Dr. Joshua Winston, The Other Side of the Story
About a week ago I did a story on the vet who was accused of hitting a little chihuahua and dislodging its eye. Horrible, sad story! The saddest thing was to think that a vet who was entrusted with the health and care of animals could actually do something like this!
One of my commenters, Waystone, said that this story was unraveling, “looking more and more like the kind of nightmare all health care professionals spend their careers worried will happen – falling victim to an accusation that will cling to them regardless of whether itâ€™s true or not.”
I honestly hope this is the case! To me abusers are the vilest, lowest form of life but for a vet to fall into this category is unconscionable! Now here’s ‘the other side of the story’ Please take the time to read the ‘whole’ story!
Read on for the ‘Real Story” as published on Craigslist
The following was received by representatives of the SCW Canine Companions Club from Diana Krause, who is a medical doctor (Human, not animal) who also is involved in the Cocker rescue program. We learned of Diana when *** went to her about the cocker spaniel the posse found about 3 days ago. She mentions that Dr Winston had delivered Bella about a year ago. What she did not mention was that the mother dog was herself a rescue dog and very hard to control. The following is offered for your consideration.
Subject: What really happened re Dr. Winston and Bella, the Chihuahua
I want the rescue community to know the whole story, the real story about
Josh Winston (JW) and Bella, the little Chihuahua, whom he delivered by
C-section about a year ago. I have spoken to him at length; as most of you
know, we have become great friends during the 8 years I have known him. Thisis his account to me, given Monday and every day since.
Bella was dropped off at the office to be spayed. Upon his arrival, JW was
immediately told by his staff that she was there and was frantic in her
crate. His techs told him they did not wish to handle this dog, she was too
wild. Sherri, the groomer in his office, was called to assist in getting
Bella from her cage, because she had something of a relationship with Bella,
having trimmed her nails a few times. Sherri and JW approached her crate.
When Sherri and JW went to see the dog, and she was screaming and snapping
and backed up against the back of the cage. He was talking to her quietly,
pretty doggie, pretty doggie, nice doggie, offering the back of his hand for
sniffing, eventually petting her on the head, scooting her toward the front
of the crate, lifted her with one hand under her belly, the other under her
butt and held her gently close to him. It was working and she was doing fine
… until he placed her on the table, where she once again began snapping,
flailing about, screaming and doing her best to bite.
JW wanted to place a muzzle on her to give her injections so he could begin
anesthesia and get the surgery underway. Two techs, Jamie and Linda, were
helping him. Jamie is a new vet tech, only working about 8-9 months. They
had a soft tie muzzle, but the dog would not allow it, continuing to flail,
scream and try to bite. JW held the dog by the scruff of the neck, with his
fingers extending around her head, under her jaw, so she wouldn’t get hurt.
Meanwhile, she is still flailing and screaming and trying to bite, urine is
flying everywhere, feces flying everywhere … you all get the picture,
we’ve all seen that.
NORMAL HUMANE RESTRAINT protocol is to hold the dog as JW was holding herwhile, with the fingers of the other hand fully extended and using the padsof those fingers, to gently and quickly tap the dog’s nose and/or foreheadto distract it away from it’s frenzy. You can also “flick” the dog
–gently, but enough to get it’s attention — on the nose. The goal here is
to give you a few seconds of stillness to quickly slip the muzzle on. After
giving her a couple of taps on the nose and forehead, JW did this flicking
maneuver once, and that was the one that worked. In this way, an oversized
muzzle was placed on her face.
At that moment — this whole struggle took place in about “25 seconds” — he
and the techs saw that her eye had popped out of the socket and was on her
cheek. He quickly gave her the injection, had Linda clean the eye and
surrounding area; he intubated the doggie and while the anesthesia tubing —
already prepared for her intended spay — was attached, he called the owner.
