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Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1555
Experience:  10 years of experience in general practice.
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Almost 6 months ago on a Sunday evening my English Bulldog

Customer Question

Almost 6 months ago on a Sunday evening my English Bulldog was in pain for unknown reasons. He will for all purposes was very healthy but this evening he was yelping/crying out periodically when given snacks or just randomly. We Took Charlie to med that's in Worthington Ohio and after waiting several hours we were called back. Dr. ***** *****sen said it was her believe that he had a bulging disc. I was truly taken aback by her diagnosis however being the professional I put my faith in her. She told me that she wanted to make him comfortable and said she would give him something for the pain and to help him sleep. My bulldog was given morphine and a sedative. When paying my bill I realized that they had ran absolutely no tests on him to come up with her diagnosis. My total charge which included more medicine was $211. Before leaving the emergency vets he could not even walk because of the shots they gave him. He was dead five hours later. My vet said that they should not have given him the shots they gave him and at the very least he said that they should have kept him for observation. Med Vets said that they did nothing wrong. What is your opinion?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 13 years and I'd like to help with your question.

Your situation is a difficult one for a few reasons. First, given the limited description of pain in your boy I think a buldging disc is a reasonable diagnosis. It is actually very common in the breed and causes intermittent sharp pain. Sometimes that pain is the only symptom. And as for tests... it requires a MRI or CT scan (maybe a myelogram) to diagnose a disc problem These tests are not something that most vets have in their clinic. You would have to go to a specialty center and with no paralysis associated with the pain, most specialty centers would not consider your dog urgent enough to see right away. So I am comfortable with her doing no tests and I am comfortable with her giving pain relief.

The problem is... that a buldging disc can cause a lot of problems, but is not something that they would typically die from in that short time period. So one of two things has happen... either he died as a reaction to the drugs or a diagnosis was missed. Without having an necropsy to determine the cause of death or the specific drugs and doses it is hard to say more.

I will tell you, that if I saw your dog and I found no problems other than the pain, I would have treated with pain relief (not sure what they gave and if I would have done the exact same drugs) and recommended he stay in the hospital for observation. However, if you as the owner felt he would be more comfortable at home I would have let you take him home. So I have a hard time finding any fault in what she did.

I hope that helps, but if you have additional questions please let me know.