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Old 09-21-2013, 09:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think the letter reads good as it is. I offer a TL;DR numerical-list version mostly as my own personal therapy to cope with the helplessness I'm currently feeling about poor little Pig's extremely bad day. Writing angry letters: it's a thing that I do. I will not be at all hurt in any way if you choose to totally ignore it!

You're doing a good thing by not listing the vet's name; challenges to professional competency are a legally risky situation (I'm carefully not using the work "irresponsible" as much as I really, really want to!).


Dear [Name of Clinic]

I am writing to file a complaint against [Doctor] regarding the treatment of my hedgehog on Saturday, September 20th, 2013. I contacted your clinic for a Baytril prescription to treat a suspected minor upper respiratory infection. My usual veterinary clinic was closed, but your receptionist informed me your clinic had extensive experience treating hedgehogs, so I went to your clinic expecting a reasonable level of care. Instead, I watched [Doctor] terrify my animal, had to fight against unnecessary procedures, and need to bring my hedgehog in to his usual vet to treat quill damage and bruising following [Doctor]'s rough examination techniques.

My primary complaints are:

1. Patience is an essential part of animal treatment, particularly with hedgehogs who are capable of erecting effective quill-ball defenses. [Doctor]'s abrupt manner and forceful techniques ranged from ineffective to harmful, even breaking a quill. Her behaviour transformed my highly-socialized relaxed hedgehog into a stressed, scared, and defensive animal. [Doctor] needs to be more patient with her patients.

2. When unable to force an inspection, [Doctor] was very insistent on sedating my hedgehog. She repeatedly forced her assertion that sedation was necessary throughout the examination. Sedation is a risky procedure, particularly with small animals. Luckily, between my experience at my usual veterinary clinic and through consultation with expert breeders, I was aware and confident enough to overrule [Doctor], instead intervening to personally calm my stressed animal. It unnecessary to sedate a hedgehog for a routine inspection.

3. When I had calmed my hedgehog, [Doctor] snatched him into a tight grasp, holding far more skin than a simple scruff. [Doctor] cut off airflow, resulting in my hedgehog turning purple and going slack. Maintaining her hold she then proceeded to roughly wrench his jaw open far wider than I have ever seen, breaking a quill in the process. As a result of this treatment, I am bringing my hedgehog to his usual vet for an inspection to ensure she caused no lasting injuries. It is unacceptable to cut off airflow and injure an animal in order to inspect it.

4. Upper respiratory infections are common in hedgehogs, and are easily treated with antibiotics. Instead of a simple treatment to eliminate the most likely cause, [Doctor] was very insistent on an an instantaneous need for sedation, x-rays, and blood tests. I had to repeatedly and forcibly decline her attempts to up-sell immediate escalated investigation with painful, risky, and expensive procedures for my hedgehog's currently mild symptoms. [Doctor] appeared more interested in selling me on expensive procedures than on my hedgehog's well-being.

5. By ignoring my description of symptoms, forcing a tooth exam for a suspected URI, and repeatedly insisting on procedures after I had declined them, [Doctor] failed to recognize my expertise about my animal. As a responsible pet owner, I carefully research the state-of-the-art care for hedgehogs, inspect my animal daily for any abnormalities, and track any changes in behaviour. This is obvious from my decision to visit your clinic due to concern about currently-mild symptoms instead of risking them escalating over the weekend while awaiting an appointment with my usual clinic. It is inappropriate of [Doctor] to not listen to a client's decisions about the care of her animal.

During the examination, [Doctor] behaved as a bully, treating my animal roughly and not respecting my decisions. I want a refund of the $72.09 examination fee. In addition, I will be taking my hedgehog to his usual clinic for an inspection to ensure that [Doctor] did no lasting harm beyond the broken quill. I will be charging your clinic for this examination, and any other resulting medical expenses.

I'm horrified and outraged to think that this qualifies as your experienced treatment of hedgehogs.
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Last edited by Annie&Tibbers; 09-21-2013 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Wow. Im downstairs with Hazel and my mom right now. I read this out loud to her and she, who doesn't know much about hedgehogs, is even appauled. Half of what went wrong seems to be lack of common sense and malpractice. I would definitely go for a second opinion visit on Monday.

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Old 09-21-2013, 10:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie&Tibbers View Post
I think the letter reads good as it is. I offer a TL;DR numerical-list version mostly as my own personal therapy to cope with the helplessness I'm currently feeling about poor little Pig's extremely bad day. Writing angry letters: it's a thing that I do. I will not be at all hurt in any way if you choose to totally ignore it!

