Cardiac Arrest Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $3,000 - 12,000

Average Cost

$7,500

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What is Cardiac Arrest?

A very small percentage of canines who fall ill due to cardiac arrest recover. The survival rate is less than 10%. If a dog suffers cardiac arrest while under anesthesia, the survival rate is a bit higher due to the fact that immediate intervention is available, and aids like oxygen and catheterization are already in place. Lack of oxygen to the brain results in brain death within four to six minutes without cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR. There are three steps to CPR, basic life support, advanced life support and post-resuscitative care. These three components of revival include clearing the airway, giving fluid support and monitoring recovery. If your pet goes into cardiac arrest at home, chances of recovery are very slim.

Cardiac arrest, also known as cardiopulmonary arrest, is defined as the failure of the respiratory and circulatory systems in an acute manner. Resuscitation of your pet will depend on factors such as length of time under arrest before intervention and underlying cause of the event.

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Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest in Dogs

The symptoms of cardiac arrest can be very dramatic. Recognizing the signs and acting on them immediately is crucial. When a pet is under veterinary care, in particular under anesthesia, the monitoring of vital signs can alert the veterinary team to the incidence of cardiac arrest. Signs that you may see if the episode occurs at home are:

  • Breathing abnormalities - difficulty breathing, decreased breathing, and respiratory distress
  • Mucus membranes become white or blue due to lack of oxygen
  • Pupils are dilated
  • Obvious distress could be vocalized by your dog
  • Collapse
  • No response of any kind

Signs that are not obvious without the proper medical aids (like a stethoscope) are irregular heart beat, lack of heart sounds, changes in heart rate, and no pulse.

Causes of Cardiac Arrest in Dogs

Cardiac arrest in canines can occur due to many circumstances. From end-stage disease, to arrhythmias, to different types of cancer, cardiopulmonary arrest is an unfortunate complication of many canine illnesses.

  • Anesthetic error (for example overdose of anesthetic during surgery)
  • Anesthetic equipment failure 
  • Ventricular flutter
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Airway obstruction
  • Electrical impulses to the vagal nerve
  • Asystole
  • Sinus bradycardia
  • Decreased blood circulation
  • Severe trauma such as to the chest
  • Neoplasia
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Severe abnormalities of electrolytes
  • Congenital heart failure

Diagnosis of Cardiac Arrest in Dogs

The presence of a pulse, the pattern of the respiratory action, and the ability of your pet to respond are main factors when checking for cardiac arrest. After assessing a cardiac arrest, the veterinary team, whether during a surgical procedure or evaluating an emergency admittance, will follow the ABC steps of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, in order to determine the status of your dog and attempt revival. Ensuring the airway is clear, ventilation with 100% oxygen through intubation, and compression to re-establish circulation of blood are the three steps normally followed.

Treatment of Cardiac Arrest in Dogs

Recovery from cardiac arrest is contingent on prompt action. The goal will be to regain a beating heart and thus, normal function for your pet. 

Basic life support is stage one of CPR

  • Cleaning obstruction from airway if needed
  • A tracheotomy could be necessary
  • After clearing the airway, an endotracheal tube is placed
  • Next is to restart the heart by chest compression, open-chest internal cardiac massage or defibrillation

Advanced life support is stage two

  • Fluid resuscitation is carefully given depending on the stability of the pet
  • An IV catheter or endotracheal tube are used for emergency medication
  • An ECG will determine the type of arrhythmia (such as asystole or pulseless electrical activity for example), which guides the treatment

Post-resuscitative care is the third stage

  • If your pet has been successfully resuscitated he will receive continued supportive care and will be assessed for complications like kidney and brain damage

If your pet has gone into cardiac arrest while you are at home, panic and distress on your part can make resuscitation difficult. Having a knowledge of pet CPR is something all pet owners could benefit from, but is rarely learned. However, if you have assistance and know for certain that your pet is in cardiac arrest you must clear the airway and begin chest compressions. 30 compressions (using one hand for a small dog and two hands for a medium to large dog) should be given and then two breaths into the nostrils. Again 30 compressions and two breaths. Continue. This is a very basic way to attempt CPR, with no guarantee of success. If you are fortunate, your pet may begin breathing again, or you may attempt to continue the CPR while someone drives to the emergency clinic. It is very important to note that CPR can be extremely dangerous for your pet if you have mistakenly identified his collapse as a cardiac arrest.