He told the owner exactly what happened and, because this was now a
different procedure than what the signed consent form was for, he asked and
obtained her permission to treat the eye. The owner told him to do whatever
he needed to, she had an appointment to keep somewhere. He promised to call
her when he was done. He replaced the eye, was able to get the lid sutured
closed over the globe, and knowing there was likely some swelling behind the
eye, called the specialty ophthalmology practice and asked to speak to
whichever eye vet was free.
I did not recognize the name of the eye vet, so sorry, don’t recall it now,
but that Dr. advised JW that, in her opinion, the eye was fine since the
lids were able to be closed. “Fine” here meaning that the surgical
replacement was properly done, not that it was 100% certain that vision
would be restored; that’s a wait-and-see, once the eye is dislocated from
JW then noticed that Jamie, his newest and youngest tech, was nowhere to be
found. Linda told him she’d left the room because she was upset. He said I
don’t blame her, it’s an upsetting thing to see, even for an experienced
person. JW told me that Jamie is someone who is very sensitive (his words)
and that, for example, if a dog is brought in who was hit by a car, and the
dog’s in pain, and you touch the dog to examine it, and the dog screams …
then Jamie screams, too, cringes and runs out of the room.
JW called the owner, advised her to take the doggie to an ophthalmology vet
specialist after she picked Bella up from his office that day. then he began
the rest of his office day.
Jamie had in fact left to call the sheriff and alleged that JW hit the dog
repeatedly and dislodged it’s eye. Sheriff’s deputies came to the office and
that’s how JW learned about the complaint. Linda was interviewed by the
deputy and she described the tapping of the dog’s nose and head as well as
the flick on the nose. So, the sheriff’s deputies treated Linda’s statements
are corroborating Jamie’s.
I think by now most of you have done some research and have learned that
having the eye globe pop put of it’s socket is an unfortunate, but not rare,
occurrence in the setting of normal humane restraint protocols of hysterical
dogs. It is more common in breeds with bulging eyes, such as ShihTzus,
Llasas and Pugs, but it CAN happen to any dog, whose blood pressure rises
high enough. It is well described in canine ophthalmic literature. In other
words, JW did nothing wrong!
Now to address the alleged $80 Rabies shot not given to a Mastiff, but
charged to the owner; he doesn’t have any clue what that’s about, doesn’t
remember the dog, the incident, nothing about that story is familiar to him.
But I know and most of you know that sometimes, a dog just will not allow an
injection and in those cases, you DO waste the vaccine down the drain.
That’s what JW does and then he advise the owner that the vaccine was NOT
given, that their pet is at this point unvaccinated and to retry another
day. The owner is never charged. His best guess is that the owner was
charged $80 for some service that was given that the owner didn’t
understand. Or, that the front desk made an error of some sort. He does not
know of any vaccine that is set at $80.
Jamie and another employee, one of her friends, no longer work there. He did
not even fire them, would not have, but they just abandoned their jobs. He
is now in dire need of not only our support — our very vocal support — but
he also a couple of office employees. Trained or not, he at least needs
someone to answer the phones.
If you or anyone you know can work for him for a few weeks, please do! He
cannot operate his practice without adequate help.
I urge all of you who know him to recall all he has done for us and stand
behind him; let him and the media know you support him.
As a result of this brouhaha, he is now suffering incredible grief, fear and
worry that his reputation, his practice and his livelihood will be forever
ruined. This is so wrong!
Yesterday, I spoke to Carey Pena from Channel three news; she has told me
that she is planning to interview JW on camera at his office on Thursday AM.
She would like me to say words of support and faith which I of course will
do. As many of you as can make and would like to be there are welcome, too
and Carey would like me to give her an approximate head count. Please come
stand with him and email me to let me know you’ll be there; Carey and other
media will want to know which rescues will have representatives there. I
know those of you who know him are 1000% behind him.
Thank you all.
From this account it sounds like Dr. Winston did everything he possibly could, in a correct and humane manner. I hope the media gives equal time to this side of the story and that all the facts come out!
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