pet – services
1828 Conestoga Ct
Merced, CA 95348
Email: lawyerproof @yahoo.com
VETERINARY MEDICAL BOARD FOR THE
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
DR. KAREN HOLMES, VETERINARY EMERGENCY CLINIC, ET AL.,
CONSUMER COMPLAINT AGAINST:
Veterinarian: Dr. Karen Holmes
Place: Veterinary Emergency Clinic
1800 Prescott Road, Modesto, CA 95350
Date: November 30, 2012
Victim: “Shorty” Pomeranian Chihuahua (3) Years of age.
Death of “Shorty” three (3) year old Pomeranian Chihuahua caused by Dr. Karen Holmes at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic at 1800 Prescott Road, Modesto, CA 95350, on November 30, 2012.
This is my complaint against Dr. Karen Holmes of Veterinary Emergency at 1800 Prescott Road, Suite C, Modesto, California. Dr. Holmes refused to provide the proper life saving medical care necessary to treat and save my dog’s life, named “Shorty.” “Shorty” was 3 years old and a Pomeranian Chihuahua. He was robbed of his whole life before him due to the “gross” negligent acts of Dr. Karen Holmes. During my interaction with her, I instantly
knew that she was putting her own needs—and wallets—ahead of “Shorty’s” life. Dr. Karen Holmes was not receptive to my dog’s well-being, and had an abrasive and uncaring beside manner, with unprofessional conduct. When Dr. Holmes did provide my dog any care, it was substandard as my report will indicate. Anytime I discussed “Shorty’s” care with Dr. Holmes, she would interrupt me by bringing up the cost and how much I could afford. The entire time I was trying to secure medical care for “Shorty” was from 1:30 AM-2:45 AM. Not until 3:00 A.M. did Dr. Holmes agree to provide “Shorty” medical care when she said, “can you come up with $300.00?” When I asked Dr. Holmes if she could do a blood test to see how bad “Shorty” was, she replied, “you can’t afford it and it wouldn’t prove anything.”
• 8:00 P.M. November 30, 2012
When I took “Shorty” home after Dr. Holmes refused to keep him on IV fluids, I witnessed his suffering and dying while he layed on the sofa. He let out a loud “yelp” and looked at me as to ask me what was happening. He began to salivate and his tongue began to hang. I immediately called Dr. Holmes and she stated “that Shorty needed to tough it out.” I began to cry as I watched helplessly. I called Dr. Holmes for advice and told her that “Shorty” was not doing well. I layed “Shorty” down so he could watch me while I frantically searched the internet for answers. Not knowing this entire time that he was dying before my eyes. Shorty began to breathe deeply and his eyes became glossy. I called out to him and he did not respond. I put my ear on his stomach and did not hear his heartbeat. “My Shorty was dead.” I began to cry frantically. “How could this happen, he is only 3 years old!” My girlfriend, Nicole Bacon was with me and consoled me. I told Nicole that Dr. Holmes knew all along that he was going to die, or had the risk of dying if “Shorty” was not administered IV fluids again to save his life.
• December 8, 2012-Pet Smart of Modesto,CA.
On December 8, 2012, while in Petsmart in Modesto I learned from the founder of Wags and Whiskers Rescue, Jodi L. Baur, that the IV fluids (Saline Solution) costs $2.00 per bag and that she could have saved my “Shorty” for me. Age progressions indicate that dogs as the same breed at “Shorty” live until the age of 16. He was only given until 3 years by Dr. Karen Holmes.
Why then did Dr. Holmes refuse to help my “Shorty?” What moral conscience did she have towards my “Shorty?”
Since the death of my “Shorty,” I conducted research which revealed that many Veterinarians have provided poor medical care resulting in the death of many animals. Websites dedicated to exposing the tragic and untimely fate of innocence dogs at the hands of these unprofessional and incompetent Veterinarians.
Vetabuse network.com, “When vets make mistakes, pets pay the price” ,(newsvine.com). Consumer Protection ucdavisbadvet.home.mindspring.com. Overview of Veterinary Malpractice, www (animallaw.info/articles/gvusvet.); The Bad Vet Daily blog spot.com/Larry Romine. Vetabuseabuse.network. Dog4dogs.com-Find a good veterinarian or report a bad one. Veterinarywatch.com (TeaTree Oil Toxcity) dogster.com forums, (Bad Vet Experience). Vets from Hell.com
Here is one from the Veterinary ranks:
What is your worst “bad veterinarian” story?