Recovery of Cardiac Arrest in Dogs

Even under the care of a veterinarian, the survival rate of a canine cardiac arrest is very low. Dogs who experience respiratory arrest as opposed to cardiopulmonary arrest have a better chance of survival, as do canine family members who go into cardiac arrest while under anesthesia. The survival of a dog with this condition will be highly contingent on how long he was in an arrested state, his condition when the event occurred, his age, and what exactly the underlying cause of the cardiac arrest was.

Cardiac Arrest Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Peanut
Chihuahua
13 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Cardiac arrest/syncope

My dog passed out, i gave him oxygen got him to the ER and seemed ok then arrested. He had end stage heart disease and arrhythmia. He had a rapid heartbeat for a couple of days, but nothing really strange until he passed out. He was not on melexetine yet, but when he arrested if he would have been brought back would melexetine have really helped him then? He went so fast i had no time to process what to do, bring him back once or let him go. He ended up passing. With as bad as his heart was to have gotten another year and a half i felt blessed, but still was not ready to let go. If i was able to bring him back would it have really made any difference? Trying to cope with the loss.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
These questions are normal after the loss of a loved one, but it isn’t possible for me to say whether drug A, B or C would have made any different to Peanut as I didn’t examine Peanut or see how he was in general. You shouldn’t be thinking about all the what if’s because unfortunately nothing will change; I am sure you treasure those extra eighteen months you had together but I am unable to help you with your question due to all the variables. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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bruno
labrador
3 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

our pet bruno was diagnosed with infection of the liver and the vet said he is having jaundice. all the treatment was given by the vet. As bruno stopped to take any oral food he was given saline of about 250 ml in the morning and 250 ml in the evening with all the injections to treat jaundice. This continued for a week but suddenly our pets fever went above 104 degree and he suffered a massive cardiac arrest and passed away in just 10 minutes. He was in the hospital when he passed away under the care of the vet. I am distrauted at the death of my bruno. I want to know whether the treatment given to him was correct or the death was sudden and had nothing to do with liver infection or jaundice as the vet kept assuring us that he will recover. please help me. I am not able to digest that my pet is no more even after giving him all the medical attention.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations

I understand your concern and that this is a stressful time for you try to understand the loss of your loved one; but I cannot tell you if the treatment was correct since you haven’t mentioned the underlying cause of the jaundice (jaundice is a symptom not a disease) and you didn’t mention the specific treatment administered to Bruno. There are various causes for sudden death in dogs and may be linked to the jaundice (low red blood cells and low oxygen carrying ability), to the treatment or to another condition. At this point, if you have questions it would be best to have a necropsy performed (by another Veterinarian if you wish) to determine the cause of death and to review the medical file on Bruno. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Whikey
Golden Retriever and Labrador mix
6 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

slight drooling
Swollen leg
Heavy Breathing
not active
Vomiting
Unable to Stand

Dear Doctors,
My wife's dog Whiskey passed away a few days ago. (he stays with my wife's Mom in another house) To give you some background - When we visited my Mom-in-law's house and saw him in October'17 - we saw a bulge on his right hind leg.

We saw him struggle and so took him to get an xray at a vet hospital. The Doc said it was a hairline fracture- recommended us to keep him immobilised (no spint or bandage given).

