Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Username: Password:

Author Topic: Vaccinating a "sick" dog  (Read 60 times)

bellwoodbeardies

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Vaccinating a "sick" dog
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:31:44 AM »

I am just looking for answers as I feel very disappointed with our vets but am not sure if we are being a bit harsh.  Briefly:
May 2016 - brought Milly in as noticed she was eating "dirt".  Immediately vet did blood test and results were alarming - PCV 15% and they couldn't understand how she seemed so "well".  another test done, sent to lab - this happened a few times as the results differed widely. Sometimes the results would be 23%, sometimes 305, sometimes 15% etc.   I now understand from my own research (although no vet has told me this!) that chronic IMHA readings can fluctuate in the early stages.  How come my vets don't know this??  Milly seemed quite well so no medication was given.  We were just about to go to referral hospital when they did find hookworm and this was treated, and her PCV rose to 33%.  IMHA was then discounted....  However by October she started eating dirt again and I took her as she was due her booster.  I mentioned straight away that she was eating dirt and wanted wormer.  Vet took bloods as obviously realised something was amiss.  However, she still vaccinated her.....  This is the point of my post - 4 days later she crashed very badly and was given blood transfusion etc.  Is this a coincidence?  or did the booster push her from chronic to acute IMHA?  Now I understand that all vaccines have a label warning - "Only vaccinate healthy dogs".  Should I do something about this vet?  We were not told about any potential side effects etc. and it seems very wrong to me, in hindsight, that Milly was vaccinated when it was very clear there was an issue.  Should we discuss this with the seniors at the practice?  I don't want to cause bad feeling but in my view, this was bad practice.  Anyone have any views on this?  thank you!!
Logged

Catherine

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
    • View Profile
Re: Vaccinating a "sick" dog
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 12:47:19 PM »

Are we talking about UK vets? Is it possible for you to find another vet? If so I would just sign on with them and not say anything to them or even your old vet. Otherwise there is every chance they will know each other and they will stick together and you will be labelled a trouble maker.

If you have to stay with your current vet you can say nothing; try another vet in the practice, or write a letter to the vet concerned saying how worried you are that your dog that was ill was vaccinated and could he explain his reasoning on that. Try to keep it light.

It has been my experience that I had been using the same vet for years and I was very pleased with him. When I had reason to complain about something serious,  I wrote him a letter and he came to see me, apologized and took on board everything and we carried on going to that vet. But he was one in a million! Previous to that I had been to a different practice for a few years and when something serious happened he did not want to know (so we left).

You have to judge for yourself and one should be able to complain, but I think you will find that many vets will stick together and also the vet governing body and you do really need to have vets on your side.

So....my advice would be to grit your teeth (even though you have a reasonable complaint) and just learn lots about dog health/illnesses etc. so that if anything like that arises again you can be confident of challenging the decision (and even refuse to have the vaccine for instance) although do it in a pleasant way!

Just my thoughts.......
Logged

bellwoodbeardies

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Vaccinating a "sick" dog
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 01:46:57 PM »

Thanks for your reply Catherine.  This is in the UK.  And to make matters worse, I worked there for 4 months last year!!  Unfortunately she became sick 2 months after I left.  I could go to another vet although they are further away and of course they would want to know why I have left... I am in contact with a few people who still work there.  I really don't want to make trouble as it's awkward, it's a small community.... At the same time, I think questions should be asked and perhaps this might make them review their procedures.  They don't have much competition in the area and a lot of people moan about them.  My husband feels we have every right to complain/ask questions as we have spent nearly 20,000 since October (mostly with the referral vets and lots of complications!! but they have also received about 5000 from this illness...).  My husband is after some compensation from them but I'm not sure we'll ever get any answers and they will become defensive.  One minute I agree with you, just leave it, and move on.  Other times, I think this must be a clear breach of vaccine procedure?  will other dogs be made sick because they are lax about their procedures?  I do feel strongly that this is bad practice... I think we most likely will end up having a conversation with them and as you say, keep it light and amicable but at the very least, it might make them tighten up a bit. The same vet also treated my cat,,, said absolutely nothing wrong with him (= over anxious pet owner...) and then he keeled over dead a few months later at the age of 5!!!  so we won't be seeing that particular vet any more!!!  I guess I am just keen to know how bad is it that she went ahead and vaccinated a dog with suspected IMHA....  Vaccine labels clearly state only for healthy dogs and that's the bit I feel very strongly about.  Luckily Milly is now doing very well, but it has taken a huge amount of work/money/stress to get her back. x
Logged

