A pet owner in Oak Bay has been left devastated after she woke up to find her dog dead, just five days after what was supposed to be a simple operation.
Lindsay Ross noticed her dog Teddy — who was only one year and nine months old — had a small growth on his paw near his footpad. Lindsay took him to Ross Bay Animal Hospital, which she had started going to during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Lindsay thought the growth to be a wart or a skin tag, Dr. Frayne, the veterinarian who treated Teddy, told Lindsay at that time that the growth was abnormal and that she would have difficulty removing it.
“When she first examined him, before she made a date for surgery, she told me, ‘I haven’t seen anything like this,’” Lindsay told Victoria Buzz.
“Then she said, ‘If I remove it, he’s got such a skinny leg that they may not be able to close up the skin,’ and that’s all the information she gave me.”
A date was set for surgery on Friday January 20th, and following the procedure, Teddy was given a pain medication meant for animals called Metacam.
Over the weekend on January 21st and 22nd, Teddy was bleeding profusely from his anus, vomiting and not eating due to the Metacam that he had been prescribed.
On Monday, January 23rd, Lindsay called the Ross Bay Animal Hospital and told them what Teddy had been dealing with over the weekend, to which a staff member told her that she couldn’t bring him in because they were too busy dealing with other emergencies.
Lindsay said she persisted and brought Teddy to the animal hospital despite being told she wouldn’t be helped.
When Lindsay went back into the clinic, Teddy did manage to see a veterinarian. Dr. Lobb was the one who treated the small Brussels-Griffon dog.
According to Lindsay, Dr. Lobb inserted his finger into Teddy’s anus and a large amount of blood rushed out of the small animal.
According to Lindsay, Dr. Lobb told her that the blood was due to an intestinal issue.
After seeing this, Dr. Lobb told Lindsay to take Teddy off the Metacam immediately and prescribed four new medications which were:
- Entro Aid + GI which is to help dogs have a healthy gut and bowel movements
- Maropitant Citrate which is meant to treat vomiting and motion sickness in dogs and cats
- Fenbendazole which treats worms and parasites
- Pro Care + GI which promotes intestinal health and well-being
“He said, ‘I think it’s the large intestine,’ which he didn’t explain,” said Lindsay. “He told me to go to the waiting room and he would get some medications.”
Lindsay told Victoria Buzz he didn’t return and instead had someone else show her how the medications work.
“She tried to show me how to use them and she couldn’t even dial one syringe,” Lindsay said. “I said, ‘well I’m never going to be able to do that if you can’t.”
“She went back in and I guess talked to him but he never came out and saw me again.”
While she was there, it was never suggested that Teddy be taken to an emergency veterinarian clinic or anywhere aside the Ross Bay Animal Hospital where he had been treated.
Lindsay says that the blood from Teddy’s anus continued through the evening and all day Tuesday.
On Wednesday January 25th, Lindsay woke in the morning heartbroken to find Teddy dead on her kitchen floor.
“I was so distraught,” Lindsay said. “It was 6 a.m. and I held him in my bed for a while.”
Following Teddy’s death
Lindsay was so devastated that her memory of taking Teddy back to the Ross Bay Animal Hospital is foggy from grief, but her neighbour and friend Shirley George was able to come to her aid and drive her and Teddy’s body back to the clinic.
“On Wednesday, Lindsay got in touch with me early and we called the vet and they suggested an autopsy,” said Shirley.
“We took him to the clinic in order to have him autopsied and left him at the clinic then Lindsay talked to Dr. Lobb who administered all the medications.”
“The doctor phoned Lindsay and told her that, ‘if we do an autopsy on your dog you cannot have the dog back and Lindsay wanted to bury [Teddy] with her other two dogs.”
Shirley and Lindsay returned to the clinic to pick up Teddy’s body to be taken back to her house for a burial.
The bill for all the treatment and medication Teddy received was nearly $1,600 and now Lindsay has had to pay this hefty bill and bury her dog.
“It was just an awful experience,” Lindsay cried.
Following this experience, Lindsay felt as if the Ross Bay Animal Hospital had been negligent toward her pet and Teddy could still be alive today if he had been given better treatment.
Lindsay has been drafting a letter to the College of Veterinarians of BC complaints department regarding her experience and her animal’s death.
“This entire sequence of events and the lack of accountability by Ross Bay Animal Hospital has broken my heart,” wrote Lindsay.
“It is devastating to lose such a young and loving dog.”
“He suffered tremendously for five days, not able to eat or drink. I had to pry his mouth open to administer the four additional meds and syringe him with water.”
“He should have been put on an intravenous drip to replenish his fluids – this was not suggested.”
“Teddy was a healthy, young dog who deteriorated very quickly. Ross Bay Animal Hospital has proven negligence, passivity and cruelty beyond comprehension.”
After hearing about the experience Lindsay had at this clinic, a friend of Shirley’s went to the Ross Bay Animal Hospital to try and get her pet’s records so she could take her animal out of their care and find a new veterinarian clinic to take them to.
Following her asking this the staff member at the Ross Bay Animal Hospital disclosed information about an “underlying condition” of Teddy’s to them that was either untrue or never communicated to Lindsay about her own dog.
“They never ever told me that, they told it to a friend of Shirley’s,” Lindsay said. “She said, ‘I heard about Lindsay’s dog, Teddy, and I want to take my records out and not come here again,’”
“Somebody came out from the back and told her that Teddy had an underlying condition; well that’s not professional to do that.”
“I don’t think it’s true because he’s such a young dog.”
Lindsay and Shirley said that no apology or sense of remorse was ever communicated to them on behalf of the veterinarian clinic following Teddy’s death.
Victoria Buzz reached out to the Ross Bay Animal Hospital for a response to Teddy’s death, why he was prescribed what they gave him and why staff was revealing information about Teddy’s health to clients wanting to take their animals out of their care.
Dr. Lobb nor anyone from the clinic responded to Victoria Buzz’s request for comment.
Ross Bay Animal Hospital is run by VCA Animal Hospitals, a corporation of animal hospitals across Canada that includes Ross Bay Animal Hospital, Burnside Animal Hospital, Central Victoria Animal Hospital, Feltham Animal Hospital and Central Saanich Animal Hospital.