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For many of us, losing a pet is already a heavy, painful burden to bear.

But at times, that grief may be exacerbated by the repercussions that follow.

Experience With Mount Pleasant

In a recent blog post by Dr Donna Chow, she detailed her experience with Mount Pleasant Veterinary Group (MPVG) while her 12-year-old dog, Ah Bee, went through treatment with them.

Dr Wong, 41, and her husband Shaun Koh, 44, sent Ah Bee for elective cataract surgery in May 2021. However, it turned out for the worst, with Dr Chow mentioning that “it proved to be the worst decision of our lives”.

In subsequent hospitalisations, Ah Bee developed eye and ear infections, and his kidney deteriorated as well. Dr Wong also talked about the lack of care Ah Bee was given and claimed that she was told that “they were busy treating his other conditions and didn’t check his eyes, ears and mouth” when she asked about why her dog was not properly taken care of.

Ah Bee’s condition eventually worsened to the point where the couple made the call to euthanise Ah Bee.

Afterwards, the couple also discovered that the surgeon who had operated on Ah Bee’s eyes was actually not a veterinary eye specialist by training.

Dog Was Given Wrong Medication

However, in the days after Ah Bee’s passing, Dr Wong noticed that they had been prescribed the wrong medication by MPVS.

They had been feeding Ah Bee pimobendan, a type of medication used to treat heart failure. The packaging had another owner and dog’s name printed on it.

Amidst the many medications that they had to administer for Ah Bee, the couple had forgotten to check for the correct name on the medication packaging.

Though Dr Wong admitted that they were at fault for not counter-checking, she also noted that “the external packaging of the medication looked similar to omeprazole, which he had been getting from Mount Pleasant”.

She also questioned the clinic’s service, asking if another dog had been prescribed the wrong medication and if MVPS had been covering their tracks if the other dog owner had realised and returned the medication to the clinic.

Not the First Time

Dr Wong also mentioned that it was not the first time that MVPS had erred in this area of service.

Previously, they had issues with billing, where a $600 deposit that the couple paid ended up reflecting another dog’s name. The issue was later resolved, but Dr Wong highlighted the need to hire more competent and compassionate staff when it comes to veterinary health in order to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“Dogs are not just pets, they are our friends and our family,” she concluded.

Investigations

The couple lodged a complaint with the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), and investigations are currently taking place.

Apart from that, MVPS clarified that there are no certified eye specialists to treat Ah Bee’s condition in Singapore, but the surgeon who had operated on Ah Bee was an experienced one who had conducted the surgery successfully for seven years.

MVPS declined to comment further, saying that it was out of respect to the family and that they had to adhere to the code of ethics.

When contacted by The Straits Times, MPVG Field Director Bessy Chua confirmed that “we have no reason to believe pimobendan had an adverse impact on his (the dog’s) health or outcome”.

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The couple also put up a petition, urging people to sign it and bring more attention to the importance of responsible veterinary care.

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Featured Image: drdonnachow.com

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