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Thread: Zack's neutering...

  1. #1
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    Default Zack's neutering...

    I got Zack home. Things seem worse than i expected, mainly because of things that the person at the vet office said and the ominous way they said it.

    They brought zack out with one of those cone collars on his neck. He looked awful. He was groaning. I asked if i could take the collar off of him, and she insisted he keep it on for something like 3 days, at all times. I had spoken to someone else earlier on the phone when i called to see if he was ok, and she said he had the collar on, and she said i only needed to keep it on him when i couldn't watch him. But when i picked him up i could see he was in no condition to be biting his incision. It was obvious. He could barely move and he was suffering. He was groaning. His eyes showed that he was suffering. and that collar was awkward and rigid and wasn't doing his comfort level any good. but she said that if he so much as licks his wound, it can get infected, like, she made me feel like it wouldn't take much for him to get infected. When i said iwas going to take the collar off and just keep an eye on him, she used a very threateniing tone, "That's up to you, but we don't recommend that," and i told her the other person at her office i talked to earlier said i could take it off except if i wasn't going to be watching him, and she just repeated that wasn't what they recommended. I didn't like her manner or her attitude anyway.

    So, when i got him home, i took it off and he's just sleeping. He came out of his crate once, then went right back in. There's no way he will be biting his incision or licking it until he feels better. They gave him a pain shot which is supposed to last until 10pm. Like you said, it's probably later as it's healing that they're going to want to lick it. but he just isn't feeling well enough to lick it. He looks like he looked on the days when he used to vomit and lay around and not eat all day.

    I tried giving him staphisagria pellets and he turned away from it. I dissolved it in a few drops of water and used a syringe to squirt it into his mouth on the side, and about an hour later, did the same thing with the arnica. Next i guess i'll do the phosphorus? I'm not sure what i'm doing.

    I wonder if it has any potency the way i'm doing it.?

    So--they gave me pain pills for him, Tramadol, and said i am supposed to give them to him whether he needs it or not, or actually what they said was that he WILL need them. "It was a very painful surgery." ??
    this is really different from the reassurance i've been getting from everyone else i talked to. They said they observed him after surgery and then found that he was in pain so they gave him a pain shot, and the doctor wants him to have pain pills, every 8 hours until they're gone. That's SIX days at 3x per day, after today. He's supposed to get the first pain pill at 10pm.

    So now i'm scared--that when the pain shot wears off later, instead of getting better, he will be in pain that's bad enough to need pain pills. But for 6 days, that makes no sense at all.

    I don't think i want to give him a pain pill later if he's acting ok. He had the surgery at 1pm, about. I guess. They weren't that clear about it. I had a sucky person to deal with, not good communication.

    So, if the surgery was at 1, as the night goes on, he should be feeling better and better? If so, i don't want to give him a pain pill, but then, i'll be asleep around 1am and i guess he'll have to wear that cone thing??

    If i put the onesies on him (i got 5 different sizes, i'll just return the ones that are the wrong size later) will he be able to chew the incision through the cloth?

    Could it be that this particular vet did a procedure that's more painful than the normal one? She siad the incision is under the skin. How can that be? The sutures are the kind that dissolve and don't have to be removed later. Could this be why they're so uptight about him licking it and about him being in pain?

    i sure hope Zack gets well soon, he's just sleeping and not moving. i hope later tonight he'll feel better. I'm not feeling too great about this.

    Then, also part of the whole thing is the money. I called three vet offices and asked how much is neutering. One said $120, one said $175 and this one said $200. so i thought it was going to be $200. But when i got there today, they said they strongly recommend some bloodwork before the surgery to give him the best chance of not having a problem with the anaesthesia, which is $110 more, and it's up to me if i want to have it but i have to sign this form saying that i know that there's a risk with the anaesthesia and on that form i have to check a box saying whether i want the bloodwork or not and sign it--this seemed very manipulative to me. I would've thought bloodwork would be included as routine, and included in the price they quoted. What they do is, you get there, you're worried about your dog, they tell you he will be safer if he has the bloodwork but "it's up to you," and it's another $110. How slimey. They should've told me this on the phone when i called. So, they originally say $200. Then, it's $310. And when i finally pay, it turns out to be $387, almost double what they told me on the phone. They charged another $47 for the pain shot after the surgery. I would've thought that wouldl be included in the price they told me when i asked how much, but they try to make it seem like this is not routine, they observed Zack after the surgery and he was in pain so they gave him a shot, but they couldn't tell me this in advance, it depends on the dog, this feels slimey. And they, they charged for the pain pills and for the cone collar. They should've told me this in advance too. They want to make it seem like they can't know in advance, it's just after they observe the dog. but when i talked to the vet on the phone yesterday, she told me she was going to send him home with pain pills.

