Tuesday, July 22, 2008

VCA Vet Marjorie Field Wraps Dogs Throat and Head Too Tightly; Dog Dies of Suffocation (Michigan)

This is one of those rare cases that actually made it to court.

Here is an excerpt from the opinion of the court:

"Plaintiff [John Koester] left his dog at defendant VCA's kennel for a weekend. Plaintiff left explicit instructions not to use a collar on the dog because of a salivary gland problem for which VCA had previously treated the pet. Upon returning for the dog, plaintiff noticed that the dog's neck area was swollen. Within a few days, when the dog continued to exhibit swelling in the neck area, plaintiff returned to defendant VCA. Defendant [Marjorie] Field, a veterinarian, treated the dog by draining its enlarged gland and bandaging its neck and head. When plaintiff returned to pick up his dog after the procedure, he noticed that the dog appeared to have trouble breathing and asked defendant Field whether the bandages were too tight. Field responded that the dog would be fine once it calmed down. Later that same day, plaintiff left the dog alone for ten to fifteen minutes to run an errand. When plaintiff returned home, he discovered the dog laying motionless on the floor, having apparently choked to death. An autopsy determined that the dog suffocated to death because the bandages were wrapped too tightly."

Unfortunately, the Court did not award Koester the damages he sought for emotional distress. However, the facts of the case are there for all to see.

What kind of emotional distress do you think he suffered, contemplating his dog suffocating to death? Strangled to death by bandages wrapped too tight? What kind of emotional distress would YOU suffer?

So, here is another question: Did vet Marjorie Field move to Ohio after this case, and did she continue to practice NEGLIGENTLY?

A web search of "Marjorie Field, DVM" brings up 2003 minutes from the Ohio Veterinary Board, discussing investigation into a complaint against "Marjorie Field, DVM."


Case Details, Koester vs. VCA Animal Hospital

Citation among list of animal law cases

Actual Case Document