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DanaDVM, Dog Answer Team
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 998
Experience:  Dog Expert
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Vet failed to diagnose my dogs illness

Customer Question

My 6 year old black lab Ebony wasnt feeling welll on feb 11th.I took her to the vet,they did bloodwork and found she was anemic had low red blood cells and she was bleeding internally not due to an injury.They first thought it was infection put her on antibiotics and vitamink1.That didnt work the bloodwork was the same then my second diagnose was rat poisoning,I was devastated that someone would do that.But she was doing good so we figured the poison was pretty much almost out of her body.Then 2 weeks later she was vomiting about 4 times during the night and wouldnt eat the next day and she was quiet.I said by tomorrow if shes noy better she going to thr vet.Well I had to go to work and when I got home she was very weak so I rushed her to an emergency vet and they told me to bring her to Tufts hospital for dogs right away or she may not make it through the night .I was Frantic.I took her there and they told me in about 10 minutes my dog had IMHA and ITP,and what that was.Well I said do EVERYTHING you can for her there was no guarantee but I said just do it and I took out a loan cause they wanted their money right away.Well she passed away 26 hours later after blood transfusions,immune system supressents and steroids and so on.My question if my vet would have found that on the first or second bloodwork or within the 4 weeks before her death when she was in their hands would she have had a good chance of making it.They failed to diagnose my dog and I questioned them and the 2 vets had different stories.One said Ebony wasnt showing signs of IMHA and the second vet with the samr bloodwork results said he didnt know on her second visie yet what was wrong,maybe lupis or she was allergic to herself.Then the 3rd week I called for results on the 2nd bloodwork and he said rat poisoning.That was the last time I spoke with them ,then Ebont died.She had from FEB11th with my vet then she died on March 15th.They failed to diagnose my dog,but the emergancy vet diagnosed her in 10 minutes.PLEASE be honest with me,he should have diagnosed my dogs illness right then stareted treatment right away right.I am having a very hard time dealing with them.I believe Ebony would have live if she had been diagnosed in that period of time.Vets do make mistakes.I feel like they should have been doing many more tests on her bloodwork knowing she was amemic,very low red blood cells and bleedind internally and also not wanting to go up and down the stairs. I still had another APPT.with them on March 15th but Eb had died on March 15th.Please be honest with me. Thank you
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 I would agree with you. IMHA doesn't present like poisoning. Without access to her bloodwork I can not tell you why this was "missed". I will tell you IMHA is the number one rule out for middle aged female dogs with chronic anemia.


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: Thats not what I was looking for.I knew that answer already.I asked that if my dog was diagnosed within a certain amount of time and if she had all the work that the emergecy hospital done a month later would she have made it.She had 2 sets of blood work with my vet and they both showed she was anemic,low red blood cells and bleeding internally those ARE the signs of IMHA.I asked if she would have made it.I already knew your answer.Thanks anyway but I want a refund I wrote 10 letters out to area vets I should get my answer from them.
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

 I'm sorry, I thought you were wanting to know why the diagnosis was not mistake.

With IMHA it is a process of where the body starts rejecting her own bloodcells. Would your dog had a different outcome? I would say it is a 50/50 shot of a yes.  There are great protocals for treating this disorder...but it is rarely a "curable" disease. We spend quite a bit of time managing these cases.  I can say definately the quicker the diagnosis, we can get a jump on the disease, but the response doesn't seem to be predictable.  I have had several that were diagnosed early on and failed to respond to treatment and would do well for 2-3 days and then poorly again.  Some have only lived 30 days.

What I am trying to say is that there is a chance that her life would have been extended further, if the disease was picked up on and treated 30 days earlier...but because it is a significant, immune mediated process, it will be hard for anyone to say with a 100% certainty that she would still be here.

Again, I am sorry for not understanding the question...but I am more sorry for the loss of your companion.  The loss of a friend that close to your soul, is crippling...and I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: That is what I wanted to know,if she was diagnosed earlier would she have made it.I already knew that the vets failed to diagnose Ebony.And I'm sorry if I sounded rude by not being satisfied with the other answer,it just wasnt an answer to my question.I am just so upset with my dogs death. Thank you,Kathy McCarthy
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.


Again I am sorry for your loss. I know from experience this will take quite a while to process and accept.

Let me know if any further questions arise.


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: Thank you very much.Dr.Vamvakias.Yes it it a long process when you lose your best friend of 6 years with so much love and happiness.She was like a kid to me.There was never a day that went by that I didnt tell her I love herand never a day that went by when I would give her so many kisse and get kisses and all the cute things she did.Boy do I miss her.I took her everywhere with me and she slept in my bed with me.Dogs are so wonderful.She was wonderful and I'll never forget her and I'll always LOVE her and I'll never forget her.I fell so empty inside and my heart is so broken.You know the feeling.Thanks again Kathy
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 11 years ago.

Your welcome.


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