Overnight vet stay- need advice! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Overnight vet stay- need advice!

Hi All,

My almost year old white GSD is going to the vet tomorrow for a laparoscopic spay and gastropexy. One reason, of many, we chose this procedure was because it is laparoscopic and associated with a quicker recovery time. During our consult back in April, we voiced our concerns of an overnight stay being detrimental to our pup at this time, and the vet agreed that because of this, our pup wouldn't have to stay overnight. She has reactivity to new people and can be pretty fearful/anxious. She is an anxious dog in general, but she also has some pretty bad separation anxiety from my significant other. For example, just a month or two ago I suggested we do a trial night where my partner went to his parents just so she had a night with me. Unfortunately, she had terrible diarrhea and woke up every hour wanted out of the bedroom to go check the rest of our home to see if he had come back yet. We are working on slowly ridding her of this anxiety and she has gotten better. Anyways, she was supposed to have her spay on Tuesday, and I confirmed with the receptionist during drop-off (which was a nightmare) that she would come home with us. During drop off she kept pacing and we had to walk her to the room they keep the dogs in because she wouldn't go with the vet tech. Well, we got a call around noon on Tuesday from her surgeon saying they had too many emergencies come in and they didn't have time for the spay. So we picked her up- and she was definitely super stressed and when the we asked the vet tech how she did, the tech said not well, she is very uncomfortable here and would piddle any time one of us walked close to her kennel. So we rescheduled her procedure for tomorrow. We just got the confirmation call for the spay tomorrow, and they said no, in fact you cannot bring her home and that she needs to stay overnight for observation.

So my question, am I being an overprotective mom? Should I let her stay overnight or should I demand I take her home? They are a 24/7 vet emergency hospital and have staff around the clock so that isn't an issue. I'm just worried it will set back some work we have done with her getting her to be less reactive to people and with her separation anxiety, and I'm concerned it might be counterintuitive to the healing process if she's really stressed. I welcome any advice!
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 03:39 AM
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Since they are going to spay her, she will be drugged. This knocks them out pretty good, and I think that for some time after, most dogs are pretty out of it and do not have the same amount of anxiety as when they are without drugs. She'll probably spend most of the time sleeping in her cage. You could also ask the vet if there is something he can give her to relax her, since she gets hyper-stressed in the clinical setting.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 06:44 AM
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will there be staff on duty 24/7? If not, I refuse to leave my dogs after a surgery. With no one there to watch them, if they did pop stitches or have any kind of complications, the dog could be dead before anyone shows up to work.

If there is someone on hand, then yes I would consider it with a "normal" dog. A dog with separation issues? only if they planned to keep the dog at least partially sedated and under closer than usual observation
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 06:45 AM
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also, be sure that your dog is still down for the less invasive procedure as well as actually talking to the vet about bringing her home. More than likely you talked to the receptionist or even a tech and she was giving you the normal procedures, not aware of special considerations for your dog's specific issues
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 06:46 AM
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 08:16 AM
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I don't mean to be harsh on the vet, but it would make me uneasy that my dog's surgery didn't happen as scheduled, and then the second time, the vet or the staff was unaware of what had been planned. Once burned, twice shy for me. Especially with a dog who has step anxiety.

Any reason why you are taking her to an emergency vet for this? I think I would rather have it done by a vet who had scheduled times for surgery that would not get pre-empted by emergencies. Most vets do surgeries first thing and if something is lingering from overnight they could tell you not to come in at all. I respect that emergency vets triage. But when it's my dog's surgery, esp a step aniety dog, I want them in a situation where they are protected and this situation would make me uneasy.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dainerra View Post
will there be staff on duty 24/7? If not, I refuse to leave my dogs after a surgery. With no one there to watch them, if they did pop stitches or have any kind of complications, the dog could be dead before anyone shows up to work.

If there is someone on hand, then yes I would consider it with a "normal" dog. A dog with separation issues? only if they planned to keep the dog at least partially sedated and under closer than usual observation
I agree. It should be whatever is best for the pup. All of mine are fine left at the vet, I'm the one who gets the aniexty. Brennan had to be at one vet or another for several days. I called first thing in the am, before they closed and a couple times a day to check on him. If I thought he was not doing well I would have picked him up. When I did pick him up he looked great, was super happy and somehow got a toy out of them to bring home.

