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Several weeks ago, I brought my 50 pound dog in to Southwick Animal Hospital for routine ear surgery & growth removal. The dog had a reaction to the anesthesia and I have since had the my best friend laid to rest.

Upon reviewing the medical records I notices that the wrong weight was listed for my dog and this was the weight used to calculate the anesthesia administered. There is no doubt in my mind that by using anesthesia for a 60lb dog instead of 50lbs. contributed to my dog's death. In addition, I had requested that the dog be groomed while in the hospital I have since learned that they groomed the dog when they were done cleaning his ears still while under anesthesia.

My dog did not need to be under anesthesia for hours, especially to groom him. He had severe esophagitis and could not swallow. He resisted being forced fed and was losing weight. Even when I brought him in to be PTS, the sr.

vet who administered the final shot was not focusing on the dog in front of her. She was talking to me like she was robot and never once laid her hands on the dog to evaluate his condition. I knew something was wrong with her but didn't know what. I have since learned that she has left the practice due to her own major illness.

She should not have been performing euthanasias when in such a fragile state my opinion, it impared her judgement. I knew something was right when I was talking to her...she was monotone and lacked interest. She also did not ask me if I wanted a few minutes to be with the dog before administering the final shot. It haunts me that I didn't get to say goodbye the last time for at least a few minutes....I needed that as did my dog.

However my main complaint is the young Vet who did the surgery. I told her during the pre-op that my dog did not weight 60 lbs. and the overweight tech must have been too lazy to bend over and put the dog back on the scale. The Vet said she saw the number herself.

Maybe the scale wasn't calebrated back to zero when they weighed him? I weighed him at home and sure enough he was 50lbs. I also reviewed all of his prior records and his weights were 47, 48lbs. I believe my dog lost his life because of lack of experience on behalf of the Vet.

Why was the dog not weighed the day or surgery? Why was the weight taken off the pre-op form? Why was the dog kept under anesthesia for hours? Anesthesia was not necessary to groom him!!

Try and convince someone else that his head was kept still and elevated the entire time he was being groomed. I know with out a doubt Southwick Animal Hospital killed my dog. I will never return to VCA Southwick Animal Hospital in Massachusetts. I brought in a healthy dog and left two weeks later with a box of ashes.

Also, the initial surgery was DOUBLE the estimate. I paid it and then incurred thousands of dollars more to try and save my dog. They did not want to release his ashes until there was a zero balance. I have been a long time client and have spent almost $10,000 there this year....and yet inspite of them making a surgical error that killed my precious dog, I was told I couldn't have the ashes.

In my opinion, Southwick is OK for routine shots but go elsewhere for surgery, even if it is routine surgery. Now that I am asking around, I am hearing other horror stories of animals that died there as a result of improper anesthesia protocal. Nothing will bring my dog back.

I had him 11 years...and he deserved so much better in the end then to be some jr Vets mistake.

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Veterinary Medical Board


How much extra commission did the Vet get for PUSHING TO DO a sundry service? Shaving down a senior dog under anesthesia is, simply put, *** and careless. I HOPE THE ONWER LET'S THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT YOUR SO CALLED "care".


Kelley, "the friend" post is probly the same insensitve vet who put the dog down or shaved the heck out of him. Just another number and not thinkin it is someone's heart and soul about to die.


We use to go here before they sold out but even then it was getting too big for their britches cause they picked up all the Angel work. The vet we saw had a know it all attitude and seemed bothered by our questions.

The personal touch was gone from the last time we went. I would be in major therapy if this happened to me and my dog. That poor old dog. That is such a painful way to go.

So sad on so many levels. The owner not only had her dog's life ended because some vet went to town on an old dog but it sounds like they didn't get the guidance needed when making that awful decision. The vet should have been jumpin thru hoops to make this right and killing the dog didn't make it right, it just made the problem go away. I suppose to the vet it was just a dog but to the owner a old dog is lots of years of love and memories.

We love our vet now and he is not a fan of the VCA.

To bad people have to learn the hard way about these chain store vets. Sorry about the dog, I'd grieve big time.


That person that wrote the comment by "A friend" on July 22, please shut up. People do grieve for their pets, and this pet owner has every right to be pissed at VCA. I've had my fair share of problems with them and do believe they should be shut down.


I also learned the hard way about this place and will never bring another animal there.


I mentioned that JJ's groomer now sissor cuts him instead of shaves him because of all his growths. The young vet kept insisting that they have good groomers on staff who can work around the growths.

JJ's groomer has been clipping dogs longer than this vet has been alive and I now wish I didn't let this young pushy vet talk me in to having him groomed at the hospital. I never imagined they would keep him under anesthesia for grooming. And it is very clear to me now that even though the vet said these groomers could work around the growths, they could not! Why else did they shave him down with a #40 blade.

