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when is a vet liable

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  • when is a vet liable

    Had my ponies teeth floated.. 5 days later pony was shaking violently from pain. Couldn't get ahold of vet gave her bute and took away hay. called next day. vet advised to take her to equine specialist (180 miles round trip) equine vet said she had cracked bones and hole in her palate and, severe ulcers on her gums. I have made 2 such trips now, last for surgery removed bone pieces etc. She smells from sinus infection and we don't know the outcome. She is a very well bred mare and the only one I have that I could hitch or put a small child on once a year and she would be safe. Im so upset.

  • #2
    Hard to tell. You really didn't give much info. How was the horse floated? What did they find when they floated. Age of horse. When was last floated.

    Ulcers on gums? From what? Cracked bone? What bone and what caused it? Would need a lot more info to have any idea of what was really going on.


    • #3
      Your original vet is liable if your specialist vet stated that this was from shoddy floating. It would be helpful if your specialist vet would testify. Jingles for your mare and I hope she recovers soon.
      Practice! Patience! Persistence!


      • #4
        Originally posted by rodawn View Post
        Your original vet is liable if your specialist vet stated that this was from shoddy floating. It would be helpful if your specialist vet would testify. Jingles for your mare and I hope she recovers soon.
        It takes a whole lot more then that for a vet to be liable. Just having another vet testify doesn't really mean much.


        • #5
          Agree more info is needed. What is the equine specialist telling you as to the cause and the expected outcome?
          Quality Hunter Ponies


          • Original Poster

            mare is 13 she has been on broodmare duty. Had teeth floated 2yrs ago. She did have a fractured tooth and the one next to it with a hole in it he ground down they weren't a problem. Equine vet said teeth look good. Vet couldn't find speculum used a jaw spreader. He used a power float. ulcer were caused by float work. vets decided spreader came off teeth and pressure was on hard palate. After she was bleeding heavily he had to run home and get another tool. I can see in hind sight he was unprepared, He is a nice guy but doesn't seem concerned.


            • #7
              A lot depends on where the damage actually is. I am not sure what you mean by jaw spreader? I have never heard that term. There is something called a mouth wedge that goes between the upper n lower molars. Is that what is was?


              • Original Poster

                equine specialist just says "he hopes" she will heal. When he first saw it he said I don't know what to do. It is a bad place to try and fix. We're working on hope and meds. She has a medicated plug in the hole now and it will disolve in 10 days. She is also on bute and meds on her purina senior. Last week she was on two 20cc injections and bute and flagyl 2xaday


                • Original Poster

                  It may be what you call a wedge It looks like a hard spring that goes between the molars I believe. The hole is in her hard palate top of mouth I believe near teeth. It had done some healing the first week of treatment.


                  • #10
                    Since you and the other vet seem to believe the first vet was at fault, you could try contacting your state veterinary board.

                    Not sure there's much they can do to help you and your mare, but they can do things like assign the vet to undergo appropriate training in the areas they feel that vet is lacking, at the vet's expense, and there will then be a public record available about the incident.

                    Wisconsin's reports of decisions are available online ( https://online.drl.wi.gov/orders/searchorders.aspx ) , and are easily accessible, and I do make a habit of checking them periodically.
                    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                    -Edward Hoagland


                    • #11
                      Four words.

                      Duty. All professionals have a duty to exercise reasonable care in rendering treatment. They must stay within the standards of the profession. (magic words).

                      Breach. The professional must be shown to have departed from those standards. This will require a properly qualified expert witness to establish what the standards were and how the defendant deviated from them.

                      Damage. The plaintiff must suffer some loss to either their person or their property.

                      Causation. The loss suffered must be the result of the breach of duty. The expert that establshed the standards and departure will have to testify that it was the departure that caused the loss.

                      These four words constitute the elements of "negligence," the basis for a claim of professional malpractice.

                      There are volumes, literally, written about each of these elements. If you are seriously considering seeking compensation from the person that did the floating you'd be well advised to talk to a lawyer in your area that handles this type of case.

                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                      • #12
                        Was the person who did the float work an actual vet? Putting a hole in the palate is very serious. Did he just kind of exit after the injury? This sounds, at the very least, highly unprofessional. Is your mare on antibiotics?

                        Best wishes for a good outcome.
                        Quality Hunter Ponies