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713582 tn?1298265921

Is anyone liable here?

My dog Sunny (Maltese x Shih Tzu) 3 1/2 years desexed....recently got really ill & even had to go to hospital.  We had no idea what was wrong, neither did the vet or the animal hospital.  She recovered well with the meds...but a couple of days later started looking unwell again, so I gave her more anti-inflammatories for a couple of days & she picked up again.  Mum & I brain stormed about what could be wrong...anyway, we decided to stop the Royal Canin Sensitivity Control Dry Food which I purchased at the vets after her desexing operation since she has so many food allergies, of which our vet suggested we try.  

The conclusion is...Sunny obviously has an allergy to this dry food...she has not been on the dry food for 6 days now nor any anti-inflammatories & is her normal, cheeky self.  I'm a bit miffed that we incurred these costs - vet consultations & hospital fees...& me being on a pension...its really hard.  I'm still paying off the hospital which I really cannot afford.

None of this wouldn't have happened if we weren't given the dry food...I did speak to my vet about Sunny & the foods, but nothing was mentioned in any way or form of 'sorry' or anything.  I feel a bit rude by asking this... but I also think, its not fair either.  

Any advice appreciated from anothers point of view...whether I should just grin & bear it & be thankful...of which I am, that my Sunny is ok...but I'm also distressed, she suffered heaps, we suffered emotional trauma through it too.  I was a mess.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.
6 Responses
675347 tn?1365464245
COMMUNITY LEADER
I would think without specific allergy testing, your vet wouldn't be exactly certain about her food allergies. The Royal Canin Sensitivity Control is supposed to be formulated for dietary allergies, intolerances, and is supposed to be specially helpful for cases of inflammatory responses.
So I think (although it is obvious your dog doesn't get on well with one, or some of the ingredients) -it's not remiss of your vet to recommend this food. Not unless he had tested your dog, discovered a definite sensitivity to one or more of the ingredients first.

I know you feel she would have been spared these extra problems if the vet had not recommended this food, but I would be glad she is ok, and that you have discovered the food was the culprit.

A "Sorry" would have gone a long way, however. I guess the vet was going off the recommendations for this food, and hadn't perhaps gone into your Sunny's needs deeply enough. Or maybe it was just unfortunate.

Have you any idea which particular ingredient(s) in this food caused the trouble with her? That might be helpful to avoid in the future
82861 tn?1333457511
Traumatizing as the whole affair was, the fact is your dog is now healthy.  As ginger mentions, without extensive testing and an elimination diet, your vet had no way of knowing that your dog would react to a particular food.  Here in the lawsuit-happy States, human doctors and vets have to practice defensive medicine.  An aplogy would have been taken as an admission of guilt that an attorney would have a field day with.

There are no guarantees in medicine, and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for any condition.  Many times it takes quite a bit of trial, error and testing to get to the final diagnosis.  In hindsight, it may appear to have been a big waste of time and money so people feel as if they were robbed.  "It was so obvious.  Why didn't they just treat my pet for Condition X straight away?"  Unfortunately, reaching a diagnosis doesn't work that way.

What you DID learn is that your dog definitely has serious allergies to some foods.  You might consider trying an elimination diet to determine exactly what ingredients cause trouble.  You also might consider writing to the food manufacturer to report the adverse reaction.  There is no way the company can address a problem if it isn't aware one exists.

I don't blame you a bit for being upset - I would be too.  But do you really want to pursue a court action that will likely cost more to prosecute than any potential settlement?
713582 tn?1298265921
Thank you for your comments...I have indeed sent an email to the manufacturers regarding what happened when Sunny ate those biscuits.  And yes, I never looked at it that way...about the vet saying 'sorry'.  I'm not after or want to create any lawsuit.  When you are that broke...& cant afford to live...then its harder to contend with if any one can understand that.  
441382 tn?1452814169
I know how rough it is to pay high veterinary bills on a limited income.  I just finished paying off a $650 cat surgery followed closely by two months of vetting my dog for an acute episode of inflammatory bowel.  Not fun.  But it had to be done.  And unless you have many vets to choose from in your area, I wouldn't start any legal action against this one because you never know when you are going to need him in a life or death emergency, and you certainly don't want to risk him not wanting to treat your pet for fear of legal ramifications if it doesn't turn out the way you wanted.  Vets also talk with one another.  You don't want him to have you pegged as a troublemaker because if word gets around that you tried to sue him over a food allergy, you might find it nigh impossible to get ANY vet to treat your pet next time you really need it.  Medicine is not an exact science.  Sometimes, and especially in the case of food allergies, it's hit or miss.  Be glad that you have finally, hopefully, gotten to the bottom of it and keep your fingers crossed that your dog continues to do well from here on in.  If she does have further problems, adjust her food at the first sign so that she doesn't have time to crash downhill and get really sick again.  Just monitor her closely.

Ghilly
713582 tn?1298265921
Thanks Ghilly....yes, I completely agree with you there.  I am totally not interested in any legal action.  But was just peeved at a very expensive way of finding out my dog is allergic to this particular dry food.  And the emotional trauma I went through, especially since the hospital said...if she didn't respond to the meds, she may have to be put down.  

But 3 weeks later now...& my beautiful Sunny is healthy & happy, which makes me happy.  I am extremely thankful she is healthy now & I will never take advantage of that.  Every morning when I greet her, as she does me... I am reminded how much she means to me.  
675347 tn?1365464245
COMMUNITY LEADER
I'm glad your Sunny is feeling better. Let's hope this goes from good to great! And never happens again!
Once you have analyzed exactly what it is Sunny is allergic to, then hopefully with your vigilance, this sort of horrible thing won't happen again.
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675347 tn?1365464245
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