Ask your vet if your dog will have someone there overnight with him

Warning: Leaving Your Dog Overnight At Vet Office

Leaving your dog overnight at the vet’s office can be worrisome for pet parents. Just ask Madeleine Keyser. She assumed someone would watch her dog overnight at the vet office in New Jersey.

Her 16-month-old Rottweiler, Betsy, underwent routine eye surgery earlier that day. Poor Betsy was found dead the next morning when a staff member arrived to check on the animals.

Leaving your dog overnight at the veterinarian can be very dangerous and sometimes deadly. I used to believe my dog was cared for by dedicated staff or a veterinary technician or nurse.

Many veterinary practices do not have the staff or budget to have someone present around the clock. Depending on the type of veterinary facility, your pet may or may not have 24-hour supervision.

Many veterinary facilities are not open 24 hours a day, so often times there is no one to check on your dog overnight. When the vet facility closes for the day until the time it reopens the next morning, your dog is likely alone in a kennel without supervision.

Madeleine Keyser’s dog hanged herself on an unbreakable collar while left unattended in a kennel overnight.

Pet parents should be 100 percent clear about whether a veterinary facility is staffed 24/7. Without an overnight staff, leaving your dog in the hospital greatly diminishes the benefits of leaving your dog.

Before you leave your dog overnight at a veterinary clinic or vet hospital, there are many things to ask about your pet’s health.

Leaving Your Dog Overnight At The Vet: Facts

In most states, there is no written law that requires a veterinary facility to have a staff member on-site to monitor animals overnight. This includes pets who had surgery, received anesthesia, are hooked up to an IV line, and/or are medicated.

Madeleine Keyser’s veterinarian told her Betsy required overnight supervision so she would not paw and scratch at her sutures.

Keyser followed the veterinarian’s orders and assumed someone would be present to watch Betsy overnight. Sadly, the clinic had no overnight staff, and her dog died from strangulation.

Keyser discovered that at least 90 percent of vet hospitals and animal hospitals in New Jersey did not have 24-hour care. She fought for change for eight long years until Betsy’s Law was passed. The law requires veterinarians in New Jersey to post signs clearly indicating pets do not have supervision overnight. Some veterinarians have pet parents sign a form indicating they are aware of this.

“I will even have people sign it to the effect that there’s no one that will be watching their pet because my facility doesn’t have 24-hour care,” stated veterinarian Dr. Fritz McHugh.

In research for this article, I called 14 different veterinary facilities and none of them had a staff member on site after the offices closed for the day. A local veterinary emergency hospital, however, does have staff on-site overnight. More about that shortly.

What If My Vet Requires My Dog Stay Overnight?

There are many reasons a vet or emergency vet might require your dog remain in the hospital one or more nights. Some of these reasons include:

  • Your dog had major surgery that day
  • Monitoring after an accident or severe injury
  • If your dog ingested something toxic and is being treated and monitored
  • Sudden illness or problem that requires around-the-clock medication, IV, monitoring, or treatment
  • Uncontrolled vomiting, diarrhea, or gastric issues
  • Neurological problems, seizures, reaction to medications or vaccines
  • Frequent blood draws for an illness or condition

I allowed my Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, to remain at a veterinary hospital for four nights because a veterinarian or vet tech was available on-site. My dog required IV medication and blood draws after being diagnosed with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT).

Always make sure you know who watches your dog overnight at the vet.

I rushed Dexter to the emergency room at an area veterinary hospital when his gums turned pale and bled. He was immediately triaged, and blood work revealed he had zero platelets.

His body was destroying the platelets, and he required hospital care I could not provide at home. I also took comfort in knowing someone was watching him overnight and would call me if anything of concern happened.

If your dog requires an overnight stay at a veterinary facility, make sure someone will be present with the animals around the clock. I would not allow my dog to stay at a veterinary facility for any reason if someone wasn’t present to monitor his condition and watch over him. Peace of mind is everything.

If your vet feels your dog requires overnight care in their facility, ask about 24-hour supervision. Vets who insist on keeping your dog overnight obviously feel there is something they can do in-house that you can’t do at home.

I would highly recommend having your dog transferred to a hospital you trust that has 24-hour monitoring and care of their patients, much like a human hospital. If possible, I would feel much safer if my dog was in the care of a veterinary team, especially at a full-service animal hospital.

What Happened To My Dog Overnight At The Vet’s Office

Brandy Noel was my first Cocker Spaniel and the reason I fell in love with the breed. She required eye surgery and an overnight stay. Her veterinarian said she would be in a kennel, kept safe, and unable to scratch at her sutures. My story is very similar to Madeleine’s.

