Vet mentioned antibiotic during exam, but didn't put it in the order

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pigberto

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:34 pm


I'm writing this with a heavy heart. I had to euthanize my guinea pig yesterday. I had brought him in to his regular vet two days ago, and she said he needed to be euthanized because his breathing sounded bad, and she speculated that he had lung fibrosis or organ failure. I felt she was probably right, but I just couldn't bear to do it. He's always bounced back from illness before. So she said she would inject him with fluids, an appetite stimulant, a painkiller, and an antibiotic. But now I realize from looking at the invoice that he never got an antibiotic. She sent me home with the painkiller and appetite stimulant, as well as Critical Care, but I could barely get any Critical Care into him.

I took him to a closer vet to have him euthanized after he deteriorated over the course of the day; he was clearly hungry but could barely eat and seemed to be groaning when he tried. He listened to his lungs beforehand and said afterward that it was probably lung inflammation (i.e., pneumonia?) I don't understand why his initial vet didn't inject him with an antibiotic. Seems like, if we were going to make the effort to try to save him and his lungs sounded like they had fluid, that we would want to give him one. He also said that since he had wry neck (from an ear infection two years ago) that he was probably prone to other things going wrong.

I am kicking myself for leaving the vet without confirming that he'd gotten the antibiotic and not getting a take-home prescription for them. I have called them and talked to a receptionist who confirmed that he wasn't given antibiotics and that the doctor's instructions didn't include them, and am awaiting a call back from that vet.

Does this sound like medical error to anyone else?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:56 pm


Well, yes, but pigs aren't generally given injections with antibiotics. Some vets will do it, others just won't. So it's sort of a gray area in my mind.

I'm very sorry you lost him.

pigberto

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:15 pm


Thanks bpatters. But if she wasn't willing to do it, then why did she mention it?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:44 pm


I wasn't saying that she wasn't willing to do it. She may have forgotten it. I was just saying that it's a questionable practice in the first place, and I wouldn't be too bothered that it had been forgotten.

pigberto

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:02 pm


Oh okay. She did call just now and say that she had consciously decided against administering the antibiotic as she thought it might do more harm than good.

pigberto

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:52 pm


Could anyone tell me why it's a bad idea? She also said it was more likely to be organ shutdown than pneumonia, that infections "generally happen in younger pigs." That seemed unlikely. The other weird thing is that she seemed to have forgotten overnight that I had called her about taking him in to another vet for euthanasia yesterday; she asked me if he was doing better (?!)

Unfortunately, she was right that I should have put him down sooner rather than later.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:49 pm


Pigs don't do well with antibiotics in general -- it has a really bad effect on their GI tracts. And when given by injection, it can fail to absorb and can cause a sterile abscess.

How old is this pig? And are these exotic vets, or just small animal vets?

pigberto

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:16 pm


The pig was likely at least 6 and probably closer to 7. I adopted him and his cagemate from a city shelter and they said they were both two years old at that time. His cagemate is still healthy and robust and always has been; the one I lost had been sickly from day one, with an untreated and presumably undetected UTI (I noticed and got him treatment).

I switched to this hospital for its small animal/exotics vets (switched from a bird and exotic hospital that missed my guinea pig's UTI), but it looks like the female vet doesn't specialize in small animals or exotics at all! She told me she has seen a lot of guinea pigs in the condition that mine was in, and that they nearly all died shortly after being seen.

The vet who euthanized the pig supposedly specializes in small animal medicine. He had a much better bedside manner.

What is the difference between small animal vets and exotic vets? Am I supposed to seek out exotic vets?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:14 pm


Yes, you need an exotic vet. Small animal vets specialize in dogs and cats, not pocket pets.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:35 pm


I am so sorry for your loss.

pigberto

Post   » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:54 pm


Thank you, Lynx. I am still very upset.

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