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My dog had a bladder stone removed and that surgery didn't go well! Malpractice?

Vero Beach, FL |

My 6 year old maltese had a bladder stone removed in april. I kept taking him back telling the vet the dog was not improving: couldn't hold his urine. would urine every 10-30 mins. hide under the bed, panting. We made over 10 trips to this vet. Finally I took the dog for a 2nd opinion. This vet did a urine culture (his vet never ordered one). The new vet referred us to a specialist--who did an ultrasound and showed the bladder inflamed and thick at the surgical site. The dog needed ER surgery or die. Had part of his bladder removed. 1st they said it was a rare suture reaction but the pathologist report said it was a STAPH infection. We spent over $5000 to save this dog from the botched surgery. His old vet refuses to pay for the corrective surgery. Injury and Misdiagnosed lawsuit?

Attorney Answers 4


Damages that can be collected for veterinary malpractice are very limited but the expense and difficulty of such cases are great. You cannot collect anything for your own mental anguish or for the animal's suffering. Therefore, it is not cost effective to retain an attorney for such a case unless the animal has great economic value- like a champion racehorse.

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Thanks Joseph! I did find an attorney that practice Animal Law and the beauty of this P.A is that he practiced as a Vet for 20 years. He think we may have a case....We'll see. I am new to the area, it is amazing how many incompetent vets are practicing. I have heard horrible stories. My dog would be dead had I listened to his Vet--which just kept guessing and ordering different antibiotics. All the dog needed was an ultrasound to show his inflamed bladder. The inflamation was so great that the colon lining was glued to his bladder! It is a miracle the dog survived!!! The specialist said if we had waited another week or so, the dog would had died! Yet, in 10 trips to his regular vet, he couldn't find anything wrong with my dog. I have a soft spot for animals and it angers me that vet like these are allowed to practice "medicine". How many more dogs have died b/c their owners couldn't afford the $5000 corrective surgery?? So Sad!


I am a dog lover. I have a dog and I have always had dogs. That is why this answer pains me. Dogs are property under the law. If you have a claim, it will be a property damage claim, not a malpractice claim. Sorry. The question is: did they do something to cause the extra damage? This is best answered by your new vet. If so, you may be able to recover some of your expenses, but that's it.

The answers provided by me in this forum are not to be construed as "legal advice" and in no way should the asker assume that any attorney-client relationship is created by virtue of the answers provided. This is a public forum, therefore, no confidentiality exists.

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Small claims court is always an option if you can't find a lawyer in your state to take the case.

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While veterinary malpractice is a valid cause of action, such suits are very expensive to litigate. It basically becomes a battle of the experts, with one side saying "this is standard procedure" and the other side saying "this is not standard procedure". The fact that your dog might have had a reaction to the sutures is not likely malpractice. If the dog had a staph infection that is also likely not malpractice and your vet will argue that it was something you did that caused the dog to get a staph infection. In addition, the damages awarded are generally not very high unless what the vet did was truly shocking and outrageous - basically, if you win, you might get reimbursed for any medical care.

Short of litigation, you can file a complaint with the American Veterinary Medical Association,

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.

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