    I think they are saying he needs six days of pain pills and a cone collar 24/7 for several days to justify tacking more money onto my bill. I guess i'll write the head doctor a letter complaining about this, but i dont' see how it will do any good. He is probably just the head slime ball.

    I was talking to Lisa and she looked at her bill for Belle's spaying. Everything needed was covered for under $200. Belle also had her eyes checked and the microchip and a bunch of other stuff, and the whole bill was under $300. The spaying itself, including bloodwork (clotting time) and whatever was needed (NO pain pills, NO cone collar) was under $200.

    I feel quite ripped off. and i dont' trust what they're telling me about Zack's care, whether he needs the pain pills, whether it matters if he licks the wound. I don't know what to think. I sure don't want him having any complications because i don't want to go back there for more treatment and get gouged in the wallet some more.

    Of course, if that happens, i 'll go to another vet, but that will be embarrassing since i didnt' get the neutering done there. Not that i care. I went to these people because this vet cured him after he'd been sick for a month and the other two vets both said they were stumped, didn't know what to do next other than expensive and invasive tests.


  2. #2
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    it's time to give zack his pain pill, at least according to the vet's instructions.

    i dont know whether it's the right thing to do.

    so far, he's still about like he was when i first got him, and he does seem to be hurting, just because when he does walk, which is minimal, he takes two or three steps and then lays down, like it hurts. no interest in food or new yummy chew toys, not sleeping that much, just laying and staring. he did go out in the backyard and poop and pee. first he went outside and sat down on the patio--is that bad for the wound? i think the scrotum is right down there. oh well. then after sitting there for a while, he yelped a few times and jumped up and went on the dirt and started pooping, and it went on a long time, he was straining. it started out a normal kind and finished as diarrhea, with droplets of it spread around, he was moving all arond and straining. then he went back inside. for the first time he did lick near the wound. He didnt' lick the wound itself but near by. so, i put the onesie on him. because he keeps laying down, i can't see yet how it's fitting. i hope it will work out because he looked so miserable in that cone collar when i picked him up.

    so...i dont' know whether i should give him that pain pill. it's not like just because a vet tells you to do something it's right. The whole first month i had zack vets were telling me wrong things to do, things that weren't good for him. and i did what they said because i didn't know.

    i think i should wait and see how he feels as time goes by. It's 11pm now. i was supposed to give the pill at 10. if he needs it, i want him to have it. I just don't know what's right. other dogs don't get pain pills, Belle had a whole oophorectomy and no pain pills. why does zack get 6 days worth? WHAT DID THAT VET DO TO MY DOG? Did she neuter him in an unusually painful way???

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    Sorry no advice Judy but i hope he feels better and is back to his normal self really soon

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    thanks sarah, i sure appreciate that.

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    progress!! at about 1am, he suddenly walked over to the booda bone and started seriously chewing on it. that's what i was waiting to see. so i gave him some cottage cheese and he loved that, about a tablespoon. when he finished that he went back to the booda bone, so i made him some chicken and rice and he wolfed that down. now he's chewing noisily on the pressed hoof stick. i'd give him more food but the vet person said just give him half of his usual amount otherwise he'll vomit. maybe i'll just stay up and feed him more in an hour.

    i'm so happy to see him hungry. i held off on the pain pill. i looked it up on the web, it's Ultram. Side effects can include upset stomach and constipation. i don't know what's right, i don't want hm to be in pain.

    anyway, he's acting starved, i'm so happy. karlin said 12 hours and that's pretty much exactly what it was.

    i hope the wound will be ok. the scrotum sure looks swollen to me. what would not swollen look like? he's had staphisagria twice. arnica a couple of times. i think i'll give him some colloidal silver.