When we arrived the next morning for discharge, the veterinarian ushered us into an exam room and summoned a nurse to get Brandy.

I could not believe my eyes. A large amount of dried blood was caked on Brandy’s face near her eye and on her cheek. The veterinarian informed us she likely bled overnight when no one was present.

Read that last sentence again.

No one was present.

My dog had a major problem when left alone at the vet overnight.

When we asked about the blood, the vet became adamant, stating, “Well some dogs don’t leave the wound alone and she must have pawed at it. No one is here overnight, so we can’t monitor them 24/7.”

You could have knocked me over with a pin. Here comes the big “A” word: I assumed that someone was there overnight to watch the dogs, or at least check in on them. I mean, it is a veterinary center where delicate surgeries take place. Shouldn’t someone at least be checking on the animals? Apparently not.

I switched veterinary practices because the vet was flippant about my dog’s bleeding issue and never informed us she would be alone. 

Is It Normal For Dogs To Be Alone At Night At The Vet?

Yes, it is the norm, but no you don’t have to accept this. Some veterinarians agree.  

“It has always boggled my mind, but many veterinary practices hospitalize patients without anyone in the hospital overnight!  Why bother doing this,” says Dr. Jared Coren of West Hills Animal Hospital. “Doesn’t it make more sense to have the pet at home with the owner than being left without anyone with them in a dark hospital by themselves?”

Never assume your dog is being watched, cared for, and monitored overnight. Ask the veterinarian what their overnight protocol is for in-house patients.

If your dog needs care that requires overnight monitoring, silence, quiet, or any sort of care, he should have someone present to make sure that happens.

What happens if the dog rips out his stitches? Pulls out an IV line (my dog did this after a same-day procedure)? Seizes? Is terrified of being alone and gets worse? Will he sit in his own urine and poop overnight? Is he wearing a collar that can get caught on the kennel cage like Betsy’s dog? Will he have access to water?

A dog staying at home with you has a much better chance of receiving the care and attention he needs than being alone in an empty, dark building. If your dog needs overnight care, I recommend a veterinary hospital or facility with qualified staff available around the clock.

Don’t be afraid to ask your vet or take his or her word for it that your dog will be cared for overnight. Ask for proof that someone will be present with your dog for overnight care and observation. If your dog truly requires overnight care, I recommend transferring his care to a 24/7 monitored on-staff facility.

Never leave your dog at the veterinarian’s office overnight unless you are certain someone is there to check on them.

Do Vet Hospitals Leave Dogs Alone Overnight?

Each facility has its own set of rules and guidelines, but in many cases, an emergency veterinary hospital likely has someone on staff overnight. However, you should always ask first. Urgent care facilities are more than likely to have veterinary staff on premises monitoring patients overnight.

When my dog, Brandy, required major knee surgery at Cornell Companion Animal Hospital in New York, we stayed at a nearby hotel. We visited her during visiting hours, and she was wheeled out to see us.

The surgery was major and our little girl needed the care and pain management control that only a skilled veterinary hospital could provide. She refused to eat for them, and when she refused to drink, we were summoned. After one night in-house, the veterinary surgeon discharged her, concluding she would do better with at-home care.

The best thing to do is ask your pet’s veterinarian if someone monitors pets overnight. If you do not feel comfortable leaving your dog overnight, you will usually be required to sign a waiver that allows you to take the pet. This is the canine equivalent of “against medical advice” so you can’t sue the vet should something happen to your dog at home. I’ve never had this situation. 

Some pet parents like knowing their veterinary facility has the AAHA seal of approval. AAHA is the American Animal Hospital Association, and it is voluntary accreditation. This does not guarantee overnight monitoring, but the AAHA title is meaningful for some folks.

When my dog, Dexter, was hospitalized for four nights at a local veterinary emergency hospital, we visited daily, talked to the internist once a day, and the vet tech called us at least once or twice a day.

During the pandemic, things changed and most pet parents would be banned from coming inside vet clinics or veterinary hospitals. There were no visiting hours and all communication on my pet’s condition was done over the phone with the internal medicine team.

PRO TIP: I had a very difficult time finding emergency services for Dexter when his health declined. Despite everything I prepared for, we could not find an animal emergency care facility to help our dog in our most dire moment of need. Here’s what to do if your emergency veterinarian is full.

