DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!!
I was not given the most basic information prior to making the decision for my dog to undergo a major surgery. Eva had just had a severe bout of pneumonia. The doctor suggested that I bring Eva in for a recheck of her chest x-ray and, if there was no sign of pneumonia, then we would do the surgery the next day. What they failed to mention is that Eva was at a severely increased risk of a poor outcome following surgery because her body had not had ample time to recover from the pneumonia. Pets, as well as people, need time to recover from severe illness before they are at full strength. It makes complete sense now, but what good does it do me now? What am I supposed to do now? If they had simply told me the risk associated with performing surgery at that time versus waiting a couple of weeks for her to regain strength, I would have made a different decision. I wouldn't have had to watch her health decline so rapidly after surgery, and I wouldn't have felt the need to put her to sleep after she had gone into respiratory failure.
I've met with the medical director and practice manager at the Sandy Springs office and, not only was the medical director incredibly insensitive and condescending, but he will not concede that they should have given me more information prior to surgery. My fear is that they will continue to do this and cause others to go through what I'm going through. It's not just that I lost my baby girl, but how horrifying it was to watch her become so ill in such a short time, not to mention the sense of responsibility that I feel for completely trusting the advice of the doctors at Blue Pearl.
There is no doubt in my mind that things would've gone differently if I was presented with all of the risks and all of the options. Regardless of the outcome, it is incredibly grandiose and arrogant for them to think that the ultimate decision lie with the provider and not the client. It's not up to them to determine which risks they can live with. They don't have to live with it ... I do.
I feel as though people should be warned about putting all of their faith in these doctors, particularly if the guidance is coming down from Winkler, the medical director. He thinks it should be up to the discretion of the doctors as to which information is shared with the clients. There is no doubt that Eva was at a severe disadvantage going into surgery. If they don't feel that it's necessary to share this basic information, what else are they not telling us?
People trust their most precious loved ones to these doctors, and they charge an exorbitant amount of money for care. We should be given all of the consideration possible. It seems like such a simple standard, but one by which they are apparently not willing to abide.
If there is any doubt to my recollection of the discussion I had with Winkler, I have the whole conversation recorded.