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Can we file a lawsuit against a vet clinic where our dog was boarded for 4 days, and was returned with several open wounds?

Gainesville, FL |

The dog was healthy and without any injury. When we got her back they told us that she had diarrhea, but "everything else" was good. when waking to the car we saw that the dog could not open normally and had open wounds in her back, tail and legs. The legs ulcers were very deep. She also her blood in her nose.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Yes, as they charged to care for your pet the cost of dealing with any injuries is recoverable. I would suggest, after having a complete report from another vet, and fully documenting the injuries you consult with an attorney.

Richard Bruce Rosenthal

Richard Bruce Rosenthal

Posted

It is not a malpractice action, it is a straight negligence action against a Bailee for hire. Much easier to win.

Posted

You may have a case if the veterinary clinic breached its duty to provide a reasonable level of care for your dog. You would have the burden of proving, inter alia, that your dog's health problems occurred as a result of an unreasonable level of care exercised by the veterinary clinic. I would consult an attorney licensed to practice law in Florida with animal law experience.

Richard Bruce Rosenthal

Richard Bruce Rosenthal

Posted

Not malpractice, vet in boarding situation is a Bailee for hire. Straight negligence action. Much easier to litigate and win

Colin Mowrer Campbell

Colin Mowrer Campbell

Posted

Agreed. A breach of bailment action would circumvent the problem of proving that a duty of care was breached, which would be required in a simple negligence or veterinary malpractice action.

Posted

Can you prove the dog had no injuries prior to being boarded? Did you immediately take the dog back into the vet’s office and ask about the wounds? Did you take pictures of the wounds? Did you take the dog to another vet for examination within 24 hours? Do you have a vet that will testify on your behalf?

While veterinary malpractice is a valid cause of action, such suits are very expensive to litigate. It basically becomes a battle of the experts. 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.

Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

Posted

I meant to add - your remedies are also limited by any agreement you signed with the vet prior to boarding.

Richard Bruce Rosenthal

Richard Bruce Rosenthal

Posted

Not a malpractice action, negligence against a Bailee for hire. Much easier to win

Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

Posted

But she still has to prove the injuries were not there prior to boarding and establish that they could not have occurred after they picked the dog up. Any remedy will also depend on the boarding agreement.