Blue Kazoos and Other Whimsies

This is a ring-tailed coati, they’re primarily native to South America, though you can find them in mid-western U.S.A. This one’s name was Taito (though I called him The Kid more often than not.) We were informed that if we wanted to keep him, he would need to be de-clawed and have his canines removed as they can get incredibly sharp and he could hurt us or our other pets unintentionally. We didn’t want him taken away by the game warden so we scheduled an appointment with the only animal hospital near us that claimed knowledge of how to treat a coati: Lost River Animal Hospital in Baker, West Virginia. We took him in for what was supposed to be a routine surgery at 8:30 AM on August 26th and received a call that he had died at 1:00 PM that day. He was twelve weeks old. They told us that his heart had crashed in recovery, that they couldn’t give us a reason as to why, just that the anesthesia sometimes had that affect on animals. “It just happens.” After a lot of crying, my mom and I got into the car to go pick him up so that we could bury him. They told us that they wouldn’t release the body to us until we paid our bill, which was $283.04. They told us that they had given us a 30% discount on services rendered, given the circumstances and that it had been around $400 initially. We didn’t have the full amount at the time and asked if we could pay $150 to take him home and pay the rest at a later date. They told us they couldn’t allow that as too many people had renegaded on their bills in the past. We had to drive home without him. Perhaps there was nothing they could have done for him, perhaps it was just one of those things that happen, but I can’t understand it and I can’t understand why we couldn’t take him home. Lost River not only lost us our pet but they showed a severe lack of compassion for our loss. That is unacceptable to me and so I’m posting this here and on other sites so that maybe someone else doesn’t have to go through what my family did. I appreciate any and all help I can get at spreading the word.

Thank you.

EDIT: The vet that performed the surgery on Taito, a Dr. Tina Keplinger, is the only vet that practices at Lost River Animal hospital. I understand that there might not have been anything they could have done to save him, despite that he was healthy before visiting their hospital. But I believe that if she is the only vet available to the people in that area, her practice needs to be entirely above board. No one should be relegated to the treatment we received because she is their only option. Please spread the word and maybe her practice can be brought under review.

Blog comments powered by Disqus