Tag, Cleveland, OH

I’m Tag, a sweet lil pittie girl who is very loving and sweet. I love to play and give kisses.

I was adopted by chance. My daddy, Ashley (yes, my daddy has a girl’s name :-)), was supposed to be buying work clothes and supplies in the shopping center, and he saw a lady in the parking lot with puppies in the back of her SUV. Then he saw me and thought I needed a good home. So that’s how I found my mommy and daddy.

Everything was great until I went in to be spayed when I was 6 months old. I ended up with 2nd-3rd degree burns from the vet, who tried saying it was a reaction to a Rimadyl injection!

After I went it to get spayed, everything seemed to be OK. My parents thought I would be hurting a few days and that’s why I didn’t feel like playing. But a few days has turned into a few months. My mommy noticed I had a spot of matted fur on my side when we got home. She really didn’t know what it was and didn’t think too much about it.

Two days later, on Thanksgiving, the little patch of fur came off when my big brother petted me. There was a black spot of dead skin now. My mommy and daddy were so mad that the vet had somehow cut me. They brought me to the vet the next day. The vet said it was from a reaction the injection of Rimadyl they gave me for pain. So the vet gave me some antibiotics in case it was infected. The vet said that the spot might get bigger and that more hair might come off, there was already a little spot under my armpit that looked like it was going to.

The next day I started walking funny – mommy and daddy said I looked drunk because I was walking sideways and wouldn’t go down the steps to get outside. They were getting worried about what was happening.

I went back to the vet for a few hours so they could watch me. I didn’t want to play at all, just wanted to lay around. They did a liver test and it was good, so the vet just said I could go home. I went back again two days later because I still felt like crap and was getting more spots of fur coming off and all around it was getting hard. That day the vet still said it was a reaction to Rimadyl and they told my mommy and daddy to put silver Sulfadiazine Cream on the black spots of dead skin and to pick at the fur that looked like it would come off. The silver cream is used on burns and they said it was not a burn, but it would still be good to use on the dead skin.

Mommy started looking for all kind of info on the internet and talking to different vets, and vet techs online. Several people kept telling her it sounded like a burn. Some saw pictures and said it looked like a burn. I was feeling miserable for a few days and would not play, I was still walking funny and would not go down the steps (mommy and daddy had to carry me outside). They would take turns sleeping with me on the couch too cause I was crying a lot. 

Mommy found a dermatologist vet near Denver and made me an appointment. We drove for 4 hours to see him, but mommy and daddy love me and would do anything for me. The doctor and the tech were very nice, I liked them a lot. They decided to shave off all the fur around the area so they could get a better look at the entire affected area.

There was a lot more black dead skin where the hair wasn’t ready to fall out of yet. They thought it looked like a burn as well and said that doing a biopsy of some different spots would be able to tell if it was me being allergic to Rimadyl or if the vet who spayed me burnt me.

They were so good to me that they shaved the area so it would be better for mommy and daddy to put the silver cream on me, and I had an infection so they gave me better antibiotics. They didn’t want me in so much pain so they gave me pain medicine too. That made me feel better.

A couple days later mommy had taken me back to the vet where I got spayed so they could do a recheck, they didn’t seem happy about us going down to the dermatologist, but mommy told her that she was very glad that we went down there because now that it was shaved she could see the whole area and put the silver cream on better.

Just then the dermatologist had called and got the report back from the biopsy. I am not allergic to Rimadyl, I had 2nd – 3rd degree burns!! Ooooh, my mommy was MAD!!!

She told the vet the biopsy said it was a burn, not a reaction to Rimadyl. Then mommy got even madder when that lady said it didn’t really look that bad and they would treat it for free. Mommy said, “NO WAY I’M BRINGING ANY OF MY DOGS BACK HERE!”

That vet said they had no idea how I could have got burnt. But I did, and I am such a happy lil pup and beautiful, I did not deserve this. 

Mommy and I have been going on the long car ride down to the nice dermatologist once a week. The pain was getting a little worse and I cried a lot, even with the pain medicine (Tramadol), so I got stronger pain medicine (Morphine) and had to take that one for a few days.

I am healing up pretty good now and it has been 4 weeks. Most of the dead skin is off and new tissue is growing. I will be going on the long car ride on Christmas Eve to have the rest of the dead skin surgically removed. Probably another month of healing, and I don’t know how long before most of my fur grows back.

Mommy has a lot of pretty shirts for me to wear, and by the time I am all healed I don’t think I will every want to be naked. I look so cute in my shirts. 

I want people to know not to always trust their vets.

If mommy and daddy didn’t care about me so much, they might have just kept taking me back to the vet who burnt me, and thinking that I had a reaction to that injection. I probably would be in a lot more pain because that vet never gave me any pain medicine and I probably wouldn’t be healing as good because they didn’t shave me to get the whole area exposed for the medicine to be on properly.

I have the best mommy and daddy, they love me so much and they will do whatever they need to to make sure I am taken care of. 

The pictures of me look a little gross, but mommy and daddy want people to know what a burn looks like, so that other people aren’t tricked from vets saying it is allergic reaction to medicine. The vet was trying to play it off as a reaction so they wouldn’t be responsible for treatment. They said treatment there would be free, but they were not going to pay for me to be treated anywhere else.

Now mommy is talking to a lawyer.

The lawyer sent a letter to the vet clinic and he said to wait a while to give them time to respond. After 6 weeks of no response, it was time to file a small claims court suit. Because I am a pup, there is not a way to sue for pain and suffering 🙁 so we could only get expense of vet bills, medication, shirts, travel expense. We tried to get the cost of the spaying as well, as that is when I was burned, but since I did get spayed they could not include that because it was the service that we asked for and it was done. 

There is a complaint filed with the Wyoming veterinary board as well. They will investigate the situation and see what happens.

I would hope that this vet clinic is no longer using the microwave heat disks after surgery. I hope that they never burn or hurt another animal in their care. If mistakes or accidents happen, please be honest and give proper treatment, don’t try and cover it us as something else, that isn’t nearly as serious.

Thank you for reading my story.

Keep up with my progress on Facebook: Tag-a-Roo * Vet Burn Awareness

Parent: Nanette & Ashley