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Petworth Animal Hosp. in DC: avoid for all but very basic stuff

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  • #21
    Originally posted by mvp View Post
    Yeah, this is a bigger deal than warning pet owners even on the internet. Some officials need to know about a situation this fubar.
    You could film them running around murdering animals with a nail gun and I guarantee you not a thing would happen as a result of anyone in the local government getting the footage. The DC government is known for four things: Feudal Hustler-culture, nepotism, apathy, and lack of accountability. If you know the right people in the local government, you can take advantage of all of those. It pretty much always takes significant influences outside of DC to change anything there.

    As far as comparing this to other vets in the area, yeah it's quite common to find that your vet may or may not be a bright crayon. Truth be told, it's not hard to become a small-animal vet these days if you can put in your time and whatnot. To make matters worse, we have a dearth of experienced and knowledgeable vets around here. Many are young and quite frankly, don't do anything but go through the paces day-by-day figuring things out as they go along without any real learning for the sake of improvement and collect their paychecks. We have some newer clinics that cater to more upscale customers and they invest in training and technology, but there's only a few of those and they aren't accessible.

    As for the rescues, yes they do things quick, cheap, and often dirty. That's just how they have to operate so they can spend their money elsewhere as they see fit. Some will spend their money intelligently and others will do it willy-nilly. I've seen dogs that were to be and should have been put down due to their problems get tens of thousands of dollars in vet care while they let other dogs with easily treatable problems languish in off-the-books kennels where they pick up all sorts of diseases. Unfortunately, you can't really do anything about it.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #22
      I agree that this is awful, but the cat's owner is standing firm on her insistence that the value of this guy's affordable spay neuter services to an extensive group of amateur cat lady rescue types meant that she would not feel comfortable shutting him down. (shrug) Sorry, folks.

      The weird thing about this guy is that he's provided decent care to her other pets before this disaster, and has not seemed problematic before. If it were me, I would out him hard. But it ain't me.

      LexInVA is right, DC itself is very poorly served by small animal vets. My friend is now taking her cats to McLean Animal Hospital, which is absurdly far away, but the other choices are either uberpricey or deeply sketchy, and not that numerous.

      Pass the word to anyone you know in DC, is all I can say.
      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

      Comment


      • #23
        I hope the cat is going to be okay.

        As for the comment, "somebody has to graduate last in the class, and apparently their spouse at the front desk" - wow you must know our area well.

        Just last week I was approached by a woman outside of a grocery store (across the street from a Vet clinic.) She and another woman were handing out "LOST DOG" flyers that I had seen posted all around our neighborhood, too.

        The dog was being boarded at the Vet's office for four days. The "assistant" lost control of the dog....and the dog ran off (I guess the assistant was taking the dog outside to potty...and this Vet clinic is in a strip mall with ZERO fenced area.) The Vet clinic didn't call the owner for THREE days (the morning she was headed to pick up her dog.) Meanwhile, the dog had been running loose all over the place (near VERY busy roads and highways.)

        I don't know if the owner ever found her dog or not (I hope so,) but geez. Negligence. Pure negligence.
        If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
        DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
        Originally posted by talkofthetown
        As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by LexInVA View Post
          You could film them running around murdering animals with a nail gun and I guarantee you not a thing would happen as a result of anyone in the local government getting the footage. The DC government is known for four things: Feudal Hustler-culture, nepotism, apathy, and lack of accountability. If you know the right people in the local government, you can take advantage of all of those. It pretty much always takes significant influences outside of DC to change anything there.

          As far as comparing this to other vets in the area, yeah it's quite common to find that your vet may or may not be a bright crayon. Truth be told, it's not hard to become a small-animal vet these days if you can put in your time and whatnot. To make matters worse, we have a dearth of experienced and knowledgeable vets around here. Many are young and quite frankly, don't do anything but go through the paces day-by-day figuring things out as they go along without any real learning for the sake of improvement and collect their paychecks. We have some newer clinics that cater to more upscale customers and they invest in training and technology, but there's only a few of those and they aren't accessible.

          As for the rescues, yes they do things quick, cheap, and often dirty. That's just how they have to operate so they can spend their money elsewhere as they see fit. Some will spend their money intelligently and others will do it willy-nilly. I've seen dogs that were to be and should have been put down due to their problems get tens of thousands of dollars in vet care while they let other dogs with easily treatable problems languish in off-the-books kennels where they pick up all sorts of diseases. Unfortunately, you can't really do anything about it.
          Even though all of this is likely true, it is for sure the case, that something can be done. Newspaper letters to the editors help and putting out the word through every rescue group that utilizes this idiot at the very least needs to be done. How many poor feral cats need to get this barbarians treatment, how many have died a suffering death? Bringing them into the shelter and euthanizing would be far kinder. Please don't pass on pacifism in the face of this kind of atrocity. If no one raises a voice because of past failures, the whole system goes to hell. Be creative and be bold.
          "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

          Comment


          • #25
            How about DON'T USE THIS HOSPITAL period! Huge pet peeve of mine is people who go to a place that offers substandard care for 'just shots'. Not only is it totally possible to screw this up, good Dr.'s will catch/prevent/treat plenty of things during routine PE.

