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Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1556
Experience:  10 years of experience in general practice.
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I have a question.... my dog had a kidney removed because

Customer Question

I have a question.... my dog had a kidney removed because there was a mass cancerous mass in it. When my vet started to removed it actually cracked off the renal artery and she began to bleed and loose too much blood he did a transfusion right there. He had never done one of these before and was not board certified. My question is had I gotten a more experienced surgeon would he foreseen that problem and somehow been able to avoid it?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the veterinarian has to say. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Cassie, rough Collie 10 years old, had ultra sound showed mass and tested to be cancerous, other organs looked good. He said it was a routine surgery and he could do it. I'm just thinking if I had a more experienced surgeon would he been able to know that these things sometimes crash off and made the needed adjustments and we would have avoided a blood transfusion
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about Cassie?
Customer: not really that was the situation a board certified center had seen her and given me a quote, but my vet said he could do it. I know he did his best, ***** ***** trying to figure out if the cracking off from the renal artery is something a more experienced surgeon would have foreseen
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 14 years and I'd like to help with your question.

Removing a normal kidney might be a 'somewhat' routine surgery, but removing a kidney with a mass could be complicated. The mass can cause the anatomy to be distorted and you can encounter unexpected complications. Yes, I think a more experience surgeon may have been better able to predict and prevent complications and may be have been able to avoid a blood transfusion, but there really is no way to know. I'm guess that the mass made things difficult and that is why it happen... and it could have happened to a more experienced surgeon too. It sounds like your veterinar***** *****dled the complication well and the outcome was good correct? I'd be thankful for that and not second guess yourself for decided to have your veterinarian do the surgery.

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

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for your help.... no the outcome was bad, my poor girl died 4 days after the surgery...she was still at the vet with 24 hour care.... she died 2 hours after our last visit. I know there isn't anything I could do now, but I just needed to know. I think perhaps he took on more than he could handle.
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 7 months ago.

Oh... I'm sorry to hear that. Do you know what the cause of death was? If it was from blood loss then I would definitely be concerned that your veterinarian didn't do enough to help her..... It is possible that he took on more than he could handle, but he should have realized that and referred her for additional care even after surgery.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I don't know really, he did transfusion and monitored her and gave her plasma etc.. they were having trouble getting the red blood cell count up... he consulted 2 experts and they said he was doing the protocol they would do at this point. Her kidney was functioning properly, her potassium was finally leveled out, but her red blood cell count was at 13 or 15 I think and he was hoping it would rise, she had ivs and meds, she was barely eating. The last time I saw her he said he felt she was starting to get better but she was soooo tired, and then 2 hours later he called and said she had passed
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 7 months ago.

A low red blood cell count would have two different potential causes in a case like hers... the first would be if the kidney that remained was not producing erythropoietin and so the bone marrow wasn't getting the stimulation it needed to make rbc. I think this is pretty unlikely and if it was the case I would have expected some degree of anemia prior to the surgery. The second possibility is that she was still bleeding from her renal artery.... was her belly distended when you saw her or was she leaking blood from her incision? If this was the case then I think he should have referred her. Someone else may have been able to do a second surgery to stop that kind of bleeding.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No her incision wasn't seeping or bleeding that I could see... it looked ok... her belly didn't look distended but I did notice before I left a slight bruising color over the incision area I figured it was just from the surgery. She was so tired when my three boys and I left her she couldn't hold her head up and they said had her walk a bit earlier, and I just figured she must need sleep.
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 7 months ago.

Hum... like you said, nothing can change the outcome at this point, but I might ask for a copy of the records. You might have a case against your veterinarian if you wanted to pursue it. Most of the time it is not worth the heartache to do it. You can't bring them back and there is not a lot of money that can be recovered most of the time. I am so sorry for your loss.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you... I know I can't bring her back, and it is so painful to us, I just wanted to understand what happened. I think I should have gone to the specialists. I decided not too because my vet is 2 minutes from my house and I knew we could visit her a lot, and he made it sound like it wasn't complicated. I should have known every operation is complicated. He used his own 2 dogs to do the transfusion right there on table. I won't sue him or anything I just wanted another opinion... I think I let her down.... I needed to be clear in my mind what happened. She was there for me when I struggled with cancer and I wanted to be there for her.... and I am sitting here not really understanding what the hell happened to my best friend. Thanks for your advice on this

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