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The plaintiff specifically stated to the receptionist she wanted Colombo only to be vaccinated with the rabies shot until his underlying condition (chronic diarrhea) was resolved,” her claim says.

At the March 3 appointment, she was “shocked to find out her dog had been vaccinated regardless with a full range of shots” — distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, Bordetella, as well as rabies, according to her claim.




Pet owner sues vets for pain and suffering over dog’s death | Toronto Star

Under existing laws, owners generally can sue only for the value of pets as property and for vet bills, but Ontario courts have begun awarding damages for mental and emotional distress, Walker says.
 

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I don't understand why they would give the shots after being told not to. Is it an honest mistake or a case of "we know better than you". Sad
 

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Good for her! I almost had this experience, luckily I asked to see the vaccine before it was given and caught it on time. Absolutely enraged.
 

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IMHO, sounds like a distraught owner that lost a sick, geriatric patient and is looking to place blame on everyone but either old age or even herself.

The dog is having ongoing diarrhea. Not acute, didn't just start. Sounds like she ASSUMES it's a kibble change, but doesn't seek medical treatment. Then despite the diarrhea she calls a clinic in February to schedule an appointment for early May, just wellness exam. Once again no obvious concern or rush even though diarrhea had been going on for who knows how long.

At that point she tells a receptionist over the phone she just wants rabies. Now, I can easily see how a clerical error could of occurred and receptionist just wrote down vaccine appointment instead of rabies only appointment. Keep in mind these vaccines were a year overdue. Obviously many don't believe they should be done right on time, but let's assume that if she wasn't going in for vaccines then it is very likely she simply did not take the dog in at all for an annual exam. That's just assuming, but a very valid assumption.

If vaccines were overdue for a year, why suddenly does she even need to give rabies if the dog is having concerning diarrhea that she has not seen a vet for? And why, when she went in, did she not physically tell the vet that she only wanted rabies? An exam would of been done. Just because you told a receptionist on the phone how many days ago, why wouldn't you just clarify it with the actual person giving the vaccines? The article makes it sound clearly like she only stated in the phone call that she wanted rabies only. I mean we're human, mistakes happen.

If a dog was overdue for all vaccines, and was then scheduled a wellness appointment for core vaccines, it would of been completely reasonable for a vet to give the 2 (or 3 if you count kennel cough) vaccines. I agree a vaccine shouldn't be given if an animal is sick. But perhaps the dog physically looked well otherwise and if the owner is convinced it WAS diet change, then vaccines may not be completely contraindicated.

If more vaccines were given and she was truly that appalled, why was concern not raised at the time of check out? Why instead did she wait until some illness happened at a largely later time, and decide to point fingers at this one incidence? I mean if diarrhea truly WAS food related, then really there should of been no immune related problem with given vaccines. No bacterial or viral infection, etc... Just a GI system upset at a food change. Inflammation can obviously lead to some increased WBC activity.

After vaccines, she waits a WEEK to call back and say she's concerned that her dog has now been having diarrhea for who knows how long, along with other serious sounding symptoms. Why was your dog not taken back in much sooner? After another 11 long days, the dog is examined. Then again, after a few more weeks, own says she calls because dog is drastically deteriorating. It is not until another 5 days later that the dog is admitted to an emergency hospital. At this point her dog had been ill for 3 months. If she was so frustrated with her vet, why didn't she go somewhere else? 2 months later the dog is euthanized.

Following her prior treatment history, or rather lack of treatment, who knows how much treatment was actually given? I've dealt with pneumonia cases that have been ongoing for 6 months because owner didn't want to keep coming in for rechecks, and kept trying to wean the dog off the antibiotics on her own. And in no way would vaccines really cause aspiration pneumonia. Owner makes no obvious mention of vomiting immediately following vaccination. The dog could of inhaled some water while drinking and gotten aspiration pneumonia. Maybe they went swimming. Who knows??

As far as retinal degeneration, it is idiopathic. No known cause. Some believe it may be immune related, so yes theoretically could of been caused by the vaccines. But again would of had nothing to do with the initial diarrhea owner was concerned about. If the dog didn't have diarrhea and owner had all vaccines done and dog became blind, what would she of blamed then? German shepherds are prone to many eye disorders, and this was a geriatric patient that had who knows what health problems.
 

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It's really really sad this happened. I feel bad for her. And no one knows the whole story unless we look at actual medical records and client contacts. But from this article sounds like a sick dog with an owner that didn't thoroughly follow through and seek appropriate medical treatment, and a geriatric patient died from an illness that can be hard to treat and require a VERY long (months) treatment plan. I think expecting her vet to pay 25,000$ is RIDICULOUS because there is no evidence those vaccines caused this, and seems very unlikely they did
 

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And you know what, yes, the recioptionist that took the call should of better notated that owner said RABIES ONLY. That is the fault of the clinic. But a 25,000$ fault? REALLY? For aspiration pneumonia a quarter of a year later that likely did NOT result from the vaccines? Now this isn't a disease that the dog has a weakened immune system from vaccines and caught. It is caught when something physically is inhaled into the lungs and then causes pneumonia because the lungs are a prime breeding ground and now have this bacteria filled substance in them. And yes, you can tell if it's aspiration pneumonia from the lung pattern and bronchial tubes on xray.
 

