Friday, May 30, 2008

Dr. Derrick Nelson's "Inadequate" and Substandard Treatment of "Jilly" Results in Nothing More than An Informal Reprimand (Texas)

Yet another astounding, devastating case from Texas which results in nothing but an "informal" reprimand from the Texas Veterinary Board.

In 2004, the owner of "Jilly", a Pekinese, noticed that she had been vomiting, she wasn't eating, and she seemed to have jaw pain. She took Jilly to the Animal Clinic of LaPorte, Texas, where Jilly was "treated," if you can call it that, by Derrick Nelson, D.V.M.

When Nelson examined Jilly, he decided that she had severe dental disease. He suggested that Jilly have surgery to remove "the tooth" (it says "the tooth" as though there was one tooth primarily in question) and any other "bad teeth, [clean the remaining teeth, and coat the teeth with a substance that would help prevent

During the surgery, Nelson removed 13 teeth. The document says that "He noted that the dog's jaw was somewhat loose." Dr. Nelson told Jilly's owner that she was recovering well.

So, later in the day, Jilly's owner came to pick her up. When Jilly was discharged, her owner was given an antibiotic and painkiller (butorphanol). THE BOTTLE SAID THAT JILLY SHOULD BE GIVEN 2 ml every 12 hours.
The board document said that Jilly's owner was told by her sister-in-law who WAS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CLINIC that "it would be okay to give [Jilly] 1 ml every six hours but not more than 2 ml in 12 hours."

Once home, Jilly wouldn't eat and was vomiting. The next day, Jilly was "weak and lethargic." She had vomiting and diarrhea. Jilly's owner gave Jilly the dose of painkiller. The next day, Jilly was "unresponsive" and had diarrhea and vomiting. Jilly's owner called the clinic, and was told by a technician that "the painkiller dose of 1 ml every 6 hours was too much." But the BOTTLE ITSELF IN FACT SAID THAT JILLY's OWNER SHOULD BE GIVING HER 2 ml EVERY 12 HOURS.

Then, Jilly's owner brought Jilly back to the clinic, where Dr. Nelson told her that the "dosage amount on the painkiller bottle(2 ml by mouth twice daily) was a mis-communication."

Ummm, how can it be a miscommunication? THE BOTTLE SAID THAT, IN TEXT, RIGHT ON THE BOTTLE?

MISCOMMUNICATION MY ASS. The instructions given to this owner in writing on the bottle told the owner to GIVE AN OVERDOSE TO HER DOG.

The document says that "Dr. Nelson believed that the patient was 3-4% dehydrated and administered subcutaneous (SQ) fluids (50 ml LR solution)." The board document SAYS that Jilly was "force fed" and that "Dr. Nelson saw her walk around during the afternoon."

[Do you believe that? I don't!]

Later, Jilly was allowed to go home. But when her owner got her there, she was still vomiting, and still had diarrhea. Worse, she was "shaking and unresponsive."

Jilly's owner's daughter called Dr. Nelson to tell him of Jilly's condition.

Jilly's owner "then decided to take Jilly to the emergency clinic, but before she could do so, the dog died."

The Board said that: "On presentation . . . the patient was clinically dehydrated, at least 6-8 percent. Dr. Nelson's administration of 50 ml of fluids SQ to the patient over a six-hour period was inadequate to address the dehydration. The dog should ahve been placed on IV fluids and monitored closely based on the following, in addition to the dehydration: (a) the dog's age (14) demanded a greater degree of therapy; (b) the patient had a history of recent vomiting, diarrhea, and not eating, and an inability to metabolize and excrete pain medication;" [which, they neglect to emphasize, she had been getting REPEATED OVERDOSES OF thanks to the instructions clearly printed on the bottle -- you know, those little words in black and white that Nelson calls a "miscommunication?"] ". . . and (c) the patient had recently undergone major dental surgery. Dr. Nelson did not determine during the day if the fluid therapy was effective, except to observe that the dog was walking around."


The board said that "Dr. Nelson's actions or ination does not represent the same degree of humane skill, and diligence in treating patients as is ordinarily used . . ."

They found that Dr. Nelson violated the Professional Standard of Humane Treatment.

And then they hit him with a whopping disciplinary action . . . a mere informal reprimand.

Wow, bet he learned his lesson.