Companion Care

1.00 stars

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Emma's complaint against Companion Care

Emma H

13/12/2016

My dog has suffered because of companion care, his treatment is now still ongoing with another vet

Complaint against Companion Care

My greyhound recently required treatment after standing on a piece of glass. I did tell them it was definitely glass. After attending the vets a further three times due to pain, bleeding and infection. The vet took xrays, when examining the toe under general anaesthetic, she said she could feel 'grating feeling around the tip of the toe'  but did not explore further. Knowing it was probably the piece of glass. My dog was in pain, and his toe ended up infected. His pad was not stitched after surgery, and was left open and bandaged. My dog had to have another general anaesthetic to remove the glass, as it had started to push out of the front of his pad, causing him a lot of pain. Again his pad was not stitched, the wound was left open, and just bandaged. When picking my dog up, he had a lump to his back, this was not there when I dropped him off for his surgery earlier in the day, he also had a bruise under his right leg ( the bruise is recorded in his notes, but the lump was not documented in his notes until a while later. I did mention the lump to the vets when picking him up. I had to pay £108 for a biopsy of the fluid, this caused a great deal of stress and worry, after losing a dog, only four year-old just a few months earlier to cancer. The biopsy results suggested a seroma, which suggested that he had experienced some kind of trauma to his back. My dogs toe was still not healing, and was infected, he was in a great deal of pain, crying and limping. When speaking with the vet, she said that there are two options, refer to a specialist or amputate. She did not give any other options, and said that the specialist would have to operate. He was not given any anti biotics after his amputation, I feel he should have had a course of anti biotics after such a big operation. He did get an infection in his wound/scar a short time after surgery, meaning he was in even more pain. He was then prescribed anti biotics, his pain and infection could have been prevented.  When going to the vets for bandage dressings, the wound wasn't cleaned at all, they would just apply a new bandage, saying it was best to keep it dry. The wound was only cleaned on two occasions, over a week after his amputation with just saline solution. There was no infection control in place during his bandage changes at all. I had to take him back to the vets as I believed his foot was infected, I was told it was fine. Two days later, I had to take him back to the vets as he was in a lot of pain, and was told it was infected. On my last visit to the vets, I said I was quite worried and the vet made a comment saying I was soft and walked out of the room shaking her head. I felt like a nuisance on quite a few visits, the issue had been going on for a long time. The vets never seemed to have a plan of what to do, I found this stressful, not knowing what was going to happen. I become very upset about this and began to cry while at the vets, I spoke to the practice manager about my concerns. She said she would look into what has been going on, and would contact me later that day, but she didn't. I left the vet practice, I requested my dogs patient notes. When reading through his notes, the notes seem very vague. The notes don't seem clear, accurate, or detailed.  When reading my dogs patient notes, the vet has written - 'X starting to get fed up with this case'  'X very frustrated and upset that still not sorted'  I had said that I was concerned about the amount of general anaesthetics my dog has had, but the comments from the vets are somewhat different.  I feel that my dog should have only needed one general anaesthetic, the vet could feel glass in his toe but did not explore further. The glass should and could have been removed, the glass could have migrated anywhere, ie a vein. I feel this is negligent.  My dog has suffered a great deal of pain for almost three months. It has caused me a lot of stress and worry, and has caused a great deal of expense. My dog has been left to walk around on the piece of glass, causing him a lot of pain and discomfort, for nearly two months! I do not feel that the vets acted in his best interests, or feel that my dogs health and welfare was first consideration.  I have no idea of what the treatment has cost at companion care up to now, this has not been discussed with me. I signed consent forms for each operation, but other charges such as anti biotics, painkillers, bandage changes, consultations have never been discussed with me. I feel that the cost of treatment as a whole will be a significant amount more than it should have been.  I have changed vets, and there is huge difference in the quality of care and attention.  My dog now needs another operation, this is due to the wound that is still open from amputation. The vet at companion care knew about this, and about the tendon that is visible, from the open wound, she just put a staple in it, and did never do any further treatment or investigation. My new vet is quite concerned, he said the staple was doing no good. He has prescribed steroids as there was dead tissue, and to encourage new tissue growth. He has applied cream to all of his pressure sores (companion care never applied any cream, I did ask if they could put something on his sores as they were painful, I was told there was nothing) The new vet is very concerned about my dogs skin in that area, he will have to operate, but fears the skin will break down. He is having to operate as the tendon is coming out of the skin. The head vet at companion care knew this, and could see this, but she never discussed the issue with me, or put any treatment plan in place.  I feel my dog has suffered, he has not been treated with care. Since the end of September, my dog has had three general anaesthetics, and will have his fourth this week (all for a small piece of glass!) He has had to have his toe amputated. He is on his 8th lot of anti biotics, and has been on painkillers every day for all this time. He has no quality of life at the moment, he is unable to go for a long walk, short walks only. He is a very active dog, and he is now just in pain every day, with no end in sight. This should have been dealt with a long time ago.  I have contacted companion care head office to make a complaint, but it's the vets I wish to complain about who deal with the complaint. I don't think this is fair, I feel it needs to be independent. It's absolutely ridiculous, they don't even take complaints seriously! It's my dogs health, and life. I don't know how or why that is not important.

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  • Comments (2)

Emma H | | VERIFIED

Companion care have still not replied, although I'm told a letter is in the post. I made a complaint 10 days ago, and have not been contacted to discuss my concerns I now have to wait until after new year! As the vet I am making a complaint about is on holiday! This is bad service, I am a paying customer!

Emma H | | VERIFIED

Companion care really needs to look at the complaint system. It does not feel fair. We are customers paying for a service, when things go wrong, how can you expect us to have to complain to the same vets direct? People make complaints as they are unhappy, there has been a breakdown of communication etc, then we have to try and deal with a complaint, with the same people!
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