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    OH Judy I don't know what to say...but my first instinct is NEVER to use that vets again.

    It's difficult as we are always led to believe that the professionals know best...but I have had to learn that they are partners in the care of our companions [and us!] and although i do listen carefully to what they say, I also do my own research and trust my instincts and common sense. Remember not all vets are created equally - and they are not all as wonderful as Rory's mum, Kendall on here either.

    I really think they were bad about the bloodwork - yes it can pick up unexpected problems like kidney and liver disease {which you don't see symptoms of until things are really bad}, but they would be extremely rare in a young healthy dog anyway.

    In the UK, they don't even ask if you want pre op bloodwork unless the dog is much older.

    One of the holisitc vets who writes in a well known magazine actually did a feature on this recently, and said it was really just an extra way of making money. If the dog is running around quite happily, no shortness of breath, no visible problems etc he would not bother with it.

    I really hope Zack is feeling a bit better now, he's only young so should bounce back quite quickly.


    It's good that he could toilet ok, they do always seem to be a bit loose the first couple of times after anaesthesia, but that should settle today - Jack was fine the 2nd day.

    I think they are really panciking you about infection...just keep a watch on the wound, if it gets red and inflamed and he's obviously bothered by it, then you might have a problem.

    Jack was a bit sore the first couple of days, but he didn't come home with any pain pills. A bitch spey is far more invasive and would be more painful, so I would expect pills for that - it would also normally be a more expensive procedure.

    just a thought, Zack's testicles were both in the scrotal sack, weren't they? I don't remember you saying that he had an undescended one, but may have missed this.

    If this is the case, then the surgery would be more invasive/painful etc.

    I would dose him with the Arnica 30x 1 dose 3 X daily{ for up to 5 days if necessary} - it should be just as effective in water, but avoid him eating anything for 15 minutes before or after a dose {same with all homoeopathy}.

    He probably won't be interested in the chewies for a few days...Jack was heaps better yesterday and is almost back to his old self today, his op was Thursday.

    THe Staphisagria won't do any harm, try to roll Zack over gently on to his side so you can look at the area. It may look a bit bruised, but see if there is fluid in the sac. If so, keep going with the Staph. and maybe even try the frozen peas.

    Will try to keep popping on here to see how you're doing - but thinking of you both, try to calm down as Zack will be picking up that you are stressed too. Do you have any Rescue Remedy [available from the pharmacy]? that would help calm you.

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    Sorry was posting at the same time!

    SO pleased to hear that he's feeling better. Don't overdo the food, maybe leave it now 'til morning, and don't let him eat too much of the chews, his tummy will be a bit delicate for a few days.

    If he's eating that well, I doubt he is in very much pain, so if he was mine I wouldn't bother with the Ultram unless he seems to need it.

    He will be swollen, but see how it is in the morning, it will be obvious if it's full of fluid
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    thanks nicki--i did give him some more cottage cheese, not too much. hopefully he'll be comfortable enough to sleep while im sleeping. i decided to put the cone collar on him because the onesie i got didn't have legs on it and it seemed to me that zack would be able to find his way to the incision through the leg hole. he didn't seem to mind the collar.

    they even had a more thorough blood panel in his chart that was done at the ER in mid February that i gave them for his chart at that time. they said that wasn't recent enough. what a rip off. i could understand if they wanted clotting time tested before the surgery maybe, but when belle got spayed, their vet only charged about $12 for that. boy did i get burned. slime.

    i'm so glad to hear Jack is coming along.

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    The pre-op bloodwork usually checks liver and kidney values. If he had previous blood work that showed no problems wiith the liver and kidneys, it was probably unnecessary. But given that he was rather sickly initially, I can understand wanting to do it. The people who check you in are just techs or receptionists doing what they're told - often with lilttle understanding of what they're saying. I realize now how little I knew when I was a vet assistant!!

