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My doberman was spayed in error

Discussion in 'Doberman Breeders' started by jeffs-princess, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. jeffs-princess

    jeffs-princess Novitiate

    Hello my name is Renee' and I have a horrible story and I am hoping someone has some answers as to what I can do...

    long story short, i took my female akc registered doberman to my vet to have her ears cropped, after the first surgery her ears did not stand at all therefore the vet wanted to do a second ear crop to take excess skin from the head so that her ears would stand properly.... so i decided to go ahead and let him, well when i called that afternoon to check on sadies (my doberman) the vet told me that they spayed my dog in error..... please someone help with some advice, i had plans to breed sadies so i could be a proud grandma (she is like my daughter) , not only can i not breed her, i cannot show her as her ears are permantley scard ( i hope i spelled that right) i have went after the vets insurance and they are only offering a settlement of 500.00...... does this sound right????

  2. Big Max

    Big Max New Member

    Don 't take a settlement till you talk to a lawyer.
    Sueing come to mind....i'm no expert but if it was me thats what i would look into..the lawyer for starter..I'm realy sorry to here all that...Blows my mind
  3. MaddoxDobes

    MaddoxDobes Member

    I would seek a lawyer, that is extremely horrible!!! but just curious why were you planning on breeding her? Had you had her health tested? Breeding is something that requires a lot of health testing. Your Vet doesn't sound like he should be cropping ears either. Sue them!! Can you post pics of your girl's chopped up ears
  4. Faber

    Faber Jr Member

    I'd talk to lawyer first thing too.....then find a new vet, and when it's all said and done (if it's not in the legal paperwork not to) get online and post how incompetant your vet is to anyone I could using facts only.
  5. Silent

    Silent Novitiate

    You should talk to a lawyer. Ears aside, a spayed dog can not be shown in conformation. Has she been evaluated as show quality by a qualified judge, breeder or handler? Do you know the history behind the dogs in her pedigree? Have you had her health testing done?

    You can still compete with her in other akc events such as obedience, agility and rally. Her ears and being spayed won't matter there.

    Before you consider breeding please find a mentor. Learn about the dogs family history, health, temperament, conformation, working ability etc. Not all dogs should be bred regardless of AKC papers.
  6. MLR

    MLR Novitiate


    While I am not a lawyer, there are some things you need to do to help your case along should you decide to sue. First of all take your dobe to at least three competent vets completely out of your area for an evaluation of the ear crop job and get any other health testing done which you would have normally done if you were in a position to breed her and get written copies of these results. Second of all, did you sign any paperwork ahead of the second surgery agreeing that it was ok for them to steralize her?? I'm sure you didn't but you need to start a log of all these kinds of things with the dates of all incidents. And, as some of the others have said, do you have any written documentation from any show judge or other competent evaluator about your dobes future potential in the conformation ring? If so get that in writing. You also need to know the going price for doberman puppies in your area. Before you search for an attorney you should have all these things in a file to take with you. Then I would definently sue this vet.

    One other thing, you should stop all communication with this vet right now or before you know it you might slip up and say something to their advantage in the presence of either them or their insurance carrier. You may also have to search for an attorney out of your area, too. Most lawyers are hesitant to sue their colleagues (that is, any other business person) in their own home towns; unless you live in a really big town.
  7. Michele

    Michele Jr Member

    Please consult with a lawyer:)
  8. deladobies

    deladobies Member

    Its good that you came to us with dobe questions, but this one should be taken to a lawyer! I would say another thing about it until then... Things have a way of getting out and around... This could be turned around and said to be defamation of character on your behalf...

    The term defamation of character is often used to describe accusations of slander, libel or both. Slander involves verbal derogatory statements, while libel involves written ones. In a court of law, the plaintiff pursuing the lawsuit would charge defamation of character to cover any form of false or damaging allegations.
    "as stated by expertlaw.com"

    Dont let them twist the situation, get your facts straight then talk to your lawyer
  9. DobieLvr

    DobieLvr Novitiate

    Good advice Dela... I don't think she has given the name of the Vet that messed up though... so no harm no foul - yet.

    I'm not sure what state she is in either - that will determine how things go. She will most certainly have to prove the dog was show quality - either from pedigree or an evaluation. Once that is established - how many litters she would have had - generally for something like this they figure - from age two till approx age 6 and one litter a year.
    so - let me get out my handy dandy calculator... lol
    Losses could be as much as $50,000.00 or as little as $20,000 - personally I don't see a Judge awarding that unless she has some really heavy Champion bloodlines...the screw up is certainly worth more than $500 however. Punative damages are not normally awarded either - not for pets.

    The ears being messed up - well there is still a lot of other things she could have done in Obedience, tracking, agility - etc... that still would have made her a viable candidate for breeding, whether shown or not...

