A French bulldog’s owners have called a veterinary clinic after being forced to spend $37,000 to save their dog’s life.
Sydneysiders Daniele and Sabrina own a five-year-old French bulldog named Matisse, who spent $5,000 on her from a reputable breeder.
But Matisse developed health problems.
Daniele and Sabrina noticed her back legs had become ‘wobbly’ on Easter Saturday and took her to the vet twice in the same day, but she was sent home.
The couple then rushed Matisse to Sydney Veterinary Emergency & Specialists after Sabrina noticed the little dog was in a lot of pain and struggling to breathe.
Daniele (left) and Sabrina (right) rushed their five-year-old French bulldog to the vet after noticing her back legs were ‘wobbly’ and she was having trouble breathing
Matisse (pictured) was taken to Sydney Veterinary Emergency & Specialists where doctors performed tests, CT scans and life-saving spinal surgery
The pair were told Matisse had to stay overnight to be stabilized and were asked to sign some documents and leave a $3,000 deposit.
Matisse needed scans, tests, 24-hour surveillance and surgery to save her life – all at great expense.
“Unfortunately, these French bulldogs are ticking time bombs,” Sabrina told A Current Affair on Monday.
“They just put her on oxygen and it went downhill from there.”
The couple had no pet insurance and were initially paid $8,900 for Matisse’s treatment.
However, Daniele said the bill “went higher and higher” until it reached a whopping $36,896.19 for six days spent at the vet.
The three-page itemized bill included $3,250 for spinal surgery, $2,750 for CT scans, $44 for 15 acetaminophen tablets, and a $4,084.07 holiday surcharge.
‘I could not believe it. It’s a huge, huge bill, so we’re just asking them to reconsider it.”
Daniele said the vet wouldn’t reconsider the price, but decided to let Matisse go home after offering them $29,000, part of which came from the sale of Sabrina’s designer handbags.
“I said, ‘If I can give you the money, can you give us the dog?’ And she’s like, ‘Okay, we’re happy with that,'” Daniele said.
“Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci,” Sabrina said. ‘I had to sell a few designer handbags that I really didn’t want to part with. You do what you have to do.’
Matisse spent six days at the vet hospital for treatment, which cost her owners $36,896.19
In a statement, Sydney Veterinarian Emergency & Specialists (SVES) said Daniele and Sabrina were advised of and agreed to the costs before treatment.
“As a specialist and emergency hospital, our hospital provides the highest level of care from a team of specialist veterinarians, often in emergency situations,” said SVES.
‘As is our standard practice, the client was advised and agreed to the cost for this unique and critical case prior to treatment after choosing between alternative treatment options.
“The client also obtained a second opinion from an independent third party on the proposed treatment and cost before agreeing to the cost of the surgery.”
Sydney Veterinarian Emergency & Specialists (pictured) explains Matisse received the same standard of care as a human in an intensive care unit
SVES explained that Matisse received a standard of care equivalent to that of a human being in an intensive care unit.
“Matisse presented in a critical condition requiring life-saving intensive care and treatment for breed-specific complications,” said SVES.
This included intubation, diagnostic imaging, complex spinal surgery and 24/7 one-on-one nursing care during his treatment.
“The standard of care was equivalent to what a human would receive in an intensive care unit.”
French bulldogs are selectively bred for cuteness – but suffer from breathing difficulties and many other health effects due to overly flattened faces.
The dog is among Australia’s top 20 most popular breeds, but due to their popularity, they have been mismatched by backyard breeders for many years.
Read more: Why experts want to ban French bulldogs in Australia
In the photo, French bulldog
French bulldogs have been selectively bred for cuteness and are among Australia’s 20 most popular breeds.
Due to their popularity, the breed has been disfigured by backyard breeders for many years.
French bulldogs suffer from breathing difficulties and many other health effects due to their overly flattened faces.
Health effects include:
– Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).
BOAS affects the animal’s ability to breathe, exercise, thermoregulate, sleep, play and other normal behaviors.
– Abnormalities of the vertebral body.
– The vertebral body abnormalities arise from selection for a ‘corkscrew’ tail and can lead to spinal and neurological problems.
The health consequences are so horrific and painful that French bulldogs are now referred to as “brachycephalic breeds.”