I got my 2 year old Papillon neutered this month, and there were a lot of problems. A few people have suggested I try to file some sort of formal complaint against the surgeon. I wanted to get some opinions and see if anyone else has ever seen or heard of a neuter going this badly.
As background, the dog in question was 2 years old, both testicles fully descended, no hernias to repair. Should have been a very open and shut case. He was at the vet for a total of 8 hours. (Tuesday)
As soon as I picked him up, he was already very swollen, had a small, BRIGHT purple bruise above and to the side of the incision, and the incision itself was a lumpy, scabby mess- nothing like the neat incisions I’ve seen on all my other cats and dogs after surgery. He was sent home without any sort of e-collar, pain meds, or antibiotics (I know they didn’t send my kittens home with any meds, but it’s been a long time since I had a dog neutered- do they usually get meds?). He also was dehydrated when I got him home- he had clearly not received any water, orally or otherwise, since the previous evening at 9pm (I picked him up at 4pm the following day). I had to resort to giving him small drinks of water every 30-60 minutes for over 6 hours, because if I gave him access to the water bowl, he’d drink so much he gagged. When I took the water away, he stared at it and cried. He also had not been allowed access to any potty area other than the crate he was in at the vet, and since he is crate trained, he refused to potty, and I had to take him out at least 4 times in the first hour he was home, and he both peed and pooped each time.
That night, he couldn’t even lay down. He stood hunched in a corner shaking and crying. I followed all the rules, kept him penned or crated, no jumping, no stairs, no playing, just quiet. I held him most of the night, and he didn’t sleep.
I took him to his regular vet (who did not perform the surgery) the next day (Wednesday). The bruise and swelling had both gotten worse. She agreed that it was very swollen and sore, although she would not comment on the surgeon’s work or offer any ideas as to how it got so bad. She gave him Clavamox and Metacam, and an e-collar.
The meds seemed to help him get comfortable enough to lay down and sleep, but the swelling and bruising kept getting worse by the hour, and the following day (Thursday) a large, hard lump appeared on one side of his groin, and he cried when it was touched. I wasn’t certain I could get to my regular vet (they were booked all weekend and *might* be able to squeeze me in if I kept calling) so I took him to the ER Thursday night. They did an ultrasound and said there was no internal bleeding or fluids building up or anything else, but the lump could be a small hernia that might have to be repaired later. They said they couldn’t tell for sure until the swelling from the neuter went away.
I was so busy worrying I failed to get photos until day 7 after the surgery. You can still see the bruising and swelling, as well as the possible hernia. (These are closeups of little boy-dog parts, so if you’re squeamish don’t open them.)http://www.flickr.com/photos/26506846@N0…http://www.flickr.com/photos/26506846@N0…http://www.flickr.com/photos/26506846@N0…
We are now on day 13 following surgery. The incision is still swollen and scabby, there is still some faint bruising, and the possible hernia is still present.http://www.flickr.com/photos/26506846@N0…http://www.flickr.com/photos/26506846@N0…
I have never had any cat or dog, male or female, react this way to surgery. Nor has anyone else I know. I wish I had pictures of him in the first few days, those bruises were all a deep, dark purple. And none of those spots in the pictures is natural pigment, he has a pure pink belly with no spots. All the coloration is bruising. It extended all the way to his navel and down both inner thighs.
I kept the pictures and the vet reports, but am not sure if I can or should file a complaint or exactly who to report the incident to.
Thoughts? Would you complain? Would you consider it normal?