My 6 month-old french bulldog went in for routine soft palate recision, stenotic nare and neutering surgery. I discussed with the vet prior to the surgery an issue he seemed to be having with regurgitation. I had thought the regurgitation was related to his elongated soft palate. However, the vet though he may have a disorder called megaesophagus, in which the esophagus doesn't work well to move food to the stomach. The vet suggested an x-ray while my puppy was under anesthesia for the other surgeries to check for megaesophagus.
I got a call after his surgery was complete that everything went well and he was recovering. The vet informed me that he did have megaesophagus, which explained the frequent regurgitation. Approximately 3 hours later the vet called, telling me my puppy had vomited and aspirated. He immediately developed aspiration pneumonia.
By the next morning the prognosis was looking grim - a 50/50 chance of him pulling through. He had to be treat with bronchodilators, nebulizers and be in an oxygen cage for 3 days. Thankfully, he pulled through and we were able to bring him home 4 days after the surgery.
I have already paid the vet's bill as a did not want the stress of fighting with them and only wanted to bring my poor puppy home. I am wondering now if I have any legal recourse against the vet. Considering the vet was aware of his regurgitation problems and then discovered he had megaesophagus (which predisposes him to aspiration), I would think he would have been carefully monitored after surgery to insure that if he did vomit/regurgitate, immediate care could be provided. I'm not sure that this happened.
The bill ended up being about twice the cost the original surgery was quoted at. Do I have any legal recourse in this situation?