I am going to preface this by saying my Lab's regular vet, Dr. Singleton is out on maternity leave and I have been bringing Max here for almost 7 yrs.
The staff has always been great with him and I have never felt uncomfortable bringing him here until 12/18/18 Max's Rehab Vet was concerned that Max may have a slight tear of his calcaneous, so I scheduled x-rays for him. Apparently after not being able to get good x-rays, Dr. Cieply came out and asked if she should use anesthesia to complete the x-rays and I agreed, since it wouldn't help if we left without them. Dr Cieply later came out and told me that Max had at least a partial tear if not complete tear and would probably require surgery.
Needless to say, I was devastated and waited to check out. When Max, who is a 108 pound Lab walked out, he was unable to walk and support his hind end at all. Initially I attributed it to anesthesia but it was clear that he was in pain, even with a Rimadyl injection. I actually drove around with him in the SUV for an an hour to give him time to rest before attempting to get him out of the SUV and home because I thought that he would not be able to get out, since we only live about 10 min away.
The next morning, he was still in a tremendous amount of pain and neither of us slept because he could not get comfortable. If you saw him try to sit down, it would make anyone cry and Max did not walk in the clinic walking this way. I called the clinic and expressed my concern to Maddy, who is awesome by the way and Dr. Cieply returned my call asked if he could posture to urinate and defecate and if so , she wasn't overly concerned.
Poor Max was miserable and I took him to his physical therapy appt because the surgeon and the rehab were going to evaluate him and clearly he needed some pain management therapy. The surgeon and Rehab vet both said that the calcaneous was not a concern but that he clearly had back pain and the Rehab vet commented that it hurt her to watch him try and sit down. Prior to the appointment at VCA Ark for x-rays, he was able to sit and did not need to placed in the SUV using a harness. I brought him home and he was clearly still uncomfortable, so I expressed my concerns that Max was not handled properly during the procedure and all Dr.
Cieply did was keep saying that the pain from the calcaneous etc would cause that, except he didn't walk into the clinic that way on Tuesday. After a barrage of emails, I realized that no one was going to admit that Max was not handled properly and she told me "that she stands by the fact that Max was handled with care" If that were the case, he would be able to stand erect and sleep at night, instead he was miserable, panting and unable to stand up without assistance. I told her them that the only people who know what happened that day are the staff and Max and since Max can can speak up for himself and tell me what transpired, I will never know but they will never convince me that he was "handled with care" because I have never seen my dog in this much pain. I told them that they succeeded in destroying a seven year relationship by not responding appropriately.
Someone should have apologized and said that they would look into it, instead Dr. Cieply called the Rehab clinic requesting the last three months of Max's rehab notes. I have nothing to hide and after the appt at VCA Ark that caused him all the pain, rehab had to shave parts of his back to apply a tens unit to treat his pain. I trusted them to handle him with care, yet they failed him miserably and a result, he suffered needlessly.
I told them that at the very least, an apology would have gone a long way but instead, Dr. Cieply insists on placing the blame elsewhere. I can assure you that by Day 4 of no sleep, the range of emotions was all over the place and anger was only a small portion, as I watched Max suffer due to someone's ineptitude and carelessness. I told them that I trusted them but I will not make that mistake again.
When they take your pet in back, you expect that they are being treated gently but that was not the case this time. Max is still refusing to navigate the front stairs without the harness because he anticipates pain and is fearful, so he has to be lifted up the stairs. It is truly difficult to watch your best friend suffer and no one will step up and accept responsibility or at the very least acknowledge that it is possible that they mishandled him. I have a picture of how he was walking and I have never in seven years, seen Max with his tail between his legs.
It is even difficult to look at this picture of him posturing like this and I will never allow anyone to take him anywhere without me again or a Go Pro attached to him. I have a duty to protect him and I failed him miserably and that will never happen again !
Reason of review: Injured Dog during routine radiographs.
Monetary Loss: $5000.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.