Note: the drug concerned, Buprenorphine, is an extra label drug for use by vets on dogs and cats, therefore this post is relevant to cat caretakers. Extra label drugs can only be used by vets on animals if there is not an alternative drug that is labeled for that species. The client needs to be told and even sign off for the drugs’s use (this may not be a legal requirement) – source: petmd.com.
On a Friday I took my dog in to the vet because he threw up. When we got there she said he might have a little upset stomach and gave him some medicine.
The next day he still was not feeling right so I took him back to her and she said will do a full panel of blood and some x-rays. Remember it cost $200 on Friday now we are there Saturday and after all said and done that was $400 but then she came back to the room and said his blood work was fine and his x-rays showed nothing except maybe a little swelling in his prostate because he hadn’t been neutered and she said that was normal.
She also said that she felt he had a little soreness in his spine so she was going to give him a shot of morphine. She took him to the back and gave him a shot when I looked on the invoice it did not say morphine it said Buprenorphine .05mg when I looked it up online it said it was 10 times more potent than morphine and dogs should never have more then .02 she gave my dog .05 and said he might be sleeping for the next 24 hours just make him some chicken and rice tonight you know you like something soothing when you don’t feel good.
We brought him home and laid him on his favorite blanket he did not move the rest of the afternoon not even to get up to drink or go to the bathroom so that night I ran to the store and got a syringe. I thought he at least has to drink so I put some water in his mouth with the syringe and he drank it we’re still going on the pretext that of course she said sleepy and down for 24 hours.
The next morning I went to work and he was still laying there so I’m thinking 24 hours it hasn’t been yet. When I got home from work he was still in the same position I gave him a syringe of some chicken soup just the broth and he started to gurgle then my husband picked him up and put him on the couch and he was shaking. I said to my husband maybe he is cold my husband said no way let’s go.
This was Sunday now so the only thing open was a veterinary hospital about 15 miles away. I raced down the road 80 miles an hour went through a red light while my husband was sitting in the backseat and telling him to breathe just breathe. When we reached the hospital the nurse came running out and grabbed him and took him in the back about a minute later she came out and with her finger said come here.
So I’m thinking we’re going to see him and she says I am so sorry he passed. I was devastated and started to whale and cry right out loud at the hospital. I know for certain there was nothing that serious wrong with that dog till the vet gave him that shot.
I called her on Monday and told her I want my $600 back and she killed my dog !! I told her the reason I’m calling her is not only for the money to be returned back but to tell her the next time she gives an animal that shot she needs to inform the owners about the side effects which online it said could be respiratory distress and death none of which we were informed about.
That is what happened to my dog. I do not want anybody else to go through what I went through he was my best friend and I still miss him to this day!
Note from Michael (Admin). Thanks Kathy. Your story is about a dog but it could have been about a cat and companion animal caretakers need to be aware of the dangers. This drug is FDA approved for humans only but the AVMA allows its use on animals under certain conditions. It is called an ‘extra label’ drug.
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