Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why Second Opinions Are Important

Dr. C refered Riley to Dr. F, an orthopedic specialist.  I was feeling very lucky because Dr. F was working out of a hospital just 2 miles from my house and he could see me in an hour.  It could not have been more convenient. 

We arrived at Animal Hospital #2 and waited 45 minutes to see Dr. F.  I assumed this was a no brainer surgery case since Dr. C seemed to think so.  I expected Dr. F to agree and we would proceed from there.

Dr. F agreed that there was something on the x-ray, but he did not think it was that cut and dry.  He took another x-ray from a different angle.  He did not see anything on that x-ray so he declared that the bone chip we were seeing was actually some arthritis and that she likely was suffering from a really bad bone bruise.  Ice, Deramaxx, and a couple of weeks off and she would be just fine.  He did not think there was enough pain or swelling to be a fracture.
Area of swelling.

I was thrilled and feeling very lucky.  We had dodged a bullet.  Dr. C called to find out what Dr. F had said and was not convinced.  He was not satisfied with that diagnosis and called Dr. F to asked him to look at the x-rays again.  Dr. F said he would call back if he changed his mind.

In the meanwhile, I have a greyhound friend in California who happens to be a veterinary internal medicine specialist (Dr. H) and she asked me to email the x-rays to her so she could consult with the orthopedic specialist in her practice (Dr. B).  That was easy to do because I had stopped by my house on the way to see Dr. F so I could copy the x-ray disk that Dr. C had given me.... I knew the bloggers would want to see them.

Dr. B was definitely suspicious that the area of concern was a fracture and felt that she was far too lame and non-weight bearing (as I had described) to just be a bone bruise.  I relayed the message to Dr. C who called my friend, Dr. H, to discuss Dr. B's findings.............are you confused yet?

And then my friend, Dr. A, chimed in and asked to see the x-rays too.  After receiving the email, she too thought we were probably dealing with a fracture.

At this point, we had 4 out of 5 vets believing we had a fracture.  I asked Dr. C to refer me to another orthopedic specialist for a 2nd opinion.

12 comments:

BrittBeah said...

I love it. I think everyone should seek another opinion, especially when it is something so important. I am lucky to work at a practice with so many different thinking vets. I nomally ask everyone and take the best of their opinions. After all it is called PRACTICING medicine. It isn't always perfect and everyone has their own opinion on how things should be done. I especially love that technology has allowed for even more help in your case. Hope your gal makes it through her down time in one piece and doesn't go stir crazy.

jcp said...

Wow.. You sure do know a lot of vets! I'm so glad you got a good diagnosis in the end.

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

I agree with getting another opinion. I'm hopeful she doesn't need surgery but better safe than sorry. When Layla swallowed her toy, the one vet insisted on exploratory surgery because even though the x-rays were inconclusive, she was convinced there was a blockage. Luckily I got a second opinion and she ended up passing it on her own. Good luck!

K-Koira said...

Sounds like another specialist's opinion is really needed here. It sounds a little unlikely to me that it is a bone bruise, given everyone else's opinion of the x-rays, and Riley's behavior with the injury.

Stumpy Tailed BC said...

WOW i wish a speedy recovery! And thanks for the help on the comments i changed some options so i hope that works. You have some amazing Greyts I volunteer in AZ for a Greyhound rescue (Greyhounds of the Verde Valley) i dont have one of my own "yet" but i am truly moved by these amazing animals!

IHeartDogs said...

We all are hoping for good news from the second opinion, but 4 out of 5 is a pretty solid number.

Sending tons of healing thoughts and prayers for sweet Riley <3

Sam said...

Holy cripes. I hope you get to the bottom of this soon. You must be so stressed!

houndstooth said...

I think whenever you don't feel confident with a vet's (or doctor's for that matter) opinion you should pursue things further. It sounds like four out of five isn't bad! Poor girl!

angelofthemind said...

We've got our fingers crossed for you! I hope you get through this soon it's gotta be sooo worrying!

jerZgirl said...

Fingers crossed for Riley and you! Getting a second opinion is so important.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Hmm, I'm a little confused (which happens often!). If 4 out of 5 vets agree it's a fracture will Riley have surgery? Or will she stick with the already prescribed rest? Or are you waiting on the 2nd orthopedic specialists opinion? Whatever happens I hope it goes well.

Michelle said...

That sounds like one of those dental commercials. 4 out 5 dentists agree. Ha!! On a serious note, I hope everything works out!