Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Speak Up for Your Dog: Molly's Rash

by Krista Magnifico, DVM

Photo Pixabay

I got a call from a client. I called her back the same day as any respectable success business-minded fellow human being would do.

"Thank-you so much for calling me back!" I could hear that she was troubled, jittery, and grateful in her over-expressive preface. I have known her for many years. She is a smart, articulate doting mom; always a need, a worry, and a barrage of questions with every examination. She travels a great deal and always finds home back in our little town. She would be intimidating and over bearing to others but she allows me to be my honest, forthwith self, and it is abundantly clear that she loves her dog, so I accept her abrupt inquiries with ease.

"We moved full time to Atlanta a few months ago, and we have yet to find a real vet here, so we need your help." So began the second line to the phone call.

Molly had a rash on her belly and private parts and a bought of facial swelling last week. 

"We thought it might pass, but after a few days, it appeared that she needed more than the Benadryl we were giving. We looked on the internet and thought this was the correct treatment, so we waited ... You have been her vet, and we aren't comfortable anywhere else."

I jotted few notes in her chart and a few in my head.

The chart contained:

  • Owner moved
  • Rashes on ventrum, inguinal and perineum regions
  • Facial swelling three days duration last week
  • Non-responsive to Benadryl with accompanying dose

My head contained:

  • Why did they wait?
  • Why did they diagnose with the internet?
  • When did they think they needed to find a new vet?

And then there was Molly. 

My worries with any swelling or rash are the following;

  • Root cause? If it is allergies, the swelling can progress to causing life threatening breathing difficulties. If it is NOT allergies, is it lymph nodes? Could this be cancer or infection? 
  • Time delay. ALL of these need IMMEDIATE INTERVENTION for optimal outcome.

The third part of her phone call was even more troubling.

"I also went online to find a vet. I was looking for someone close who had been in practice for some time. I found a vet who had been in business for over 30 years. I figured he had to know what he was doing and be good. I made an appointment and went the next day. It was an awful experience.

When I arrived, the technicians immediately took Molly away from me. I thought I don't know you, you don't know my dog. I was very uncomfortable. Sometime later she reappeared. They told me that Molly had an allergic reaction and they were prescribing some medication.

I thought, 'Where is the doctor? I haven't even met him yet?' He arrived a little while later. When he came into the room, he didn't introduce himself. He didn't greet Molly. He went on to say he was prescribing medications. When I asked 'Why she had gotten the rash?', he replied, 'Well, you know girls don't always wipe from front to back.' I was so dumbfounded I didn't know what to do."

I swallowed hard. 

Trying to choose my words carefully I said, "Well, that is indeed pretty awful, I agree. I think that if you are ever uncomfortable with anything being done, you should speak up and remember that you know Molly better than anyone else.

If you didn't want her to be taken away, you could tell the technician that you want to be with her. 

That's a perfectly acceptable request.

If you have questions, you are paying for their time and his expertise. They should be happy to answer your questions. And, as far as the wiping comment goes, I have no decent excuse for that. It's immature, unprofessional and inappropriate.

I don't know how you are feeling now, but as a practice owner, I would want to know if anything like that was happening here. It might benefit another pet and another client if you called them and voiced these same concerns to the hospital owner or practice manager.

And, certainly only go to a veterinarian and veterinary clinic that you trust and feel both comfortable and well taken care of. Maybe it would be  better to ask your co-workers and neighbors for a veterinary recommendation?"


If you have a pet in need, you can find a community of helpful people at Pawbly.com. Pawbly is free to use and open to anyone who loves their pet and wants to help them.

I am also available for personal consults at Jarrettsville Veterinary Center in Jarrettsville Maryland. Or find me on YouTube or Twitter @FreePetAdvice.

Articles by Dr. Magnifico:
Don't Make This Mistake: Ruby's Death To Heat Stroke 
Parvo: Cora's Story 
Jake's Laryngeal Paralysis
The Tip Of The Iceberg: The Unexpected Dental Dilemma
The Ear Ache That Wasn't Going Away: Tootsie's Story
Cody's Eyelid Tumor
Ruger's Mysterious Illness
The Day The Heart Stood Still: Timber's Story 
Different Definition Of Comfort Food: Levi's Story 
Savannah's Pancreatitis  
Histiocytoma: Rio's Mysterious Bump
Von Willebrand's Disease: Greta's Story 
Alice's Heart Murmur  
Jekyll Loses His Tail Mo-Jo 
Pale Gums Are An Emergency: Bailey's Story 
To Amputate Or Not To Amputate: Heidi's Story
Lessons From A Real-Life Veterinarian 
Charlie's Life-Saving Lipoma Surgery  
Understanding and Diagnosing The Limping Dog, Why To Probe The Paw 
Angus' Dog Fight And The Consequences
When To Induce Vomiting And When It's Not A Good Idea  
Abby's Survived Being Run Over By Car But Succumbed To A Mammary Tumor 
Palmer's Hemoabdomen: Nearly An Unnecessary Death Sentence
A Puppy That Doesn't Want To Eat Or Play Is An Emergency: Aurora's Story
Does Your Dog Like Chewing Sticks? Hank's Story  
Lexi's Bump 
Pyometra: Happy Ending for Pheonix 
Never Give Up: Bella's New Legs 
How Losing His Spleen Saved Buddy's Life 
Pyometra Emergency: Saving Chloe  
Limping Dog Checklist (part I): Did You Check the Toenails?
Limping Dog Checklist (part II): Did You Check between the Toes?
Limping Dog Checklist (part III): Foot Pads
Limping Dog Checklist (part IV): Broken Bones  
Limping Dog Checklist (part V): Joint Injuries
IVDD: Recovery, Post-Op Problems And How To Conquer Them All
Has Your Vet Given Up On Your Pet? Or You? Would You Even Recognize It If They Had?
Cervical Disc Disease: Hank's Story of Hope
Retained Testicles: Diesel's Story
Ear Tip Bleeds: Domino's Story
Leroy's Battle with Cancer
Winnie's Vitiligo
Foreign Bodies and Levi's Story
Damaged Ear Tip: Mieko's Story

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