Life-saving dog surgery turns into nightmare after dog severely burned on operating table


    A pet owner in Pflugerville is horrified after he says a life-saving surgery for his dog, Alpha, turned into a nightmare. (CBS Austin)

    A pet owner in Pflugerville is horrified after he says a life-saving surgery for his dog, Alpha, turned into a nightmare.

    Since he was two months old, Alpha has been more than a man's best friend. For his owner, JC Falcon, he's been a lifeline.

    "If I just feel like I'm having anxiety or stress, he's here to help me calm down or bring myself back to the world," he said.

    But now the roles have flipped. Falcon is now having to give his own emotional support to his furry best friend.

    "So, not only is my dog suffering, but it's also taking an emotional toll on me," Falcon said.

    On Jan. 16, he noticed something was off with his dog. Alpha was having trouble going to the bathroom, so Falcon took him to the Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital in Pflugerville to get checked out. There, he learned the problem was kidney stones.

    "The next day, on the 17th, I took him in for surgery," Falcon said.

    Fast forward a week later. . .

    "I was petting him, and his fur started coming out, and I thought that maybe it was an allergic reaction to his medication or he was having an allergic reaction to the newly place microchip that they had put [in]," he said.

    He emailed the vet who later admitted a heating element used to maintain Alpha's body temperature during surgery malfunctioned.

    She agreed to pay for the dog's burn treatment but said a refund for the surgery wouldn't be possible.

    "He's crying every night, it's very heart-breaking," Falcon said.

    The vet told CBS Austin over the phone, Tuesday, that they do routine checks with every device before use, and that this was simply a bad accident.

    She also told CBS Austin they got rid of the heating element once learning Alpha had suffered burns from it in an email from Falcon.

    Alpha is on the path to recovery and is taking is easy until his wounds heal.

    Falcon wants this to be a warning for other pet owners.

    "Basically, they were telling me that they were really sorry, but my dog is my emotional support dog, and seeing him go through this is extremely stressful and traumatic for me," Falcon said. "I just want people to be more aware that when they bring in their pets to these veterinarians that this could happen."

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