Ken P. on Birdeye
3 years ago
02/10/2020, 07:04 AM
St. Petersburg Fl. 19 January 2020
Our 9 pound 15 year old Silver Toy Poodle “Cleo” took ill with coughing and difficulty breathing. Our normal Vet was unavailable so we took her to Blue Pearl in Clearwater Florida. A technician said she was oxygen deprived at 86% and put her in an oxygen cage. The Vet on duty suggested X-rays the results of which indicated a pneumonia like lung infection but no heart enlargement. She forwarded the X-rays to their radiologist in Tampa who said it was not pneumonia but rather congestive heart failure and they should start her on diuretics.
When we questioned the original diagnosis, she again referred to the radiologist as per protocol. We requested they begin the antibiotics instead of the diuretics, while keeping her on Oxygen. That evening and the next morning we were called by on duty staff and told our little dog was out of the cage and doing much better with oxygen at 100%. They dismissed the heart problems after an ECG. A new on duty vet had given her a bronchodilator to increase blood flow to improve her breathing and oxygen flow to the brain. We visited her that afternoon where she appeared highly agitated, nervous and excited, pacing all about the room and breathing rapidly. She vomited water she was given but he Vet made no mention of this condition being a problem. We were poised to take her home but were advised to let her stay one more night since they had the oxygen cage and we had no way to continue the additional medications
Around 10 PM that night , we were called by another on duty Vet saying Cleo had gotten worse, more rapid breathing, extreme restlessness and had a seizure exhibiting neurological problems. She then admitted they had given Cleo an overdose of the bronchodilator,Theophylline at 9 AM that morning, TWICE the maximum dose for a dog that size and much more than was indicated for one her age, AND a second dose that night at 9PM. She apologized, saying she was doing what she could and we would be contacted by management the next day. Four hours later, we got the call that sweet little Cleo stopped breathing. Although we can never prove conclusively that the overdose caused her death, there is little doubt in our minds that it contributed. The symptoms we saw that day and what was reported clearly matched online research relating to side affects for this medication along with several caution notes about dosage to an older dog.
Blue Pearl is a national company, owned by The Mars Corporation and run by business professionals, not your local vet who knows your pet. They are equipped with technology and specialists and you may well need there services but you may never see the same people twice. Shift handovers are handled by rounds and charts, but they follow protocol and mistakes can be made or things overlooked. We will never understand how with all the trained technicians and vets, nobody ever noticed or questioned the overdose until it had been given twice, and symptoms were overwhelming. Our recommendation, question EVERYTHING. Get second opinions from your vet that knows your pet and review procedures and medications BEFORE they are administered, and DON’t rely on protocol.