Fast-forward to last week - Whiskey was unable to put his foot down. The next day his whole foot was swollen and so we took him to another vet. This vet saw the bulge and proceeded to sedate him to get an xray done (he gave him 2 injections) Viewing the Xrays he said he had a tumor - osteo sarcoma and gave us the usual treatment options of amputation, pain reliever, have a bone biopsy done etc - and gave him 3months to a year of life expectancy.

So we went home discussed this with the family. We returned at 2pm. At around 6pm he was still groggy, was trying to get up but kept falling over, he laid down most of the time, he was drooling very little and puked 2-3 times and had deep breathing. He refused to eat and only drank water. He was so groggy and we all thought that this was because of the sedative. We ofcourse were concerned and even called a friend - she said the sedative could take 6-7hrs to wear off, even called the Vet- he said he would be dull today. So we were waiting for him to get an appetite so that we could give him a painkiller that the vet prescribed to be given after food.

At 930pm he gave a big stretch, peed himself and stopped breathing. We tried to revive him but nothing worked.

I called up the Vet and he said this was due to the cancer - he could have gone at any time. The sedative should have worn off in 45mins.

But right upto the day he could not put his foot down - he was a VERY VERY active loving dog. Everything changed too fast. This was a big big big shock to the family and it has been very distressing. My wife who has had this lovely animal since 1 month had to see him die in his arms.

What do you think wouldve caused this? Was it the sedative? Was it the cancer?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It is difficult to say what the specific cause of death was; the osteosarcoma, any anaesthesia, stress, reaction to medication, undiagnosed heart condition or another cause may have caused this sudden death. Without performing a necropsy it is impossible to say what the specific cause of death was, you should return Whiskey’s body to your Veterinarian for an examination so that they can give you some answers to a cause of death. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Sorry typo - "Whiskey" is his name

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Shamalamdimgdong
Yorkie
Twelve Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

If your yorkie dies on the operating table when they push the propafol, can you defibrillate in asystole. You can obviously in humans and bring them back. I was told they only shock in Vfib.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
In dogs we defibrillate in Vfib, defibrillating in asystole may cause more harm than good; there are different studies out there but the two links below (one for the Merck Veterinary Manual) will help shed some light on the issue for you. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.merckvetmanual.com/emergency-medicine-and-critical-care/specific-diagnostics-and-therapy/cardiopulmonary-resuscitation#v3299485 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2007.0033.x/full

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Suky
Maltese
7 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Pain
Painful Urination

This past weekend my 7 yr old Maltese had a cardiac arrest and died 😢
She started acting diffent and I took her to the Vet he prescribed her medication for a swollen throat. The following evening she peed on her bed and was unable to stand. We tooke her to an emerhency pet hospital and they keep her all night and said she had a UTI sent her home with the exact same prescription with a lower dose. The next day same episode but now she was laying on the floor 😭 went back to the hospital and got readmitted no answers! They called me in the morning saying she was doing good and I could have her back in a couple of hours! An hour later vet called and said she was under cardiac arrest and that she didn’t think she was going to make it!
We are devastated and without knowing what really happed! Have u ever had an experience like this before?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Sometimes symptoms may be suggestive of one condition when the issue is really a different one, I cannot say what specifically happened to Suky as I haven’t performed an examination or necropsy; I do not want to speculate about a specific cause or if there was any misdiagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Flays
Afgan hound
12 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Trembling
Not Eating
Trouble breathing

hello, can someone please clarify some doubts I have about my dog who sadly past away this morning?
she was an elder dog, not sure about her age because I adopted her as an elder already four years ago.
she developed a non malignant tumor in one of her mamary glands, so she had just been neutered and got the gland removed three week ago.
she had been with diarrea for a couple days, and started getting red skin, so I gave her a shower to help the skin calm down.
she was shacking the whole day, and didn't want to eat even her favorite foods.
at night she started having trouble breathing and her gums were very dried.
we took her to urgent care on monday night.
she was having trouble breathing and was very hot.
the doctor performed many tests. Among those, complete blood count, chest x ray, she meassured her pressure, and it turned out she also had demodex on her skin.
she was put on oxygen right away and some medications for pain relief. Also fluid therapy and antibiotics.
the next morning she was not really doing better, still having trouble breathing, no reaction when calling her name either

the doctors were all saying she was in critical condition, and to expect the worst, BUT not a single one was suggesting eutanasia yet, they said it was too soon.
that morning she got diagnosed with tromboembolism and she was given medication for trombosis, alongside fluid therapy, oxygen, pain reliever, antibiotics.