Questions To Ask About Your Dog’s Overnight Vet Stay

Before you leave your dog at the veterinary facility overnight, be sure to ask these questions:

  1. Will someone monitor my dog overnight? (some facilities may have an in-house video surveillance system, which doesn’t help if there is an urgent issue STAT)
  2. Will someone be present at the facility overnight? Who? A vet tech? A vet? Both?
  3. Why does my dog need to be hospitalized overnight?
  4. Can I provide the same level of care at home?
  5. If my dog stays, will someone call me if there is an urgent problem in the middle of the night?
  6. Who will take my dog out to potty overnight, how often, and/or if he remains in the kennel, will he be sitting in his own waste?
  7. Can I leave a shirt or blanket with my scent on so my dog is comfortable? (some facilities don’t allow this)
  8. Will my dog have access to food and water? Is there a specific boarding area for pets who stay overnight and will my dog be there?
  9. When do you anticipate my dog will be discharged? Will you keep me informed of any and all treatment options for my dog?
  10. Will my dog be laying on a bed or blanket in the kennel for comfort?
  11. What medications will my dog be given?
  12. When can I expect a call about my dog’s condition and overnight progress?
  13. How will my dog’s pain be controlled?
  14. Will my dog have an IV line and if so, who monitors that?
  15. Will my dog be hooked up to any medical equipment and why?
  16. Will there be blood draws performed?
  17. Will my dog receive a sedative to relax in his kennel and if so, what?

If your pooch is having surgery, here are questions to ask before your dog’s surgery.

Can I Visit My Dog In The Hospital?

Depending on the facility, their rules, and the pandemic situation, you may or may not be able to visit your dog in the hospital. In most circumstances, you will not be able to visit your dog past a certain time and certainly not overnight.

If your pet is hospitalized overnight and staff is present, you want them tending to your dog’s needs and medical care. They can’t be interrupted with overnight visits. However, in some special circumstances, or if the situation is dire, you can talk to your dog’s veterinarian about this ahead of time.

Ask the veterinarian what the hospital visiting hours are and when you are allowed to visit. When my dog, Dexter, was hospitalized, a vet tech called us each morning, told us when the doctor was making his rounds, and what time we could visit Dexter. They would bring him to us for an hour or so in one of the patient exam rooms after hours.

Will Your Dog Feel Abandoned At The Vet’s Overnight?

My main concern when my dog was hospitalized was that he get better and get home to me as soon as possible. I worried, however, that my dog would feel abandoned overnight. Throughout his life, someone is always with Dexter, and not seeing me or my spouse worried me.

Staffers said he did really well overnight, didn’t cry or moan, wasn’t whining or howling, and was actually very friendly and wagged his tail for them. It’s a leap of faith to believe this, but I felt in my gut and soul they were telling me the truth. I felt Dexter was in good hands, had quality care, and the veterinarians and veterinary nurses were all supportive and kind.

Some dogs require a sedative in their kennel overnight so they don’t move around or become distressed. Often, pain medication is provided depending on the dog’s problem.

Many pain meds also have a sedating effect on dogs. Dogs and people can become co-dependent on one another, and I can completely understand and relate to this. My heart beats dog® , after all.

However, your dog’s best interest and health needs must come first. You need to keep that in mind when your dog is admitted to a veterinary facility overnight. One of the amazing things about dogs is their resilience. They are incredibly happy to see us and reunite with us when they are discharged.

You have rights as a pet parent when you take your dog to the veterinarian. Be sure you know what they are and get all of your questions answered first.

QUESTION: Have you ever left a pet overnight at the veterinarian? Did you ask if someone was present to monitor the pet?

Someone should be with your dog overnight at the vet for safety.


    1. Yes, it is frightening. I can do a better job with my dog with me at night, so he will never stay or if he has to, I will be sure it is 24/7 staffed at a specialty hospital.

      1. Hi Carol, in New Jersey, there’s actually a law that passed in Sept. 2015. Please Google Betsy’s Law…..or Madeleine Kaiser. The story will ring a bell with what you’ve written.

        I live in Ohio, and Madeleine is trying to help me get this law passed here in Ohio. It actually took her about 8 yrs to get the law passed after her puppy Rottweiler – who also went in for a simple eyelid surgery – died because no overnight supervision at the vet – Betsy strangled herself because of the collar she was wearing. I’m trying to get it passed in Ohio because my friend’s dog (who is her working dog) – died at the vets office – no one was there to supervise.

        Best of luck in reaching Madeleine. She’s working on a book to present her story.

        1. I am going to reach out to her. I appreciate that heads up. It is so sad. And that could have been my dog: She had an eye surgery and what horror when we picked her up. I learned the hard way. It is so sad and so scary and it must change.

        2. Oh my G-D!Poor Betsy baby! Dying in such a way!Oh no no NO!!I can’t take reading these horror stories that didn’t have to happen.Pure neglect & a bit of “I don’t give a sh1t because it’s just a job”by the staff!

