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I am new to this forum but certainly will be sticking around! I foster dogs for a local non-kill shelter and was referred to your forums by one of our board members - I am trying to help a dear friend of mine. I hope I am allowed to post this here. I read all of the guidelines and do not see that I can not.

My friend recently adopted her second rescue dog and the dog was spayed through the clinic that services the rescue she adopted from. (It was not our rescue). The spay went without issue according to the clinic. When they picked Abra up she was wearing her e-collar and she was instructed to keep her calm and primarily crated. What their family was not aware of was that Abra was sent home with an e-collar that was too small and if she pushed the edge against the crate bar she could get to the incision. By the third day it was apparently bothering her because her and her fiance had gone to dinner and when they returned Abra had chewed her entire incision! It was 9:30 at night on a Friday and the county they live in has only one Emergency Vet Clinic. They obviously rushed her there and faced a $1500.00 vet bill to save Abra.

I believe the vet should be able to be held accountable. Not sure how they go about that. They left a message for the clinic over the weekend and are waiting to hear from them tomorrow. The emergency vet told them a professional would have known immediately, as she did, that the collar was inappropriate. Since it came to the front of her snout and it was put on her BY the clinic they were lead to believe she was properly fitted and safe. It makes no sense why they would have done this, but regardless it was very negligent and lead to a horrifying night for the family and now a financial burden they have no idea how they are going to face.

This family are people with hearts of gold. Liz has organized multiple fundraisers for a family member with a terminally ill child as well as two for a friend diagnosed with cancer. She is involved with her community and is always the first one to step up. She fosters cats for a no kill shelter and has 3 of her own as well as Abra and another dog. All her animals are spoiled and well cared for and that night there was no choice between funds and their canine family member. This is completely unfair. She has a good job and is well educated, but has been a single mother for 10 years. She supports her family and her animals impeccably but does not have this kind of money just laying around. She has one starting college in 2 weeks! I truly want to be able to help them like they do for everyone else. You can read her story about Abra and how she came to be a rescue and what happened this week at the link. Any ideas, suggestions?? They followed EVERYTHING they were told and the vet said without a doubt the collar was inappropriate. Terrible.
 

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Hopefully a vet tech will advise on this but sadly... I don't think that there's a whole lot to be done. Vets botch stuff, put animals through unnecessary treatment and even surgery all the time. It's awful to be sure, but vets are not subject to as many 'malpractice' laws as human doctors are.

Especially the free e-collars that dogs are sent home with from the vets'... they are pretty much junk and a lot of them are easy to destroy/remove, even if they are properly sized. It's quite common for dogs to sneak around them and do more $$$ in damage than what they came to the vets' initially with. A fellow up the street noticed a big slice on his puppy's belly-- turns out the boy had been trying to get at his neuter incision and the edge of the e-collar had sliced his belly up pretty good.

But chances are... the vet has already said something or you have signed something that makes him no longer liable after the dog goes home. Fair? Sometimes, sometimes not. Life sucks. Nowadays my family comes to the vet pretty prepared to second-guess the advice and treatment that they give. They're quite hit-or-miss, and IMO one who is compassionate not only to animals but also their owners in the face of the money they can make by performing unnecessary procedures only make up about 1/4-1/3 of vets at most.
 

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Like Kelly528, I doubt that there is much that your friend can do. She could file a lawsuit but I'm doubtful that she would win. All the vet would have to say is that the damage was not done in his clinic, the dog was fine when she was sent home, and for all he knows the family took the e-collar off. The burden of proof would be on the family and unless they have a video of the dog doing the damage while wearing the collar they don't have any proof the dog did the damage while wearing the collar even though the collar was not long enough.

Personally I'd call the vet, and explain what happened. If the vet acknowledges the mistake and is sincerely apologetic then I'd keep going to him if I otherwise liked how he treated me and my animals. If he was unapologetic and acted like it was all my fault then I'd inform him that I'm going to be going to a new vet.
 

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Like Kelly528, I doubt that there is much that your friend can do. She could file a lawsuit but I'm doubtful that she would win. All the vet would have to say is that the damage was not done in his clinic, the dog was fine when she was sent home, and for all he knows the family took the e-collar off. The burden of proof would be on the family and unless they have a video of the dog doing the damage while wearing the collar they don't have any proof the dog did the damage while wearing the collar even though the collar was not long enough.

Personally I'd call the vet, and explain what happened. If the vet acknowledges the mistake and is sincerely apologetic then I'd keep going to him if I otherwise liked how he treated me and my animals. If he was unapologetic and acted like it was all my fault then I'd inform him that I'm going to be going to a new vet.
Even if they had video, the obvious question would be if you saw what the dog was doing and continued to allow that behavior, how is the vet responsible?
 

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Honestly, unless you take them to small claims court, which is expensive, she may not have any options for getting the vet to be responsible.

Good luck. Hope the dog is ok.
 

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Even if they had video, the obvious question would be if you saw what the dog was doing and continued to allow that behavior, how is the vet responsible?
The dog is a recent rescue, I'm just starting to crate train, and I decided to video the dog while I was gone to make sure it wasn't incessantly barking or panicking in the crate.:)
 

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I'm sorry this happened but I can't understand how the foster didn't notice the problem with the e collar. The clinic does hold some responsibility but the person who has the dog post surgery is also partially responsible for not realizing there was a problem with the e collar, for three days.
 
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