We had a client bring in an 14 year old cattle dog on Tuesday. The dog hadn’t eaten for four days and could barely walk. The dog hadn’t seen a vet in years, wasn’t vaccinated and wasn’t on heartworm medication. We ran bloods and tentatively diagnosed pancreatitis. There could have been more going on like a pancreatic mass, but the owner was very concerned about costs and declined transferal to the Referral Hospital for an ultrasound and overnight monitoring. The dog died overnight last night. We informed the owner this morning and asked him if he had any questions – he didn’t. Next thing we knew we have a lady on the phone saying she is the owner’s lawyer and she wants the dog’s medical records. We asked her for written proof of this. What we got faxed to us read like it was written by a teenager who had watched too much ‘Law and Order’ and had gotten hold of her daddy’s letterhead. The lawyer is the owner’s daughter. Apparently, according to the letter, the dog had come into hospital in “relatively good health”. I guess not eating for 4 days and barely being able to walk or even stand is relatively good health when you compare it to being dead.
So, we have now gotten our lawyer involved. We love our lawyer. She is a client of ours who for some unknown reason drives 40 minutes and passes about 10 vet clinics to come and see us. I actually feel sorry for the owner’s lawyer. Now we can’t talk to the owners without our lawyer present and it is all messy. *sigh* This isn’t going to be pleasant. It shall be interesting to see what tomorrow brings. Got myself a 12 hour day. Can’t wait.