It makes no sense for them to stay if a vet or tech isn't present. When I worked at a vet, there were many dogs that had parvo that came in. We did not have an overnight staff and it made no sense to leave them alone especially with that disease. I took it upon myself to start going in around 12-1 in the morning to check on them because I cared that much. One time I did come in to a Rott that took a turn for the worse, which probably started when she took her IV out. I was on my own and I made the decision to do sub q fluids and re-do the IV. I stayed there for a couple hours, the vet said I saved her life but it still wasn't enough for them to realize that someone needed to be there over night. Just crazy.

Dogs that are sick or stressed don't need anymore stress.

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Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD

Last edited by llombardo; 09-16-2016 at 08:21 AM.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 08:41 AM
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Relax! Your dog is going to be in a clinic with 24/7 emergency service which will have a full staff on hand in case there is a problem. I would be less worried about a set back in the work you have done with her and far more concerned about the major surgery she is facing. IMO, this is one of those time where her physical health should be of primary concern.

I would think since they are open 24/7 that you could easily check in throughout the night to see how she is doing and even pick her up if she is being anxious to the point of being better off at home.

I also think it is great that although it was an inconvenience to you, your vet delayed your dog's surgery in order to perform life saving procedures on somebody else's pet. Look at it this way, what if you take your dog home after surgery and something went wrong. Wouldn't you want to be able to rush her back to the vet and have her taken care of? How would you feel if they refused saying, sorry, but we have this surgery scheduled?
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 09:06 AM
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For those who question why vets keep them over night with no staff- it's for two reasons. 1. Many, many owners will ignore the instructions for the night after surgery. They need crate rest and very very limited activity. At our clinic we made exceptions for people who were insistent on taking them home and many times we would have them return the next day with stories about how they "only let them out back to pee" and the dog sprinted down the street causing stitches to pop. Or they just love to jump up and down off the bed and they didn't think it would be a big deal, etc.
2. It gives the vet a chance to check them one more time before they go home the following day.

That being said, I understand the concern as an owner over the night alone, but I just wanted to provide some experience so it made more sense. A lot of owners are not nearly as careful and involved as the owners here on this forum, and the vet has no way to know if you will be strict on the rules or ignore them.

ETA: ultimately it is YOUR dog and you always have the option to find a facility that will cater to your request.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 09:12 AM
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I think I would rather have it done by a vet who had scheduled times for surgery that would not get pre-empted by emergencies.
I disagree with this. I wouldn't change vets because of a rescheduling of an elective procedure. I'd honestly feel like an equine patootie telling a vet clinic staff that I'm firing them because they rescheduled my dog's elective procedure because they thought saving the life of someone else's pet in an emergency was more important.

Most highly skilled, good vets take emergency cases for their clients, as they come in. Moreover, I want my regular vet and the clinic staff to have the skills (and desire) to step into emergency mode if my own dog's life is on the line -- I've seen them do it, and they're totally different than when they're doing calm, routine appointments. It's a learned skill, honed under intense pressure when minutes count. It's very valuable when it's your dog whose life is being saved. It also means your vet and their staff are under a lot of stress sometimes.

If a vet general practice vet doesn't take emergencies for their own clients during business hours, I would worry that it means they don't have the skills or staff to handle them. Good vets handle emergencies for clients as part of the long-term care relationship they establish. This makes practice unpredictable because you can't schedule emergencies. They happen in the early morning just as readily as in the afternoon.

Most clients really appreciate having their regular vet in their corner when the unimaginable happens in life. In a small clinic, though, that means some routine elective procedures and appointments may have to be rescheduled because all their attention is focused on a dog in critical condition.

Instead of firing a vet over it, when you reschedule, I would tell the staff who calls to reschedule how much you appreciate them handling emergencies, and offer your best wishes that the other dog pulled through. Then have a conversation about your anxiety concerns.
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