I have been a veterinary technician for almost 20 years and have worked with dozens of doctors. Some were excellent, some were OK, and some were absolutely horrible. I’ve worked with doctors who gave away products and services for free and I’ve worked with doctors who lied to their clients and charged them for things they never received. I’ve worked with doctors who would do anything to save a pet’s life and I’ve worked with doctors who wouldn’t touch a dying animal unless an estimate was approved by the client.”
So, I would like to hear about some bad experiences you have had at your veterinary office. Come on lets hear some of the ugly TRUTH about this profession. I think it will be for everyone’s benefit to hear about “reality at the vets office.”Answers.yahoo.com/Buddha13.
In Texas research indicates that up to 80-90 percent of complaints are dismissed, with minimal punishment handed out to the remaining Veterinarians. Research also revealed that Veterinarians have inadvertently escaped the “Mal-Practice” statutes. Animals are classified as “chattels” or the property of the owner, and therefore can only sue for the replacement value of the animal. However, California Penal Codes Sections 600. 2-600-5, and California Civil Code 54-55-9, value the dog as an “assistance animal” and a major contributor to society. Domestic pets are not slaughter animals and cannot be placed in the same category. This is unacceptable. Domestic pets are family members and veterinarians know this fact. That is why they charge such hefty fees. No other animal can be held to the same light as your dog. They live with the owner exactly like a family member. No other another does. Even law enforcement places them in high esteem and are protected under Penal Code Section 600.2-600.5., The military, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, retirement homes, and extended care facilities place them above any other animal. Yet, there is no protection for them when it comes to providing them the proper medical attention they deserve.
• COMPLAINT AGAINST KAREN HOLMES, VETERINARY EMERGENCY CLINIC.
I arrived at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic at 1:30 A.M. I asked to see the Veterinarian to give my dog “Shorty” treatment for “Tea Tree Oil” poisoning. I was accompanied by my girlfriend, Nicole Bacon who witnessed the entire incident. The receptionist went to the back and returned with Dr Holmes. I explained to Dr. Holmes that I believed that “Shorty” was reacting to the Tea Tree Oil and to please help him. Dr. Holmes took Shorty to the back and the receptionist presented me with a charge I could not afford. From 1:30 to about 2:30 P.M., precious time was used discussing payment and alternate ways to pay. Shorty was not receiving any treatment until I could secure some form of payment. I was on a marathon discussion on the phone with friends trying to secure some form of payment. I was presented with a CareCredit application, of which I advised I would not qualify. My application for credit was denied. I was extremely upset and asked them if I would make payments to them in order to give my dog treatment. The receptionist went to ask Dr. Holmes and she returned and informed me that Dr. Holmes could not treat “Shorty” until I could guarantee some form of payment. I begged them to help “Shorty” as valuable time was being used talking about payment plans without providing any type of treatment to “Shorty”. Dr. Holmes returned from the back to tell me that she had given “Shorty” a bath with “Dawn” dish soap. I called my friend Darlene Blakley over the phone to ask her if I could borrow $200.00. Darlene Blakley was reluctant because she had not paid her rent, but did not want “Shorty” to die. In June 2012, Darlene and I were walking through the Wal-Mart parking lot where she works, and “Shorty” walked up to the both of us. Darlene cared for “Shorty” until I moved to Ripon, CA in June of 2012. During our conversation, Darlene told me that “Shorty’s” doctor, Dr. William Bell, would not have such an approach in treating animals, and that money was not a “priority” in such circumstances. Darlene told me that she has been taking her animals to Dr. Bell for over 15 years, and at times, could not pay the bill up front and had to make payments in order for her dog to receive treatment. Dr. Bell accepts payment plans for his clients when their bill has totaled to several thousand of dollars and he has been in operation for many years His website is full of positive comments in blogs from previous pet owners. His approach is to treat the animal first and then arrange payments. Dr. Karen Holmes website is not transparent with no names or blogs of happy clients. Dr. Holmes “life saving” claims on her website are far from being truthful and should be removed from the internet.
