Expats in Mexico – Beware of Advertised 24 Hour Emergency Veterinary Service

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Expats in Mexico – Beware of Advertised 24 Hour Emergency Veterinary Service

On Thursday morning April 5, 2012, our 18 pound dog ran through an open gate in front of our house and was hit by a car.

A good Samaritan found us from the information imprinted on the metal tag around our dog’s neck, listing our home address. This man literally carried our dog to our front door to inform us, in Spanish, of the incident.

We rushed to call the listed 24-hour emergency service at the veterinary hospital most popular among expats here in our Mexico community because the doctors speak English. The person answering the telephone acted as if they could not hear us. We re-dialed the emergency number three times, with the same result. We then enlisted the Mexico phone number list assistance of a friend who speaks fluent Spanish. When our friend telephoned the emergency number, the same exact occurrence, seemingly not hearing the caller, was an issue. Our friend then said “I know you can hear me, so you’d better answer me”. Miraculously, she responded.

Action began immediately with a request from the Veterinarian to meet her at the pet hospital in 15 minutes. We arrived, in panic, and carried the dog inside. Before knowing the injuries, the doctor grabbed the dog under the front paws allowing the broken hip area to hang. Appalled, we immediately relieved the dog from the doctor explaining the injuries. As we asked what, we thought, were pertinent questions about internal bleeding, etc. we got the following answers.

1. We can only check internal bleeding by doing blood tests. Our x-ray machine is broken so we can only check the blood cell count every 4 hours. (Blood checks were done as promised, but this falls short of more effective testing)

2. We “think” the femur is broken, but we’re not sure because our x-ray machine is broken. (Dog actually had 7 fractures around the legs and hip area and they did not have an x-ray machine in-house, causing the dog to lay 3 days without surgery)

3. We cannot x-ray anyway, because we must stabilize the dog for 24 hours before we can put him under anesthesia for the x-ray. Anesthesia is necessary, as having the dog lay straight for x-ray may be very painful. (Dog had x-rays with no anesthesia, therefore, the “stabilizing” was merely a delay tactic for no in-house x-ray equipment.)

4. The doctor will be here watching your dog. If the doctor is not here, one of our assistants (a student) will be here. (The doctor took off immediately after we left the hospital, leaving the dog in hands of student for the day. We know this as fact because we called to ask a question and were told the doctor is no longer available.)

At that time we all were, reasonably, in shock. We walked away feeling confident in what we were told, medically speaking, until we came to our senses. As time passed on, some of these factors brought about the frightening reality; this veterinary b2c phone list hospital is not equipped for 24-hour emergency service. From the first emergency telephone call debacle, the broken x-ray machine, the doctor not being available after we left; all of these issues began to add up to very raw and negative feelings of panic and despair.

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