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Submitted by WWAY on Wed, 11/14/2007 - 6:09pm.

A local dog owner is hoping to save others from the pain he's going through. Terry Rowe recently took his bulldog to have his toenails clipped at a Wilmington veterinarian's office. Thirty minutes later he got a call saying the dog was dead. "He was everything, he waited for me to get home at night, and when you got to sit down or something, he was in your lap." Rowe brought Digger home when he was a puppy. Nine years later Rowe says the bulldog was healthy, loveable and part of the family. Part of his regular care routine was going to the vet to have digger's toenails clipped. Rowe said, "We usually do it at least three to four times a year depending on how his toenails grow. Cause they are very heavy and hard to cut, so that's why we do it at the vets." But on October 24 something went terribly wrong. "We dropped him off approximately at 8:30 and they called me approximately at nine o'clock and said he was dead," Rowe said. Rowe had been taking Digger to the same veterinary clinic for years. But the clinic recently changed hands, and this was Digger's first time with the new doctor at Lacroix Veterinary Hospital. It's common practice to sedate larger dogs before they have their nails clipped, but with breeds like bulldogs, experts say you have to take extra care. Because of the shape of their face, and their large, thick tongues, bulldogs have to be closely monitored, and sometimes intubated, to ensure they don't stop breathing when they're sedated. While it's not clear exactly what went wrong in the situation with Digger, Mr. Rowe doesn't think anyone was watching him after he was sedated, and he never woke up. Rowe said, "I just had too much trust in the vet's office, from the vet before. And when it changed hands, I just don't think they took the care that I was used to." We tried all day to reach the veterinarian who treated Digger, without success. Other vets tell us this situation is unusual, but there are known complications anytime you sedate or anesthetize a dog, which is why many clinics require pet owners to sign consent forms before their dogs are put under. "He always trusted me and I feel like I let him down," Rowe said. We were unable to get up with the veterinarian who treated Digger before news time. Other vets tell us this situation is unusual, but there are known complications anytime you sedate or anesthetize a dog, wich is why many clinics require pet owners to sign consent forms before their dogs are sedated.

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