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Question
Posted by: amanda | 2011/11/07

code of ethics for vets

Please can you clarify whether as a pet owner I am entitled to be informed by my vet about a condition called crypthorchid in a male puppy PRIOR to a castration being performed on the puppy. The vet has been in attendance since the puppy was 10 weeks old and he attended to all the vaccinations and the training programme of the puppy was held on his premises. Neutering was discussed with the vet and we agreed on a date for the operation, but never was this condition ever mentioned prior to the operation and we did not see the vet when we took the puppy in on the day of the operation. We understood that it would be a straight forward neutering procedure and left a very active and healthy puppy at the vet to be neutered. My daughter was given a form to sign with her details and details of the pup which she did.

My daughter received a call later in the morning from one of the vet''''s personnel that the puppy was awake but had a condition called cryptorchid which she then went on to explain (all fully understood in "  plain language"  ). Approx 2 hours later, another call from a lady followed to say that the puppy had died. The vet never called himself to tell us about the puppy''''s condition or death and was not at the clinic later in the afternoon when we went there to see the puppy, but the bill was promptly presented for payment.


If we had been informed , it would have given us the opportunity to say do not proceed, we will wait another month or two and then reassess the situation but sadly we were not given this opportunity.

MY ONLY QUESTION IS - IS A VETINERARY SURGEOB UNDER ANY OBLIGATION TO ADVISE THE PET OWNER PRIOR TO THE NEUTERING PROCEDURE THAT A PUPPY HAS THE ABOVEMENTIONED MEDICAL PROBLEM OR MAY HE PROCEED, USING HIS OWN DISCRETION WITHOUT INFORMING THE PET OWNER OF A PROCEDURE THAT COULD BE MORE COMPLICATED TO CARRY OUT AND REQUIRE A LONGER PERIOD OF ANAESTHETIC? Your reply will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Amanda

Sorry to hear of your predicament.

At our clinic I usually detect cryptorchidism at consultation and/or at a pre anaesthetic check prior to the castration. It is our practice protocol that we always get the consent (verbal and/or written) of the owner before I undertake any additional surgical procedure to avoid situations such as yours.

My best advice is to discuss the matter with the South African Veterinary Council – www.savc.co.za. The Veterinary Council is a regulatory body that will advise you further as to how to proceed with this matter.

Again I am sorry to here of your loss.

Kind Regards

Angus Campbell

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Amanda | 2011/11/10

Thank you very much for your reply - I understand that the majority of vets practice protocol is as you described yours above.

I have lodged a complaint with SAVA, however, the vetinerary surgeon asked the VDA to reply to us on his behalf, which I understand, he is quite within his rights to do so. They have asked for all information which lead us to believe that the vet was negligent and the names of all the vets who have treated the puppy, etc., which we will give to them in the next day or two. Only two vets were involved, the breeders vet and our vet.

I will however most definitely follow your advice and contact SAVA regarding this matter.

Once again, thank you for your reply - much appreciated.\

Kind regards

Amanda



Reply to Amanda
Posted by: CyberVet | 2011/11/10

Hi Amanda

Sorry to hear of your predicament.

At our clinic I usually detect cryptorchidism at consultation and/or at a pre anaesthetic check prior to the castration. It is our practice protocol that we always get the consent (verbal and/or written) of the owner before I undertake any additional surgical procedure to avoid situations such as yours.

My best advice is to discuss the matter with the South African Veterinary Council – www.savc.co.za. The Veterinary Council is a regulatory body that will advise you further as to how to proceed with this matter.

Again I am sorry to here of your loss.

Kind Regards

Angus Campbell

Reply to CyberVet

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