UPDATED: Pouchi’s Death at the American Vet Clinic

One of the biggest losses a person can have is the unconditional love and affection an animal has to offer. For those of you who have pets, you’ll know what I’m talking about and for those of you who don’t, you’re missing out on a very emotional and life changing experience. To all those animal lovers, having a pet is one of the best things you can experience in your life. Your pet will never judge you – they’ll always show you tons of affection, listen to you, fulfill your loneliness and most of all offer you unconditional love.

After 13 wonderful years growing up with me, my pug Pouchi – a member of my family – passed away. Even though he was old, he was still healthy and going strong. How did he pass away, you ask?

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Pouchi

Last Thursday, Pouchi went in for a routine surgery to remove kidney stones at the American Vet Clinic in Zamalek and he came out of the clinic dead. I am disgusted at what I experienced over the last 48 hours and his treatment at the facility. Before the operation, the doctors explained very clearly what they would and wouldn’t do, as some parts of the procedure would not have been worth the risks.

Midway through the operation the doctor changed his mind and performed procedures that he said he wasn’t going to perform. My dog was subjected to a more invasive procedure than originally agreed upon and for no good reason. After cutting him up more, my dog went into cardiac arrest and the doctor ended the unnecessary procedure, accomplishing nothing but a few more wounds. Perhaps things happened mid surgery that required this sudden change of plans, perhaps a lot of things. Nevertheless, Pouchi survived the surgery and was able stay strong, overcoming the anesthesia and its affects.

But the one thing I can never get out of my head is the torture he went through after the operation, suffering until the very end. This image is glued in my mind and can’t be erased. The savage nature of the post operative care given to my beloved dog at the American Vet Clinic is one I can never forget, leaving me speechless, with limitless anger.

After an overnight stay at the clinic – one of the services proudly advertised by the clinic and the only reason I agreed to the procedure being done at the American Vet Clinic – I went to see how he was doing. Motionless and with a sad look on his face, my dog was not doing well. His temperature was dropping and his breathing was erratic. The nurses made several phone calls to the main doctor who operated on my pooch, asking him how they should handle the situation and telling him that he has to come in to the clinic.

The doctor never showed up. His excuse? It was his day off.

As time went by my dog was literally dying in my arms and no one could stop it from happening. The more I looked into his eyes, I could tell this was not going to end well and his time had come. Leaving the hospital was heartbreaking because I had no idea if he would survive what was happening to him. And worst of all, the nurses had no idea what they were doing:

  1. They removed the IV and glucose after surgery when they should have left it in. Like with any other animal or human being, its essential. This is especially true given the fact that later on they had trouble finding his veins.
  2. They still needed to order the next batch of glucose from the pharmacy. This meant my dog was put at risk with no extra glucose in stock in case he needed it in his system immediately.
  3. I had offered to get a hot water bottle to raise his temperature since theirs was destroyed because he could die from hypothermia. They refused and when I got there the next day, they were still using the destroyed hot water bottle.
  4. They would lie to me on the phone. They would tell me he was well when in reality he was going through hell. There was no time to waste and they were being stubborn, egotistic and careless about the whole situation. Finally, I was so desperate I called my personal vet who assisted me on what I could do to help my dog during the post operation period. The nurses were angry that I questioned their intelligence.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I got the call I had been dreading at 3am telling me my dog had passed away.

When I went to pick up Pouchi, I found him in the exact same spot I left him the other night, with catheters still in him and hot water bottles on his body, oh and let me not forget the small matter of the feces he was covered in after defecating himself. The doctors didn’t even think to clean him up or put him in a box. Nothing was done to give Pouchi his dignity.

 

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Pouchi at the American Vet Clinic after he had been declared dead

 

And you want to know the harsh and real truth? After all of this, they claimed my dog was dead when really he was just in a coma. His heart was still beating, he was breathing and he only died when we got him home to bury him.

Despite all the fancy equipment, the American Vet Clinic still just goes for the “hit and run” method of taking the cash and has the “sorry, not sorry” mentality that makes it impossible to have a pet with peace of mind in this country. They kill dogs out of sheer carelessness, negligence and incompetence. How do they justify their overpriced reputation? I just don’t know.

This by far was the worst and most heartbreaking situation I have ever been through, leaving me with much regret. I wish I hadn’t done the surgery there and I hadn’t seen him suffering like that and worst of all, I wish I hadn’t let him die alone in the hands of incompetent nurses. Because if there was one thing I knew it was that my dog was terrified of being alone. He always wanted us there to feel safe and under these circumstances, we weren’t there for him. It pains me thinking of what I could have done and the decisions I wish I had made.

I miss Pouchi terribly and if this experience taught me anything it’s that in Cairo it’s not worth having pets because of the cold hearts, lack of facilities and the cruelty shown by the majority of clinics. Egypt can’t even afford proper hospitals for humans, especially the poor, so animals are the least of their concerns, thus they are mistreated and tortured.

I’ll miss you Pouchi habibi, may you rest in peace. And SCREW YOU, American Vet Clinic, for killing my dog.

 

We contacted the American Vet Clinic in Zamalek for comment and here’s their response:

“First, we want to express our condolences to the owner for her loss. And we would like to state some facts:

1. She [Pouchi’s owner] visited our office more than a week before the surgery as her dog was suffering from urine retention due to multiple bladder stone (not kidney stones). We recommended surgery as soon as possible but she refused. More than a week later, she showed up again as her kidney had been damaged and urine toxicity took place.

2. Surgery was done as well and every effort was made to save the dog’s life in the owner  presence and we told her the next 48 hours is critical for full recovery.

3. Dr. Mohamed, one of the doctors (not a nurse) stayed overnight to monitor the case and report to the surgeon and the owner every few hours.

4. Every proper measure and care was taken to save Pouchi but he died due to anesthesia recovery complications.

Understanding the loss of the owner doesn’t mean she has the right to defame, criticize or put the guilt on us.

 

 WE SAID THIS: RIP Pouchi… You were clearly loved.

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