    Health testing - could be a mute point as well. If she is still futzing with the ears, she must be young... so, everything from this point on can be an assumption. Just depends on how good the attorney is.
  10. Silent

    Silent Novitiate

    I think the $500 they are offering is the original cost of the dog based on her other thread. Pups are seldom worth more than the parents, and that is with health testing and the expenses of breeding, stud, whelping, vet fees etc.

    Other things to consider are how many pups the mother/realatives have per litter and the price of the dog itself. The value of the line/pedigree and quality of the dog itself based on pedigree or conformation as someone else said.

    Also whether there are pups back owed on the dog by contract. There is also always a chance that a female may not concieve or carry pups to term regardless of how well bred she is. Few breeders will guarentee a bitch or dog to produce.
  11. Kimbertalkls

    Kimbertalkls New Member

    I believe this is a good start. (Great post by the way.)
    The vet should replace the dog OR you can sue for the price of the dog and loss of income from the litters. Get a lot of information on what pups from your dog's bloodlines are going for and print out the information. Most insurance companies want to settle out of court and I have heard of cases where people sued for $50,000 in lost income which is ridiculous until you remember that most judges have no idea of the time and expense that goes into breeding, showing and everyday upkeep.
    However should the insurance company offer $20,000, take it and get a nice female already cropped. Find a pro bono lawyer. Let us know how you do. Anne
  12. DoberDon

    DoberDon Hot Topics Subscriber

    You may unfortunately find the cost of a lawyer is unaffordable,if so small claims court may be an option.It varies state by state but in Indiana it costs less than 100$,you can do it yourself,and you can sue for up to 5000$.If you end up going that way,I would recommend you name both the vet and their insurance co.,if the insurance co.is involved it may offer to settle realizing it would cost more than 5000$to defend.
    2 winters ago in downtown South Bend a driver turned right on red and hit my wife who was walking across the crosswalk with the walk now light.His insurance has been refusing to pay chiro and ambulance bills,won't return calls,etc.and so we are in the process of filing suit in small claims.The insurance co.'s know most people can't afford to pay a lawyer upfront so they intentionally deny most claims knowing a large percentage of people will just give up!! Fortunately,my wife works for a very large law firm as a legal secretary and they've been helping us do the small claims suit.I don't have much respect for our "justice" system,it's more like you get the justice you can afford!!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. hrd2gt

    hrd2gt Well-Known Member

    I find the ear part interesting too.. Ears usually dont stand unless you post them... did you do that? or were you expecting them to stand right after?
  14. Michele

    Michele Jr Member

    This would be great. But, make sure the lawyer specializes in this type of law. Remember, you get what you pay for. :)
  15. Faber

    Faber Jr Member

    good advice....
    is she doing o.k.?
    I agree on the legal system.
  16. Miller Dobes

    Miller Dobes Novitiate

    I would be more concerned about the dog having to have her ears cropped twice. How sad....

    If the vet offered you $500 and fixed her, then she will still be a wonderful companion. I have never seen a dog for $500 that was breeding quality. In addition, how can you prove the damages? No one could even guarantee that she could conceive as a puppy. Courts are all about proving damages in black and white. If you can't do that, you won't get the cash.

    In addition, most attorney's will not take a case like that because the award is more like a small claims suit. By the time you pay the attorney or he takes a cut, you with not benefit. Your vet will be represented and it will be a fight to get more than the price of the dog.

    For these reasons, I would take the money and never use him again. I am thankful I know my vet very well and he does his job. Sorry this happened to you.

  17. MaddoxDobes

    MaddoxDobes Member

    I agree with Becky 100%
  18. MLR

    MLR Novitiate

    I believe what jeffs-princess stated was that this was all the vets insurance company was willing to offer for the damages. Nowhere in that post did I see that this is what the dog was worth or that this is what they originally paid for it.

    As a landlord I am in court more than I'd like to be and I've seen judges go both ways in what I thought were identical small claims cases. That having been said, this is definently not a small claims matter. This is outright medical mal practice and courts more often than not award damages above and beyong the initial cost of the animal. Especially a registered pure breed dog. This man is incompetent and should not be in business. How would any of us feel if that were our girl child and some doctor came out from supposedly preforming a routine tonsilectomy and said 'opps we mistakenly sterilized your daughter'?!
  19. Silent

    Silent Novitiate

  20. MLR

    MLR Novitiate

    I could be wrong. But when I read the post under 'introductions' and here I interpreted it to mean that's what the insurance company said the dog was worth. I didn't see where jeffs-princess stated anywhere what they actually purchased her for. The surgery was still a mistake, nonetheless, and shouldn't have happened based on what I read. In my opinion that is the issue at hand; mal practice.

    The Hypocratic Oath which all doctors and vets take states: 'First do no harm'. A dog doesn't go in for a rectification for a botched ear job and come out of surgery steril. I'm just calling this the way I personally see it. The ears are no where near the area of a spaying. How incomptent can a vet be to do this?? They wouldn't want me on the jury for this one if it goes to court.

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