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Customer underlying accusation's regarding flea protection

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  • Customer underlying accusation's regarding flea protection

    This could go under heatlh topic or general, but I am concerned about how to address the customer. Her old dog, who had a concernable tumor on his leg also had some fleas. I suggested Frontline, which she used. She had said the Vet thought the tumor was no problem. Shortly after the dog's tumor got nasty and sure enough Cancer. They removed the leg, dog got better, but now has Cancer throughout his lungs. Dog is improving on total anti-cancer foods and steriods, but more how many months long than if he would live.

    Last time I was there she gave me the leftovers of the package of Frontline saying if I dared us it on my dogs. Now one of my dogs has tapeworm from 2 fleas he got and I mentioned how toxic the worming medicine will be for my dogs. I'm going to put the worm situation in another thread, so DON"T address it here, please. I said fleas are unhealthier than the danger of Frontline possibilities. She said how the Frontline says wear gloves, don't let contact with skin etc. and it must be bad toxic stuff. I said it is likely an anti-law suit line they add, such as clothes saying dry clean only when they might be perfectly washable.

    I will see her tomorrow. She is intimating that my suggestion to use Frontline might have caused her dog's cancer. I don't know what I can say, but I think it needs to be addressed. I am sure it didn't cause cancer, and I would have had that tumor removed earlier if it had been my dog, but don't like the accusatory tone in her voice.
    Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

  • #2
    Did she purchase the frontline and apply it herself? If so, then she was capable of reading the packaging and forming her own opinion of it. Your not the only animal professional in the world to advise using flea preventatives. Walk into any vets office and everyone will see some brand of flea and tick prevention advertised.

    Likely, the cancer was already present in the body. I would certainly not accept the responsibility for suggesting flea prevention and then her dog forming cancer on the body when it was probably already present. You can not be responsible for the pre-existing illness.

    I would beware of becoming emotional or defensive because her grief feelings are in the stages of blame because she knows the road ahead for her dog doesn't look very promising. I have heard people before blaming anything they can think of for the illness or cancer of their pet. I'm sure in alot of cases it could be true, but there is no proof and in her dogs case, cancer was already present on the leg and a big possibility that it has already been in the body.


    • #3
      Just about anything can contribute to cancer, and it is probably grief which is causing the accusatory tone. I have seen one pet go through Chemo, and it was not good. The dog almost died from the treatment itself, he had diarrhea, was in constant pain, and only lived 6 months longer than originally given. I always tell that to customers when they tell me their dog has cancer, of course I have seen good results too, but most people are so emotional about not going the extra mile, and getting called on it that the story of that poor basset seems to lift their spirit’s a little. It is a hard choice, and I don’t know that I would want to know that mine had cancer.


      • #4
        They are not doing Chemo

        doing all natural foods, and steroids that shrunk the tumors. I guess I can understand her desire to feel some blame on someone else, but I just don't know what to say. And I'm really good at figuring out what to say. I guess I could just say anything could have contributed to the cancer he already had but no one knows for sure?

        Anyway thanks. I do know it was only a suggestion and she did the application and certainly read the box etc.
        Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


        • #5
          I understand the clients desire to blame somthing. But flat out frontline or somthing else will not turn a benign mass malgniant and cause it to spread. Can the chemicals in flea products be potential carciogens-yes. Causeing a cancer to GROW not change the nature of a tumor already there. While you can't act as a medical expert at least let it give you the peace of mind. I agree that the owner is trying to find someone to blame in a difficult time.


          • #6
            I can understand her up-set ,and she is looking for answers under every rock she can find to lay blame and to justify the misfortune that has happened to her dog.If she has been using a flea prevention ,as you said she has ;I would suggest that she take her concerns to the companny that manufactures the product.In this way it shows you care and removes you of the possibility of being the sourse of any wrong doing/blame.She is a "pita" because she needs answers that her vet cannot provide at this time, in her mind must find a reason in order to deal w/it.


            • #7
              Phew, I think I did okay.

              I said it was possible that the Frontline added toxins to the already existing Cancer, but that fleas or worms would have caused problems too. She agreed that so much could have added including carpet cleaner and chemicals in the water etc. to his bad imune system. It felt more relaxed. Thanks for helping me keep in perspective that she is upset at the dogs serious health problem, not me.
              Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


              • #8
                I'm gland it went ok and that we were able to help you keep prespective.