloodwork done prior to the surgery? I assume the lameness was in that front leg? Do you have tick-borne diseases over there, like Lyme?

Customer:

It was orthopedic surgery. There was no infection before the surgery. I believe bloodwork was done prior to surgery. Lameness was in the front leg, There is no tick-bourne disease

Customer:

Even when my dog was neutered he was sent home with a course of anti-biotics. Surely after such surgery that Freddy underwent, he should have come home with a course of anti-biotics?

Customer:

Freddy was perfectly healthy prior to surgery

Dr. Scarlett :

Thanks. So as far as antibiotics prior, during, or after surgery, if the surgery is expected to be "clean", antibiotics aren't always given. The vast majority of vets these days don't automatically prescribe antibiotics for most surgeries, because of the risk of bacterial resistance. It is rare now for routine surgeries, such as spays, neuters, lump removals, etc to get antibiotics. The orthope

Dr. Scarlett :

The orthopedic surgeon that comes to my practice to do knee surgeries rarely gives antibiotics intra-op and never sends any home. If it is a "clean" surgery, with low risk of contamination, then nothing is usually given.

Dr. Scarlett :

If the complete blood count prior to surgery doesn't show an increase in white blood cells, then there isn't an expectation that there is an infection going on.

Dr. Scarlett :

In Freddy

Customer:

But surely as Freddy had been on Steroids prior to this there would be more of a risk of infection

Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience: I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
Dr. Scarlett and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 2 years ago.
In Freddy's case, I think he was at higher risk of problems because of immune suppression from the steroids. I assume he was still on them at the time of the surgery? If there was a question about sterility or concern that he had an infection elsewhere (like a bladder infection), then antibiotics would have made sense. I would also have been concerned about potential delay of wound healing because of the steroids.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
< Previous | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Rebecca

    Rebecca

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    297
    Veterinarian for more than 30 years
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TO/tomasicvet/2011-3-15_20483_RTI.64x64.jpg Rebecca's Avatar

    Rebecca

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    297
    Veterinarian for more than 30 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/msb13sm/2011-3-7_52612_Dr.B.64x64.JPG Dr. Matt's Avatar

    Dr. Matt

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2355
    DVM - 13 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr. Gene/2012-6-29_2247_20120223174645649.64x64.jpg Dr. Gene's Avatar

    Dr. Gene

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1049
    DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/Vet help/2012-11-3_20182_Avatar2.64x64.png Vet help's Avatar

    Vet help

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    963
    12 yrs experience as a small animal veterinarian; 21 yrs exp. in the animal care field
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KR/kritrdr/2014-3-26_152042_Dr.Gray1.64x64.jpg Dr. Dan's Avatar

    Dr. Dan

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2143
    12 years of experience with domestic and exotic dogs, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DJ/djan2000/djan2000_avatar.64x64.jpg Dr. Dave's Avatar

    Dr. Dave

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2053
    21 years small animal general and emergency practice