Losing a Pet is one of the hardest things anyone will ever have to go through, and our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Buddy, a Hannah Pet who was recently euthanized at the family’s request after being diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Having treated Buddy for three years before he was diagnosed with a rare and likely incurable form of metastatic cancer, all of the team members at Hannah were saddened by his passing.
Given the media attention over this situation, we want to provide some additional facts about Buddy’s veterinary care.
Buddy was 9 years old and had been with Hannah for three years before he was diagnosed with a sudden and rare cancer (prostatic adenocarcinoma is rarely seen in castrated Boston terriers). Until a few weeks ago, Buddy was a healthy and happy dog who showed no symptoms that would have given anyone cause for concern. In late June, we saw Buddy for a bladder infection, which was confirmed by his urinalysis. At the time, his other lab work was all normal, and so his treatment included antibiotics and pain medication. He was also prescribed a tranquilizer to calm him due to his fear of fireworks as the Fourth of July holiday approached.
He was routinely rechecked a week later, at which point we conducted a follow- up urinalysis, blood profile and X-rays. Because the bladder infection wasn’t clearing up as expected, a few days later we also conducted an ultrasound exam and biopsy, which sadly determined that Buddy most likely had this rare and, in this case, aggressive form of cancer. The pathologist suggested another biopsy within four weeks. Buddy’s condition deteriorated over the next few days, and his family asked if we would pay for a second opinion at a non-Hannah referral hospital, and we agreed. Unfortunately, our cancer diagnosis was confirmed with a second biopsy, and Buddy’s family requested to have him put to sleep there the next day. Hannah paid for this procedure as well.
Since only three weeks elapsed from the time Buddy first developed a bladder infection until his family decided to have him euthanized for the cancer, there was no medically responsible course we could have taken that would have altered Buddy’s fate. However, we do believe that Buddy and his family could have been better served if Hannah had been providing 24-hour veterinary service, which would have enabled us to make Buddy more comfortable during his final days and hours.
While it is always painful to realize a shortcoming, it is important to do if a company is truly committed to continual improvement. In part due to our experience with Buddy and his family, Hannah will soon provide 24-hour veterinary service for our Members’ Pets and, in doing so, will honor Buddy and other Pets like him who need us at all hours of the day and night.