I expected a clean, fluffy dog with a few areas where growths were removed. This vet not only caused JJ physical pain (he could not swallow to take any pain meds), he was also humiliated. I am haunted constantly by the look on his face when they brought him out of the back room. He was completely shaved of all his fur and covered in stictches.

This is not grooming. Even when I entered the room for the exam, I was there for a growth in his ear....we talked about how the growths made it difficult to groom him. The Vet is the one who kept bringing up the good groomers and asking to groom him while he was there. Bottom line, you don't keep a dog under anesthesia longer than necessary.

She pushed the limits and in my mind, my beloved JJ, who should have lived out his senior years happy and painfree, sufferred terribly in the end....and I blame this young Vet. Even in the end, I wanted to take the dog to Tufts....she talked me out of it....but then told me she had never seen a case like this before. If she didn't know what she was dealing with, why was she so insistent that I not go to Tufts? I remember calling for his records and when I went to pick them up, I was told "no, they needed to check with the doctor first".

My records were mailed to me AFTER JJ died. They never took JJ's situation seriously. Even the day after surgery when I called and said he is drooling excessively, the response I got from a tech was "sometimes it takes older dogs longer". I brought him back on Saturday morning....never got to talk to the doctor until after she brought him out of the back room hours later.

She saw him inbetween appointments, I guess. She sent me home with NO meds for Sunday or the following week. When I dropped him off on Monday, they kept him in a stainless steel cage all day instead of doing the barium swallow as I requested. It wasn't until Tuesday afternoon that the barium swallow was done.

Why? If that were the case, I would have left him home on Monday or found him help with Vets who knew what they were dealing with. I hold this hospital responsible for the death of my dog. The wait and see, we don't know what we are dealing with approach caused JJ to suffer needlessly.

This was a senseless death and that is the hardest thing to process. No, I didn't bring him in to be groomed...but because this young vet kept telling me about the great groomers who could work around the growths, I agreed to get him evened out since they were doing growth removal. NEVER did I expect to see a dog in the condition he was fact, the vet even called me in advance to warn me that she got carried away and kept clipping. Big hero...she is NOT....I hope she sees JJ's face everynight when she closes her eyes and I hope she knows how much pain she has caused me.

JJ was healthy when he walked in those doors...her over agreessive, lack of experience and bimbo approach to being a vet, killed my dog. I miss you JJ so much...I'm sorry you suffered in the end. I will never go to this hospital again....I am taking action against this Vet...documenting other cases now. I can not let her torture another dog....a surgeon she is NOT.

I won't even use Dr in the same phrase as her name. I don't believe she deserves it....this is not practice ....this is life and death.


#1 why in the world would you ask a vet hospital to groom your dog? Do you ask your doctor to cut your hair?


I've been there and won't go back. Exact same thing happened.

Vet said our cat needed surgery, went to the front desk and scheduled it. Came back in the room and said to have the cat there the next day. She never even told us how much it was going to cost. We brought Max to another vet who put him on antibiotics and fluids for a while and he turned out fine.

I'm sorry for your loss. The people who run this place are in serious denial and think they can do no wrong.

I feel sorry for the staff at the front desk. They were really nice to us but that's where it ended.


I brought JJ in for a growth in his ear, on his head and on the bottom of his paw. I never consented to having my dog shaved with a #40 surgical blade over his entire body nor did I agree to have every growth on this senior cocker removed.

This young vet humilated my dog in his final stripping his entire coat, covering his head and neck with stitches (and I have photos) and than force feeding him with a muzzle on his face with other animals in view. There is more to being a vet than making the numbers....try compassion for the animal if you can't have it for the humans involved. Reminder...JJ's pre-op bloodwork came back good and young vet said he was approved for surgery. Why keep a senior dog under anesthesia for 2.5 hours???

There will be expert testimony stating this is not common or best practice. I have a VM from the young vet stating she "got carried away and removed more growths than we talked about." Let her get "carried away" on her own pets if she needs practice. She scheduled surgery without even giving me a cost estimate. I had to remind her I wanted a quote when she called with the bloodwork results.

And then the day of the surgery, the estimate I was handed was more than she quoted on the phone and then the actual bill was even more because to use her words she "got carried away". JJ used to walk out of the groomers happy and proud...not shaved with a surgical blade from head to toe...THAT IS NOT GROOMING. And all this while under anesthesia.

The vet who did this to JJ will be held accountable. I walked in with a healthy dog and two weeks later I left with a box.


Wow... what a story.

You are an ***, lady. You clearly don't know what you are talking about.

You're greiving for your dog.. so get some help for that instead of blaming others.



The whole newtwork needs to be shut down!



Go get em!

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