By Lancaster resident Linda M. Monson-Cianciosi
On Saturday, Feb. 7, we took our 5-year-old English bulldog, Max, to Mission Animal Hospital (845 W Palmdale Blvd) for inability to urinate. We suspected kidney stones. They assessed him and said he needed surgery for kidney stones.
At approximately 11 p.m. that day, the “vet” (unknown if he is an actual vet as there is no DVM behind his name) called to notify us the surgery was over and our dog would be fine. We were asked to please pick him up before 9 a.m. the next morning (Sunday, Feb. 8).
When my husband arrived to pick up Max, he was covered in blood! They also notified us that they had to remove his genitalia. Basically, Max is now a female. They proceeded to charge us an additional $600 for doing so. We have now incurred over $2,300 in surgical expenses!
When the tech gave my husband the dog, a towel dropped off of him. Apparently they were using it as a diaper. My husband inquired as to why there was so much bleeding. They simply said it was normal.
When my husband asked why we had to pay the additional $600, the “vet” said he would have to speak to the office manager. My husband attempted to speak to the office manager. They refused to give her name and said the office manager doesn’t speak to clients.
There were NO AFTERCARE instructions given.
Once Max returned home, he immediately went into the dog run and into his house – something he NEVER does. We allowed it, as it separates him from our other animals.
Max continued to bleed profusely. I have a medical background, and I knew this was not normal. We gave him a couple hours to see if the bleeding would cease. It did not.
I attempted to call Mission Animal Hospital and speak to the office manager. They put me on hold and left me there for more than 20 minutes, after which time I called back. The woman who answered the phone claimed to be the office manager, but gave no name.
I explained what was happening to the dog. She said, “There is nothing I can do,” to which I said, “Are you serious?” There was a silence and I hung up.
Shortly after, my husband called. We now had pools of blood in the dog run, and Max was covered in his own blood. My husband spoke to a tech who told him to bring the dog back in.
It is now Feb. 9, and no one has notified us as to anything – aside from a call last night from the “vet” who said Max is on IV’s.
This is the most inhumane place I have ever witnessed. I have contacted the state licensing board, PETA, and Palmdale city licensing. I believe they are giving my dog physical ailments to pad the bill. They are unprofessional and unethical.
Who alters a dog without permission? Who sends a hemorrhaging dog home? Who releases a post-surgical animal without aftercare? And what kind of business has a manager who will not speak to clients?
As for the so-called vet, he refers everything to his office manager.
I don’t even know if my dog will survive, and I’m still going to be responsible for the medical costs.
UPDATED 2/17/15: In an effort to provide ONLY THE TRUTH, I want to clarify the mutilation of Max’s penis. When he was picked up February 8th, “Dr.” Kim said they had to alter his penis while cutting into the urethra to remove a stone that was lodged. In doing so, his genitalia would know be “similar” to that of a female.
Upon seeing his new vet, we were informed that Max STILL HAS HIS PENIS. However it was just short of mutilated, as the procedure to cut the urethra appeared to not be done correctly. His penis was sliced along the center, and folded back to represent that of a female. It was also not sutured and was infected.
Above ALL, I want this story to be 100% truthful! I’m not out to profit, nor have I profited in any way by telling this story. My only purpose is to provide an educated choice. That is all. I love my animals and in critical situations we put our trust in veterinarians. Just do your research prior to the emergency. Knowledge is power.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The AV Times.
Editor’s note: The AV Times contacted Mission Animal Hospital in Palmdale on Monday, Feb. 7, and spoke with someone who identified herself as one of the office managers. She was familiar with the case.
The manager said the office contacted Monson-Cianciosi’s husband Monday morning to let him know how the English bulldog was doing. They told him the dog was “on fluids,” the office manager said, and they were doing everything possible to aid in the dog’s recovery.
Asked about the additional $600, the manager said Monson-Cianciosi’s husband was made aware that there could be an additional procedure, which would incur additional costs. He was informed of what those costs would be prior to any work being done, the office manager said.
We will update this story if there is an additional response from Mission Animal Hospital in Palmdale.
UPDATED 2/11/15: [Editor’s note] Max the English bulldog was picked up from Mission Animal Hospital Tuesday, Feb. 10, according to owner Linda M. Monson-Cianciosi.
Monson-Cianciosi says she was informed by a Mission Animal Hospital representative that Max didn’t have kidney stones – they were “bladder” stones. She says she was charged additional fees for kenneling the dog for two days.
A local veterinarian has offered to evaluate Max and to resume care, if needed, at no cost. Monson-Cianciosi has accepted the offer, and she is ecstatic that Max will now have the support of “such a kind-hearted loving” veterinarian.
A representative from Mission Animal Hospital contacted The AV Times and requested to publish a response to this story within 72 hours. We will be publishing the formal response from Mission Animal Hospital as soon as we receive it.
UPDATED 2/13/15: [Editor’s note] At 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12, The AV Times received a letter from an attorney claiming to represent Mission Animal Hospital and Ayman Ibrahim. The letter demands that The AV Times immediately retracts this reader’s letter regarding Mission Animal Hospital, or Mission Animal Hospital will consider “all possible legal action.” View the attorney’s letter here.
A group called AV Animal Services has organized a lawful protest to support Max the English bulldog and his family. The protest will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, on Palmdale Blvd. at 10th Street West. View the Facebook page for this event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/629380690523428