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Good for her! I almost had this experience, luckily I asked to see the vaccine before it was given and caught it on time. Absolutely enraged.
I also always double check because I don't follow the vets vaccine protocol. One time they were going to give a cocktail after it was clearly discussed what he was going to get.

There's a darn reason this women did not want those vaccines given. This is really sad and a reality for dogs who should not be given vaccine cocktails.

Regarding the lawsuit...how is she going to prove it? Was it in writing what she wanted the dog to have? If not, not sure where this lawsuit is going to go.
 

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Very sad. The dog should have been vaccinated per the owner's request. I can see this going either way. Not sure the owner has enough proof the vaccine caused the death of the dog.
 

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It's always heartbreaking to lose our dogs, no doubt about it. But I wonder how it was even possible to have this happen. If you take your dog in for a shot, and you see more than one needle, isn't that a big clue? My vet staggers shots, so for me it's a non-issue. Or is this a case of what happens when you hand the leash over to a tech? Which is something I would never do.
 

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My vet always gives me an invoice with all vaccines/treatments listed out on it BEFORE proceeding with the things. I have to sign it and agree to all the things I see on there...if you think about it, a customer could easily watch the dog get all the vaccines, then turn around and claim that they didn't want some of them and refuse to pay for them...what's the vet to do then?

Sometimes consumers just don't take enough responsibility at the time of the visit or purchase and then want to blame everyone else. It's the same thing that happens on this forum when someone gets a puppy and then cries about how its unhealthy and blames it all on the breeder even though they found the dog in the newspaper or on CL and didn't do any research.

I'm never afraid to tell my vet "no." And I always ask to see invoices before I pay so that I can see the detailed breakdown of the charges and question anything that's on there.

This sounds a lot like a malpractice suit...someone dies and a lawyer goes through every single treatment/decision, and is able to Monday morning quarterback what the doctor chose to do and then try to take them to court over their decisions.
 

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At the shot clinic I have to sign off on the shots before they are given. The shot clinic is at my vets office. For an offcie call I don't, but they always tell me beforehand and because its a vet I always ask the cost of what they are doing.

It's sad she decided to put her dog to sleep, but if I was in that situation before any shots were given I would have had the dog in for the diarrhea condition.
 

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It's sad she decided to put her dog to sleep, but if I was in that situation before any shots were given I would have had the dog in for the diarrhea condition.
Aye, it struck me as strange that she was so far behind on her shots and that the vet didn't seem to be involved in the diarrhea problem. It wasn't until after the shots that suddenly she decided that the diarrhea needed to be addressed and that was when the dog was taken to the emergency clinic.

The underlying condition appears to have been a lot more serious than the owner would seem to believe.
 

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Aye, it struck me as strange that she was so far behind on her shots and that the vet didn't seem to be involved in the diarrhea problem.
So far behind on shots says who? All that the article says is that vaccines were "nearly a year overdue." Unless they took a titer to prove (or theoretically prove) a low perceived immunity, such a claim of "overdue" is completely unsubstantiated. Having very recently (today, actually) dealt with vets pushing lots of vaccines- I'm pretty sick of the lack of evidence based testing in regards to vaccines. I saw nothing in the article that specifically stated the dog had a low titer to substantiate the claim of "overdue."

I'd be outraged if they gave a vaccine I had stated I didn't want. I hope she wins.
 

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So far behind on shots says who? All that the article says is that vaccines were "nearly a year overdue." Unless they took a titer to prove (or theoretically prove) a low perceived immunity, such a claim of "overdue" is completely unsubstantiated. Having very recently (today, actually) dealt with vets pushing lots of vaccines- I'm pretty sick of the lack of evidence based testing in regards to vaccines. I saw nothing in the article that specifically stated the dog had a low titer to substantiate the claim of "overdue."

I'd be outraged if they gave a vaccine I had stated I didn't want. I hope she wins.
Well, I look at it sort of like the 'oil change every so many miles' for cars. It probably isn't needed at all whenever the conventional wisdom says it is, but unless you know enough about cars to make the judgement call for yourself then it is an indicator of how much attention is being paid.

Did she ignore the yearly vaccines because she knows about dogs and their health or did she ignore the yearly vaccines because she is lazy (or some other reason)? Since the diarrhea seems to have been an indicator of something serious that she did not involve the vet in, I'm leaning towards her not knowing as much as she may think she does or she should have let her dog's health care provider know of health problems her dog was having prior to the 'wellness visit'.
 

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I had a vet who wanted to vaccinate my sick dog, I stopped seeing that vet.
 

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Yeah, the overdue comments mean nothing to me.