During the turmoil over whether or not “Shorty” was to receive treatment, the receptionist told me a story of a veterinarian that provided treatment without securing upfront payments and she went out of business. Without knowing the intricate facts of the closing of her business, this receptionist used an unverified story to support their aggressive policy to deny treatment without securing payment. I told both the receptionist and Dr. Holmes, that no inquiry was every made on my employment and my ability to make payments and that we were wasting precious time in deciding how they were to be paid. Dr. Holmes stated that she was not in the business to provide free services. I replied that I was not asking for “free” services, but to treat “Shorty” before it was too late. I reiterated the fact that I was a business owner without insurance but that I could pay for services for “Shorty” to save his life. Dr. Holmes stated that she could not provide ANY services without some form of payment upfront. The receptionist again approached me with an estimate for services in the amount of $800.0. The receptionist was aggressive and uncaring. She demeanor was not what you would expect from someone in the medical profession, towards a pet owner that is under stress and worried about their best friend. I didn’t appreciate her unprofessional approach, beause I told the receptionist that she was wasting her time and that I did not have any money at the time. The receptionist was belligerent and became angry at me. I told her that I did not appreciate her hostility towards me, and she replied, “You need to lower your tone if we want to have a conversation with me” I informed the receptionist that I wanted to speak to Dr. Holmes, and she replied, “you have to deal with me Dr. Holmes asked me to provide this estimates to you. I then asked Dr. Holmes to return “Shorty” to me. But before I could leave, the receptionist said, since you are refusing treatment you must sign this promissory note for $112.00 $97.00 for an emergency exam and $15.00 for a bath? I asked her, “If I was being made to sign a promissory note for $112.00, then why can’t I sign one for “Shorty”s medical care? Who makes these life saving rules? The receptionist replied, Everyone is treated the same when they come in the front door. Your no different. I signed the promissory note for $112.00 and I asked that “Shorty” returned to me. I was being charged $112.00 for bathing “Shorty” and a half hours work. I proceeded to leave the clinic when Dr. Homes asked me, “Can you come up with $300.00? Again, hostile discussions transpired over payment regarding “Shorty’s” treatment. After about an hour of phone discussion with a former roommate, Darlene Blakley, Darlene offered me a loan of $200.00 and my girlfriend, Nicole Bacon offered me $100.00. I gave my cell phone to the receptionist to obtain Darlene’s debit card information. Nicole Bacon presented her debit card information and the receptionist was paid a total of $300.00. Shorty did not receive medical attention until 3:00 A.M. Dr. Holmes falsely claims that she provided “Shorty” medical attention at 2:15 A.M. This is false. “Shorty” waited 3 hours to receive any kind of medical treatment. I was told to return at 7:30 A.M. to pick up “Shorty.” At 7:15 A.M. I parked my car outside the clinic and called the receptionist. The receptionist answered the phone and asked me, “where are you, you know that we close at 8:00 A.M. She did not even tell me how “Shorty” the patient was doing. I told her that I was outside in the parking lot. She then asked me if I was coming inside to pick up my dog. I replied, “that is why I am here? She became irritated and stated, “what are you waiting for? I replied, I am giving “Shorty” every minute he can receive treatment, besides, it’s only 7:30 A.M. anyway? The tone of the receptionist was the same as the demeanor of Dr. Karen Holmes, uncaring and insensitive towards “Shorty’s” condition. Based on my personal experience, Dr. Karen Holmes and her staff at the staff at Veterinary Emergency Clinic were unprofessional and insensitive demeanor towards me and my dog “Shorty.” They were in a hurry to leave their work and are were not careful in their choice in words. Their conduct confirms their true internal feelings towards the animals that they treat. This conduct is patterned by Dr. Karen Holmes and adopted by her staff as the prevailing approach towards their patients and their owners. At noon “Shorty” did well and was walking and went outside to urinate. He was doing much better. By 4:30 A.M. “Shorty” could not stand or walk. At approximately 6:00 P.M. I returned “Shorty” to Dr. Holmes and asked her to follow up on treatment. She refused. I begged her to put him back on IV fluids because he responded so well in the morning. Again she refused and the receptionist returned with another “estimate” of $800.00.