You're doing a good thing by not listing the vet's name; challenges to professional competency are a legally risky situation (I'm carefully not using the work "irresponsible" as much as I really, really want to!).


Dear [Name of Clinic]

I am writing to file a complaint against [Doctor] regarding the treatment of my hedgehog on Saturday, September 20th, 2013. I contacted your clinic for a Baytril prescription to treat a suspected minor upper respiratory infection. My usual veterinary clinic was closed, but your receptionist informed me your clinic had extensive experience treating hedgehogs, so I went to your clinic expecting a reasonable level of care. Instead, I watched [Doctor] terrify my animal, had to fight against unnecessary procedures, and need to bring my hedgehog in to his usual vet to treat quill damage and bruising following [Doctor]'s rough examination techniques.

My primary complaints are:

1. Patience is an essential part of animal treatment, particularly with hedgehogs who are capable of erecting effective quill-ball defenses. [Doctor]'s abrupt manner and forceful techniques ranged from ineffective to harmful, even breaking a quill. Her behaviour transformed my highly-socialized relaxed hedgehog into a stressed, scared, and defensive animal. [Doctor] needs to be more patient with her patients.

2. When unable to force an inspection, [Doctor] was very insistent on sedating my hedgehog. She repeatedly forced her assertion that sedation was necessary throughout the examination. Sedation is a risky procedure, particularly with small animals. Luckily, between my experience at my usual veterinary clinic and through consultation with expert breeders, I was aware and confident enough to overrule [Doctor], instead intervening to personally calm my stressed animal. It unnecessary to sedate a hedgehog for a routine inspection.

3. When I had calmed my hedgehog, [Doctor] snatched him into a tight grasp, holding far more skin than a simple scruff. [Doctor] cut off airflow, resulting in my hedgehog turning purple and going slack. Maintaining her hold she then proceeded to roughly wrench his jaw open far wider than I have ever seen, breaking a quill in the process. As a result of this treatment, I am bringing my hedgehog to his usual vet for an inspection to ensure she caused no lasting injuries. It is unacceptable to cut off airflow and injure an animal in order to inspect it.

4. Upper respiratory infections are common in hedgehogs, and are easily treated with antibiotics. Instead of a simple treatment to eliminate the most likely cause, [Doctor] was very insistent on an an instantaneous need for sedation, x-rays, and blood tests. I had to repeatedly and forcibly decline her attempts to up-sell immediate escalated investigation with painful, risky, and expensive procedures for my hedgehog's currently mild symptoms. [Doctor] appeared more interested in selling me on expensive procedures than on my hedgehog's well-being.

5. By ignoring my description of symptoms, forcing a tooth exam for a suspected URI, and repeatedly insisting on procedures after I had declined them, [Doctor] failed to recognize my expertise about my animal. As a responsible pet owner, I carefully research the state-of-the-art care for hedgehogs, inspect my animal daily for any abnormalities, and track any changes in behaviour. This is obvious from my decision to visit your clinic due to concern about currently-mild symptoms instead of risking them escalating over the weekend while awaiting an appointment with my usual clinic. It is inappropriate of [Doctor] to not listen to a client's decisions about the care of her animal.

During the examination, [Doctor] behaved as a bully, treating my animal roughly and not respecting my decisions. I want a refund of the $72.09 examination fee. In addition, I will be taking my hedgehog to his usual clinic for an inspection to ensure that [Doctor] did no lasting harm beyond the broken quill. I will be charging your clinic for this examination, and any other resulting medical expenses.

I'm horrified and outraged to think that this qualifies as your experienced treatment of hedgehogs.

Oo, yes, that. I really like your wording in the opening paragraph. I like lists, too, and I'm thinking of switching to a numbered list because, in this age of 30-second attention spans, I feel like no one will actually read the letter in its entirety without bullet points.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm more than moderately horrified at how often I've encountered Too Long; Didn't Read in professional settings. You're being PAID TO READ IT, what is possibly more important? That's also why I went with bolding for the "The point of this paragraph is wtf is wrong with you that you think this is possibly okay?!" sentences.

I went for topical (vs. chronological) because that let me bring up the, "You broke his QUILL, that is NOT OKAY" repeatedly. For a letter of complaint to the veterinary governing board, I'd go chronological instead.

