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Woodside Couple Claims Forest Hills Veterinary Clinic Killed Their Cat, File $290K Lawsuit

Camry (Photo: Matthew Ritter)

Jan. 30, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

A Woodside couple has filed a lawsuit against a Forest Hills veterinary clinic for $290,000 alleging that it was responsible for their cat’s death.

Matthew and Louise Ritter claim that BluePearl Vet Specialists, located at 107-28 71st Rd, killed their 17-year-old cat, Camry, by prescribing more than twice the dose of medication required to treat their cat’s kidney problems.

The couple, who have filed suit against BluePearl and four of its veterinarians, claim the clinic gave their 6-pound kitty the amount of medicine needed for a 6-kilogram feline –about 13 pounds—causing their long-haired tortoiseshell cat to suffer.

The day after the treatment was administered, Ritter said he went to visit Camry and found her face down in her litter box, unresponsive and quivering. After calling a veterinarian for help, Camry was diagnosed with heart failure—which Ritter said was due to the excessive medication.

He told the Forest Hills Post that the veterinarians were indifferent about her condition and did not offer an apology.

“They did an emergency procedure to remove excess fluids from her heart, which they had flooded with excess medication, and put her in an oxygen cage for the next week,” Ritter said.

The cat stabilized and the Ritters took Camry home. She still required further treatment and died weeks later.

The couple now seek $290,000–representing the $15,262 it cost to treat Camry from March 20 until she died; $10,000 for the Ritters’ lost time and wages; $10,000 for the pain suffered by the cat; $5,000 for the value of Camry; and $250,000 in punitive damages.

“It’s a mystery to me how this happened,” Matthew Ritter, a drumming instructor, said in an interview. “How did an entire team of trained animal specialists not realize she wasn’t a 13-pound cat? If you care about what you’re doing, you double check your measurements.”

Ritter recruited Richard Bruce Rosenthal, a lawyer based in Kew Gardens known as “The Dog Lawyer,” and filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court last week.

“There was nothing accidental about it,” Rosenthal said, putting it down to negligence. “The same person that weighed out and administered the medication had the cat right in front of him and could see this wasn’t a 13-pound cat.”

Furthermore, “At no point did [BluePearl] even apologize to my client for what happened,” Rosenthal said. “If they did, it probably wouldn’t have got to this.”

A representative of BluePearl provided a statement on the case. “As an organization of pet lovers, we care deeply about every pet we treat. While we have not been served with this complaint, we are still in communication with the Ritter family and hope to address their concerns.”

The concept of seeking monetary damages for an animal’s suffering is rare. However, Rosenthal said it’s appropriate.

“Defendants were aware that Camry was a conscious, loving and sentient being who experienced pain, physical suffering and emotional joy and emotional suffering in a manner similar to that of human,” the suit says.

BluePearl Vet Specialist at 107-28 71st Rd (Google)

email the author: [email protected]

114 Comments

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Anonymous

Your the one whos mean we dont need to seek help because were mourning the lost of a loved pet its just like losing a loved one

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Norman

I can say without hesitation that if a veterinarian administered a lethal dose of meds to my dog I’d lose my shit on them. But $280.000 bucks is a retarded amount of money to seek in compensation for a cat that was years passed it’s life expectancy to begin with. Seriously the amount of compensation that this “animal lover” is seeking speaks volumes so. Let them put there head on a pillow at night and see what kind of rest they get. But then again the type of person that ask for that type of paper for this deal would probably have no problems sleeping well I’d imagine

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Rachel

Can someone please block this ‘Cindy’ person from posting. “I bet you are a veterinarian aren’t you or work for one”– do you have nothing else to add except your bitter banter?
The cat lived for more than 3 weeks after it left BluePearl–anyone with an ounce of medical training will tell you that those excess fluids from treatment were long gone. Sorry your cat died!
I am certain they apologized, but not to your liking (i.e. not to your pocket book’s liking).
It’s so irresponsible to spread nonsense like this!