Dr. Holmes falsely advised me that if she injected fluids under his skin, (SQ fluids for free), it would be the same as placing his on an IV? In her report Dr. Holmes falsely reported: “Told owner that last night the dog responded well and quickly to IV fluids but may not respond that way tonight with just SQ fluids.
• 04:00 Friday Morning:
“Shorty” responded well to IV fluids: Hypersalivation was resolved, patient still a bit ataxic but brighter overall, and two hours later:
• 06:00 Friday Morning:
AD took patient for walk, patient still a little uneasy walking, walked outside a bit and urinated 5+ carried inside.
Shorty had recovered and was walking and urinating well when I took him home. However, his recovery was only as long as his treatment.
Dr. Homes falsely reported that “Shorty” had been exposed on a blanket he had been sleeping under that had tea tree oil? This is impossible. “Shorty” was not re-exposed by a blanket he had been sleeping under, he sleeps on top of a blanket. Further, I would not expose “Shorty” because I would take measures not to expose him.
Dr. Homes falsely reported that:
“He said he called his regular vet today when the dog was getting worse and was told that the dog should have gone home on Pediatyte and medications and left on IV fluids. This is partially true. The Santa Fe Pet Hospital technicians in Merced, informed me that it is standard procedure was to have the patient remain on IV fluids for 2-3 days to fully flush out the toxins. When I returned “Shorty” to Dr. Holmes at 6:00 P.M., she failed to mention anything concerning the time necessary to administer IV fluids to “Shorty” in order to flush out his toxins.
By her own admission, Dr. Holmes stated: “Told owner he was given the option of taking his dog to his vet this morning.” When Dr. Holmes asked me if I wanted to take “Shorty” home, and replied, “Are you kidding me? You’re the Vet, you tell me what I should? Knowing what I now know, it was not an option to take my dog home. Dr. Holmes is the Vet and should have ordered me to take “Shorty” to his vet. I am not an expert on Toxins and I am not a Veterinarian. Dr. Holmes was not in the professional position to allow me to make the medical decision of taking “Shorty” home, or to his vet. Taking “Shorty” home was not an option. This type of prognosis is common sense. Toxicosis is not to be taken lightly. It can be fatal and Dr. Holmes failed to make recommendations and to take precautions for my dog, and due to this failure, “Shorty” lost his life untimely at the age of 3 years. Still a puppy and denied his right to live a full life by Dr. Karen Holmes.
“When I returned “Shorty” back to Dr. Holmes, I begged her to place “Shorty” back on IV fluids and Dr. Homes refused. Instead, she again asked for $800.00 and did not fail to mention in her report to Dr. William Bell that she let me have the SQ fluids for “free.”
• November 30, 2012-6:00 P.M
Dr. Holmes falsely reported:
Dr. Homes faxed her report to Dr. William Bell, “Shortys” doctor at the Santa Fe Pet Hosptial in Merced, CA. What she faxed was a lie.
“Told owner that last night the dog responded well and quickly to IV fluids but may not respond that way tonight with just SQ fluids. When I asked Dr. Holmes if injecting fluids under “Shorty’s”skin was going to be the same as the IV fluids, Dr. Holmes replied, “yes it will be absorbed by his body and cleanse him out.”
Instead, when I asked Dr. Holmes if placing the SQ fluids under his skin would have the same effect as placing “Shorty” on IV fluids, Dr. Holmes replied, Oh yes, Shorty will absorb it into his body. Dr. Holmes continued, “Shorty” responded well to treatment, and that if there are any changes take him to his regular vet. I could take him to his regular vet because Dr. William Bell was closed and at least 45 minutes away. “Shorty” needed IV fluid treatment immediately!
