We adopted a puppy from the local shelter about a month ago. A week after adopting her we noticed she had some stool with blood in it and a slight cough. We took her in and bought her a the puppy plan. Payed for it all up front.By the way I am going to add I am a nurse so yes animals are different but its pretty close so I am not completely in the dark regarding medicine. Anyway we were brought back by a vet tech. who took our puppies temp asked what was going on and left. The vet came in and said she knew what was wrong and that the tech would be in to give us her antibiotics. I asked what she had and she said a URI and the antibiotics would treat it. I asked how was she sure it was a URI ( because at this point she had not listened to our puppies lungs or even examined her ) She said "oh I listened to her when the tech. brought her back ". I told the vet the tech never brought her in the back and neither one had listened to my puppy. The vet acted slightly annoyed with me and said "I guess I must have her confused with another pup " and sighed and listened to her for about 2 seconds.
We take her home after spending almost 700 dollars in one night and start giving our less then 3 months old puppy two different antibiotic pills.
Four days go by which she seemed to be improving and then on the fifth day she starts refusing to eat. I get concerned an off we go again to the vet. This time seeing a different vet this vet did seem to take more time with our little puppy. But again I did not feel like she was fully observed. I brought up my fears about her not eating and that it was very difficult to get her to take the pills. He said " well she has pneumonia so that why she is not eating". I was very confused about this was diagnosed since no xray was performed and I had listened to her lungs multiple times and have heard no fluid. He listened also and agreed he could not hear fluid but "it has to be pneumonia". So they gave her a steroid shot and two more antibiotics, very strong antibiotics.
So 4 days go by and her appetite increased as to be expected after receiving steroids and she seemed to be doing a bit better and again took a nose dive. I called and brought her back in on the fourth day. This time very concerned. By now she was having diarrhea ( from the numerous antibiotics) and was lethargic.
Again a different vet saw us. When he walked in he said "oh she does not look like she is feeling better" I said because she is not. I explained my concerns and how I cant get her to take once of the antibiotics because it was a large pill and she was hardly eating as it is and if they had another liquid one they could put her on. He started thinking about it for a minute and said " well I don't think I have enough for her in house. " I said I would be more then happy to pick up some from the pharmacy. He then said well I may be able to find something. I then said well do you have something inject able like rocephin for humans. He then states " uhh yea yea we have something" So he then gets the two vet techs to give SQ fluids. It took two to hold down a 7 lb puppy....( when me and my husband have been doing it at home now with no issue what so ever...but maybe I am simply better trained in needles and sticking but anyway. ) she yelped the whole time and she attempted to bit the tech. (again she has not done either at home) then the tech came in and gave her the antibiotic inj. The vet returned and asked if I had any other questions or concerns. I brought up distemper and testing for it. The vet scoffed and said "what would be the point of that, if she has distemper she has it and we would treat her the same." I explained that I realized that but I read that if its caught early that it is better. He asked if we have seen any neurological signs and I explained she has been having muscle tremors but I am aware that it is a side effect of one of the antibiotics she was taking but wanted to cover all my bases. He then handed me a script for Hydrocodone and said "If she has it she has it and there is not much we can do" (by the way my puppy had already had her first round of shots but due to this illness has been waiting to get her second).
I went home that evening very discouraged and sick. My poor little girl was lethargic and had diarrhea so bad I had to put a diaper on her. I sat up with her all night, where she had a couple incidents of tremors and loosing control of bowels. She was having trouble breathing due to the cough and drainage. I cleared her nose and throat with an aspirator, used a humidifier and sat in the bath room with her to give her some relief.
By morning I was exhausted and so scared now. I called the vet first thing and go his very rude tech. I explained the night before and the tremors. She replied "well if she has distemper there is nothing you can do so you should take her to the animal ER so they can put her down. " I told her the Vet had told me to call and let him know if I did not see improvement and if any tremors ect. She was like " well I mean you can bring in but really we will just put her down. " I promptly told her no thank you and disconnected the call. I was a mess by this point so I decided to get a second opinion. I took her into my local VCA Hospital they saw her right away.
While I was waiting a complied a list of all the medications. Most of the antibiotics she had been put on were your normal broad spectrum cephlasporins , penicillin ect. Then I got to the injection I decided to Google it and was really surprised when I read the information on it , it is intended for use of lesions of the skin positive for strep or staph by culture. The pamphlet actually states not to use unless positive culture is obtained. I also read further that it had not been tested on puppies below the age of 4 months old and was contraindicated in them. By this time I was furious, I get broad spectrum we do it all the time for humans but to just choose something because I asked for something inject able (if they had it, I would never demand it and if he told me know I would have gone and picked up the liquid like I told him but no that would take away their profit).
The second vet came in and took a look at her. States that she was not convinced it was distemper and that she would not recommend putting her to sleep at all. That she mostly was having the tremors from some of the different antibiotics. I asked her about the injection and she acted surprised when I told her. She said "oh I see" I asked if she would have given this to a puppy this age for this condition. She explained that she would not and that she was not sure why he choose that. She then listened to my puppy and sat and talked to me for almost an hour about what we could do to help her. She asked if I was okay with giving her SQ fluids at home. She then came in with a bag with a full saline bag, needles,IV , food to syringe feed her with that was high in calorie. The bill came and only came up to 78 dollars, I asked if that was right and the tech. said yea. I went home and looked at my bill from Banfield and they had charged 70 dollars for just 50 CC of Fluid.
Today is now the second day since seeing the vet. My little pup though still on the mend is eating some, alert and curious and acting like a different pup.
Needless to say I will be going with the VCA from now on and will not hesitate to every question a vet again. Just like I wouldn't ever hesitate to question a doctor who was treating one of my kids. Blindly treating is wrong and needs to stop and a tech. jumping in and telling me "she will need to be just put to sleep" is disgusting and bad care.