that afternoon, at around 6:30 I visited her again. She tried to stand up, but failed due to her advanced age, she changed positions by herself, because she had to be switched every four hours, but this time she did it herself. She reacted to food and tried to eat, but couldn't swallow.
I was about to leave a couple times and she kept trying to stand up. I stayed with her a bit longer. When I last saw her she was resting in a superman position and the doctors said that was the best position for both lungs to expand for air.

I went home and was very uneasy, so decided to go back to the hospital but they didn't let me in to see her. Yet, I stayed outside in my car and slept there. They promissed they'll let me know if anything would happen.

I suddenly woke up at 6:30am the next morning, and though everthing was ok, since they haven't reached for me, when suddenly they did.

the doctor approached my car and told me my dog had just entered in cardiac arrest.

I rushed upstairs, but when I arrived to her, she had been pronounced dead. I tried to talk to her, but a doctor told me she was gone, then the other doctor said she could still hear me, because she had tried to bring her back with adrenaline and other drug with some tropine name, that I don't remember well.

After I realized I didn't make it on time to say goodbye, I got mad and yelled at the staff why they didn't let me in if they knew I was outside, also why they didn't warn me abouth this or suggested eutanasia instead?

I knew she wouldn't make it out of the hospital, but I never expected she'd just die suddenly and alone.

I'm devastated thinking she died alone.

Can you please tell me if:
- what the doctors did was right?
- does it hurt to die from cardiac arrest?
- could she actually hear me even pronounced dead? (she was still warm)
- did the shower triggered the whole tromboembolism problem?
- the fact that she tried to stand up repeatedly affected her heart?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
There is a lot of information here and I cannot give you any specific information since I wasn’t there and I don’t want to give you any misinformation. There are a variety of causes (factors) of cardiac arrest; stress from the surgery, age, pre existing conditions, clotting disorders among other issues. This was a distressing time for you and Flays, I cannot speak on behalf of the veterinary staff of the hospital (or know if they did everything correctly as I cannot examine her and review case notes) you visited to why they didn’t recommend euthanasia (it isn’t an easy subject to bring up with pet owners); the repeated attempts at standing may have caused unnecessary stress and increased the blood pressure which may have contributed to the problem. Cardiac arrest can be painful (like in some humans), but I cannot say if this was the case for Flays. If Flays was pronounced dead, it is unlikely she would be able to hear anything or comprehend anything; I know it isn’t any comfort. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Leo
Shih Tzu
8 Months
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Constipation

My baby boy died on 7/2/2018, he required an xray to determine the cause of his constipation. He suffered cardiac arrest after his breathing slowed down and the vets removed him from the anesthetic. They were unable to revive him. He had been given a painkiller the evening before which had left him commatosed, he was laid lethargic with his eyes open all night. Did my vet overdose my dog?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm so sorry for your loss. Without knowing what medications Leo received, I cannot comment on the effects of those medications, but there are very common medications used to sedate puppies for common procedures. It may have been a tragic underlying condition. If you do feel that a mistake was made, every veterinarian is guided by a state board, and any client is welcome to contact the state board if they feel that there is a problem. I am sorry for your loss.