• Dr. Holmes fails to mention in her report,
It was not my decision to allow “Shorty” to go home or to take him to his regular Veterinarian, Dr. William Bell. When Dr. Holmes asked me if I wanted to take “Shorty” home, or to Dr. Bell, I replied, “Your asking me?” You’re the Vet not me? I just paid you $300.00. After further discussion, Dr. Holmes suggested I take Shorty home and monitor him. Dr. Holmes never informed me that he had a chance to die due to his toxic exposure and that I should take him immediately to his regular vet. I took him home and could not interpret his reactions as being life threatening. Dr. Holmes failed to inform me of the dangers of “Shorty” reverting back to his original state, and to avoid that, he should have been placed back on IV fluids. Dr. Holmes gave me the “Option” of taking “Shorty” home or to his regular doctor. After “Shortys” death, Dr. William Bell’s office informed me that it is standard “protocol” to place their patients on IV fluids for at least 2-3 days to cleanse out the toxins in their body. When I returned shorty back to Dr. Holmes at 6:00 P.M., I begged her to place “Shorty” back on IV fluids. Her reply was, “I need $800.00. Dr. Holmes refused to place “Shorty” back on IV fluids, and instead, injected “Shorty” with fluids under his skin called SQ fluids. When I asked her if this procedure was as adequate at IV fluids, Dr. Holmes said, “Yes, “Shorty” will absorb it in his body and remove the toxins. In her report faxed to Dr. William Bell, she reported the opposite. Dr. Holmes reported that she had advised me that it would not be the same as the standard IV fluids. This is a lie.
• November 30, 2012 at 8:00 P.M.
DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS OF DR. KAREN HOLMES (Contradicting Instructions)
On 12/01/2012, Dr. Karen Holmes discharge instructions stated:
(2) if he appears weak, starts tremoring or acts drunk, please him rechecked. Dr. Holmes refused to follow her own instructions on having “Shorty” rechecked.It is clear on my experience with Dr. Holmes and her staff, that her primary concern and bottom line was money. My observations convinced me that her “only” concern was to be paid first, rather than to care for “Shorty.” I also observed that her staff has been “tailored” to think and operate in the same manner and demeanor as Dr. Karen Holmes.
Dr. Holmes stated, I‘ve done you a favor by only charging you $300.00 by giving “Shorty” SQ fluids under his skin, which she acknowledged that it would not be the same as the IV fluids, but at the same time, stating that she did tell me that, “the dog responded well and quickly to IV fluids but may not respond that way tonight with just SQ fluids (Page 2) of report.
Such condescending comments are inappropriate by such a professional. It was clear that Dr. Holmes position throughout her treatment of “Shorty” was purely about money. Her interest diminished when my $300.00 ran out!! Her behavior was clear that if I did not have anymore money, she would not provide “Shorty” anymore treatment that he needed to save his life.
When I asked Dr. Holmes to place “Shorty” back on IV Fluids, SHE REFUSED!
Therefore, by her own admission, Dr. Holmes was clear that SQ fluids would not work as well as IV fluids, and if he changed any, to take him to his regular vet, but of which Dr. Holmes contradicts in her reports.
When I returned Shorty to Dr. Homes, I asked Dr. Holmes if the SQ fluids under “Shortys” skin would work in the same manner as a IV fluid, she replied, “Yes, he will absorb it in his body. But at the same time, she writes in her report to Shorty’s doctor, William Bell, that, “but may not respond that way tonight with just SQ fluids.” (Page 2). This is an admission that Dr. Holmes was keenly aware that the SQ fluids would not work like the IV fluids. Dr. Holmes either lied to me or lied on her report because it was not faxed until December 1, 2012, at 01:25.
On November 30, 2012, I watched my dog suffer until 11:30 P.M. when he died. Dr. Holmes was correct, “LAST NIGHT THE DOG RESPONDED WELL AND QUICKLY TO IV FLUIDS BUT MAY NOT RESPOND THAT WAY TONIGHT WITH JUST SQ FLUIDS. If Dr. Holmes is correct, she was professionally required to immediately order me to take “Shorty” to his regular doctor, Dr. William Bell of Santa Fe Pet Hospital, where his staff informed me that in such cases they place their patients on IV fluids from 2-3 days.
Dr. Karen Holmes failed to perform her duties in the best interest of her patient, “Shorty,” resulting in his untimely death.
Dr. Karen Holmes also failed to report that I called her about “Shorty” after I had taken him to her. I expressed my concern over his lack of progress. Dr. Holmes informed me that he would have to detoxify over the night. Relying on that information, which was over the phone and not on her report, I did not take “Shorty” in for further exam. At that time she showed no concern over his impending demise, despite the fact that she mentions in her report that, “ he may not respond that way tonight with just SQ fluids.” During our conversation, I specifically asked Dr. Holmes if she knew what activiated charcoal. Dr. Holmes replied, “ that has nothing to do with your dogs problem. I reiterated to her that I was very concerned over his behavior and was not improving. She merely stated, “ watch him through the night.”
