Should I sue my vet?

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?

Best Answers

  • DeaDea NHPosts: 7,176Member ✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Laws differ in different places, so I would consult a lawyer to find out what your options are. Glad your pup came through and good luck!
  • Evelyn CummingsEvelyn Cummings Posts: 11,879Member
    Accepted Answer
    I would go after his breeder for some compensation for all the congenital, genetic issues causing the necessity for the surgery in the first place. Soft palate surgery should NEVER be called routine, proper selection of breeding stock should prevent this from ever occurring in the breed. ALL three of those issues ARE known hereditary issues in the breed and both parents should have been cleared of the issues prior to the breeding ever occurring, as well as the breeder should have certainly known about the nares and the soft palate issues prior to selling him. I certainly hope you were provided with some sort of guarantee!!! As for your vet, it sounds like he was on the ball recognizing these issues and saving your pup. Your pup was a poor surgical risk and it is not the vets fault the aspiration occurred. With a properly bred Frenchie NONE of these issues would have been present in the first place.

Comments

  • Kacey SmytheKacey Smythe Posts: 2Member
    I don't think you can sue them. The only way you can sue them is if you have any proof that they did something wrong. Sometimes a dog will become sick and there's nothing you can do about it. If your dog already had a condition and something happened that pertained to that condition, there's a good chance that there was nothing they could do, and that they couldn't have known it was going to happen. I'm going to give an example and I don't want you to take this in a negative way, it's just an example. Let's say that I have a serious heart condition and I go to the doctor to have it fixed. They do everything right according to the reason I went in, but then suddenly I have a heart attack and die. Since they didn't mistreat me and did everything that was required for the reason of my visit, my family can't sue them. They knew I had a heart problem, but they don't have a 6th sense of when something might happen, and for what reason. If you're not 100% sure, you can ask a lawyer
  • J HJ H Posts: 3Member
    This breeding shouldn't have happened,but don't throw the breeder under the bus, yet. Buyers also have responsibilities!!! 1. While oops shouldn't happen they do to even the best of breeders, many not under breeder control. 2. Did buyer: do homework? know breed health problems? buy from reputable, experienced breeder? ask breeder about health of pup & parents? look at OFFA website? get a written contract? Etc. When considering any lawsuit remember 2 words BUYER BEWARE! 3. Do DNA tests exist for the problems? If not, no way to know definitely if a dog carries a gene except when 2 carriers are bred to each other. Health testing is limited. If not DNA'd recessive genes aren't caught. A dog could breed a lifetime & never show up if never breed to another carrier. Generations can have it recessively before it ever shows. Look at contact. Does breeder give health guarantee? How long? Most restrict it to cost of dog or taking dog back. Call breeder. Does breeder know what happened? Tbc.
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