What My Veterinarian Wasn’t Looking For, Didn’t Catch and Could Have Caused My Dog Life Long Problems
I am the owner of SodiumVet and I have a very personal story about one of my newest family members, Hershey. He is a Havanese and Poodle Mix, he loves to play and has been a joy in our home.
He has been under the care of a veterinarian since we took him home. He is a member of our family so I took him to a very large and very expensive veterinarian hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. From the beginning we said we want him to be happy and healthy. We took him in for his shots of course, but also we inquired about Veterinary Dental X-rays, they told us they do a thorough oral screening but don’t need to take x-rays. He goes in about once a month, but when he was 7 months old he was going in to be neutered and my fiancee took him in, because he is her baby. I asked her to ask them to please perform dental X-Rays while he would be under sedation for his neuter. The surgical assistant told my Fiancee.
“We really don’t do those things together, I’ll just look in his mouth now”
She said she saw he still had some baby teeth and they would just pull them. My fiancee trusted them and left and called me to give me this information. I called the office and said, please do not pull teeth without taking x-rays. I said I wanted a full mouth series of dental x-rays while he is sedated. They made me feel dumb, they insinuated it would be risky for him because he would be sedated longer, they told me they just wanted to refer us to their dental specialist in house and take x-rays later.
“Why sedate twice just to get x-rays, get x-rays now so the dental specialist has something to work with to treatment plan”, I said.
I was met with incredible irritation and treated like just some annoying client. I was told they are trying to do what’s best for Hershey and I am not doing that. I had to stand my ground and demand dental X-Rays I said if they don’t have the equipment or the knowledge of how to take diagnostic dental x-rays just tell me that. The Veterinarian huffed, said fine they would and basically hung up.
This followed with a series of unpleasant communications that day. The surgical assistant called back asking what email to send the x-rays I gave them my business email and my personal email. They said that only a veterinarian would be able to open the x-rays. I said they could send me jpg or dicom images I didn’t care I have the software to open them.
First email, they sent me these x-rays.
Go ahead and click on that. It hasn’t been reduced for the website. They sent me a 3KB file, and 13 others just like it.
I called and explained what they did, the first person told me it was my fault, that the file was DICOM and only a Veterinarian can open it right.
I explained I own a digital radiography company and this has nothing to do with DICOM since
1. This is a jpg file and
2. The file is 3KB and unless Dicom has a magical compression system added that I never heard about it would not be relevant anyway.
Eventually I talked to their office manager and found out that their Midmark provided sensors and their very expensive cloud software, will not export a jpg bigger than 3KB. I told them to please send me the DICOM and I will convert, but that it is silly to have some terrible software that can’t even export a jpg file for you to send to referring doctors.
Once I helped them they sent me these X-rays- cone cut, bad position, and no organization.
So now I can SEE why they didn’t want to send me X-Rays, a dental assistant who took these xrays would be sent back to school.
Even with these poor quality X-rays I am sure you can see some of the problems my little guy faces. Persistent Deciduous teeth and other issues that if just left alone could lead to serious health risks for the animal.
Hershey has his X-Rays and is going to a specialist in veterinary dentistry to be taken care of. The experience of being a patient simply trying to get some diagnostic dental X-Rays done shows me that the problem isn’t always the patient not being willing to pay for these, it seems like the problem might also be that some staff are simply not trained, not confident or don’t have the equipment to take dental x-rays. I think it is irresponsible to make a client feel stupid for asking for x-rays if the truth is that you simply don’t feel comfortable taking them and are scared to admit that.
This post is purely my own opinions and experiences.