Injury occurred at the vet's office

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Energy x 100,000
Barked: Fri Jul 15, '05 7:15pm PST 
Cara my Border collie was recently injured on one of our visits to the vet's office.
Let me explain: i took Cara to the vet's office because of a hot spot that was making him squirm, he was very uncomfortable. While waiting to see the vet he jumped up on the 'park bench' style benches in the waiting room just to be close to me, I did not notice that his right hind leg had fallen between two of the slats in the bench. At that moment some other patron entered the waiting room, which spooked my border collie. He jumped down from the bench but his leg was trapped and it snapped his leg in two. The vet sedated him and set his leg in a splint and scheduled a surgery with another vet because of the severity of the break. it was a compound fracture and three surgeries later he is now recovering quite well. He has allot of metal in his leg and I worry about his quality of life as he becomes a elderly dog. The vet’s office has paid for half of all the costs of the surgeries, which has come to around $6000. I am not the suing type nor do I feel the vet’s office is 100% responsible. But he vets office has not changed the benches in their office, or admitted any kind of fault. I greatest fear is that some other dog (or any animal for that matter) will have to go through the pain and suffering my Cara has gone through. This is a border collie with huge amount of energy, I have him sedated 24 hours a day so his leg will heal I am in week 5 of a 10 week recovery. My dog is going to be insane before it is all over, not to mention addicted to sedatives.
What do I do here/ what is the right course of action both morally and legally.
Please help all you dog lovers.
AJ (5/25/98 - 7/27/09)

Barked: Fri Jul 15, '05 10:30pm PST 
Slatted type of benches in a vet's office is really, really dumb and if they haven't changed the benches yet, I would find another vet, immediately.
Ask the new vet about the sedation.. It seems that you should be able to ease Cara off of it very soon or have an alternative medication that isn't so addictive.
I am so very sorry about your dog's leg.

A Doggie Scholar
Barked: Fri Jul 15, '05 10:43pm PST 

I'm sorry that you got hurt at the vet. I would go ahead and consult a lawyer - your mom should investigate liability laws regarding animal injuries. It was nice of them to offer you half the bill up front. However, if your mom is not happy with having to pay the remaining $3000, maybe she shouldn't have to. My concern is that since your mom already "accepted" the 50% discount offer, maybe the deal is "sealed," because your mom already "accepted" the offer, and you've already received the treatment. There's a chance that you might not be able to demand much more out of it (including an submitting a request to change their benches). It wouldn't hurt to consult a lawyer about it, however. The risk, of course, is that your mom might pay a non-zero fee for a lawyer consultation, just to find out that not much more can be done.


I'm in!
Barked: Sat Jul 16, '05 1:30am PST 
wouldn't the vet's office have insurance that would cover the accident??
I agree with Snowy about the lawyer.....couldn't hurt to check. I'm not the suing type, either, but it would be bad if it happened to other people's pets, too.

Cara, I am so sorry you were hurt so badly :o(
Badger- Hunter's- Little- Smokie

Come closer!- Have U been dog- approved?
Barked: Sat Jul 16, '05 6:14am PST 
Oh my gosh Cara! That's awful. I hope you get settled soon so that your leg can heal right. It's one thing to go to the vet for something and end up with something worse. I sorta had that happen too with going in for my tooth and finding out I need surgery on my leg but that's not the vet's fault.

They should fix the benches. It was nice that they paid for part of the surgery. The $6000 sounds kind of high though. My whole surgery and pre-visit and after visits for having the metal apparatus in my leg to lengthen it is going to be close to $3,000. That sounds similar to what you are having done. I'd poke Mom with your nose to get her to check that out if it's not too late.

Smoke, *sitting with jaw dropped to the floor*
*Candy-O- Cootinka*

I like the- night life,- baby!
Barked: Sat Jul 16, '05 7:03am PST 
Our Mimi consulted her nephew, a peoples' malpractice attorney, and he also advises you to consult an attorney. While Mimi is not the litigious type either, she understands what a dilemma this 50% compensation situation presents. Especially given, your precious baby's pain and suffering. The risk of the anesthesia alone raises a very large concern. It never hurts to obtain consult, even if you decide not to sue.

Good Luck,
Taz - In Loving- Memory

For Little- Bit - DIE CANCER DIE-
Barked: Sat Jul 16, '05 7:16am PST 
Oh Cara - I hope you heal fast and well! This was horrible! Mom and I agree with the other posters here. It couldn't hurt to talk to an attorney - if not only to get the vet to change their seating. I'd also change vets!
Xena *Warrior Princess*

The Lone Wolf.
Barked: Sat Jul 16, '05 7:30am PST 
Poor Cara, i was sooooo very sorry tae hear aboot yer accident.
There is no way a vets office should have slated benches fur a start, way too dangerous.
As for who is liable, in this kind of situation, the best fing to do first is find out how much the vet bill would have been for what you origionaly went to see him for. Then you should go to a lawyer to help you out, they will certainly let you know what you can do. You have to act quickly though, the sooner the better.

As for the benches, what really is disregard to your dogs injury is the fact that they have not even bothered to change the benches to a more sutible seating. The RSPCA will certailly help you out with that, making sure that this terrible thing NEVER happens to another wee animal!!!!
Good Luck with everything, i have added wee Cara to the prayer chain....
Bella Beans

Original Dogster- DIVA praying for- Rusty
Barked: Sat Jul 16, '05 7:50am PST 
Poor baby, I am so sorry that you were injured. I too have added you to our prayer chain.
As for who is responsible, the vets off ice is fully responsible. They must have insurance that covers this accident and most likely have not reported it to them. If you did not sign anything accepting the $3000 as satisfactory payment in full, then they are responsible for paying the entire medical bill. I know you feel like it was an "accident" and you might even think that "you " should have been watching out for your dog. But it is not your fault, it is the vet office fault for placing an item in an area where they "knew" pets would have access too.

I fetch,- therefore I am.
Barked: Sat Jul 16, '05 10:33am PST 
HUGS to Cara!!!!

I'm so sorry that you got so badly hurt! My mommy suggests looking into alternative therapies rather than traditional sedation. I've never broken a bone, but I sprained my back when I was about your age. Although my recovery was fairly quick, I still needed to seriously mellow out for 2 weeks. Our "back up" vet is trained in both traditional and alternative medicine, and she recommended valerian root. It really mellowed me out without the "loopiness" of sedation.

My mommy also thinks that pursuing legal action against the vet's office is a good idea. Aside from recovering $3000, it's even more important to get them to remove the slatted benches.


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