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PLAINTIFF’S Professional Malpractice – Veterinary – Gross negligence by veterinarian hospital – Failure to monitor dog prior to surgery – Golden Retriever chews off tail – Cardiac arrest – Death of dog – Liability only.

Pinellas County, FL

This action involved the death of a four-year-old Golden Retriever while in the custody of the defendant veterinarian hospital. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was grossly negligent in failing to properly care for the dog, resulting in his death. The defense maintained that the dog was treated within the standard of care.

The plaintiff took her dog, Cody, to the defendants Noah’s Animal Hospital in St. Petersburg in November of ________ for removal of a tumor from his tail. The plaintiff claimed that the defendants placed the dog in a crate and failed to properly monitor him or place him in a cone-shaped collar prior to surgery to prevent chewing. The dog chewed off his own tail, ate it and subsequently suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.

The plaintiff and her teenaged son seek damages for emotional distress, as well as standard damages involving the cost of replacing the dog. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was aware that the dog had a propensity to chew and should have been placed in a protective collar and that it had a fever and was vomiting, necessitating close monitoring. The defendant’s veterinarian expert testified that the defendant’s treatment of the dog prior to surgery was reasonable. The defendant pet hospital has since changed ownership.The case was previously tried on liability and damages and resulted in a mistrial in ________. The jury in the second trial found that the defendant grossly negligent in providing supervision, care or services to Cody resulting in his death. A trial on damages is pending. The plaintiff has recently filed a motion to amend the complaint to add punitive damages.

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