    2. They say 24/7 so it tricks people into thinking that someone is actually there. What this usually means is that they are a clinic with a phone number you can call if you have an emergency after hours and a vet might meet you there. A little lie into getting clients to think that someone is with their pet IN the clinic overnight. If your dog has surgery and really needs to be monitored or has to have IV’s etc, the best thing to do is transfer your pet to a REAL 24/7 ER where someone is actually there. If your pet has surgery and doesn’t need to be there TAKE THEM HOME! If something happens in the middle of the night then you can actually SEE your pet needs help and you can get them to a REAL 24/7 ER. So that 24/7 sign in the window is basically FALSE ADVERTISING. But oh what a wonderful way to rack up your bill by telling you that your pet needs to stay overnight when it’s not necessary and in reality they are there ALL ALONE.

  1. That is a good reminder. I doubt my local vet has overnight supervision, but there are excellent veterinary hospitals in my area and I’m sure they have coverage there.

      1. A few years ago I had to leave my best friend at a vets overnite after surgery. I asked if there was someone there to take care of him. I checked out as best as I could at the time. It was emergency surgery that my dog Goofy had to have.
        In the morning To my great surprise the Vet and a Nurse was there to look after my baby., all night long. I being a good Mom was crying all night while my baby was walking around the hospital and also was put to bed. I will always go back to this Vet hosp. It was in Vegas on tropicanna just past the airport. They were the best. I still rant and rave about them. Which is why I am telling you all about him. Goofy is a trucking dog, He and I travel north america togather. He always gets the best care I can give him, and as you can tell pampered also.

  2. Oh poor baby. Our specialty hospital has 24/7 monitoring and even visiting hours to see your baby
    Love & Peas,
    Lily & Edward

  3. Well, that settles it. Bentley and Pierre can never stay overnight at the vet unless they let me pull up a cot and sleep there too! That is so scary to think about. It is the same way when you board your pet at the vet. Thanks for shedding some light on the truth.

      1. Betsy,
        thank you for your heartbreaking story.
        I didn’t know any of what happened to you.
        this is different from the other stories, but I recently had a delemma with my senior cat dudley.
        He started to get sick in January 23. I left the vet I had for some 30 yrs. Because dudley wasn’t being properly cared for, among other issues. The new vet said that he needed dental surgery and that could be the cause of his health problems.
        Afterwards, dudley was still ill. But that’s not what I wanted to say. We were told to drop dudley off promptly at 8:30 am. ( fasting was required) the tech told me that someone would call me Afterwards, with no calls by noon, I called them and they told me that they hadn’t even started surgery on him yet!
        Mind you dudley has other health problems and is 13 yrs.
        I raised my voice in the phone and said what? He’s been there since 8:30 ! The receptionist said he was fine and that the doctor would call me after surgery. (This was the first time that dudley was away from us)
        I finally got a call at 3:00 pm.
        With a bunch of excuses.
        Dudley really needed dental care desperately, however, we are still trying to find out the cause of his illness.
        He has hyperthyroidism and a heart murmur.
        But now when ever he has to go to the vet he is very stressed.
        Just wanted to let you know that we really do have to ask questions and not just assume. Thank you Betsy. 😊

  4. Excellent post, and so important! Whenever you leave your pet overnight, be it a Veterinarian’s office or a boarding facility it’s critical to ensure that someone is there to check on your pet throughout the night. We use two Veterinarians; one on the East coast and one on the West coast since we divide our time between NY and Phoenix. Our Phoenix Vet has a Vet Tech that’s been with him for many years and lives 5 minutes away. In the middle of the night he goes back to the office to check on any pets staying there overnight. We love Ken and felt comfortable knowing that when my Husky was ill he would look in on her throughout the night. Our NY Vet is a 24/7 hospital that is staffed with both Dr.’s and Vet Techs overnight. They are a bit pricey but we think it’s worth it. In terms of just boarding, you probably heard about the tragedy that occurred at the Green Acre Dog Boarding facility in Gilbert AZ last year. More than 20 dogs died on a sizzling hot Summer night because the air conditioning went out and no one was there to see that these poor dogs were dying of heat exhaustion. The dogs all died overnight and the owners tried to cover it up. I use PetSmart for boarding because I know they have staff overnight and there is a checklist they must complete as they check on the pets in their care throughout the night. Anything can happen during an overnight stay of any kind, but especially at the Vet’s office when a pet is convalescing. Carol, I’m glad you fired that Vet, what an unprofessional, uncaring clod!

  5. It makes me want to cry. We have a great vet and our good friend works there overnight so we know we’re protected but I would suggest pet parents read this post!