            Local cheap place and you get surgical charts that read only "Removed cherry eye". Yup other industry people, REMOVED! Ya get what you pay for.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #26
              Look, to re-iterate:

              Bizarrely, my friend has taken her pets there for some years and nothing untoward appeared to be going on before this horrifying incident. She is not a dummy, and takes good care of her critters, believe me. And while you are all speculating that he is torturing his low-cost spay neuter patients, there aren't any such allegations being made. I posted a description of the single incident in question, and would encourage you all to deal in facts not speculation.

              Dry Clean Only, in a perfect world, I would agree with you. It is the case, however, that there just aren't that many vets in DC. And some pet owners don't have cars and can't drive 15 miles into VA or MD to get shots for their cats & dogs. I think it's still unfortunately better for an animal to get shots rather than to not get shots, even if the practitioner is not someone I would use for anything else.

              Realistically, this practitioner is well over 60, and with any luck won't be working that many more years.
              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

              Comment


              • #27
                OK, this is just strange. Not defending owner OR vet, but a few things need to be answered before everyone can really call this vet horrible:

                Facts: I brought her in as an emergency. Thornburgh immediately identified a bowel obstruction (she had swallowed something) and said he'd do a barium swallow the next day. He didn't.

                OK, so assuming the cat went into the hospital because it was vomiting? How did he identify a bowel obstruction, palpation? Did he say WHY the barium series was not done, was he waiting for bloodwork to return?

                When I called, his wife (the receptionist) said I could get my cat Friday.

                So you were to pick your cat up with just having a barium series done, and no surgery?


                I called the next day. She told me that my cat was dying of kidney failure and I needed to put her down.

                Were those the exact words, or was euthanasia an "option". How was kidney failure diagnosed?

                When I went in, the Dr. snapped at me when I asked how my cat went from healthy on Saturday to "acute" kidney failure, and why he hadn't removed the obstruction.

                Well, to be honest - thats a good reason to hold off surgery until renal values have stailized slightly... However....if there was no evidence of kidney failure than that's a different story!!

                My husband persuaded him to operate, which he waited 24 hours to do-- making it 72 hours with no treatment other than fluids.

                OK,this could be a good move or bad, was he holding off because bloodwork was onky? In that case, stabilization before surgery generally leads toless complications after surgery. What was his reason for waiting? I wouldnt know why someone would NOT do surgery, as its a big money maker for a clinic!!

                When his staff refused to tell me whether she had even survived, I arranged to take her to another hospital.

                Often it is only the vet that can release details...however, yeah....I'd want to knowif my cat "survived" too. However, if there are expected complicaions it should b the vet to call to say fluffy has survived (so far)

                They tried to stop me and would not release my cat without my husband's consent -- Thornburgh won't look me in the eye or use my correct surname-- he gave my husband's two years ago.

                Strange...if you brought the cat in and signed for him yourself. If your husband was the one to bring cat in, than absolutley they would need his consent.

                When I asked if she could survive transport, he responded that I had a balance to pay. I finally got my cat away.

                Unfortunatley yes...bills need tobe paid before you leave.

                When I got her to McLean Animal Hosp, the doctor immediately saw that a string was still stuck in my cat's mouth, lacerating the tongue. There was a raging infection on her tongue.

                Absolutley something that should have been caught by the vet. Infection can happen afterwards but they should have searched hard for all the string.

                Thornburgh's own lab results showed no kidney failure. He made it up.

                I dont see the point in him faking it....so he could euthanize your cat and loose out on money? This doesnt make sense....?

                The records and her mouth showed that he also HAD DONE ABDOMINAL SURGERY WITHOUT ANESTHESIA, relying on the mild sedatives he used for the barium swallow.

                I very very highly doubt this. If your cat is currently alive, there was MORE than mild sedation on board. Maybe your cat wasnt on gas, but there is no way a cat could survive an abdominal surgery fully awake. And barium series should not be done with anything other than a very mild sedation as they effect gastric motility.





                I'd really like to hear the vets view on this. Because it does seem rather fishy.


                And as for fast cat neuters, yep...can be done in 5 min flat. As long as intubation is close by, most neuters are done with just ketamine/valium and a pre-medication.

                Comment


                • #28
                  OMG. This is horrifying. What the f is wrong with people?!
                  I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Lori, I can recommend Union Vet next to Union Station on Capitol Hill. They are friendly and competent. Been taking the 2 cats and dog there for over 5 years. DC is not a good vet wasteland!
                    The big man -- my lost prince

                    The little brother, now my main man

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Lori, tell your friend to send this to the Prince of Petworth blog - very well read within the community.


                      How about DON'T USE THIS HOSPITAL period! Huge pet peeve of mine is people who go to a place that offers substandard care for 'just shots'. Not only is it totally possible to screw this up, good Dr.'s will catch/prevent/treat plenty of things during routine PE.
                      Right, but people in that area might have limited options. Petworth was not exactly known as a great neighborhood for a very long time, and certainly not an affluent one. It's gotten quite a bit better over the last ten or so years, but it still needs to be kept in mind that many residents are still very financially limited.

                      Is it better then, in your view, to have a vet available for basics even if they're crappy? I don't know. But prior to castigating everyone in the neighborhood for using this vet, keep in mind that not everyone has real resources.

                      I'd agree with you in a perfect world, too.

                      With that being said, if he is actually causing harm, it's certainly worth questioning.
                      ---
                      They're small hearts.

                      Comment

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