    The sutures are buried and dissolvable. But licking is still discouraged either way (buried or not). And it can only take a couple minutes of licking for an animal to pull the sutures right out! But the 1st woman was right in that you really only need to have the collar on or a onesie on if you can't watch them. Keep an eye on him and see if he starts bothering the incision as he feels better. If he does, you probably want to put the e=collar on or the onesie at least, when you can't watch him. You'd hate to come home and find he's torn the suttures out! And it's only for a fe days. He'll survive. He probably seemed more uncomfortable before because of the surgery, not because of the collar. It's a nuisance, but the dogs adjust easily. In my opinion - better safe than sorry. Some dogs don't seem to bother their incisions at all, others won't leave them alone. See how Zackc is and judge from there.

    He will probably be most painful 3 days out?/ That's what they told me about Rory's surgery. I wouldn't bother with the ice packs for Zack. That is to decrease swelling that Rory had because his testicles were already large and mature, so there was a great deal of swelling post=op for him as his now empty scrotum swelled and filled where the testicles had previously been. But it might help.

    If he seems uncomfortable, I'd give the Tramadol, but you don't need to give it for 6 days unless he's actually painful for six days. Give it symptomatically. If he's not acting painful, don't need to give it. It'll definitely make him feel better. The diarrhea is no doubt froom the anesthesia. Not uncommon to have some GI upset after anesthesia. If it goes on onger than a day or so, might want to give a call to the vet. If you don't feel comfortable with the tech or whoever they put on, ask for the vet to call you later. And ideally the one who you saw before and liked.

    Sorry you had such a crappy experience. I would write them and let them know that you were upset with the fact that they quoted you half of what ended up costing you and that they should have included the collar and pills in the estimate - at least as a high end of a range. Did you sign anything beforehand? An estimate that said it might be 15% more or less than the estimate? If so, they need to honor that estimate unless they specifically got permission from you to go over. Make it clear that because of this experience you are seriously considering going elsewhere. They may not realize that this protocol is really upsetting clients who feel they are getting taken advantage of and ripped off. Explain how the techs made you feel guilty for not doing the pre=op blood work or for not using the e-collar and how you got conflicting info on that, too.

    Unfortunately, this is very common and just how most vet hospitals run. They're not trying to take advantage of you. They're just not necessarily looking at things from the perspective of the client.
    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
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    That is so totally counter to how every vet over here I've ever encountered, handles neuters and advises clients.

    Like Rory says, I can see how if this was your usual vet, and knew his history, they MIGHT have wanted to do the blood tests. However I can't imagine all the other fussing. Or the pain pills round the clock for so many days! (also her advice is really good about talking to them about what happened and how frustrating it was for you).

    To be honest this sounds like a lot of BS to me, to push the costs up. If you don;t use the tablets I'd take them back in and say you don;t need them and feel that you were pushed to take them, when the advice you received on a neuter was that pain tablets are not necessary abnd certainly the costs were not included and you were not told about this when they discussed the neuter by phone or when you left him in. It would be the norm for them to probably not quote the cost of a collar in a neuter however.

    You always have the right to say 'no' though. Many vets are pushed to keep adding on things to run up the cost of a bill, by whoever owns the practice. I have encountered this before and it can be very hard in the circumstances of being in the vet's office to just say 'no'. A good way out of such situations is to say, thank you for their perspective; you will leave those purchases for now and if he shows signs of needing pain killers or collars or whatever, you will come right down and get them. I've used that line before when the vets try to push special bags of diet foods etc, which is one way they get a nice big margin from sales. They will get at least a 100% markup on those bags of food for example, so they REALLY like making those sales, and you can do just fine unless it is really a major medical issue, by adjusting the diet appropriately or getting a 'sensitive' diet from a good food maker where it isn't a 'prescription diet'.

    Anyway I hope he is doing well. They typically LOOK as if they might be totally out of it -- and they are, due to the anaesthetic, not due to pain! It takes up to 24 hours ofr the anaesthetic to clear their system enough that behaviour gets back more or less to normal -- usually about 12 hours though -- then they go from looking out of it to their old selves.

    When my two female cats were spayed (sisters spayed the same day) they could hardly walk, much like Zack.

    Anyway I am sure it will all be much smoother now but I'd consider a vet that's a lot more straightforward and less likely to push you to take things you don't necessarily need.

    That said and a final caveat: every individual situation is different and they may have been offering the best available advice.

    But I have NEVER heard of a dog having to take painkillers for 1 day, much less *6*, for a neuter!!
    Karlin
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