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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.
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.
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.
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.