What should I do about my kitten that died less than 2 hours after leaving the vet?

She was 6 weeks old, had a eye infection, fleas and her weight was less than one pound. When I scheduled the appointment, I was informed than you can’t safely treat fleas with a chemical until after 9 weeks old. When my kitten was seen by the vet, he treated her with a capastar pill that starts killing fleas within 30 minutes. He went against the warnings on the package stating not to administer for weights under 2 pounds. I researched online and found 3 criteria for not administering this product: under 2 pounds, under 8 weeks old or sickly. My kitten met all 3.

Asked on June 29, 2012 under Business Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Please accept our sympathy--as someone who's owned and lost cats, I know how difficult it can be.

From what you write, you may legally have a case for professional negligence--apparently the vet ignored plain warnings, so if the pill contributed to the kitten's death, he could be liable.

However, U.S. law only allows you to recover the economic value of animals, not the emotional value; therefore, if the kitten had been an expensive purebreed, it may be economically worthwhile taking action, but it would not be economically or fincially worthwhile if she were a rescue kitten, a kitten from your own cat's or a friend's cat's litter, etc.

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