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Did my veterinarian violate medical ethics by not advising me of the recommendations of a specialist that they referred me to?

Asked by user in Pennsylvania.

My vet referred me to an internal medicine specialist for an abdominal ultrasound and other abdominal tests. The report was sent to my veterinarian. Unbeknownst to me, my dog had some high kidney values, but the main thing is that a urinalysis was advised to evaluate for kidney disease. I received an email when the report was received that the doctor would review the report and would reach out with recommendations. I was never advised of the results of the report or any recommendations. Three months later, blood work was done and my dog was in kidney failure and had to be put down.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

I’m so sorry this happened to you and your dog.

It’s possible that your vet violated the state ethical code or—even more important in terms of recovering damages—committed veterinary malpractice by failing to evaluate for kidney disease or provide you with recommendations.

To prove that your veterinarian committed malpractice, you need to establish the following elements:

  • Your veterinarian failed to exercise the degree of care and skill expected of a reasonable veterinarian, and
  • The failure was the cause of your pet’s injury or death.

If you can establish that your vet committed malpractice, Pennsylvania allows you to recover medical expenses and the fair market value of your dog. To pursue a medical malpractice claim, consider using our free online directory to contact an attorney near you.

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