Petition Letter for Change

Every Pet Has a Right to Life Sustaining Care

Formal Letter of Complaint Sent to Veterinary Medical Board

On Saturday, February 2, 2019, at 11:45 AM, we rushed our dog LittleFox to Redwood Veterinary at 731 Admiral Callaghan Lane, in Vallejo.

Upon arrival we stated at the front desk (4-5 workers present) that this was an emergency and that our dog is extremely weak, unable to stand, non-responsive, dehydrated, possibly unconscious and had been vomiting non-stop, and that he has liver cancer. The Vet Tech/Jen came out. We suggested that he required intravenous fluids, nutrients and/or oxygen because he has not been eating. I have been force feeding him using a syringe (orally).

The tech stated that all three rooms were booked with emergencies and that she cannot accommodate our dog despite his non-responsive condition. She performed a visual diagnosis with the aid of a stethoscope. Checking his gums, she stated that they were pink - indicating that this was good. She also stated that his heart and respiratory were good. Thusly implying that his condition was “good”. Looking at our dog, his appearance did not look good at all. She suggested we instead take our dog to Sage Critical Emergency Care in Concord [19 miles away].

We were given a piece of paper with the directions to Sage in Concord - we rushed there. The directions we were given were in fact partially incorrect and caused us additional delay. Our dog gasped for air 3x in my arms before he died. We were approximately 3 minutes away from Sage when he died. By the time we arrived at Sage it was 12:50 P.M.. The Doctors there immediately administered CPR for 10 minutes trying to revive him. According to Dr. Martin Del Campo, Littlefox was already DOA. My dog was internally hemorrhaging (ruptured tumor).

I would like to know the real reason why Jen/Vet Tech did not consider talking to the Doctors at Redwood Veterinary, exploring the notion of possibly administering intravenous fluids and oxygen in order to help aliviate the immediate emergency by stablizing his condition. I would also like to know why our dog was neglected in a "life threatening critical emergency"? To be more direct, my question is that given all the factors as presented in this particular set of circumstances, why was Littlefox’s disposition not considered to be critical (life threatening), and then treated as such? All of which begs the question: “Under what guidelines does your facility consider a situation to be a critical emergency - and exactly what procedures are in fact effected in such a situation?”. Is a casual/visual diagnosis by a non-physician the normal response from this facility in this type of situation?

In short, having explained that the dog had not been eating, vomiting all day, and expressing the notion that in all likelihood he’s extremely dehydrated, as well as suggesting that he required intravenous fluids and oxygen, these factors were not sufficient enough to warrant immediate attention? According to Jen/Tech, it was apparently more of a concern that it was a "Saturday", and the notion that they were booked with appointments, carried more weight then my dog's ill condition. Wasn't this a critical enough life threatening situation to have our dog seen/assessed by a physician - and not a vet Tech?

Again, Redwood Vet could have chosen to administer intravenous fluid and oxygen. These measures could have been taken towards stabilizing his condition - before sending us off to Sage. At the very least, it could have been discussed/evaluated.

If this was not life threatening, then why did my dog die in my arms 3 minutes away from Sage, when this could all have been avoided. From the point of our arrival at Redwood Vet to the time it took to rush to Concord, almost a full 1hr. had transpired. Efforts could have been made to help stabilize his condition - before sending us off to Sage.

The death of our dog was completely unnecessary. The Vet tech, Jen was in the wrong. Her decision was in error - an oversight on her part as a vet technician. And our dog paid the price. Our dog suffered because of the ill-fitted manner and degree of care given to him.

Our dog's life was in Jen's hands - our dog's life was at the mercy of Redwood's Vet's staff. What should have occurred, her proper response should have been, “Our rooms are full, but I see and understand your situation - let’s just see if we can help to quickly stabilize your dog’s condition so that you can get him to Sage for the proper attention/care that he needs”. But instead, what we essentially experienced was, “No room here. He’s OK. Move along.” And that was the order of the day. If that was/is the typical response to situations such as ours, then others need to be aware of your emergency practices & procedures which I find wholly unacceptable.

I demand a full explanation as to how Redwood Vet arrived at the decision(s) that they made where my dog’s critical situation was concerned.