  6. Yes just once. They said we had to bring him in the evening before surgery. Not anymore! I refuse to take my dogs to the vet overnight before surgery. I know they eat or drink but they are not staying in a kennel all night. I want to know the time of surgery if it is in the afternoon I will take them in before surgery not in the morning for them to sit in the kennel waiting. So far they have let me bring them home before they close. Otherwise I am going to sleep at the vets office all night with my dogs.
    I am not a very good patient.. When I had my thyroid surgery I told the doctor take it out and I am going home. Well, I did go home that night. I feel the same way about my dogs. Surgery then let them go home.

    1. You know, I find that the vets often tell you to leave the dog overnight (alone in most cases) with them, Sharon, as a convenience to them. I would rather get up with the rooster and go in than to know my dog is sitting in a kennel alone overnight. That makes no sense to have a client do otherwise.

      YAY for you on going home. Statistics show people (and pets) recover well in their own home.

  7. Mom has never left any of us overnight at the vet.She feels we are better off at home with her in our own bed, but there are things that happen which would cause us to have to spend the night and I know she would be a wreck whether there was someone there to watch us or not. She might actually find a way to put herself in a kennel if need be to be near us! We’ve never asked at our clinic as we don’t ever intend to stay the night.

  8. How upsetting! I can’t imaging my fur baby being all alone at the vets after surgery.
    I wonder if there are any that will keep the animals with them or if they hire a night shift?
    I always assumed they had someone there….

  9. I could never understand why they ask you to leave the dog overnight and then no one is there. I think a vet tech should be on duty if sick dogs are in residence overnight. Now, when Lou was very ill with heat stroke he spent 4 nights at the emergency vet center. There was round the clock vets etc working to save him. I won’t tell you what those 4 nights cost, but I wouldn’t trade a cent for the 6 extra years I got in return.

    1. Amen and I bet that you are so glad that you had someone with him. Many hugs, Val. Good to see you here.

  10. I always wondered that. They can either A) not leave the Dogs overnight for whatever procedure or B) Have specified days when they pay a person to stay overnight. It must be quite traumatic when they leave their homes and have to fight for space in a new environment,

  11. Wow – I would have been so upset that there was no monitoring overnight! This is really something to think about. We have boarded our dog a few times when we travel but there is always someone there overnight with the dogs.

    1. Depending on the boarding facility, they may not have staff overnight. I know some really do not. It is good you have one who does have staff on hand.

  12. When my first Cocker, Mia had to stay for 5 days at the Vet Specialty Hospital for IMHA treatment, I knew she would monitored because it is a 24 hour facility with visiting hours until 10 p.m. Plus, I was given info about her progress as tracked over 24 hour periods. On one of my visits, I noticed a funny pinkish smudge on Mia’s head. I thought it was blood and asked the vet tech who was assigned to her. The tech looked at it, blushed and said, “I’m sorry. That’s my lipstick. She was getting a blood draw and I was giving her kisses for you.” Naturally, I cried and also gave the tech a gift when Mia was released.

    1. OMD Naomi I just about started crying – how beautiful that the tech cared so much —- that is beautiful.

  13. Thanks for the great information. We have never had to leave our dogs overnight, but I will keep this in mind if we ever do. I’m really shocked that after a surgery some places don’t have an overnight staff.

  14. Oh my gosh. I never never in a million years thought the staff wouldn’t be around the clock when a pet is staying over. That’s actually alarming.

  15. Why I don’t trust allopathic vets and only use holistic/homeopathic ones. Less likely he would ever need to be there in the first place. If my dog stays, I stay. Same rule at the groomer.

  16. We learnt about the degrees of overnight monitoring when Charlie was seriously ill as a kitten with calcivirus. The vet wanted us to admit him overnight and keep him on fluids yet the surgery was unattended between 6pm and 8am. I was also told that he might not make it through the night. He would have been on his own in a strange place, with strange smells – it wasn’t an option for me. I took him home and syringed fluids into him every hour throughout the night and used icepacks to get his body temp down. By the morning his temperature was out of the danger zone, and whilst he was sick for over a week he did recover. I’m not sure if the outcome would’ve been the same if we’d have left him unmonitored in a cage on his own overnight.