You should absolutely get the refund. I'd guess paying for the other exam is less likely unless you really push through small-claims, but it's absolutely appropriate to demand (not ask, they lost the right to ask when they didn't listen every time you said "no") that they should pay for it.
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Last edited by Annie&Tibbers; 09-21-2013 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Back to the amoxicillin. It's a broad-spectrum antibiotic, so it's appropriate for a URI.

The dosages change based on the brand and form-factor (powder, pre-mixed suspension, tablet, etc).

Looking at drug-info for the Pfizer powder-you-mix-in-water, dosage is 5 mg medication for every 1 lb body weight (11 mg medication per 1 kg bodyweight). That works out to 0.01 mg per 1g bodyweight, so 4 mg medication for a 400 g hedgehog. If the suspension has been reconstituted by the normal density (1 mL of fluid contains 50 mg of amoxicillin), that'd be 0.08 mL for a 400 g hedgehog. Dosing frequency is 2x/day for 5-7 days (all symptoms gone + 48 hours).

Most of the prescribed medication passes through in urine unchanged, which suggests that maybe an overdose isn't critical? No real judgement on that as I am not a vet/biologist/chemist/etc. It is a semi-synthetic penicillin, so the risk exists for an anaphylactic or other allergic reaction.

As always, I am not a medication or hedgehog expert; I'd say consult your vet but you're already doing that. Instead, if someone with experience with this drug comes along, they trump my google-fu research! But, the dosage doesn't sound outrageous and the drug is not inappropriate for the condition.
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Last edited by Annie&Tibbers; 09-21-2013 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Just had a thought. I'm guessing the broken quill won't re-grow or smooth over, correct? Does it hurt him at all? I'm guessing it doesn't because, well, it's a quill. But I'm so worried about him now!

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Old 09-21-2013, 11:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It shouldn't hurt him; quills are hollow without nerve endings.

From a terrible archive-thread about clipping hedgehog-quills (I'm not linking it because it makes me sad), quills don't usually regrow en masse after last-quilling. But, like human hairs, quills are regularly shed and regrown over time. Not many, but a few a month. So, it might take a while, but hopefully he'll eventually shed the evidence of his terrible day.

ETA: a few other depressing archive-threads indicate that hedgehogs can also experience batches of quill-loss after stressful incidents (attack of a badly-attached wheel, earthquake, severe mites, various other close-calls I wish I hadn't read about) and rapidly regrow them. I hope Pig isn't so upset about today that he experiences that, but it's more evidence to support him eventually replacing his quill.

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Old 09-21-2013, 11:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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He shed some tummy fuzz, but no quills. He usually sheds a bit when we have serious nail trimming time, so that was to be expected.

Actually, Pig has lost exactly one quill his entire post-quilling life. I've never had the carpet-to-bare foot experience.
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I've been following this thread and don't really have much to add but wanted to give me support to you and Pig. I agree strongly with everyone's advice. It is important (as you have!) to be professional in how you handle it because although how he was handled was horrifying and inexcusable, you must handle it with more respect to the situation then they did otherwise it sounds like they probably won't pay attention to the claim. Usually places are most worried about being liable and/or their name and reputation being tarnished so I would say at the very least asking for a refund and your regular vet to see him is the least they can, and should, do.

I hope they listen to you and take it into consideration when dealing with future clients in their office. Lots of animals need to be handled carefully but it just seems like it is especially important for an already skiddish species that requires so much handling and bonding just in day to day activities. That kind of vet experience could be such a set back for a hedgehog and that is unfair to you and Pig...ESPECIALLY since you are paying them for their "service".

I hope Pig is feeling better and this all gets resolved. Remember you can always threaten to (and/or actually) contact higher and higher ups to make sure the situation is handled. Approach the situation calmly but be ready to take it to whatever management or whatnot as necessary. Let us know how it all turns out.


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Old 09-22-2013, 02:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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That is horrific. Poor Piglet And you! - If a hedgehog has a damaged quill it will normally shed it and regrow a healthy quill so I wouldn't worry too much.

I know the feel of bad vets, and even vets hurting hedgehogs. I amn't allowed back in the "Exotic" practice in my area after she tried to inject ivermectin into Cindaquil(after I said no) and proceeded to try pull quills off of Pindsvin.
I told her to stop, because he was seriously stressed, - she looked up to tell me she was the vet and what would I know about it. While distracted Pin walked over and bit her as hard as he could. Never seen so much blood drawn by a hedgehog.

I really hope Pig is okay though! And that this gets handled properly too!
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