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Peanut
Maltese
6 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Sleeps a lot....coughing

My 6 yr old ..4 lb Maltese dog went into cardiac arrest during a dental cleaning and extractions. They revived him and said I should have ultrasound done to determine heart issues. I wonder if this is necessary.....is it possible they gave him too much anaesthetic and his heart is ok or should I have the ultrasound done? He seems the same as before the cleaning but has always had occasional episodes where he seems to be straining to breathe and makes coughing sounds for about 3 minutes. It happens especially when he is excited.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without knowing more about his specific situation, I cannot comment on the type of anesthetic drugs that were used, but it is quite uncommon for dogs to experience cardiac arrest during routine dental cleanings. If your veterinarian is recommending a cardiac ultrasound, I'd probably follow their advice, and many anatomic abnormalities can be present inside the heart, and we don't know about them until something happens. If your veterinarian resuscitated Peanut after cardiac arrest, that is impressive and would tend to show that they have his best interests at heart.

My 11 year old Shih Tzu also went into sudden cardiac arrest less than 48 hours ago during her dental. Preoperative medication was only a light dose of Valium, anesthesia the same as people get. Her cardiac rhythm was totally normal, no advanced warning of the arrest. My vet is an emergency and trauma specialist as well as an internist. When I got the call they had already stopped chest compressions, no cardiac activity, and were breathing for her. Ten minutes went by, my vet called and said she was going to push the drugs for a couple more minutes but wasn’t expecting any results after that long. Twenty minutes went by till she called me again, she had her back! As a breeder with 40 years in the breed who also shows, I have a very close relationship with all the vets and techs in the office. They are crazy about my dogs, love them as much as I do. My vet simply refused to give up and thank god she did. Two hours after the arrest she sent me a text with Chance’s picture. She was sitting up in the cage giving everyone her 4pm evil eye, the look I get when it’s slightly past her normal dinner time. She was kept overnight on fluids and put in the oxygen kennel. There were no broken ribs from CPR but significant pulmonary conntusions. I brought her home last night. Breathing is a bit labored as expected right now but gums are pink. Best of all she doesn’t seem to have lost any mentation. Very unusual to have this outcome after being down that long, I think it’s a miracle. She’s going back in for a check this afternoon. She only coughs and gags when she starts to get active.

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Shelly
Yorkshire Terrier
12 years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Shelly started panting and coughing . We took her to the emergency . They said she had heart disease and her lungs were filling with fluid. Dr proceeded to drain her lungs . They had to resuscitate her . The Dr asked if needed to resuscitate a second time would we approve . We said no. We didn't want her to suffer. Now I'm wondering if we should of. What would of been her chances of recovering if we did and would she of been the same ? How much more time would she of had left ? Would it of been a long road ahead with Dr and medication? 3 months before she had an MRI because she had surgery in her neck because of a bulging disc. Wouldn't severe heart disease showed up ? If we caught it early I believe we could of prevented the outcome. Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
MRI’s are expensive and only the area of interest is usually examined, not the whole body; whereas x-ray is cheap and a Yorkie can probably fit on one image (I know mine can). Heart disease may be precipitated by various factors and the specific type and etiology behind (valve issues, dilation, contractility etc…). There are many variables and I cannot say whether you should have fought to resuscitate her or not; you made the right decision at the time with the information presented to you, resuscitation may have been futile the second or third time - if she had pulled through she likely would have required life long medication and regular visits to her Veterinarian for checkups. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Lilly
Yorkie
10 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting, Diarrhea