I get reminder cards all the time saying Rusty is "overdue" but again I don't follow the protocol of the vets office so he's always going to be overdue.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
And you know what, yes, the recioptionist that took the call should of better notated that owner said RABIES ONLY. That is the fault of the clinic. But a 25,000$ fault? REALLY? For aspiration pneumonia a quarter of a year later that likely did NOT result from the vaccines? Now this isn't a disease that the dog has a weakened immune system from vaccines and caught. It is caught when something physically is inhaled into the lungs and then causes pneumonia because the lungs are a prime breeding ground and now have this bacteria filled substance in them. And yes, you can tell if it's aspiration pneumonia from the lung pattern and bronchial tubes on xray.
Something inhaled into the lungs? ....Like...intranasal bortadella vaccine?:)

Signs of illness don't have to manefest overnight to be considered caused - just the mere act of bringing in a sick, immuno compromised dog 6 more times to the vet puts it at risk - now the article (newspaper) would have been edited for space, so who knows what issues were also dealt witha nd more abx. scripted to further add to the declining condition that lead to pneumonia exacerbating.

So, quite possible they are directly responsible AND negligent
 

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Every clinic I've taken my dogs to always asks me if I want Bordetella because it's an "optional" (not core) vaccine, regardless of whether they've had it before or not. Also, after the first bordetella vaccine, they've always given the injection rather than the intranasal unless you specifically ask for intranasal (which I do, because I'm generally getting it within a shorter time period of needing it - boarding, etc).

There are a few things that stick out to me with this case, many of which were mentioned already. I feel that because she's a paralegal, she knows how to better word things than the average person and therefore can make it seem like it was entirely the clinic's fault when there may be more blame to herself. Perhaps she's feeling guilty and feels that by suing the clinic that guilt will go away, or perhaps she's seen the recent increase of cases being awarded damages above the "value" of the pet and thought, "Hey, I had to euthanize my dog, maybe I can get in on this".

There isn't much for her to lose here, she either wins or loses. It's the clinic that this is really going to hurt and probably already has. If you saw an article about something like this going on at a clinic that you use, would you be likely go to back there? I really don't think people think things like this through hard enough before going ahead - she's potentially ruining the reputation of the clinic, the doctors and the other staff. If they are not to blame and did everything correctly, it's the livelihood of several people that's at risk.

Whenever I get a call requesting something like this at work, I make a note in the patient's file and on the actual appointment in the scheduling program, but I still ask the owners to mention it to the vet/techs when they're in the appointment just incase.

With all that being said - people lie, they twist words or simply misinterpret things. They also rely on Google and forums way too much. We have people that come in with pets that are in distress or pretty far gone because the owner did some research on Google or asked on a forum, came to the conclusion that the problem wasn't serious and tried a bunch of home remedies for awhile before they realized that maybe their pet should see an actual vet. I'm not saying that forums and internet searches can't be a great resource, they just shouldn't be the only one.

The timeline for everything with this case is fishy too - why wait so long? I doubt that when she first called the receptionist said that everything was fine - they most likely advised an exam. Of course we can't know this for sure, but I have a feeling that she declined recheck exams and testing until it was potentially too late.

Just my two cents...
 

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I think it will be very hard to medically make a connection between the vaccinations and the final illness.

My personal opinion is that it is ultimately the pet owners responsibility to discuss and ensure the animal is getting ONLY what was asked for. Go over the paperwork twice, discuss with the vet, ask the vet tech what they are doing, do not let your animal be taken in back unless you are confident everyone is on the same page.

A couple years ago I went in for a yearly check for Jax. They had already listed that she was to get a yearly vaccination, including the Lepto she is allergic to, before I walked thru the door. After a garbled visit, where the vet tech was arguing with me over vaccinations being "overdue", I refused to let them take her in the back. They had to be reminded twice to do a HW/tick check. I was furious by the time I left and wrote a long letter to the office manager. And because of that, they no longer fill out the paperwork for clients beforehand. They go over it when the client is there to ensure the animal is only receiving what the owner wants.

Either that are they have a warning written in all my charts in BIG letters to not rattle the crazy lady! That might be the case too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I would think if she called Feb. 11th and told at the time NOT to do other noted vaccines and that the diarrhea was the reason...If the clinic had some concerns with the diarrhea (likely asked the usual questions - blood, dehydrated any vomiting, etc.) then they would have moved up the annual wellness exam and not waited to schedule until March 3 (about 3 weeks), and perhaps the diarrhea was intermittent soft stool as a bunch of us are aware of and deal with on this forum...

Still have to consider that they gave the vaccine cocktail after stating it was a year overdue (this clinic may still run on a yearly protocol) even though she said no, and even if the client wasn't the wiser - it was up to the VET CLINIC to advise AGAINST, do to the diarrhea AND the insert in the vaccines provided by the Manufacturer/drug company.

Rosedale is a very hoity toity area - multimillion dollar homes - banks have mantraps as you walk in - means you cannot enter or exit the bank without the one door locking before the other one unlocks of the vestibule
entrance
 
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