  17. We left our dog, Scout overnight at the vet following his neutering surgery. I did ask if someone would be there to monitor him during the night and was surprised to hear that there wouldn’t be. They did assure me that someone stayed until late in the evening. Also, I could come first thing in the morning to pick him up. I was somewhat worried about surgery complications going unnoticed during the night, but since his procedure was so routine and minor I was more concerned about how he would feel being left alone in a cage all night. He was used to sleeping under the covers on our bed. I would have brought him home that night, but it wasn’t presented as an option. Plus, we have another dog and they do play rough. So the next morning I was there to pick him up. Everything was fine, thankfully, but we did need to get an e-collar for him to wear so I imagine he was licking himself all night long. We also had a really hard time keeping him from running around, going up and down the stairs and jumping onto things. It was like he was unfazed. The vet even provided us with a sedative because he was so wound up. It didn’t help much, but in the end he healed up perfectly with no infection or other complications. Even though it worked out okay for us, if either of our dogs ever needed major surgery that required them to stay overnight, I would want them to be someplace with 24 hour monitoring.

    1. It is scary and I really never knew until our Brandy had no overnight monitoring. A lot of times these days, the vets try to send the dogs home the same day to avoid issues overnight where there is no supervision.Glad it all worked out for your dog with the overnight stay, Emily.

  18. Great post! Should go a long way in educating the public about an issue they probably don’t think about until it’s too late. If you haven’t heard about Betsy’s Law in New Jersey, it is a law recently passed that requires vets to inform their clients that there is no overnight supervision at their facilities. I posted it on my Facebook page, the Veterinary Abuse Network, educating pet guardians about potential dangers at the vet’s.

    Thanks again for a very informative post and thank God little Brandy is okay. Both of you have no doubt saved lives!

    1. Hi Julie – thanks for sharing. Though our Brandy died in 2008 (not related to anything vet related), thanks for sharing this and your kind words.

  19. Wow. Sick dogs, left alone overnight. I understand that many offices don’t have the resources (and I doubt a single vet within hours of me does) but.. dang. I’m thankful I haven’t yet had to leave a dog overnight, but I don’t know what I’m going to do if that time comes. Thanks for your post!

  20. Very important post! I knew this and am fortunate to have a vet who gets me. Kirby has had two surgeries. The first minor one when he was neutered. I called every hour to check on him and picked him up as soon as they let me. His big surgery was when he was a year old. He was bitten in the groin area by a large dog on Memorial Day. My vet met us at the clinic and performed the surgery. We then waited a few hours to be sure there was no adverse reactions before I took him home which she knew I would do. He was in a lot of pain and didn’t move til nearly 10:30 the next morning. I kept him on a dog bed I moved from room to room so I was always near him to comfort when he cried and monitor his pain medication. Neither of us got much sleep that night but Kirby was never fearful because he was all alone. All he had to do was open his eyes or move an inch to have me right there soothing him.

    When my daughter was getting married he had to stay at the PetSmart Hotel for a few days. They have round-the-clock employees, a vet on call, and to escape he would have to get past three doors.

  21. I wouldn’t want my pets left in the hands of veterinarians without me being there. There are so many bad veterinarians out there and we can’t get rid of them. The stress on our pets in a veterinary hospital, even a good one, is tremendous because we can’t make them understand what is going on. I have friends whose dog died in vet care overnight and unattended and they will never know what happened to him. No one does because no one was there.

  22. I work at a clinic, but even if I didn’t, I know the word “clinic” doesn’t mean “hospital”. I can not speak for all clinics but we do surgery early in the morning so we have all day and most of the evening to monitor them. We never leave the clinic unless we feel comfortable doing so. We also have someone that checks on them at some point in the middle of the night. As far as pain management, if you administer before leaving in the pm and arrive early in the am the pet should be fine. Yes always ask if they have someone there overnight if it’s a concern, but please don’t assume that because some clinics don’t, that it means your pet is suffering or neglected. We are a hard working, animal loving family and we want your pet to get the same treatment that we would give our own, and that is the truth! I personally have stayed many a night past my ending shift, laying in floor with a pet just to offer comfort.

    1. I respectfully disagree on this, Jane, and I appreciate you coming in. If a pet is alone, this needs to be told to the pet parent. A pet can do any number of things alone: Rip an IV line (mine has), bleed, be in pain, etc. Anything can happen. If I knew then what I know now, I would have had my beloved dog stay at a hospital, not a clinic, not a vet center. I love that you have stayed many times helping a pet who needed comfort. Not all pets get the same comfort in a cage alone vs being at home or being in a facility where they can be monitored overnight. At the very least, transparency is key to the pet parent.

  23. It doesn’t matter if you ask them if they have post op care/overnight care.Get to know the staff.Find out if they are able to make decisions on your pet’s care.I LOVE animals & I know that if I worked in a pet clinic that I would NOT leave them for a moment post op!

