Placing your pet in professional hands

For the average Florida animal lover, a furry friend is not just that; they are members of the family. Just like children, these animals need regular, professional check-ups and preventative care. Floridian pet owners are well aware of this necessity, but nonetheless, medical issues among animals are often difficult to detect. This stoicism among pets is the very reason veterinarians are a crucial part of today's society -- they can potentially detect issues before pet owners themselves can. But what happens when a vet becomes someone who is untrustworthy? 

WUSF News covered a 2013 incident that left two Florida pet owners heartbroken, all at the hands of a veterinarian's negligence. When the couple received news that their beloved Shih Tzu Carmella would have to undergo three blood transfusions, they were devastated, but complied. Yet despite this step in recovery, their 9-year-old dog's health went on a rapid decline. The couple had begged their vet's company president to review Carmella's state, but they were ignored. The dog's owners firmly believed that, had their four-legged child received proper care, she would still be with them today. WUSF shared the opinion of experts from the American Veterinary Medical Association, some of whom claim these types of tragic cases are rare. However, they do occur, and proving a pet's death was the fault of a veterinarian can often become a challenging task.

Cases such as Carmella's are certainly devastating, especially when they could have been prevented. The Balance also pulls from the American Veterinary Medical Association, who point out that most vets can face at least one malpractice claim over the course of a career. Regardless of the issue at hand, there are certain criteria that a malpractice claim must meet to be successful. Some of those criteria include:

  • Veterinarian must have accepted responsibility of treating the animal
  • Veterinarian's actions must have fallen under the professional care standards
  • That lack of care must have led to injury or harm of the animal
  • Pet owner must prove damages 

Should an incident meet these criteria, a pet owner may decide to take legal action. The outcome can depend entirely on each individual case, but the Balance also notes that veterinarians may face massive fines and be held liable for treating the animal's injury. Whatever the case, the most important aspect lies in the health and wellbeing of a pet owner's beloved furry companion.  









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