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Pet burnt by vets

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by John McInnes, Apr 2, 2021.


  1. John McInnes

    John McInnes PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there Just joined, have a problem we have been using the same vets for 20 years with no problems recently our 13 year old Jack Russell went in for dental treatment, as it's not covered by insurance we paid ourselfs not cheap nearly £400, anyway everything went well he had a few extractions and a good clean up, 2 days later his side started to lose fur, back to vets he has been severely burned by a heat pad while he was in recovery, this was 2 weeks ago the wound is big and is going to take a long time to heal and for him to recover, now the vets admitted their fault and were just as horrified as we were as they are the top veterinary hospital in the whole area, obviously they are treating this injury for free, I am not the type to go on social media and slate them because they have looked after our dogs for a long time, but they have offered no refund for dental procedure, or anything else, I am not looking to start a litigation but I feel they are getting off lightly, I am retired and live on my military pension only, any suggestions on how I should approach this as it's very inconvenient our dog can't be left alone at all, travelling to vets every couple of days for dressing changes etc.
     
  2. Nicola234

    Nicola234 PetForums Senior

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    Hi and welcome, if it was me I’d be annoyed that my dog had been hurt in their care but wouldn’t expect any money back for the dental treatment as they did their job properly for that. Unfortunately accidents do happen and they are treating him for free for the burn. I wouldn’t expect anything else to be honest. I hope he heals quickly.
     
  3. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    I agree. Yes, they admitted responsibility, but they're treating him for free.

    Moved to Dog Chat - you'll get more replied there.
     
  4. Blacky90

    Blacky90 PetForums Junior

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    It's a shame it happened but all it is really is distraction or a mistake that happens every now and again. Don't ruin a 20 plus year relationship with a vet over this. They are doing everything in their power to help you. Good luck.
     
  5. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    What would them refunding your dental cost actually solve? But if you really feel strongly about it, have you actually broached the topic with your vet?
     
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  6. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    This seems to be a more frequent than you would wish for type of ‘accident’ and I’m sure I recall at least one previous post here on the subject.

    It happened to a friends Sheltie; the Vet in question didn’t acknowledge either that it was burns (bi-lateral) or that it had happened in their care.

    The dog in question was left with permanent bald patches.

    I would call it negligence, not an accident.
     
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  7. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Im sorry to hear this. I hope your poor dog recovers quickly. Perhaps they should cover your travel expenses if you have to go every couple of days.
     
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  8. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    It's hard one.
    If they are treating for free, and admitting responsibility then technically that's a gift which you have accepted and very little you can do. A bit like when hairdressers do something wrong and cause damage, then say of course you shouldn't pay. Then the client has accepted a gift. I guess in this incidence it's a bit of a skewed ass gift.. But still a gift which is hard to argue and complain you are unhappy about.

    This isn't the first time we have seen a post similiar to yours, and it won't be the last.

    I think if you really are not happy with your vets, the only way you can talk to them is address via letter. Maybe get them to change protocol. Of course we all know using electrical products, that this will be an anomaly but they can and occasionally misfunction.

    Of course it is distressing, but seeing the vet often your dog does seem to be getting the upmost care

    As for a refund on the dental, I doubt very much. I am sure dental procedures are not taken lightly. I know owning toy breeds that my vets take their time suggesting any dental needs and doesn't rush into these things.

    Yes unfortunate it happened, yes dental was expensive and yes hopefully the vets learn from this.
     
  9. GB70

    GB70 PetForums Member

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    Speak to Citizens Advice or similar for legal advice. Also if you have home contents worth checking if there is any legal cover, or legal advice service included in the policy,

    My understanding of the law is unless they screwed up the dental work, what you paid for that would not be directly related to your claim. For example if they'd broken the dogs nail, it would be unreasonable for you to expect £400 back. Equally if god forbid they'd caused the death of your dog, it would be unreasonable for them to say "here's your £400 back". Their liability would ultimately be to make good your loss. They seem to be doing that to some extent in treating the dog for free. Wether they should offer anything above that for distress, long terms effects they can't fix, associated costs such as travel/etc, your time, that's not easy to determine.

    If it were me, I'd have a friendly conversation with them and explain having spent £400 to fix your dogs teeth, you're not best pleased he/she now has another issue for you to worry about and take your time taking for treatment. You have a long standing relationship, so you must think they are decent reasonable people?

    Hope your dog recovers and isn't in too much pain/discomfort.
     