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Dont worry about my name

Im sorry but i think your the one who needs to be blocked because i took my cat in they gave her the same injection and now shes having problems with her heart your a mean person for telling them to block her all shes doing is telling her story it dont hurt you any so keep your opinions to yourself because im in the process of suing my vet alsowhy dont you get a life all shes doing is telling her story nobodys hurting you so why dont you get off the sight im going thru the same problem with my cat do to this medicine my cat now has fluid on her heart also so your the one who dont know what your talking about so please leave your comments to yourself if your not a vet

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Anonymous

So sorry about the loss of your cat. Pets really are part of the family. You did all you could ,& Camry surely felt your love all those years,& until the end. It makes all the difference in one’s experience with healthcare professionals if you feel they truly cared & speak honestly & with empathy. Did that occur in this case? Perhaps somewhere along the line here,at some point, by some comment, it did not. I remember being mortified to hear the tone a fellow heathcare team member used on a hectic day, with a new father. He saw his newborn wailing in the hospital nursery window & simply wanted to make sure he was ok. The team member curtly replied “Sir, babies cry. That’s what they DO.” Well,yes, but this is totally new & unique to this first time parent.. Same thing with a pet…Dont know all what went on. But anyway, also, many thanks to all you veterinarians & staffmembers out there taking kind care of our pets everyday. Keep on keeping on. Steinway Court in Astoria was there for my cat all his long life,& very supportive when he passed away..

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Dale

I’ll answer a very simple question – why wasn’t it caught? And why wouldn’t they appologize. Fluids aren’t an exact science. You can’t say with *any* degree of certainty how dehydrated an animal is, you can only guess (yes, there are ‘rules’ but the rules themselves are guesses), a severely dehydrated cat may in fact need a high dose of fluids, or one may need to be aggressive to have any hope at all in saving the animal. A factor of 2 actually isn’t all that huge when it comes to fluids, and the same rate that is appropriate for a 6kg Cat might be just as appropriate for a 6lbs Cat. In fact in the aftermath, one might even assume that a mistake was made as one is going over ones notes when no mistake was made. Why wouldn’t they appologize? Because they know all this, and they know that some people love to sue. I suspect they dropped off a severely debilitated Cat, the vets went to extreme measures to stabilize, but it didn’t last long term. Eventually Cat decompensated and died. Vets still have the right to be paid for their work, even if the outcome was unfortunate,

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facts

You think Blue Pearl is bad…the vet on Greenpoint Ave has to be one of the worst in the city. They might as well advertise they are a butcher. interesting that sunnysidepost doesn’t allow any negative comments on its advertisers……$ b4 truth?

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Justice for Camry

Amirite – First of all, Camry’s owners are the ones that provided excellent care to Camry that is responsible for Camry’s longevity. If you got anything out of this, it was the Veterinarian that resulted in Camry’s untimely demise. More than obvious, you are not too intelligent.

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QueensRight

Saw a story about this in the NY Post a few days ago with more details. The writer on this website forgot to mention Blue Pearl demanded that the couple still pay thousands for the botched treatment. In the NY Post article, that seemed to be the main thing that started this whole conflict. Very bad form, Blue Pearl!! Inexcusable.

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Dale

You’re assuming that the so called ‘botched’ treatment was actually the cause of the harm. I suspect they were aggressive with fluids because you know, 17 year old cat in renal failure, and then treated the overload (very hard to know where/when overload will be, fluid rates are highly subjective, there is no such thing as ‘the dose for a 6lbs cat’), and did 1000 other things so that this Cat left the clinic alive. It’s not wrong to ask to be paid for your services. (Now if the fluids were legitimately what caused the harm and there was a legitimate error made, and I’m not convinced either was the case, then you don’t charge for the fluids or the treatment related to the mistake, but can still charge for unrelated treatment).

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Chip

No matter the amount of “fluids”, the amount of medication given for a feline was more than double her weight..
If I go to the doctor about kidney issues and my antibiotics and such are given to me that of someone double my weight I might die or at the very least get really sick. The science for animals is different of that of humans but even so, taking double the dosage of any kind of medication is not good. I’m sure common sense could tell you that.

