"It is better to get an X-ray done," I advised the owner who brought back the dog after he was discharged. My associate vet deemed it not necessary to X-ray and sent the dog home after 3 days of hospitalisation and IV drip and treatment. His judgment was that the dog did not have foreign bodies and was in no need to have an X-ray, to save money for the owner. Unfortunately, the dog vomited at home and the young lady was not too pleased.
To prevent negligence complaint, I advised my associate vet to get an X-ray done. There was no "sausage roll" palpated to indicate an intussception which causes acute bloody diarrhoea.
IV drips and treatment drugs were given. The dog was hospitalised for 2 more days. X-ray showed lots of gas in the intestines. Some opaque grains which may be remnants of bones but the owner insisted that the dog did not eat any bones. Blood test showed low platelet count. A possibility of toxaemia from acute food poisoning.
This appeared to be a case of acute food poisoning. The dog recovered and there was no complaint after going home again. The owner was worried about vet expenses and many times, we try to save them some money. In the end, we may get sued or complained for incompetence and failure to take X-rays if the dog dies. Therefore, I have a system of requiring X-rays when the vomiting persisted more than 2 days or even earlier if abdominal palpation revealed foreign bodies. Negligence and incompetence rear their ugly heads when the dog dies. Therefore, preventive medicine is sometimes necessary.