Catherine

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
    • View Profile
Re: Vaccinating a "sick" dog
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 02:39:09 PM »

This is a public forum so I do have to be careful what I say - I do not want to criticize all vets but some do make mistakes. These are my thoughts, but I hope other members will jump in and add theirs so that you can get a more balanced view.

First of all, I do not think you will have any chance of compensation. It would only make matters worse and the vets would probably want you to find a new vet anyway if you do that.

Secondly, I completely understand and sympathize with you about not vaccinating a sick dog. Some years ago this happened to me. We had delayed her boosters because she was not well although we did not know what exactly was wrong. Anyway, to a certain extent she was well and my vet was worried that she would contact leptospirosis so she was vaccinated and I believe it led to her death a few weeks later. I think it is so ingrained in some vets that dogs need to be vaccinated against the diseases and do not weigh up what could happen if they vaccinate a sick dog. It probably happens every day and will continue to be their format. You could try contacting the veterinary body who deal with vaccine protocols (and even the vaccine companies themselves) to see if you can find out more or try to make a difference. As I said you could also tell your vet your concerns and ask why.

You should not vaccinate a dog that has an autoimmune disease anyway so you may have to be prepared for that "fight" against your vet when your dog's boosters are due again!

The best you can do now is to keep an eye on Milly, look out for unusual signs that she may be relapsing, have regular blood tests and ask for copies of those tests (and previous ones) so that you can be more confidently aware of your dog's health/illness. That way you will be able to "challenge" (nicely!) your vet if need be and feel a bit more in charge of your dog's treatment.

Logged

Jo CIMDA

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2294
    • View Profile
Re: Vaccinating a "sick" dog
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 06:46:40 PM »

Hi

It is good to have such a debate on a forum like this. 

My personal opinion is: Owners should be aware, and be confident enough to say no vaccines, and preventative wormers, flea treatments  etc.....  We shouldn't be bullied by some arrogant vets.  Let's face it, a vet who vaccinates a sick dog is in the wrong.

A vet you can work with, and who will listen to your concerns and act on them, is one in a million.  Unfortunately, I am in contact with many people who have bad vets and some have even caused the death, and a lot of unnecessary suffering, of our pets and still they get away with it. My beardie girl fell victim to a specialist vet, so I speak from personal experience too.  Even if you make a complaint to the RCVS, if the complaint is about negligence the RCVS will throw it out saying that they do not deal with negligent cases and these have to be taken to the local courts.  Well, it was always like this in the past and unless they have changed their ruling it still is.

If these cases go unchecked the vet in question will continue to make the same mistakes.  I believe a complaint to the practice manager should be made because you never know if the head vet will welcome the complaint because it might be just what he needs to dismiss this employee.  Many years ago I complained to my vet about one of his junior vets and he asked me to put the complaint in writing.  Within three months the junior vet had left the practice.  He must have had other complaints about this woman.

Making a complaint to the RCVS is probably a waste of time,  but I think that the owners of the practice should have the opportunity to address the complaint and if nothing else make sure this does not happen again in his practice.

I hope you get the opinions of other CIMDA members.

Jo
Logged

bellwoodbeardies

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Vaccinating a "sick" dog
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 08:13:58 AM »

Thanks Jo.  Having chatted over this, my husband is definitely of the opinion that it should be at the very least, reported to the head of the practice.  The crux of this matter is vaccinating a sick dog.... I'd be very interested in your opinion - would you be willing to look over the vet notes which I have a copy of? 

As Catherine also said, it seemed to be ingrained in vets that they must vaccinate at all costs but I think unless we start to challenge this and ask questions nothing will change.

Michelle
Logged