It is ironic that Dr. Holmes website “claim to saving lives.” The website is not transparent and does not mention any staff or Dr. Holmes name.
Dr. William Bell website is covered with praises and positive comments on the care and treatment he and his staff has provided to his patients and pet owners.
REQUEST TO REVOKE LICENSE.
I am requesting that her license be revoked for the unnecessary death of my 3 year old Pomeranian Chihuahua. There is an imment danger that Dr. Holmes had failed to perform her duties, and will continue to do so with her patients in the present and future, thereby, causing untimely deaths. According to her website, Dr. Holmes claims to save lives. Such untruths should not be tolerated.
The Owner’s Side of it.
My dog “Shorty” is dead due to Dr. Holmes negligence and unprofessional conduct to make the dollar a priority, rather than the quality of treatment she is sworn to provide. She only provided “Shorty” for treatment I was only able to pay for, not for what she is professionally required to provide.
On November 30, 2012, my dog suffered all night. He yelped from the pain he was feeling and was drooling from his mouth. He looked at me and I could not tell was was happening to him. His eyes were glossy and his breathing was labored. I continued to talk to my “shorty” and encouraged him to fight for us. I knew he was looking at me when he died because I sat on the kitchen chair so that he could always see me. When he yelled out I believe it was his organs or liver shutting down. I did not know what to do other than to continue to believe Dr. Holmes, to watch him? Then, I saw no movement. I began to cry uncontrollably. My Shorty was gone. I could not believe what had just happened. He was only 3 years old, with a full life ahead of him. I feel that I failed him and deprived him of a life he was destined to enjoy.
The following article supports my complaint against Dr. Karen Holmes for her failure to inform and act in my dog’s best interest, from Beaver Lake Animal Hospital by Dr. Elizabeth B Davidow, DVM, and DACVECC.
Tea Tree Oil – Do Not Use On Dogs or Cats
The following article was reproduced with permission from a newsletter published by ACCES.
Toxicology Brief Tea Tree Oil: Elizabeth B Davidow, DVM, DACVECC
Most of us have witnessed an increased desire among our clients to use “natural”
and “herbal” products, rather than “chemicals” or “traditional medicine” in the care of their pets. Many people know of problems with chemicals or medications but the dangers of natural substances are often overlooked. A recent case that presented to ACCES illustrates this situation. A 1.5 yr old MN Boxer presented to the hospital with a sudden onset of severe muscle weakness. Earlier that day the owners had treated the dog with a “natural” product marketed for flea control (and other conditions), Tea Tree Oil.
Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is derived from the leaves of the Australia tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). The oil contains cyclic terpenes, sesquiterpenes, and hydrocarbons. These compounds are lipophilic and are readily absorbed through the skin and into the subcutaneous fat. They are taken up by the blood stream and distributed throughout the body. According to National Animal Poison Control Center, the use of tea tree oil in dogs has been associated with hypothermia, muscle weakness, ataxia, tremors, altered behavior, and paralysis. Cats are also sensitive to the tea tree oil compounds. A case report has been published in which three cats had clinical signs and one cat died after being treated with the oil. Clinical signs usually occur within 2-8 hours from time of exposure. Most of the signs are reversible. Depending on the dose it may take 12-72 hours for them to resolve. Liver enzymes may become elevated but also appear to be reversible.
Recommendations for treatment of tea tree oil toxicity includes:
1) Dermal decontamination with a mild shampoo or detergent such as DawnTM.
2) Activated charcoal with sorbital for oral exposures and if the animal might have groomed and ingested a dermally applied product
3) IV fluids to increase diuresis and
4) Heat support as needed.
The boxer who presented to ACCES was bathed, given activated charcoal, placed on IV fluids and recovered full muscle strength within 24 hours.
Policy of Law Favors Trial on the Merits. The policy of the law is that controversies should be heard and disposed of on their merits (Berman v. Klassman (1971) 17 Cal App 3rd 900, 909, 95 Cal Rptr. 417).
Dated: December 22, 2012 Respectfully Submitted,