Many pet parents want to 'help' us restrain their pet during examinations. While this may seem natural to you, it can also be dangerous if the doctor or technician does something upsetting to your pet (rectal temperature for instance) while your hand or face is near the mouth or claws. We don't want you to get hurt! In addition, our (and most veterinarians') insurance carrier has stated that we can be 'dropped' from coverage if we allow clients to aid in restraining their own pets. This is similar to the policy of mechanics who will not allow customers in the work area while their own car is being serviced - simply too many ways to get hurt. Any pet owner who attempts to restrain their own pet does so at their own risk, and releases us completely from liability. Following are some articles about people who have lost limbs, etc. from injuries sustained from their own pets.
Dog Bite Leads to Serious Illness, Amputation for Texas Mother
By Kelli BenderJan 23rd 2013
A Texas mother is fighting for her life after receiving a bite from her family dog. According to New York Daily News, Robin Sullins became infected with the normally harmless bacteria Capnocytophaga canimorsus when she was bitten by her dog.
The bacteria, which is found in a third of all cats and dogs, led to a rare infection. This infection has put the mother of four in ICU for the past month, and has required that both her legs and several of her fingers be amputated.
Sullins received the bite while breaking up a scuffle between her dogs on Christmas. Two days after the bite, Sullins went to the hospital with vomiting, chills and a fever.
"She immediately went down hard," Sullins' sister, Angi Sullins, told the Daily News. "Her body started turning black and blue. Her kidneys shut down. All of her vitals plummeted."
The Texas resident was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin, where doctors struggled to identify the bacteria plaguing Sullins' blood. They soon discovered the bacteria to be Capnocytophaga canimorsus, which is usually harmless.
Now doctors are working to keep Sullins alive, putting her on life support. Her family is doing their best to stay positive and hopeful, staying by Sullins' bedside every day. Family members have also created a website to help raise money for Sullins' extensive medical costs.
Dog bites can happen to anyone, including families with children and loyal pets. To help keep you and your loved one safe, remember that dogs are territorial creatures. If a canine is barking and seems threatened by your presence, give it space. Make sure you and your children always ask permission before petting a dog, because not all pets are as friendly to strangers as they may appear. Additionally, never judge a dog by its breed, but by its actions.
Cat Bite Infects Owner’s Hand
Dr. G was presented a cat for an annual examination, vaccinations,
and a nail trim. The owner advised that the cat
responds aggressively to nail trims. Dr. G proceeded with
the exam and vaccinations without incident. After Dr. G
trimmed a couple of the cat’s nails, the cat became fractious
and tried to bite Dr. G. A technician entered the exam
room and offered to help. At that point, Dr. G realized that
the cat had bit the owner’s hand during the nail trim. Dr.
G advised the owner to seek medical attention. The owner
visited an immediate care center for treatment. The infection
later spread up the owner’s hand, and the owner again
sought medical attention. The owner was referred to an
orthopedic surgeon and required surgery and hospitalization
for four days. Post-surgery, the owner required four
weeks of physical therapy.
The owner, a carpenter, was unable to work after the cat
bite and was eventually released from employment.
Owner’s Legs Amputated After Infection From Dog Bite
Dr. A’s practice was presented a dog for examination.
In the reception area, Dr. A’s technician
instructed the owner to remove the dog
from its carrier and to transfer it tail first to
the technician. The carrier had side and top
openings, and the owner used the carrier’s top
opening. When the owner reached in, the dog
bit the owner’s hand. The owner was led to a
washing station and provided with gauze pads.
The owner left the clinic after Dr. A examined
Four days later, the owner was hospitalized and
treated for a bacterial infection. The owner,
who had other medical conditions, developed
multi-organ failure and required a double leg
Owner’s Right Hand Permanently Damaged From Cat Bite
Dr. B was presented a cat with gastrointestinal
problems. Dr. B instructed
the owner to hold the cat with one hand
over its neck and the other hand under
the cat’s chin during the fecal examination.
The cat became fractious during
the exam and bit the owner’s hand.
The owner sought emergency medical
treatment the next day; however,
the infection intensified, necessitating
additional treatment, surgeries, and
long-term rehabilitation. The owner
notified Dr. B, who reported the claim.
The medical opinion was that the injury
would be a permanent deformity and
that the owner may require future surgeries.