Dear Barry Hoytt,
I am writing you my tragic story in hopes that other Doberman lovers will gain from my experience. I regret terribly not researching more into breeders and a great deal more knowledge on veterinarians.
I purchased my first Doberman, July 5, 2002. The nearest veterinarian, who cropped dog's ears was in Brewer, Maine-3 hours south of my home. My pup at 12 weeks of age and I drove to ***** Veterinarian Clinic for the operation. I was told my pup would be kept overnight and could pick him up the next morning. Two hours later, I received a call on my car phone that my pup had died. I learned after surgery his heart dropped and they couldn't save him. My husband and I were devastated.
On our return trip home, I wanted to stop at the breeders where I purchased my Doberman. I planned on purchasing another pup from a different litter. The breeder gave me another pup and informed me in 20 years she had only lost one other pup.
Not putting any blame on the vet., I called and made an appointment for this pup's ear cropping. this time, I was told the veterinarian wanted to wait until the pup was 16 weeks old before doing surgery.
The surgery went fine and the next day was sent home with instructions on what to do if the crown came off. We were to use cement glue to the dog's ears and press them against the plastic crown. The crown set lasted all of three days. Once again, I was on my way back to Brewer. They sedated "Rambo" and applied the crown again. I made many trips that fall while Rambo's ears were healing.
The final visit, when I saw my pup's ears after the braces were removed I was in shock. I was in their waiting room when an assistant brought Rambo to me. His ears laid over his skull. I asked to speak with the vet. and was told he was in surgery and couldn't come out.
The next day, I called Dr.*****'s office and asked to speak with him. I called over two weeks everyday before he finally took my call. When I explained to him what my dog's ears were doing, he told me they were fine and would straighten on their own. I was totally frustrated and knew that wouldn't happen.
I then saw an advertisement in Dog Fancy magazine about Barry Hoytt. Calling I explained my dog's ear problem and was told there still was a chance to correct the problem without surgery but unfortunately I still felt the Vet had to have the answer after all he was a doctor.
I waited out our exceptionally long winter and the end of April called Dr. Robert ***** one more time. I had great concerns over Rambo's over lapping ears. Many calls later, I was told Dr. **** wanted to see "Rambo Rain". During our next appointment Dr.***** brought me out a medical book. He showed me metal wires in the shape of a U that are inserted into dog's ears for about three weeks. This procedure would form scar tissue making the dog's ears stand erect. I was to make an appointment for the procedure.
I must add, each appointment ment, being on the road by 4 a.m.. Each visit, I would arrive on time and made to wait up to an hour and a half. I knew this was done out of spite. I was afraid to be late, fearing Dr.***** would not see me that day.
The first metal inserts popped thru the stitches within the first few days. So back to Brewer, Rambo and I went. The inserts were removed and Dr.***** said he had put them too high up the ears. I was to wait two weeks and come back for new inserts. This set he told me could stay in longer. About six weeks later the metal popped through the ears. I returned to Brewer to have the inserts removed. Rambo's ears didn't improve. Upon this visit, Dr. **** told me he had done some research and found a veterinarian who had developed artificial cartilage. This is inserted into the dog's ears to correct the problem. Dr. **** told me to let Rambo's ears heal for a couple weeks and make an appointment for the next procedure.
This time again I was to stay overnight. His office told me to call two days before surgery to make sure the cartilage had arrived. Red flags started going off in my head. Sure enough, after changing work schedules, making arrangements for my eight other animals and booking hotel nights, I was let down again. This time, I was told Dr. ***** office would call me when the cartilage arrived.
In the meantime Dr.**** asked me to take pictures of Rambo's ears- front view, back, side and on top views. Following orders or being a fool, I did as I was told. I sent two albums full of different angles for him to review. I sent my photos registered so he couldn't five me any excuses- he didn't receive them. I also had three copies made anticipating his next move- that the photos were misplaced.
I waited from mid July until the first of September with no reply. I phoned Dr. ***** to see where I stood. many phone call later I was told Dr. **** would send me information on this new procedure and that it would cost me an additional $1,500.00. I didn't receive information and after waiting over a week, I called again last Monday. Dr. ****** has communicated all but two phone calls thru his receptionist. She told me to call Saturday and was told he was running late but would call me before he left the clinic. The clinic closed at one o'clock. He didn't return my call.
This morning I called his office and once again repeated my story. Finally, Dr. ***** came on the line and told me this new procedure had never been done on dogs with Rambo's ear problem. He informed me he was going to check with a vet. in the mid west that Dr. **** met at a medical meeting. He was in hopes for help from him. Dr.**** paring words to me was to call him next Monday and keep "bugging him" to remember to call this veterinarian. I was also to know Dr. **** was a very busy man. I hung up the phone ready to pull my hair out.
My one thought was to call the only man I knew with a great deal of knowledge on Doberman's, ----Barry Hoytt. Not only did Barry take my phone call but spent over one hour talking to me. He is making me a special tape, "Out of the goodness of his heart" on a special ear wrapping helping to correct Rambo's ears. This is the third time I have turned to Barry Hoytt for help with Dobermans. Each call Barry spent lots of time helping me. Obviously, this man has a great love for animals and man kind. Barry owed me nothing. I had not purchased a Doberman from him. This kindness extremely impressed me.
Connie and Rambo