What recourse due I have if my dog received the wrong medication at the vet’s office and later died?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What recourse due I have if my dog received the wrong medication at the vet’s office and later died?

I took my shih-tzu to vet dog was itching chewing on his legs and back end. vet

shaved All hair from tail determined it was a skin infection dog exhibited a

lot of pain from doing so. The vet determined he would give dog opioid injection of simbadol. The vet said he would be be very relaxed out of it for

the night. The dog never relaxes became very agitated

Asked on August 27, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It may well be malpractice, if the medicine was inappropriate for the species, breed, size of animal, and/or condition: if a reasonable vet would not have prescribed or adminstered this medicine, then doing so may be malpractice. 
The issue you face is that pets are treated as property--like a car or antique clock or tablet. There is no compensation for the loss of companionship or of someone whom, to many people, is essentially a famil member. There is only compensation for economic or financial losses: e.g. for medical bills caused by the malpractice and for the cost of the dog. Therefore, it is not always the case that a lawsuit for veteranary malpractice is worthwhile. That is especially so since you'd need to hire another vet to testify in court about why this was malpractice and how it caused your pet's death: the court will not accept your testimony, as a layperson, on the subject.

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