The owner wants a refund of his money, and honestly, I am torn over what to do.
Snook did die, yes. When he left my clinic however, he was completely stable with normal vitals. His back hurt, yes, but he had no signs of imminent death. I have double and triple checked the medications he was given, in the event the I had overdosed him, but that is not the case. No, Snook died from something else.
The owner claims we killed his dog with an overdose. When I explained that it was not the case and went over the medications with him, he switched tactics. Now he is claiming that he had no idea prior to leaving the clinic with his dog that Snook would die.
I can't argue with him. It's true. Even I had no idea Snook was in any threat of death, or else I never would have sent him home.
Here's my problem(s). Medicine is an art and not a science. IF Snook died from meningitis, a spinal tap would have been necessary to diagnose it. This would only be done by a neurologist. I did offer referral, but the owners, thinking the back pain and seizure activity were separate (as I did) elected to wait on this. Once Snook died, the only way to confirm what caused his death would have been a necropsy (animal autopsy). The owners did not pursue that and instead buried him.
Thus, I will never know for sure what killed Snook. My guess is meningitis, but truthfully, I have no idea. Whose to say that Snook didn't go home and get into something toxic?
My husband made a great analogy. It's like taking your car in for a transmission repair. You pick it up, drive it for half a day, and then it dies. Instead of taking it back to the place where you had it fixed, you sell it to the junkyard. Then you ask the repair place for your money back.
Was it a faulty transmission and poor repair? Possibly. Is there any way to know for sure? Absolutely not.
Thus, I am stuck. The owner wants his money back, but his reasoning is unclear. I am very sad that Snook died; I feel terrible. Did I miss something? Quite possibly. But there is no way to know for sure.
What I do know is that I sent a dog that looked stable and mostly healthy other than neck pain out the door only to hear that he was dead 8 hours later.
What do y'all think?