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Dale

But there is no such thing as ‘double the dose’ of fluids. Did you even read what I wrote?

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Thumper

There is a dosage for 6pd cats you clearly dont know what your talking about because the first thing the vet asked me when I took my cat to get the same injection is how much does your cat weigh cuz we don’t want to overdose her so yes they do go by the weight so if you don’t know what you’re talkin about don’t make comments

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Dale

Sigh… while yes, typically a 6kg cat will get more than a 6lb cat, its not as simple as that. The *range* of typical ‘dosages’ can easily vary by a factor of 4 or more. (So your 6lb cat, may end up with a higher ‘dose’ than your 6kg cat). I repeat, there is no one ‘dose’.

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Bye bye private practice

I started in the vet field as a kennel cleaner when I was 16 years old. I spent 8 years of my life in higher education. I spent 3 years in private practice and never had a board complaint or any issues with clients. But after 3 years in private practice, I walked away from it. Not because of the animals, but because of the clients. I have never met or worked with a veterinarian that said they were in this profession to make money. After leaving private practice, I took a job working at an animal shelter as a staff veterinarian because I still wanted to be able to provide care for animals that had been left behind and forgotten. Recently a cat came into the shelter that had been picked up by animal control. I thought I recognized the cat. When I scanned it for a microchip and traced the information, it belonged to one of my former clients from when I was in private practice. When I called the client, she told me that she had dropped the cat off at a local school yard because she was tired of it and had gotten a new kitten. I ended up adopting this cat because I felt obligated to take care of this cat because I had gotten it through a pretty serious illness when I was in private practice. To everyone on here that are bashing veterinarians and calling us greedy, do you think that are you actually accomplishing anything? Have you gone through life and not made a single mistake? Did someone beat you up on the playground so you now feel entitled to do the same? Are you constantly checking this blog to see if your comments have managed to strike at the emotions of someone else? Do you think vets go home at night and celebrate mistakes? (We don’t….we usually go home and think about every case we saw that day and if we missed anything or wonder how that animal is doing). For those of any that are so angry at whatever in life and are hiding behind your keyboards, why don’t you take all of that energy and seek professional help so you can learn how to interact with others humans and animals in a compassionate manner. To those of you that are going to reply to this comment, I am never going to return to look at any further comments.

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Anonymous

Your the one whos mean we dont need to seek help because were mourning the lost of a loved pet its just like losing a loved one

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Gerd

Good luck getting any money awarded on this frivolous lawsuit. Hope you’re not paying the lawyer.

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susan

this is just the attitude I experienced from big business Mars who owns Blue Pearl. This won’t bode well for you in court. Pet owners HATE you! You are only about the money and could care less about our pets.

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Whatever

Yeah, ok. And, obviously you know what you’re talking about. **insert biggest eye roll ever**

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bxgrl

Yeah there was a mistake. A whopping BIG mistake which probably did kill the cat. Plus, I’ve brought cats to Blue Pearl and was charged twice as much as the vet for EVERYTHING. The high cost of veterinary care in the case of Blue Pearl is simple: greed. And, what the heck does Chewy.com have to do with this?

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Stacia

For those of you bashing vets for bring money hungry or getting what they deserve for making mistakes …. I ask that you take a minute to have a little compassion for hard working vets who spend thousands of dollars to go to school and specialize in advanced care so that they can help your pets. They don’t have to go this direction in life … they could make a whole lot more money and have a better quality of life if they were MDs, but they choose to make less money and still pour their life’s work, and heart and soul into the health of your furry loved ones. There is no way that this “mistake” was intentional. In fact, it is likely that this cat was very sick and had a complication from treatment, that although unfortunate and tragic, can occur when treating kidney failure. You are a cold hearted person if you think these vets and their nurses don’t agonize over these losses- because they do. They are human and they love animals more than you do because they’ve devoted they’re life to them. They are not rich money grubbing humans and they on average make as much as teachers… which is not a lot for the huge amount of debt they have incurred to go to school. It costs money to run a hospital especially an advanced care facility and nothing in life is free- nothing!!! Get pet insurance if it costs too much for you….. There are great options now….Complications occur from medical treatment – fact of life… you get sick, you need medicine, some medicine can hurt while it’s trying to help and if a dose is too high for a patient it maybe related to underlying issues versus negligence. If this cat died because of a medical error, it should go through a board review by the state veterinary board… not a lawyer…. the fact that they are seeking monetary damages proves that they are less concerned about the potential mistake anymore concerned that they can benefit from it financially. The state board can investigate and find medical wrong doing and punish the hospital and its vets for the mistake, but these owners want cash and that makes it a disgusting endeavor. Maybe these vets made a mistake but making broad statements about how vets deserve punishment and should be sued is heart breaking to me. That attitude deserves you to fall into the category of not being worthy of their care… so if you need help with your pet in the future…. stay home… treat your own pet yourself because you don’t deserve the medical care that those professionals offer.