My 4lb yorkie has bad skin allergies and a cough/choking sensation(this was from several intubation for oral care 3 yrs ago). Took her for her annual exam approx 2 weeks ago. Rabies vaccine done and placed on Benadryl, prednisone , and clavamox for skin, allergies, ear wax buildup and wheezing cough. About 5 days later started developing slight diarrhea. Decided to stop the clavamox for 4 days. Started it back and then she began vomiting approx 3 days later. Stopped clavamox again. She was better the following day but less than 2 days later her vomit had a red tinge and became more frequent with several episodes of bad diarrhea which was first like a jelly consistency then became very dark. She became very lethargic. This all happened on a Saturday night into Sunday and we were out of town. Called the vet Monday morning and they couldn’t see her until 1:30pm. They did some labs and concluded it was NOT from all the meds prior but suspected HGE. So they kept her there for 3 hours on IV fluids and also began the antibiotic metronidazole. I picked her up at 4:30 and they said she had a great response to the IV fluids and antibiotic, even gave her some canned food (special GI diet blend) which I thought was strange to give her food that soon. Said to take her home and allow her to eat a little more that night. She was a little more herself at home but was still pretty worn out from the vet visit. She did vomit 2 different times during the night and had a formed stool that next morning but it was still pretty much black (old blood). Took her back to the vet at 8:15am for more lab work and IV fluids. She was feeling pretty good at this point when I left her. I received a call from the vet at 11:00am saying they had a sudden catastrophic event with her approx 5 mins after starting the IV where one minute she was barking and doing little circles (which she does when she’s trying to tell you she wants something) then all of a sudden she fell over and went into cardiac arrest and they could not revive her through cpr. He clearly stated he did not feel this had anything to do with the HGE because her lab work looked good, her response to treatment went so well and there were no signs of cardiac abnormalities or distress. They basically have no answers for me and said they were going to “talk this through and compare their notes” and get back with me. This happened 3 days ago and I really would like to have those answers but feel they might be covering up something they did wrong.....still haven’t heard from them. He kept insisting that the meds given prior had nothing to do with her stomach being upset (vomiting and diarrhea) but she was perfectly fine prior to taking these meds and then all of a sudden she was so sick.....and now suddenly dead from an unknown cause. I’m terribly sad as she was just like a child to me and was my whole world. Could the stress of having more lab work and another IV have caused the cardiac arrest or even possibly the fluids or metronidazole? Any explanation/advice you might have, I would be so grateful!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It is always distressing to lose of loved one, especially when you’ve just dropped them off at the veterinary clinic; without performing a necropsy I cannot say with any certainty what the specific cause of death was. When I was reading through the question I suspected hemorrhagic gastroenteritis due to the jelly like consistency of the blood in the faeces which is a characteristic sign of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis; the condition may turn complicated quickly and unfortunately may result in sudden death, but your Veterinarian doesn’t believe that this is the case (remember I’ve not examined her). Many medications may cause some vomiting or diarrhoea and are listed as common side effects; however I cannot say without knowing more if any medication contributed to her death. I wish I could give you some more information or closure on this. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/digestive-system/diseases-of-the-stomach-and-intestines-in-small-animals/hemorrhagic-gastroenteritis-in-small-animals

I actually scheduled an appt yesterday and met with the vet since there are so many unanswered questions. I told him that I wanted exact details of what happened since she was fine when I left her in their care but died suddenly one hour later. Apparently they did lab work initially and everything looked good, then placed the IV catheter without any issues. Waited approx 15-20 mins then started the IV fluids. He said that immediately after opening the IV port she collapsed and was in cardiac arrest. They performed CPR, intubated her but was unable to revive her. What bothers me the most is that he did admit that since she never had any type of red blood through her vomit or feces, and it was only dark black that it possibly could have been a bleeding ulcer from the prednisone and/or antibiotic clavamox they prescribed her 2 weeks prior. He even stated that her lab work was good on this morning prior to starting the IV. I have been a medical professional for 25 years and I strongly feel that the vet tech must have started that IV port wide open and too much fluid (overload) caused her sudden cardiac arrest. He wouldn’t allow me to look at their documentation of the incident, only her labs prior to death. For the past 5 years of taking her to this vet they are quick to always prescribe prednisone for just about anything she’s had wrong and I explain every time that is caused her bowel issues and end of having to wean and stop the meds. So frustrating to think that a simple mistake with an IV caused me to lose my precious dog of almost 11 years!!

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