Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dog Misdiagnosed for 16 Days, Ultimately Dies; Board Says Proper Diagnosis and Treatment May Have Prevented Dog's Death

When Minnie Pearl's owner brought her to see veterinarian Mary Brantley in Farmerville, Louisiana, Minnie Pearl (a dog) had been coughing, had been congested, and had been continuously panting. It was February 8th.

All of these symptoms are consistent with a respiratory infection. But Dr. Brantley didn't do a chest x-ray. She checked for worms, and finding none, told Minnie Pearl's owner that the reason the dog was panting was that she was overweight.

A week later (February 15th), Minnie Pearl's owner brought her back. She was still sick. This time, Brantley said Minnie Pearl had "tracheal bronchitis" and dispensed pills for a cough and an antibiotic. However, again, Dr. Brantley did not perform ANY x-rays -- and did not offer any x-rays -- to see if the infection had gone down into the poor panting, coughing, congested Minnie Pearl's chest.

A week later (February 22nd), Minnie Pearl's owner talked again with Brantley, saying that poor Minnie Pearl was still panting.

INEXPLICABLY, Brantley again told her that the reason her dog was panting is that she was overweight.

On February 24th, Minnie Pearl's owner took Minnie Pearl back to the vet, where she was seen by a different attending veterinarian. This different vet finally did x-rays on Minnie Pearl, and those x-rays "revealed severe pneumonia and possible ascites." Although meds were given to Minnie Pear at that time, 2 days later (February 26th) Minnie Pearl was worse, and her owner took her to an Emergency Clinic. However, one day later (February 27th), Minnie Pearl died.

The Board said: "A radiograph timely performed by [Brantley], or at least offered to the client, would have provided an opportunity for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment which may have prevented the animal's death, or at least reducd unnecessary suffering."

The Board stated that "It is unlawful, and constitutes unprofessional conduct, for [a veterinarian] to fail to properly diagnose and treat a patient."

They fined Brantley a mere $250 and placed her license on probation for a year. Brantley was required to pay for the costs of the invetigation -- in the amount of $1,500."

Poor Minnie Pearl went without a proper diagnosis or proper treatment for worsening chest infection/pneumonia for 16 days.

16 days is a good long time to be able to attack a pneumonia -- I ought to know, I had pneumonia many times as a child. Prompt treatment including the right antibiotics and fluids are critical. But Minnie Pearl didn't get any of that.

Instead, 2 out of 3 times that Minnie Pearl's owner consulted with Brantley, veterinarian Mary Brantley attributed Minnie Pearl's breathing difficulties to her being fat.

So what do you think?

Is Brantley merely lazy?

Or is she incompetent?

Or, perhaps, is she amazingly hostile and prejudiced against overweight beings?

I don't know, but whichever it is, I sure would not take my pets to her.