JPG Magazine: MsB

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My dog Pete

Pete the Dog / Dr. Scott Brucchieri.

Pete the dog. In February of this year around nine P.M. I was driving home when a little black and white dog darted out in front of my car. I was able to stop short of hitting him as he hopped back to the side of the road. I new he wouldn’t last long there and he had a collar so I suspected he must belong to one of the neighbors. With all the traffic that evening I figured he would be better off in my dog safe yard a block away. So I managed to convince to get into my car and took him home to hang with my 2 dogs for the night. I would post a big sign in the with my phone number on it in the morning.

Well days turned into weeks and weeks into months. I called the Humane Society, animal control, the police, ect. to no avail. He hit it off with my dogs so well I figured until I found his owner or a good home for him he would be our guest. Then came the question of neutering. I try to be a responsible animal person and Pete really wasn’t breeding material. So begins our neuter nightmare.

On March 28 I took Pete the dog to the Sedona Humane Society to be neutered. I had been quoted, over the phone the week before, a price of $75.00 for the neuter and another $10.00 for a rabies shot that I inquired about.

I got there at 8A.M. as scheduled and was told it would be $45.00 and $10.00 for the rabies shot. I received a statement to reflect this cost. I was issued a paper rabies vaccination certificate but no metal tag. When I asked why they said I should get that from my vet or when I get a dog license and they don’t pass those out there.

There also was another dog there (a female St. Bernard mix) that was in the line before me as I filed out the paperwork. She was taken through the side door to the back of what I believe to be the back of the building. When I was done with the paperwork Pete who doesn’t walk on a leash well had to be dragged out the front door of the building. I volunteered to help but I was not allowed. They told me he would be ready by 2P.M. which is what they had committed to when I made the appointment. I had to be to work at 3P.M. My vehicle is pet safe and I work 20 minutes away.

I called around 1:30 to see if he was going to be ready and they said he wouldn’t be ready until 3:00 P.M. I said that wouldn’t work for me but if they could keep him till 6P.M. or overnight I would be willing to pick him up in the morning. I was put on hold and after a few minutes they said it would be fine to pick him up at 2P.M. I got there at 2:15 and they told me the neuter was free and I only had to pay for the rabies shot. I paid in cash.

They brought the dog out to me with I was paying for the service and when I was done asking about the cost and no tag I noticed he seemed to be dripping a bit of blood from his groin area. I asked about this and a girl came from the back of the desk dragged him back out the front door toward the mobile pet unit parked in front of the Humane Society building. I, again, offered to help and was denied but I did follow them out. It was raining and Pete did not want to go through the bushes. The girl handed me the leash and ordered me to hold him. After more then 5 minutes I decided to put the dog in my van that was parked on the other side of the pet unit. The helper girl came running out of the mobile unit and yelled at me that the vet was almost ready. I decided to just take the dog to my vet in the morning.

This girls attitude really was bad and just felt the dog would be better of with the more personal care of my vet. I would never have imagined that a vet would let an animal leave if there was any real big problem or at least would have spoke with me about any concerns he might have. I checked Pete when I put him in the back of my station wagon and again when I got out at work. I didn’t observe any profuse bleeding.

That evening when I got home from work at about 7P.M., I noticed that he seemed very swollen in the area of the surgery. It almost looked like he still had gonads and it was quite bruised looking. I didn’t remember my other adult dog looking like this and this worried me but wasn’t quite sure what to do. This wasn’t covered in the post op instructions.

I called the Canyon Pet Hospital in Flagstaff as that was the letterhead printed on the post surgery instructions. They said they were no longer affiliated with the mobile unit and the unit was now called St. Francis Mobil Unit under the Ownership of Dr. Scott Brucchieri. The Phone number was 928-213-0957. She also mentioned that they were closed until the next day. I told her about Pete’s condition and she said I could bring him up there but they closed at 10P.M. It was almost 9:30P.M. by then, so that was out of the question. She suggested ice packs.

At that point I called my vet and made arraignments to bring him in. The ice didn’t seem to be doing much; the dog was looking quite lethargic and his gums looked pale to me. When my vet, Sherilynn Burkman at Verde Veterinary Hospital, examined him she felt she needed to treat him and keep him over night.

When I went to get him in the morning and we were walking out the door he started to bleed profusely, pools of blood on the floor that he collapsed into. At that point Julia Alpert, DVM did an emergency Scrotal Ablation. Please refer to the Doctors notes.

Today, April 25, my dog is still not well. He has taken 3 different types of antibiotics trying to find one he is not going to throw up. I have to soak his scrotum three times a day and with latex gloves and KY jelly clean out his prepis of the bloody gunk that is still inside him. I have had to leave work early four different times to do this in a timely manner. He has to stay in a cage and has a hard time with bladder and bowl control. I had to buy an extra- large cage to accommodate the dog wearing his e-cone he has on 24-7. His personality seems to have changed as he now growls, snaps and snarls at my other two dogs.

It does appear he is getting better. The stitches are out and that all looks well and the swelling has subsided to the point his penis is able to fit in its sheath again. He still has big swollen knots on both sides of his penis. Again please refer to the Doctors notes. It doesn’t appear that he will be ok anytime soon. This has cost more than $800.00. not including the money I lost by not working. I am an independent contractor and if I don’t work I don’t make money.

Dr. Brucchieri’s surgical abilities are questionable if not deplorable. He did not return my many phone calls for a week. When he did call me he blamed everyone else for Pete’s condition and blamed it on the “They” who he said were out to get him. But I feel his paranoid attitude pales at his ineptitude at performing a simple male neuter, the back bone of his professional career as a Veterinarian at a Mobile spay and neuter clinic.

And an added note, I would like to mention that when I spoke with the Director of the Sedona Humane Society on the 29th of March, she mentioned that the spay on the St. Barnard done before Pete’s Neuter had had problems also. Maybe that should be investigated too.

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