Monday, March 22, 2010

You win the stupid award for the week!

Sunday afternoon, a couple brought in a very small dog (5 pounds) due to difficulty birthing.

She'd gone in to labor around 8am. A puppy foot came out ... and then just hung around. No puppy followed. For 2 hours, mom pushed and pushed. No puppy - just 1 forlorn foot.

That's when the owners took things into their own hands (literally). The owner tried to pull the puppy out. Guess what happened? The puppy came out. Well, at least the puppy's body came out. SANS HEAD.

So, they showed up and told me that they'd pulled the puppy out, and the head had come off. It was still in the dog. When I palpated the abdomen, I was horrified at the size of the skull. The dog weighed 5 pounds. I estimated the puppy at around 1-1.5 pounds - monstrous for this dog (and the only puppy I could palpate).

Of course, the owners declined treatment due to cost. They told me several times that they'd had a c-section done a mere 2 years earlier at our facility, and it cost them only $600. When I checked the records, it was true. They'd had a c-section. Whatever doctor had done it had done it at a discount - likely because the owners were financially strapped. Here they were, 2 years later, expecting the same hand-out treatment again.

That immediately got my blood up, I won't lie. It was coupled with the fact that despite previous breeding problems, they'd bred again. This mother dog was unvaccinated (never had rabies vaccine, which isn't legal), she wasn't on heartworm preventative, and she was absolutely emaciated. She was in no shape to be having babies. Yet, she was.

Infuriated, I decided that I wouldn't be doing these owners any favors. I prescribed antibiotics and pain medications. The owners made an appointment to see a vet first thing the next morning for a c-section.

In the end, I never feel good about these things. The dog had to suffer for another night due to owner ignorance. She should never have been bred in the first place, as she was absolutely so thin that every rib and vertebrae stood out. I could have done a "budget c-section" - but that would only reinforce the owners' idea that they could receive cheap/discounted medical care for their dog every time they made bad, bad decisions.

And I still feel like a crappy person.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

So sorry you have to deal with this sort of thing. These owners shouldn't have a dog. Period.

Poor dog. Poor you.

andrew said...

You should have given them a hand out. (just kidding.................................................................................................................................................. stupid people should not be allowed to breed.)

Mary said...

Yet another story that reinforces why I couldn't be a vet. I just can't believe they would not do something that night, knowing that at least a head was still inside her!

This just makes me so angry. I hope whatever vet did the C-section also did a spay.

Nicki said...

Another winnner.