    My precious paw wrapping, neck nuzzling,kiss-giving,loved to snuggle & very huggable brecaphalic faced cat DIED after already being awake & about after his surgeries & his vaccinations.THEY left him unattended & upon their return he was dead on the bottom of the cage!!!!I love him so much.I trusted this vet that I’d known forever.WHY DID THEY LEAVE MY CAT-A BRECEPHALIC FACED CAT-THAT HAD ALL READY BEEN THERE BEFORE TO BE EXAMINED AFTER HE HAD STRESSED OUT DURING HIS VERY QUICK GROOMING?!?!WHY?

    I was shocked to say the least when I got the news(still am).However when the vet mentioned the details of when he died – I was in disbelief.I was repeating NO!NO!NO! over & over & over.THIS WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.SOMEONE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING HIM!WHY DIDN’T THEY?!
    People keep on telling me to to fight & get my money back.I don’t want my money back – I want my cat back!So since I am NEVER GOING to snuggle my Poopsie Whoopsie again, the only thing I can do is discuss what happened with the vet & his staff when I am ready to make sure that THEY WILL NEVER LEAVE someone’s pet or any animal unattended during care & especially after surgery.

    PS-What sickened me even more is it looked like my baby died from shock.(bluish purply tongue -light lilac gums).I even asked the young lady the night before to make sure to give him snuggles & kissses.When she giggled -I even looked at her seriously & said I’m not joking!Please do that!…..And when I paid the bill to them for killing my cat,so classy as they are, they left the POST OP CARE INSTRUCTIONS on my bill!

    No no no.Find out what a clinic’s protocol is regarding post op.If they do not have enough staff so that the animals are NEVER left unattended then either yourself, a good friend, or even a try to hire an animal technician to stay until you can get your babies home.

  24. I appreciate your comment about how you should look for veterinarians that are skilled. I think it’s interesting how you said that you should pick a place that you can visit often. My husband and I are looking into animal hospitals with vets that allow you to visit your pet when you are there.

  25. It made me feel relieved when you said that there will one or more staffs watching the animal when they are admitted to an animal hospital. My dog has been really feeling unwell these days due to a sickness that I do not know yet, and I am worried that he might undergo a surgery when I take him to a vet. If he does, he will be confined for a couple of days. So thanks for the information!

  26. Excellent information, I live in Miami Florida and had to leave my 11 years old Juicy at different vet’s offices because she is diabetic and I found out that they are left alone, and I think it is not right because they charge a lot for this service when the poor dogs and cats stays in a jail box of 10 hours by themselves. There should be a law to cover this issue. tks!

  27. My Australian Shepard was hit by a car when he accidentally got out of our yard.. While that was terrifying enough the emergency vet clinic we took him to originally probably would have killed him had we let them do the surgery on our boy. He was covered in his own urine when we picked him up. it was awful. We had him moved to the University of Florida Vet clinic where they were able to save his shoulder, (the original vet clinic said we would have to amputate). Tucker is alive and healthy now and can run and play like nothing ever happened. At the UF hospital he was well cared for and while it was still really hard that he had to be away from me they were great.

  28. I’m a Housekeeper at a large Veterinary Hospital in my city and over the last year it has fallen into decline due to bad management. Many of the staff have quit and it’s common now for animals to stay overnight without any staff after having major surgery. It’s really sad to see and I feel bad for the animals and the owners who probably have no idea.

  29. Thanks for explaining that the best thing to do is to ask if your vet has someone monitor the pets after surgeries. I need to choose a vet for my dog soon. Your tips should be helpful as we search for a good one!

  30. I find this appalling on so many levels. Yesterday we lost our beloved Max, a 7 year old Maltese mix. We called the vet the day before, explaining what was happening and they just didn’t have the time to see him. So yesterday morning, I called again and they were able to “squeeze him in.” What a wasted visit and a waster of precious, quality time we could have spent with our baby. The vet didn’t take our concerns seriously-Max hadn’t eaten in 5 days, wouldn’t drink, couldn’t walk, had no control of his bowels, was pooping blood (right there in front of the vet), as was so lethargic, he couldn’t move. The Vet’s solution? Let’s give him a bolus of fluids, do every expensive lab work, send him home with an appetite stimulus and “yummy” dog food, and we’ll call you in the morning with the lab results. Well, our poor baby never recovered that day. He was progressively getting worse, and when I called the vet to see what we should do, they had their answering machine on directing me to go to an emergency hospital an hour away. We called the “emergency hospital” and were told that they could help, but there was a wait. Really? What is more important than ending a poor animal’s suffering? The end was horrible, he was in such pain, started having seizures, screaming in agony and all I wanted was for him to be euthanized, but alas, no on was open at 10:00 at night; we called everywhere. So, our poor baby suffered a horrible death and died in my arms. In hindsight, I guess the fact that they didn’t keep him overnight was a blessing since there would have been no one there to ease his pain, to hold him, rock him, console him, and help him die with dignity. By the way, we’re still waiting for the vet to call us back with the lab results. We need to be better at helping our pets die peacefully. There is no excuse.

