Rescue dog with bloated tummy almost 'put down' by vet in S'pore without caregiver's permission

The dog didn't survive the ordeal.

Fasiha Nazren| October 16, 05:53 PM

On Oct. 16, local animal shelter Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter (OSCAS) shared the passing of Rainbow, a 14-year-old rescue dog.

The death of Rainbow is already painful enough for the volunteers, but it hurts even more when they believe Rainbow could have survived the ordeal.

Here's the post sharing how Rainbow died, according to OSCAS's Facebook page:

Dog almost euthanised without permission

In case you can't see the post, here's a quick summary:

  • Anita, a volunteer at OSCAS, was making her nightly rounds in the shelter when she found one of the rescue dogs, Rainbow, lying on her side.
  • Convinced that she was suffering from bloating, the volunteers called Mount Pleasant Gelenggang and was told that they had a vet who can manage the bloating.
  • The volunteers immediately rushed Rainbow into the clinic while they parked the car.
  • When the volunteers arrived at the consultation room, a "foreign female vet" was apparently ready to inject Rainbow with a "syringe filled with blue liquid", which was to carry out euthanasia.

Pushed vet's hand away

Upon seeing this, the volunteer allegedly pushed the vet's hand away from the dog.

When asked what the vet was doing, she explained that she was "putting Rainbow down".

Aghast by the reply, the volunteer asked:

"No, why aren't you treating her?"

According to OSCAS's post, the vet said that Rainbow was "beyond salvation" and had to be "put out of her suffering".

Labelling the vet as "arrogant" and "insane", the volunteer then argued that the vet had no right to put her down without their permission.

However, the vet apparently insisted that vets have the right to override the owners' decision.

Rainbow died

Unfortunately, Rainbow didn't survive that night.

Photo from OSCAS's Facebook page

According to the Pet Health Network, the bloating of a dog's stomach can be life-threatening and requires immediate surgery.

However, the volunteer believes that Rainbow could have survived if she was treated promptly:

"Rainbow may have had the chance to live. We have gone through many bloat/torsion cases out of the hundred over dogs under our care and success was virtually 100% under the vets we knew who are absolutely competent and with the right mindset to do their best to save. We just have the suspicion that this vet knew she was not capable of handling bloat/torsion and was trying to cover her lack of capability by simply insisting that the dog had no chance and had to be put down."

Informed consent for euthanasia needed

According to the Code of Ethics by the Animal & Veterinary Services (AVS), a vet has to consider treatment options before deciding to euthanise an animal.

If euthanasia is needed to prevent the suffering of an animal, the vet would have to obtain the informed consent of the pet's owner in writing, as far as possible.

"Humane euthanasia of animals is an ethical veterinary procedure. A veterinarian must consider the euthanasia of an animal to prevent unnecessary suffering, but prior to this, treatment options must be considered, as appropriate. Informed consent for euthanasia should be obtained in writing as far as possible"

We have reached out to Mount Pleasant Veterinary Group for a statement and will update the story accordingly.

Top image from OSCAS's Facebook page