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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 30112
Experience:  2003 Graduate
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My dog broke two ribs and fractured another one on Tuesday

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My dog broke two ribs and fractured another one on Tuesday night two weeks ago. I took her to the vets on the Wednesday and she was giving an injection and anti-inflamatory and pain killer tablets. I was told if she wasn't any better to bring her back the beginning of last week. She was in terrible discomfort and hardly lay down and was really struggling to breath. On the Friday - 2 days later - she started deteriorating and dribbling. I took her back on the Friday night where she was examined again. He said there was a bit of crackling but was told to take her home and bring her back the next morning where he would sedate her and x-ray her as he didn't want to do anything with her that evening as surgery hours had ended but if she got any worse to ring him. This was now 6 p.m. I took her home and felt annoyed that he hadn't done anything that night and we had to watch her suffer another night until something could be done. At about 8.30 p.m. she started losing her legs. I thought it was because she had hardly lay down for the last two days and picked up her thinking if I supported her, at least that would give her some rest. She went down again. I picked her up but she was limp. I tried getting her to put some weight on her legs but she started choking. I realised she was going and it was too late to do anything about it. I put her down on the floor and basically watched her choke to death. From the time she went down to the time she died it was only about 10 minutes. By 8.50 p.m. she was dead. I want to know did my vet do enough as I don't feel he did. Just because it was close of surgery - 6.00 p.m. that shouldn't mean that you don't try to help a dying animal surely? I would like to know your views. Simon
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 3 years ago.
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a 2003 graduate, and currently a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about your loss. You and your family have my deepest sympathy and support.

Please keep in mind, any of my comments are only based on your statement, and not based on any evaluation, test review, or examination notes.

My opinions include:
1. When she first came in for the injury, on the first day, x-rays and a basic blood test were critical. If x-rays were not done on the first day, it would be impossible to determine the severity of any lung problems like pulmonary contusions.

2. A blood test would be improtant for evaluating for organ damage.

3. When the crackles were heard, that was an automatic red flag for fluid in the chest, pulmonary injury and possible pneumothorax (when air gets into the chest cavity but its not in the lungs). The crackles really warranted getting into an emergency vet for more aggressive supportive care.
However, that depends on exam findings as well. If breathing okay, the vet may not have felt an emergency trip was warranted. So, I can't comment on the severity of the situation.

I can only say that if I had a patient with crackles heard, I would have immediately trasnferred for emergency therapy.

I am very sorry about everything that happened, and clearly, there was a much more serious complicatin from whatever trauma caused the initial wounds.

With bad pain, ideally, I would have also had her on a non-steroidal or steroid anti-inflammatory medication, as well as, a pain drug like Tramadol.

Again, just my guesses and opinions Simon.
Very sorry about your loss.

I hope that information has been helpful.
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