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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71055
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My dog lost his hearing after the vet prescribed Otomax ear

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My dog lost his hearing after the vet prescribed Otomax ear drops. Although deafness is noted as a possible side effect on the information leaflet, the vet administered the drops before I was given the leaflet. Also, he did not inform me that this could be a problem, especially in older dogs. Do you think there is any claim I could make, either against the drug company or the vet? Thank you

Thank you for your question . My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

I'm really sorry but Im not sure you can.

Ultimately dogs are property however much they mean to us. It is possible to argue that he should have had your consent before administering this but the royal college of surgeons does allow them to act in the best interest of the animal.

Also, the fact that a treatment has possible side effects does not mean its use is negligent. Its a matter of balancing risk against gain. This treatment is fairly widely used.

Furthermore, even if you could show neglected I'm not sure you can show loss. I understand that nobody wants their dogs to be deafened but it doesn't give rise to medical bills per se and you cannot claim for personal injury on behalf of the dog. You may have a claim for any actual financial loss arising from it if you can show negligence.

I'm very sorry but I can only tell you the truth.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your help. It was as I expected really. Just one more thing: Since my little dog was first prescribed Otomax, she has had to return to the vet's three times. Each time was connected to the loss of hearing and each time he charged me a full consultation fee. Maybe this is just something I should mention to him myself, rather than through a solicitor?

Its always best to try to negotiate first. Apart from anything else its cheaper.

If you can show negligence you could claim the cost of the treatment
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your help. It seems so sad that this could have happened and that no one will be held responsible. I guess it's something to put down to experience and change my vet, if he doesn't agree about the charges Smile