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Hello everyone,

I am newbie in this forum. I just want to get some of your thoughts/views.

Dec. 28 Monday I brought my 10week old puppy (LOUIE) to the vet for the first time for a physical check-up. The vet said Louie is a healthy puppy. The vet didn't do a fecal exam. According to the records they gave me, he received a dose of strongid for intestinal parasites. They also gave me meds for heartworms and flea ticks. Dec. 31 Friday, I woke up, and Louie was already sitting down, wagging his tail and looks very excited. I picked him up and we went outside for his potty training, as soon as I put him down he vomited twice, it was clear foam. Right after that, I took him back inside and he started playing. after a few minutes, I noticed that he was a little off and laid down in a corner. I thought he was just hungry so I gave him food which he didn't eat. He vomited (still clear foamy) again after trying to feed him, his pooped was soft. Later that afternoon, I took him to the ER, they test his fecal and found roundworms, gave him anti-nausea and fluids cause they said he was dehydrated. The ER Dr. sent Louie home and told me that roundworms might be causing irritation to his GI. Advised me to feed him with chicken and rice. Went home and around 6pm, Louie poop a watery bloody stool. I rushed him back to the ER, they did diagnostic testing (blood works, X-ray, Ultrasound). They found out Louie has intussuception (one part of the intestine slides inside another part) and he needs to have surgery right away. My fault for not getting insurance right away. They told me the cost of the surgery itself is 6k and Louie needs to stay in the hospital for additional 3days for recovery. The Dr. gave me a lot of options like applying for credit cards, calling animal shelter and surrender Louie. I decided to take Louie home and plan to call his vet and see what she can do for Louie.I stayed up with him overnight.

The next day Saturday,I called his vet (hoping that the cost might be less than the ER) and ask if they can do the surgery for him. Vet told me that there is nothing they can do and he needs to have the surgery right away. I asked her if they can do the surgery but they told me they do not do surgery on weekends. Vet told me I can surrender Louie to her and she will pay for the surgery and find a home for him. I felt like I was running out of time because Louie is in so much pain and he keeps pooping blood. Because I felt like I didn't have a choice and I want to save his life I took him to his vet signed some papers. And just like that lost him.

I called the Vet Monday, I asked for an update. She told me that he went for surgery Saturday and he was doing good. I tried to negotiate with her so I can have him back. I even told the vet that I can try to pay her. I will get Louie's insurance. She said she spent 10k for his surgery and there is no way I can pay her back in full. She will not accept card or monthly payments. She kept telling me that she is the owner now and she will make the decision. She made me feel belittled. She made me feel like I cannot afford to have him. She also told me that she will give Louie to friends or he will be a pet to her clinic.

I tried to do the best for him. I didn't want to surrender him but I felt like that was my only option to save his life. I just don't understand why did the vet paid for the surgery and give him away to someone else and not to me? I did not cause his illness. I even asked the vet how did it happen and she just said it was unpredictable.

Sorry for the long post. If I could just get views/opinions on this matter I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you
 

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I think you did right by Louie to have relinquished him if you could not get care credit or pay for the intussusception, which IS a deadly thing...
It seems like you are in the few and far between category- most people would rather euthanize than relinquish, and for the vet, with a puppy who has the ability to live a long life, that is heartbreaking.. as heartbreaking as the home that won't let a dog go and spends a fortune keeping a dying animal alive. So in your vet's case, I would bet anything there is a fund that pays for relinquished pets' surgeries, and the fund has suitable homes that are prequalified to adopt them. This isn't likely to be out of pocket and a procedure run by the vet herself.
Typically, when people surrender animals, if they call they get no info. It feels like that's to cut the cord, because you did the right thing but knowing all is well might torture you. When a surrendered animal survives a surgery and appears on the mend, people always want them back. Naturally... I get that. But the surrender is why he was able to have the surgery- he needed it, and would have died without it, and it was not wrong at all for you to surrender him. Try not to think of this as 'the vet won't work with me' because the terms funds for relinquished animals are not blurred line things- they have to follow the rules whoever set up the fund made. I'm certain the vet herself did not pay for the surgery, but a fund did instead. I know she said she'd place w a friend or keep in the office but I'd wager that was in an effort to give you some comfort. Think about how it would go if funds paid for surgeries and people said they would pay- they wouldn't. There'd be no money in the fund for the next animal then. I've got so many vet friends who have paid for things, and most I ever heard of was 3-4 payments... I paid for a beagle to have a cardiac surgery once- Owner said they would make payments. I got 1 payment, half of the agreed amount. That's my experience. And to my mind, that owner stole from me.

Back to the initial visit- the Strongid wouldn't have caused this. And since all puppies have parasites, not doing a fecal is no big deal imo. It's an extra cost for the client and deworming will be done anyway so it makes sense to me that one wasn't done if he wasn't presenting with pale gums (indicating he may need further deworming because of a heavy parasite load). So he was dewormed, had a sufficient parasite load to cause the irritation, which caused the intussuception and that caused the vomiting. I can't really lay blame on either vet- Care Credit is useable anywhere so it is a shame you didn't take the app home w you, that ER discharge staff should have offered that to you, especially since the vet had discussed w you.
Don't torture yourself over the possibility you could have surrendered to the animal shelter, and in that way gotten his surgery paid for then re-adopted him. Odds are, if his surgery had been financed by the shelter (not a given depending on their funding so it's possible he'd have been euthanized), he would have gone home w one of the fosters, and there is a long line of prequalified people for Golden puppies... he'd never have been in the shelter even one night imo.
OTOH- where did you get him? Did you get health records? The breeder clearly didn't deworm appropriately or he would not have had a load sufficient enough @ 10 weeks to cause a positive fecal several days after the Strongid. The AVMA recommends deworming dam and litter at 2,4,6,8 weeks and new owners to repeat with boosters.
I'm so sorry- I know this has to have been the most heartbreaking decision to make and I think you made the right decision to insure he survived.Some clinics don't even offer surrender/treatment- so Louie was lucky this one did. The ER offered you options of Care Credit, but had you not qualified, they would not have carried the cost and you'd have been in the position of the shelter. You did the right thing.
 

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You did what you had to do. I agree with Prism.
I'm sorry you are going through this but he is now feeling better and young enough to love a new family and live a great life.
 

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I'm so sorry you lost your pup, but I agree, you did the right thing for him. Just to ease your mind on one point, you could not have obtained insurance that would have covered his surgery and treatment after the diagnosis. It would have been a pre-existing condition and would not have been covered by any pet insurance.
 
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