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Family says dog died as a result of veterinarian's mistake

WLWT Cincinnati logo WLWT Cincinnati 4/16/2019
a brown and black dog lying on the ground © Provided by Hearst Television, Inc.   

A New Richmond family is suing the veterinarian they say botched a surgery that resulted in their dog's death.

The 11-month-old German shepherd went in to be neutered and died less than 48 hours later.

In February, Michael and Jessica Henson took their dog, Hank, to Lifetime Pet Center in to be neutered.

They say they were told the surgery went well with no complications.

But once at home, Hank seemed ill.

"He was just pacing around like a zombie and he was getting to the point where he was unresponsive to his name," said Michael Henson.

The German shepherd couldn't keep down food or water.

"I decided to take him to MedVet to get him an IV of fluids and have them look him over," said Henson.

Doctors there found Hank's bladder was four times the normal size.

So they went in for exploratory surgery.

"The surgeon that was actually operating called us and said, and I could just tell from the tone of his voice, he was like, 'I don't know how to tell you this, but this is what we just discovered," said Henson.

According to the complaint filed in Clermont County, the vet at Lifetime Pet Center had irreparably severed Hank's bladder from his urethra.

His lymphnodes and prostate had also been removed.

"There was a whole section that was supposed to be there that wasn't there," said Henson.

The Henson's decided to put Hank down to prevent further pain and suffering.

They're suing for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

"Here, I think, we have one of the best sets of facts that you can possibly find. You have this serious intentional conduct that leads to really serious pain with this family watching this dog horrendously suffer over the course of an evening," said attorney Taylor Waters.

Henson says they can't bring Hank back, but want to ensure he didn't die in vain.

"One way or another, he should be stopped before it happens again."

Henson filed a complaint with the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board.

Lifetime Pet Center issued a statement saying:

"To our Clients and Community,

As animal lovers ourselves, we understand the concerns about a story that’s circulating online involving our clinic. In more than four decades of practice we’ve never encountered an incident like this, and frankly we’re devastated. We do value patient privacy and respect the right for those involved to share their opinion, but given that violent threats have been made towards our clinic and our staff as a result of what’s being said online, we felt it was important provide you with a short statement.

While we are not at liberty to discuss the details of the case at this time, we can assure you that the characterization of the facts in this case has been inaccurate and misleading. It is true there were unforeseen complications relating to a recent, and complex, surgery performed at our clinic. We want every pet who comes through our door to live a long, happy life. Unfortunately, in this case, the patient did not survive, and we are heartbroken about it. We’re pet people too, and we recognize that losing a pet under any circumstances is distressing. However, we are compelled to point out we disagree with, and object to, the ignoble sentiments expressed by some individuals on social media who are unfamiliar with the facts in this case.

We can assure all of you we always strive to provide this community with the highest level of veterinary care for your pets in the Cincinnati area, and we are committed to doing so in the years ahead."

READ MORE:Family says dog died as a result of veterinarian's mistake

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