    #9 GB70, Apr 2, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  10. Douglas’ Dad

    Douglas’ Dad PetForums Senior

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    Almost certainly they are legally obliged to. All out of pocket expenses are recoverable in this case. I would speak to them about it. They should understand this. Theoretically they could face an unlimited fine under the law so they should understand this is chump change in comparison.


    Don’t confuse the dental work with this. That is a different matter. But if you want some form of compensation for distress again you should feel you can make a claim. There is also the VCMS mediation service available if you can’t come to an agreement with your vet.
     
    #10 Douglas’ Dad, Apr 2, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  11. Douglas’ Dad

    Douglas’ Dad PetForums Senior

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    It’s not really a gift. It’s the minimum they are liable for under law. They have to rectify their mistake and they have to do it without charge.
     
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  12. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Unless the law has changed, then this is how the law stood. Which very much favoured rather wrongly the 'big wigs' in this. This was what the legislation stated.

    There may be more to it now, with more of the EU rulings and health and safety method statements, risk assessments on everything you are doing in work premises. However this was how the law was, and always was very unjustice
    The UK was never like the USA where suing to be compensated for everything was supposed to get you places. We just got on with things.
     
  13. Douglas’ Dad

    Douglas’ Dad PetForums Senior

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    I don’t think the law has changed. If someone has been negligent (as they have been in this case), then you are entitled to make a claim for all relevant damages. It’s not so much legislation here but common law, ie the tort of negligence.
     
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  14. Blacky90

    Blacky90 PetForums Junior

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    I think things worked out as well as could possibly be hoped. The vet is going to fix the dog and the person who left the dog on a mat will be the most careful person ever from now on.
     
  15. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    It's not negligence its electrical fault.

    There is a huge difference.

    This is when people need to be very careful what terminology is used as themselves can be deemed shouting negligence, can find them under defamation suits.. You know if people want to be petty.

    It would be very hard to prove it wasn't accidental am sure this is what the vets have explained.

    I have owned various reptiles and a thermostat that I check regularly too broke. My snake got a minor burn. Was it my fault no, because equipment malfunctions. It happens but it would be entirely my fault if I hadn't checked or I was silly enough to think hey light I will put a light in her not use ceramic and not use a guard either. That would be my negilence.

    You need warmth when you come threw and anaesthetic, body temps fluctuate. It's as simple as that and in the whole considering how many ops there are performed daily most pets are unscathed

    I know the OP f
     
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  16. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    My thought too.

    I used heatpads for my newborn pups for many years, covered by vetbed, and I never had such an incident.

    A heatpad should never become so hot that it can cause burns.

    Something must have been amiss.

    Negligence isn't always the cause.
     
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  17. Douglas’ Dad

    Douglas’ Dad PetForums Senior

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    An electrical fault is not a defence to negligence. A vet is expected to check the materials he uses for safety. If he did and the fault is the manufacturer’s then the vet can sue the manufacturer. But he is still liable to the pet owner.
     
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  18. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Again we are not living in the USA, we accept things happen sometimes.

    I would suggest that you go and get experience at a citizens advice centre, because sometimes what seems unjust and unfair is just so.

    The vets took responsibility, they are trying to help the dog as best they can. They are probably mortified it's happened.

    No one thinks anything about the computers at work all being dragged to homes in this pandemic, of course they can malfunction and cause a fire but you know shall we sue work, or God for the pandemic for the circumstance? It gets a bit silly.
     
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  19. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    This would be negligence. Its one of the first things students nurses are taught.

    Its not about how hot the operation table gets, or about how hot the heat mat gets in recovery- its about the fact you have an unconscious, recumbent patient constantly in contact with a heat source, and no ability to recognise they are getting hot and no ability to move.

    Its poor nursing.
     
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  20. Douglas’ Dad

    Douglas’ Dad PetForums Senior

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    This is English law. Vets have professional indemnity insurance for this purpose. I’m not sure what you mean by “accepting things happen”. Yes the owner can accept it if he wants. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a legal remedy to enforce his rights. He does. It’s his choice to use it or not. The owner would have a claim not just for negligence (ie tort), but under contract, as well as consumer law:

    1. Tort: breach of duty of care, foreseeable
    2. Contract: implied breach of warranty and probably term too
    3. CRA 2015: failure to provide a service of “satisfactory quality”
    Simply because it was a mistake is not a defence. If it wasn’t a mistake of course (ie deliberate), that would be even more serious ie a crime.
    Trust me on this one :).
     
    #20 Douglas’ Dad, Apr 3, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
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