Saturday, December 15, 2007

Can you trust your vet?

(This blog originally posted on 5/6/2006).

As if dog owners didn't have enough to worry about from the FREAKS (I'd put a link to peta here, but they'd have to pay me for the advertising and that'd be a cold day I'm sure) out there these days, it seems we can't even trust our veterinarians.

No one knows better than the owner what the quality of life for his pet is, and how the relationship between the owner and his pet is affected by illness.

Most owners these days err on the side of personal selfishness. They will extend a dog's life until technology fails them, well past when the dogs' own system has failed him.

In this case, a family's treasured pet has epilepsy at an unreasonably young age. There is no cure for epilepsy, and it gets worse as time goes on. So this family decided, after living with their pet's epilepsy for a time, that it would be better for them and for the dog if they simply put the dog to sleep. They take Annie on her final trip, and stay by her side, tearful, sad, broken hearted, as the vet sends her on her final journey.

Or so they thought.

What really happened was the vet faked them out. He only sedated Annie, and then gave her to a friend, where she survived another 9 seizure-filled months only to slip into a coma. And guess what? She was back on that very same vet table again. Is she really dead this time? Why did the vet keep her alive?

The vet claimed the family was insensitive. I don't know. It's not like we can take his lying word for anything. Maybe he wanted to do drug trials on her. Who knows?

So the family sued. I hope they win. I hope that vet is disbarred. (Or whatever they do to vets).

My readers who have experienced seizures in dogs know it's not a pretty site. It's certainly not fun and it can even be dangerous if kids are around. And Annie's family included at least 2 children. Isn't that justification enough?

You think those kids cried and worried every time Annie had a seizure? I'll bet mom and dad even did!

And yet, somehow in this "vet's" mind that makes them less human than his "friend" who could care less that Annie had seizures every few weeks!!

I don't understand where these people get the idea that animals deserve to live at any cost. Animals don't care if they die! They just simply don't fear death. That's a human ailment.

Animals probably do fear pain and suffering, if they know it's coming. Like the old, wounded, antelope that sees the lion eyes staring at him through the waving grass. He'll make an attempt to escape.

But a cow calmly walks up the chute to the stungun at the meat packing plant, without any fear or nervousness because there is no indication that suffering is coming. (See Temple Gradin's interesting site for more about animals and suffering).

Do you think Annie knew when a seizure was coming on? If dogs can detect approaching seizures in humans 48 hours in advance, I would bet they have some idea. The fact that some dogs will act anxious or run and hide before they have a seizure (Canine Epilepsy Network) is a pretty good sign that they know.

And fear.


  1. Thank you for your comments about this event. You have a good insight as to what really happened in this case. It still hurts and we still miss Annie but knowing there are people out there that understand the struggle we went through (instead of making us the villians) is comforting.

    D. Ganyer

  2. I am sorry for your loss of Annie. I had a dog with seizures once.

  3. Some people have never seen a dog have a seizure. Thanks (if such a sentiment is at all appropriate) to YouTube, everyone can see just how difficult and traumatic a seizure can be.

    Imagine children watching their beloved pets go through this.