  31. well,unfortunately for my beloved SupportDog,am reading this too late. i dont ever want another dog,or any animal,for that matter! My beloved Titus suffered for 24 [possibly 23 days?] all because 12 [yes,12!] combination of local pet ER’s & pet urgent cares, cited “we’re up to capacity with Rescues!”[my ESA is NOT a Rescue,& i stated this,in case it would help in getting my now deceased,Titus medical care it didnt!] i accidentally found pet neurologist online [there are no pet neurologists in county we live in; needed no ‘pet referral’] Being as i was desperate to seek help& answers as to WHY my Titus suddenly [this month,March2022] begins staggering,stumbling ,falling, semi-shaky legs when he ‘goes bathroom’ [we’d been daily walking 3-5miles|day for YRS.,& suddenly this?! He’d been diagnosed with mastcell tumors in Apr2020;had tumor surgery removal April2020,&seemed fine for past near 2yrs.,with daily walking, bathroom biz,eating,drinking water, playing with his 5 fave toys [altho he had many] Summing this up,he suddenly began having gran mal seizures this past Tues.,22march’22, afternoon,a few hrs after returning from a brief walk[he struggled to walk just before we entered where we live,& i didnt think much of it other than to turn on a|c thinking of warm temp. may’ve exerted him some] After he seemd to stop having gran mals [he’d had 5 w|in 3 hrs.!] we drove out to pet ER Neurology Hospital DUE TO the gran mal seizures, which kept occuring [same day,Tues.,22march’22] Titus was hospitalized. Ok,.so i kept asking to have anti-seizure meds be prescribed & i want to pick him up & bring back with me|’home’;was told he’d been on constant drips of Keppra &Mannitol ,&Titus was taken off of 1 of these [am still SO emotionally overwhelmed& ANGRY!] i dont recall right now which,if not both, Titus was taken off of];’Neurologist’ stated he was going to do mri on Wed[next day]: he did not! Instead,he left before i had chance to arrive to PAY BEFORE mri[otherwise, NO MRI]!!! ‘Neurologist’ had told me he was doing mri AFTER 1pm:i arrived before 1pm:to PAY!] Some good this did!: ‘neurologist’ left BEFORE i arrived [its 1+hour drive TO neurology petER,which has ‘neurologist’ on staff, YET!, i arrived [without making time to shower, eat or ready myself,HOPING to ‘save’ my Titus,&learn WHAT’s wrong with sudden gran mal seizing, staggering, pacing,etc.! So! i was taken for THOUSANDS of dollars,&i believe Titus died after i visited him on Wed. [altho, mri supposedly ended up being done on Thursday?? [maybe too late?] Had told many staff@this ‘hospital’ i want to BE THERE DURING mri: seems i was ignored!] When i arrived before 1pm,Thurs.,24march,i asked to see Titus [thinking & being made to believe he was alive] When i 1st saw him,i didnt think about his chest NOT rising|falling for breathing,&was too distraught to check his mouth&nose for breathing;he was NOT hooked up to ANY monitors, either! Yet,i didnt think about this ’til today,that am viewing vidclips i took all 3 days[UNnecessary 3 days ‘hospitalization’ ,in my opinion!] Now, most importantly, am out of my beloved AND cherished 9-yr-old SupportDog, TITUS,whom was bought as my [best ever] birthday gift in 2013 [am truly alone, traumatized,& thousands of dollars ‘spent'[taken advantage of,i now believe!]] Makes me wonder WHAT REALLY HAPPENED DURING Titus’s pet ER hospital stay??? i believe am being partially lied to,just to make pet ER staff feel better that they gladly took my money,with NO real concern for my Titus or me! Am hurting& MISS TITUS SO,SO, SO MUCH!!! Still cant believe Titus’ ‘gone’..

  32. I had my 90 lb. extremely sweet, passive, docile Pit stay overnight at the vets clinic after a hemangioma resection on her underside…my wife picked up the next day and she was soaked in urine…they had not even walked or cleaned her up after surgery! I am a doctor…I am appalled that hired staff neglected this precious animal and subjected her to increased risk of infection!!!

    1. Omgoodness that is awful. I learned the hard way about the dogs being alone overnight. I am sorry to hear this happened to your sweet Pittie.

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