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  1. #1
    SCin SC Guest

    Unhappy Wrongful Pet death?

    What is the name of your state? SC
    The animal Hospital is in NC

    I took my rare blue chihuahua in on a Sunday (the vet was open for regular business) he had not eaten or drank in 3 days and was vomiting and had bloody water stools. I feared he might be dehydrated (he only weighed 4lbs healthy!). For the little medical attention they did they charged me over $260. Part of that was to send his x-rays to a radiologist for examination later that week.
    I did as I was instucted by the vet and the dog died in my arms that Monday night. I had a autopsy done and it was determined the dog died from dehydration. I requested some of my money back- since I feel they overcharged me for the services they gave me and did not do enough to save the 2 year old dog.

    The vet told me on the phone that the dog's symptoms were not life threatening when he saw him. i have the x-rays. They refuse to give me any monies because they feel they didn't do anything wrong.

    Do I have a case? what do I sue for? Is it malpractice, wrongful death, or is it considered a consumer liability problem since dogs are personal property. And which state do I file the case?

    I know they could have saved him if just given the IV fluids he needed. The autopsy shows no signifigant abnormalities, no infections just signs of severe dehydration. Now I am out a $400 stud dog (proven with a litter last year), $40 autopsy and a $260 plus vet payment on a dog I no longer have.

    Last edited by SCin SC; 02-19-2003 at 03:11 PM.
  2. #2
    SCin SC Guest
    can no one answer me? When you have a complaint about a service provider and they are in a different state than you reside which state do you file?

    AND what would I be suing for in terms?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Just because you did not like the outcome of the vet's office visit does not entitle you to a refund of any money.

  4. #4
    SCin SC Guest
    but are they liable? since I took him in for treatment of dehydration and they ignored it? I payed them to help my dog (over payed!) and because they neglected to "see" the seriousness of his symptoms he died.

    so because he died and I paid for the examination of x-rays by a radiologist (which never happened since I have the films) I am not entitled to any compensation for their neglect?

  5. #5
    suzeeh Guest

    Sorry for your loss

    I have a chihuahua also so I know how you must feel.
    Have you thought about talking to some vets in your area and telling them what happened? Ask them if it's something the vet should have been able to do something about.
    I had a friend whose dog died at the vets and he felt so bad that he bought them another registered dog.
    I would think this vet could give you a break on the charges at the least.
    There are no guarantees when you take a dog or a human to the vet but I'd talk to other professionals first.

  6. #6
    SCin SC Guest
    my own vet said that they would have administered iv fluids, but woulldn't give me a paper stating that because they are colleuges of the vet i took him to. (one of my vet docotr's finace works there) and they weren't willing to support me by saying the other vet mishandled the situation.

    another vet speculated on the documents but couldn't make a decision because he didn's "see" the dog at the time and couldn't make a judgement on what he would do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Somnambulist University
    "Do I have a case?"
    *** Based solely on the information in your post, no. For you to have a legal case, you would have to be prepared to PROVE to the court that the vet was negligent or malicious in his treatment of your dog. You have provided nothing to show this, other than your BELIEF that the vet "could have saved him if just given the IV fluids he needed".

    Without an 'expert' testimony (of another vet) to support your contention, you have no case.

  8. #8
    SCin SC Guest
    i thought that in small claims you only need a Proponderance (sp?) of the evidence?

    I have proof that he died from dehydration, I have proof that he was dehydrated when I took him in. I have proof he was not obstructed thus causing the vomiting. I have proof that they don't state ANYWHERE that a Sunday visit with or without appointment is a higher cost, and proof that no one discussed price with me.
    I have proof that the vet was completely shocked in that he missed the seriousness of the dehydration by stating on the phone that he didn't think he was that bad off etc.

    My question is not really "do I have a case" but
    1. where do I file and
    2. what is the terminology for filing? Medical negligence? what? I plan on filing- because the worst that could happen is I get nothing, the best outcome is at least get back the vet costs or some of it. I don't care which, I just need to know how to file and where to file. I feel this vet DID NOT do everything possible for his symptoms and it needs to be addressed. If I should lose then I will also file a complaint with the BBB against them so it is on their "record".

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Somnambulist University
    "where do I file"
    *** Assuming that your claim is within the limit of the court ($4k in NC, $7.5k in SC), you can file at the county small claims where the vet facility is located.

    "what is the terminology".
    *** There really isn't any. You simply state the facts of your claim.

    Click on:

  10. #10
    SCin SC Guest
    thank you! much appreciated

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