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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 39019
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have been breeding Labrador Retrievers for 20 years. I had

Resolved Question:

I have been breeding Labrador Retrievers for 20 years. I had a bitch lose 4 puppies, valued at $6500,because my vet was too busy to do a c section. I knew that my bitch was in trouble after she had had 6 out of 11 puppies and was too exhausted to deliver the rest. At 9 pm I took her in to my vet who is also our local 24 hr emergency vet, and asked for a csection. I was never permitted to even see the vet because she was "busy seeing appointments". The vet tech on duty gave my bitch an injection of oxytocin to get her contractions going,told me "no one here wants to do a c section because the Drs are busy seeing appts." I was sent home,where over the next 6 hrs,my dog delivered 1 live pup and 3 dead puppies. There was more puppy that she simply couldn't deliver, and my vet did end up doing a csection the next morning to deliver the last dead puppy. I had buyers for all of the puppies and had to refund the buyers' money. I have records to prove this. Can I sue my vet for the value of the lost puppies?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 years ago.

The issue here is whether or not a competent veteranarian in similar circumstances would have performed the c-section. If yes, and yours did not, then the vet was negligent and you have a legal action for the damages caused by the vet's failure to perform the c-section.

There is a secondary issue here, of whether or not this vet was really "your vet." That is, if there was no prior relationship with the vet, such that you had no reasonable expectation to have the vet provide priority treatment for your animal, then the vet could argue that he/she had no duty towards you at all, and that would prevent you from recovering any damages. But, if you have an ongoing relationship with the vet, and especially for this particular animal, then you have a viable case.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your answer. The owner of the clinic has been "my vet" for 10 years and does all of my veterinary care for my 5 dogs and my parrot . I spend thousands of dollars a year at her clinic in the course of my breeding business. She had seen this particular bitch three time over the course of this pregnancy, not to mention caring for her during her three previous pregnancies. I had this bitch in to see her three days prior to this whelping to have the usual "puppy count" X-ray done that I always do just prior to whelping so that I know how many puppies to expect. My vet has a huge emotional and professional investment in my animals ( or at least she should!), She recently added a huge new building onto her practice and has consequently hired several new vets and techs, who "attended" my dog that night, none of whom know me or Lily from Adam. That is precisely the reason why this fiasco took place. New staff, too busy, no one knew me or cared about my situation