Welcome!

Welcome to PetForums, the UK's most popular and friendly pet owners community. Please 'Sign Up' if you'd like to take part and contribute to our forum.

Sign Up

Post-operative thermal burns

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Joely21, Apr 13, 2019.


  1. Joely21

    Joely21 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Dachshund, Florence, had dental treatment at Vets on the 7th February 2019. On the 4th day afterwards, a black spot on her back unfurled into a raw wound. Growing bigger until I returned to the Practice with my concerns. Her wound was sent to the 'Wound Library' and acknowledged as a thermal burn, which turned out to be 3rd degree.
    In the following two weeks more burns revealed themselves - and to varying degrees she had 7 affected areas on her back.
    Fortunately, I work at home and could give the wounds the vigilance required. She attended the Practice for observation, and I changed her dressings there, whilst the Vet photographed her wounds for their records.
    She was given all conservative treatment of antibiotics and dressing materials for me to use at home, until she was 'signed off' 3 weeks ago.
    I consulted a Homeopathic Vet who told me all my natural treatments were exactly as he would prescribe for her. But that she would be scarred, and where hair recovery, beyond damaged follicles, was achieved her hair would be white.
    My Vet Practice - has offered me a closure - the supportive 'free' treatment, my taxis to the Surgery (with receipts presented) and the refund of dental treatment - under the cover of their Indemnity Insurance.

    I feel this needs brought to our attention - that our pets are regarded as chattels, and this is - apparently within Law.

    Any advice would be so welcome before I have to accept that is the case.
     
  2. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,137
    Likes Received:
    1,695
    So sorry this has happened to you. I believe you are correct that dogs are chattels/ possessions with regards to loss and compensation.
    However, I would want them to Look at possible future issues and any cover for that.
    My understanding was that thermal burns shouldn't happen with diathermy due to earthing. I assume it was diathermy or were the instruments still hot from sterilisation?

    Have you been given a full explanation and told what they intend to do to prevent this in future?

    I think you might benefit from some legal advice. There are dog law specialist firms who give free advice. Wheldon dog law.

    Hope you and your dog recover fully x
     
    Lurcherlad and DaisyBluebell like this.
  3. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    1,376
    What are Thermal burns, please?

    Don’t want to hijack this thread but my Mum’s dog came back from the Vet with two huge, almost black, crusty wounds on either side of his spine, They took ages to heal and the hair never properly grew back.

    The Vet was ‘mystified ‘.
     
  4. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,137
    Likes Received:
    1,695
  5. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    16,308
    Likes Received:
    8,471
  6. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    1,376
    Picklelily likes this.
  7. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    8,780
    Likes Received:
    8,727
    I don't understand. How does a dog get "thermal burns" on his back during a dental?
     
  8. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,778
    Likes Received:
    19,277
    Heat pads, hypothermia blankets or similar will likely have been used while the dog was under GA to prevent hypothermia. Prolonged contact with even moderate heat sources can cause thermal burns in dogs.
     
    lorilu likes this.
  9. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    8,780
    Likes Received:
    8,727
    So it was negligence on the vet/staff. That's just disgraceful.
     
  10. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,778
    Likes Received:
    19,277
    I read about it here..
    https://www.bsava.com/Resources/Veterinary-resources/Scientific-information/Animal-warming-products
    I really am just guessing here.. but if the vet wasn’t able to get the dogs temperature up enough while under GA, could it be a matter of making a choice between hypothermia or possible thermal burns?

    The OP hasn’t said if the vet explained how or why it happened, but I would most definitely be wanting a full explanation if it were my dog.
     
    lorilu and Lurcherlad like this.
  11. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    16,308
    Likes Received:
    8,471
    I'd want a full explanation too. And it should be easy enough to warm a dog up without burning it.
     
    lorilu likes this.
  12. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,137
    Likes Received:
    1,695
    The question was what is a thermal burn not how does a thermal burn occur during surgery hence my not answering that question. Until that question is answered by the vet anything we think is speculation which is why I would be asking for a fuller explanation from the vet.

    However, to add to the speculation.

    Some instruments burn blood vessels, tissues to stop bleeding (diathermy) although technically this would be an electrical burn. However, incorrectly set up this can cause burns https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/health-professionals/clinical-guidelines/surgical-diathermy

    As Nettles has said heat mats to warm the animal during surgery could be faulty or used incorrectly.

    In a small practice, instruments could still be sterilized on site they are boiled in a sterilizer or steamed (particularly dental instruments) and could be responsible although I consider this the least likely.

    As I previously said the original person needs to get a full explanation and take legal advice. I would also speak to the British veterinary association as this needs to be prevented from happening again.
     
  13. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,137
    Likes Received:
    1,695

    There is an interesting article here on surgical heating.

    https://www.bsava.com/Resources/Veterinary-resources/Scientific-information/Animal-warming-products
     
  14. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    15,908
    Likes Received:
    9,396
    This really surprises me. When I worked as a vet nurse I attended hundreds if not thousands of operations. No form of heating was used during surgery. One practice had heated recovery kennels and the other did not. Never had an animal get chilled.

    I did burn a lamb once on the farm. I thought the heat lamp was high enough but the lamb turned a scorched yellow and got burnt patches.
     
  15. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    15,908
    Likes Received:
    9,396
    As far as the OPs question I would have thought it fair that the vet gives free treatment and pays for transport. Not sure what else you would expect. They hardly did it on purpose and what else is there to compensate for you.
     
  16. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    17,909
    Likes Received:
    11,704
    Really? McKenzie was under GA yesterday and she got severely cold in the process, despite their efforts to keep her body temperature stable. After doing a bit of googling it looks to me like hypothermia during GA is a pretty major risk.
     
  17. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,778
    Likes Received:
    19,277
    Picklelily likes this.
  18. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    15,908
    Likes Received:
    9,396
    Yes, really. And dogs were kept out for far longer then. Some did not come round for hours afterwards.
     
  19. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,137
    Likes Received:
    1,695
    Great minds and all that :) I missed seeing your link so obviously my great mind was on an away day :rolleyes:
     
    Nettles likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice