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yourvets Rayleigh
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On the early evening of Friday 31 May I took Maggie, my miniature Jack Russell, to Your Vets, Rayleigh because she had suffered, late that afternoon, what I thought was a fit and was left shaking and panting. 
The vet gave her a thorough check over including a thorough inspection of her abdomen, to which Maggie showed no signs of pain, and said that she could hear a heart murmur. She recommended that we leave Maggie overnight for tests and they would contact us Saturday morning with the results. 
On the Saturday morning at approximately 7.30 am I received a call from the vets saying that Maggie had had a comfortable night and that they would contact me later that morning with the results of the tests. 
I then received a telephone call from the vet (VET A) who informed me that they had carried out an ultrasound and x-rays as well as blood tests and that they had found, through the results of those tests, that Maggie had an enlarged heart with a murmur and a large mass attached to her enlarged liver which was probably cancer and that there was nothing they could do – she did not recommend a biopsy as too much of the liver was affected and it was not possible to do any sort of transplant on animals. 
She said that the only option was to put her to sleep. I told her that I would speak to my partner and call her back as soon as possible. Arrangements were then made for us to attend the practice that evening. When My partner and I attended the surgery that evening we met with a particular vet (VET B) as we were told, the VET A had left for the day. 
We discussed the results of Maggie’s tests and mentioned that our other dog Jazz had been taken ill a few hours after Maggie and was suffering from sickness and diarrhoea. She had been ill all Friday night and most of Saturday so now we have 2 dogs ill, I said that we were going to bring her to the vet if she did not improve but by the time I attended the vets she was slowly improving and the sickness and diarrhoea had stopped. 
I asked if it was possible that they had both eaten something that had upset them. I explained that my partner had put down some “pet safe” slug pellets the night before at the back of the garden, if the dogs had eaten any this could that have caused the problem – he said that slug pellets could cause fits but did not think that this had anything to do with Maggie. 
Maggie was brought out to see us and we spent some time with her. I asked how he knew she was in pain as I could not understand - she had shown no signs of pain leading up to this as I know my dog. 
I have my dog with me most of the time for the last 13 years and I must lift her in and out of trucks and other things many times a day, I lift her at arm’s length up boat ladders etc and she has never shown any signs of pain. I was told that’s the way things go and she is shaking he replied. I replied as soon as I pull up outside the vets she starts shaking until the time she comes out again. I think that other pet owners will relate to this. 
He then suggested to put her down at this time. I could not get my head round this and asked whether we could take Maggie home for the evening and bring her back the next morning to which he replied that she was on maximum strong pain relief and unfortunately that was not managing her pain and they had therefore put her on morphine. 
We were unable to take her home because he said they could not provide adequate pain relief for us to take home and administer. We agreed therefore to leave her overnight. We said that we would phone in Sunday morning to make arrangements to come back Sunday. On Sunday lunchtime we met again with Vet A at the practice. I said that I could not understand why this was all so sudden – Maggie had shown no signs of being ill and, up to Friday afternoon, had never had a day’s illness, apart from a few warts, due to her age, and having her teeth cleaned she had only ever attended the vets for her yearly check-up and vaccinations. I again asked how do you know she is in pain and was told by VET A - I know when a dogs in pain and she is shaking. I again explain she has shown no signs of pain until now and always shakes when at the vets. I also so said again that my other dog has been unwell, and they could have eaten some slug pellets, but it fell on deaf ears. I explained that before we did anything, we wanted to spend some time with Maggie. We asked to take Maggie home for a few hours. VET A was not too happy and said that she felt we were being cruel in our decision, but she finally agreed. She said that she would give Maggie another dose of morphine which would last until six o’clock and we should return Maggie to be put down at that time as, once the medication wore off Maggie, would again be in unmanageable pain. I took Maggie home and noticed that gradually over the afternoon she became more aware of what was going on around her. As the drug wore off she started to slowly walk about, then she started to eat and drink and by 6.00 o’clock she was walking around the garden with the other dogs, albeit a lot slower than she would usually have done, due to the medication but was showing no signs of pain or distress. I decided then to keep her for the evening and to my surprise, once the drugs wore off, she continued to improve, more and more as the evening wore on, she showed no signs of any pain or discomfort other than limping on the leg that still had the cannula inserted and was bandaged. I received a call from the vets requesting what time we were taking her back and I confirmed that we were keeping her for the evening and would return her immediately to the surgery. They were concerned about the cannula, but I said that if she showed any signs of distress or pain I would take her straight to the surgery If not - we would return in the morning. I spent the night looking after Maggie. She had a quiet night with no pain or discomfort despite the facts that the drugs had now worn off. 
I telephoned the vets the next morning and made arrangements to attend the surgery to have the cannula removed and was shocked and disappointed by the reaction of VET A who was not at all pleased and appeared to be angry that we were challenging her diagnosis. I showed her photographs of Maggie the previous evening walking around the garden, eating and drinking. We therefore asked her to remove the cannula in our presence so as not to stress Maggie. She said that I was not able to go into the hospital because of health and safety rules and so I suggested that she remove it in the surgery while I held Maggie. She did not appear pleased with this suggestion and stormed out of the surgery. She then returned a few minutes later and angrily removed the cannula and wrapped Maggie’s leg in a compression bandage stating that it should be removed in 40 minutes – she then left the surgery without any further discussion. I have been with this practice with my three dogs for over 10 years and in that time have unfortunately had to have my old boy put to sleep with Yourvets a few years ago. If I believed that Maggie was suffering, I would have immediately agreed to let them put her to sleep as I would not want to see my baby girl suffer. This used to be a brilliant practice and all the staff seemed to care about the animals. I am not sure what has happened in the last year or so, maybe they should try to keep experienced vets so that they can get to know the animals they are treating and the animals get to know and trust the vet – there seems to be a never ending turnaround of new inexperienced vets and you never get to see the same vet twice in most cases. 
It appears that now it is just the money they care about. We have been overcharged for an extra night we did not have and pain relief we did not have. The costs involved were £1,200 for the two-night stay and the drugs that she was given - that I now believe were unnecessary. To say I am disappointed in the practice and the vet involved is an understatement and I shall not be taking my pets to this practice again. 
2 weeks later & Maggie is doing fine - back to her old self running around having fun. While she is pain free and comfortable, I will not be coerced into having her put down. Also, after 2 phone calls regarding the overcharge we still have not had a reply 


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