We came across the tragic news about Ah Bee recently and signed the petition started by Dr Donna for more regulation of vet services in Singapore. We believe there is room to improve pet healthcare in Singapore and probably in many parts of the world. Please sign the petition if you think so too.
Here's Dr Donna's blog about her dog Ah Bee...
Here's updates on the petition. You will also find comments and stories shared by other pawrents. Dr Donna has also shared stories submitted to her by other pawrents, including our Muffin's case.
On this same note, we would like to share our own bad experiences with vets who attended to our first dog Cheeky(bought in Argentina) and current dog Muffin(bought in Singapore)...
Back in Argentina in 2003/4, we boarded our first dog Cheeky with a Vet and realised that he was left alone and locked up in the clinic at night. Subsequently, we also discovered that the vet administered expired vaccine for him. There was no avenue for recourse.
17 years later, our second dog Muffin had a cataract operation in a Singapore vet hospital in 2020. There was redness in his eyes for a period of time but the vet told us he was recovering well during the follow-ups. In late 2021, we noticed Muffin's same eye was droopy and cloudy. The vet happened to be on leave and we consulted an eye specialist referred by our local vet clinic. Muffin was diagnosed with glaucoma and became blind in that eye. We only realised then that the ophthalmologist that did the cataract operation on him is not a specialist. Whilst there were no resident eye specialist in Singapore in 2020 (yes that's the state of animal healthcare we have), we had an option of a visiting eye specialist from Australia. If we had known, we could have made a more informed decision about whether we should wait for the visiting eye specialist or went ahead with the vet who is not a specialist. Moreover, the non-specialist charged similar fees as the visiting specialist! It's been some time since the cataract operation, and we will never know if the glaucoma was caused by the cataract operation.
Another experience we have with Muffin was when he dislocated his hip. We wasted a lot of time at the same hospital as there was no orthopaedic surgeon in-house and the external surgeon we were referred to was only available the next day. After we were told that the close reduction treatment option must be done within a certain number of hours of the dislocation event, we left him at the hospital for further evaluation to ensure the procedure is suitable. However, we couldn't reach the hospital until after the required hours have lapsed! In the meantime, we searched for other options and found a vet that offered orthopaedic surgery and was available. We brought muffin to the vet in the evening and had to consult the vet over the phone due to Covid restrictions. Whilst we booked the surgery, we had our reservations because the clinic was chaotic. The next day, we brought Muffin to the orthopaedic surgeon referred by the hospital. We eventually had the FHO done by this surgeon, who was very clear with his explanation and whose clinic was professionally managed, with very knowledgeable staff at the front desk. In fact, we also understood later that he is the only specialist in Singapore and his fees were similar to the other vet who is not. Again, our earlier experience with the vet hospital and other vet clinic tells us that vet services are expensive and not up to the mark.
For a list of vet specialists in Singapore, please refer to Singapore Veterinary Association website.
We hope that by sharing these experiences alongside Ah Bee's experience, we raise the awareness amongst pawrents that we should also be more vigilant and not trust the vets fully. When necessary, go for a second opinion. More so, in the case of doggos, as they can't tell us how they are feeling.
P/S : Since we are on vet related issues, we have come across pawrents who tell us their vet recommended them a certain brand of kibble. We believe in human grade food so we can't quite understand why vets would "recommend" a certain brand of kibble, unless the vet sells it. True enough in those cases, the vet sells that brand of kibble. Hence there is a potential conflict of interest. We suggest that pawrents seek a second opinion and read up more about serving human grade meals to your doggo instead.