Pet owner threatens to sue over teacup Maltese's death

According to the Dog Academy website, this is how a teacup Maltese typically looks.  - Taken from Dog Academy website
According to the Dog Academy website, this is how a teacup Maltese typically looks. - Taken from Dog Academy website

A pet owner from Trincity has initiated legal action against a veterinary clinic for medical negligence after her pet dog, a purebred teacup Maltese, died under their care.

Attorneys for the pet’s owner have written to the clinic and its attending veterinarian after the dog, Kalel, died.

Attorney Harrynarine Singh, of Justitia Omnibus law chambers, wrote to the clinic alleging that it failed to provide Kalel with the standard of care expected of a reasonably competent vet, resulting in the dog’s death.

According to the pre-action protocol letter, Kalel’s owner visited the clinic on January 27 because the dog had a skin rash.

The letter said the dog was weighed and details were taken from its owner before meeting with the veterinarian. The dog’s temperature was taken and the affected areas viewed by the attending vet, who recommended a cream, a lotion and a soothing shampoo to aid in the dog’s treatment.

The letter said the pet’s owner was told the dog was suffering from a fungal infection and a strict regime would have to be followed for 30 days, which included the use of a fungal shampoo wash, a balm for the affected areas and a tablet.

The letter said Kalel was “playful, joyful and his usual healthy self,” even making friends with a Husky in the clinic’s waiting room.

However, the letter said when the dog’s owner got home, and after shampooing Kalel with the antifungal shampoo and applying the soothing balm, he was given a tablet, after which the previously happy playful pup “began moving lethargic(ally)” and was unable to walk.

The letter said the dog began to have violent seizures and was frothing at the mouth. His owner tried to give him charcoal tablets, thinking he might have had an overdose of the medication prescribed by the vet.

The seizures persisted, the letter said.

Kalel’s owner rushed the dog back to the clinic but was dismissed by a receptionist as “over-reacting” and told the dog’s symptoms were a normal reaction to the medication. The letter said the owner was told to put the dog in a dark room for the night to calm him and to bring him back to the clinic in the morning if the seizures continued.

“My client then drove away horrified and in tears, traumatised that the vet office was already closed and the staff and vet refused to reopen to attend to the emergency.”

The dog’s owner returned home. Kalel was unresponsive and convulsing.

An emergency vet was contacted and the letter said the veterinarian was “shocked and baffled” by the tablet recommended for the “tiny” Maltese.

“...Thus there was an enormous overdose to Kalel.”

Kalel was given IV drips, vitamins and antibiotics. However, by the next morning, his breathing was laboured, there were gurgling sounds from his lungs and his heartbeat was racing.

“Kalel suffered a tortuous, painful, untimely death…Kalel was the sole companion and family of my client…

“My client has been severely affected by the sudden death of the beloved teacup Maltese.”

The letter also said the dog’s owner had to take sick leave and undergo EAP grief counselling. Copies of the bills, medical certificate and clinical reports from the emergency vet were attached.

The letter said Kalel’s owner has been unable to eat or sleep and is still in mourning. She is seeking compensation, ranging from $100,000-$200,000, the cost of a replacement dog – which was estimated at $65,890, which includes not only the price of the dog but its care – and reimbursement of the sum she paid for veterinary care as well as for pain and suffering caused by the dog's death.

The letter also said a report would be sent to the Veterinary Board for action to be taken against the vet.


"Pet owner threatens to sue over teacup Maltese’s death"

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