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Letter

Just two hours after seeing a well-respected veterinarian, for the fourth consecutive day (three of which were specifically for IV fluids), our dog, Ellie, went into serious distress. At the emergency hospital, she was declared severely dehydrated.

We were devastated to discover that despite our repeatedly voiced concerns, the seriousness of Ellie's condition had been blatantly misrepresented by the “professional” we trusted with her care, and the fluids she had received over those three days were grossly inadequate.

The emergency veterinarian tried to save her, but trying to make up for days of insufficient fluid intake was impossible; Ellie's organs were failing. My heart aches at the needless suffering she endured.

On this anniversary of our loss of our beloved Ellie, I write to warn other animal guardians, hoping they may avoid a similar tragedy.

Please, research your current or prospective veterinarian's history. Talk to other animal guardians about their experiences, and who they recommend. Call the Montana Department of Labor, or use the License Lookup on their website, to find out if any disciplinary action is a part of their record. This tool is not perfect, but it could aid in preventing more suffering and heartache.

Teresa Beck,

Missoula

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