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

Asked almost 3 years ago - 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)

  1. Scott Richard Marshall

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . 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... more
  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

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

    Click on name or picture to see profile page.
  3. Joseph Jonathan Brophy

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . 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.

  4. Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . 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, http://www.avma.org/

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

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