Vet Removes Dog's Eye Without Owner's Consent

You know that whole "do no harm" credo that applies to doctors? Well, it applies to vets too, and one hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. is seriously pushing it in a story that's both upsetting and a little scary.

As Fox reports, Kimberly Hayden had dropped off her 12-year-old pug, Chloe, at the vet for a quick follow-up after she'd been prescribed a few different types of drops for her pet's cloudy eye. That afternoon, though, Hayden received a call that, to say the least, was severely unexpected:

"The girl on the phone says, 'I just want you to know, Chloe is doing well. She's recovering well from surgery,'" Hayden told Fox. "I started shaking. I think I stopped breathing for a minute. I was like, 'Excuse me? What are you talking about? She's supposed to be there for a follow up.'"

It turned out that Chloe's eye had been removed without Hayden's consent. They'd even ignored the paperwork she'd filled out, which explicitly stated that she should be contacted in the event of any procedures costing more than five dollars.

"She's stumbling. Bumping into things," said Hayden. "It's just been very traumatic. It feels surreal."

The manager at Banfield Pet Hospital, where Chloe was treated, has admitted that a mistake was made, although the hospital's statement to Fox frames the matter somewhat differently:

In the instance of Chloe, although the care provided was medically necessary based on the severity of her condition and lack of response to therapy, we did fail to get surgical authorization from the client on the day of the procedure. However, we had previously discussed the need for surgery with the client-we also communicated that surgery was critical to alleviate Chloe's pain and potential for infection.

In response, Hayden wrote on Facebook that surgery was only one of several avenues she'd discussed during a previous appointment--she'd opted to try eye drops and oral medications first, and during the follow-up she'd only expected a progress report on Chloe's condition. She is currently considering taking legal action against the hospital.
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