Warning, the following post contains opinions that will probably get people mad at me. I don't care.
I have discovered one over-riding theme about people during the last 10 years. During the last 10 years I have started working at a vet clinic as an assistant, gotten into vet school, graduated vet school and have been practicing for almost two years now. And this keeps coming up over and over and over again.
People, as a general rule/category, are stupid. S-T-U-P-I-D stupid. Dumb as a box of rocks, nutty, three bricks short of a load, and otherwise crazy stupid.
Case in point.
I saw a little puppy about a month ago. This puppy, through the neglect/carelessness of the owner's children, had a fracture of the lateral condyle of the humerus. This is NOT something that can be splinted and heal well. This requires surgical fixation to have ANY chance of being a functional joint for the life of the dog. So I strongly stress this point to the owners. They (reluctantly) took the dog to have the surgery done. This is NOT a cheap surgery. I saw the dog yesterday for staple removal.
My technician and myself cut off a bandage that was obviously applied by the owners (real vets do not use Popsicle sticks as a splint) and discovered that they had applied it way too tight. There was a LACERATION to the inside of the humerus where the bandage was too tight. It was infected and draining. AND the surgical site was draining and open. With a pin sticking out. Come to find out the owners had NOT given the post op pain medications and antibiotics as instructed (you should NOT have antibiotics "left over" three weeks after surgery). Also, since there was drainage from the surgery site with a pin visible I'm pretty sure the repair was infected and possibly failed. And he couldn't bend the elbow since they had bandaged him in the improper position.
I sent them back to the specialty clinic for a recheck. I'm pretty sure these people flushed thousands of dollars down the toilet because they were too cheap to come to us for bandage changes and checks as instructed by the specialty clinic.
Surgery to fix a fractured lateral condyle? $2000+
Cost they saved by changing the bandage themselves for three weeks? $20-80
Expression on their faces when I told them they'd have to go back to the specialty clinic and get radiographs and possibly another surgery? Priceless
1 week ago