We do this job because we love animals, and we work long hours every day to help pets and owners live happy lives together. If there’s ever an issue we’re happy to discuss things and work out a solution, but when false information results in threats against our staff from people who have never even stepped foot in our clinic, it’s time to set some things straight.
You may have seen the post shared on various review and social media sites blaming our clinic for issues encountered by an elderly dog, and if you have, we understand why you might be concerned. We remain respectful of our clients’ rights to privacy and while we cannot go into specifics about their medical records, the claims in that post are not accurate.
Any time an animal is brought to us for anesthesia, we warn the owners of the risks involved. The anesthesia process is discussed in detail and owners are also educated on any possible alternatives. The decision to sedate an animal is an informed one that has been mutually agreed upon by the animal’s owners and the veterinarian. In addition, clients are required to sign an anesthesia release form on the day of surgery.
We have extensive processes in place to ensure that anesthesia is as safe as possible, including running pre-anesthetic bloodwork, starting early antibiotics, and running IV fluids. We limit the number of procedures on our surgery schedule so that we can spend the proper amount of time with each patient. During every anesthesia procedure, our patients are individually monitored the entire time, including during recovery, by a nationally certified veterinary technician. Patients are required to swallow repeatedly before we remove their breathing tube following the procedure. If an animal has aspirated during surgery, it is usually very obvious and fluid will generally come up with the breathing tube. When this is the case, we contact the owner immediately, discuss any potential concerns and immediately take measures to prevent any further complications. Many patients experience in-clinic anxiety just like many humans do at the doctor’s office and this will often be displayed in the form of panting. This does not indicate that an animal has necessarily aspirated.
Patients that are recovering from anesthesia are monitored by our doctor and technician for several hours prior to being discharged to the owner. We ensure that patients are alert and can ambulate on their own without exception. As with humans, animals individually recover from anesthesia at different rates. There are many nights that we are here well after closing time so that we can ensure that our patients have recovered properly. Our surgery technician personally discharges the anesthesia patients to their owners. They are verbally given specific after care instructions and are provided with a form that not only lists these instructions but also provides contact information for the emergency clinics should any concerns arise overnight. On the rare occasion that an animal in our care appears to be having difficulties recovering from anesthesia, we have promptly sent them straight to the emergency clinic for overnight observation and care.
It is important to note that we receive direct communication from the emergency clinic any time one of our patients is seen there, in fact, we frequently consult with their doctors directly. They ensure that we are well aware of their diagnosis and treatment plan. If they were to diagnose a patient with aspiration pneumonia, they would document that information and would make sure that we were aware. We work very closely together to make sure that we are all on the same page and our patients receive the best possible care. Though the internet is often an excellent tool, it does not have a degree in veterinary medicine and cannot be trusted for medical information or for diagnosing a pet.
When an owner enters our clinic and begins to verbally attack our staff in an aggressive and threatening manner, it makes it very difficult for us to do our jobs properly. Though we understand that emotions run high when you are concerned about your babies, we cannot ensure that they get the care that they need if we are unable to communicate with you. Even then, we pride ourselves on being honest and ethical and we make sure that we conduct ourselves in a professional manner at all times. Anyone who has been a client at our clinic for any length of time can testify to this fact.
It is terrible to lose a pet. They are friends, companions, and our fur babies. We understand the grief that accompanies such a loss, and we regret that anyone must experience it. However, we cannot stand by and allow people who have never even heard of TLC Animal Hospital to attack and abuse our staff when we’ve done nothing wrong. We care deeply about the animals that come through our doors, as well as their owners. If we made a mistake we would correct it immediately. That said, in this case we firmly believe that we did everything in the safest, most medically correct way possible. We are 100% confident that the State Board and any other governing agency that reviews this case will agree that there was no malpractice or mistreatment on our end.
Thank you for your continued support of our clinic. We feel confident that anyone who knows us knows that these allegations are false, medically unfounded and grossly exaggerated. We believe in transparency and we are always open to hearing how we can improve further, and we’re here to talk person-to-person if there is ever an issue. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to our patients and all of the amazing clients that we have been fortunate enough to get to know over the years.
If you have any further questions, we would be happy to discuss them with you. You can reach someone at our clinic directly any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 281-282-9944.
Your TLC Animal Hospital Team