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Ashley

You don’t know what you’re talking about. It was meant as an aside. Chewy.com is owned by Mars. Mars also owns banfield, VCA, Antech ( which is the largest lab provider in the country) and Blue Pearl. Because of this, Chewy.com is able to purchase drugs and sell them for cheaper than veterinarians can even buy them. This causes veterinarian’s to lose money on selling those medications that they normally would in their hospital. we have to make revenue some way to pay our staff to buy the necessary equipment to keep our lights on, etc. Because chewy.com is decreasing our revenue, we now have to increase our prices on services. This makes people angry, but we have to be able to keep our hospitals open in some way. So in other words, people think they are getting cheaper medications, but what they are really doing is supporting big business and forcing us to raise our cost in other ways.

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susan

oh gee cry my a river..the poor veterinarians! I don’t feel sorry for you. Get out of the business if you can’t make money!

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Cindy Rockwell

Sounds good id watch my.pet die before i took it to a cold heartless money grubbing vet. I can say that because i used to be a veterinary technician ive seen first handed how some of the newer vets are PRACTICING MEDICINE. Its a whole different setting and work area for animal doctor then for human doctors, totally different. Im sure no one would mind paying their prices if they did the quality care that they are charging for. Right now vets are charging out of control prices. If you dont have a clue what im talking about go spend a day at an animal hospital then go spend a day at a veterinary hospital. About all they have similar to one another is 24 hour emergency care. Ih thats right alit of vets say they have a hospital but guess what? They dont have anyone there with your beloved pet 24 hours a day as a hospital should. Oh yeh someone is on call 24 hours or after they close for the day. But its quite a bit different then a human hospital. If they want to charge professional prices then id suggest they do the work as professionals. As a matter of fact you can inject DMSO IV to try and get the kidneys going again. But at twice the dose amount id say you would kill them. Maybe the feline was given an iv push of the fluids that would cause a problem not only for a 17 year old cat but any aged cat. Some antibiotics would cause problems for the heart like Convenia injectable. Its an antibiotics as its name is. Its last for days it for the convience of not having to administer an oral antibiotic. Its been taken off the foreign market for causing tremors, seizures and death. My God why give a drug such a stupid name. I dont recall any human medicine named so ridiculous. People used to become veterinarians because they liked animals and they liked medicine. Now its because its the money making profession to go into. I know what im talking about, unfortunately.

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Bazinga

Actually, no you don’t, and I’m pretty sure I know why you’re no longer a vet tech. Jeezis.

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JB

Are you sure you know what you’re talking about? The last time I checked, medical degrees weren’t handed out in crackerjack boxes…. I could be wrong though ??‍♀️

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Em

Clearly you don’t know what you’re talking about if you think people are getting into veterinary medicine for the money.

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susan

that is the only reason Mars has gotten into the veterinary business. It is certainly not for altruistic reasons. They are big business! Clearly you don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about. Do some research!

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Rachel

Some of these posts really disgust me. Have any of you bashers stopped to think for one minute that these veterinary specialists have dedicated their lives to helping animals? They don’t own the hospital and do not dictate the prices- if you don’t want to pay for a specialist, go to a general practitioner, without need to bash these people.
Further to this case in particular, the cat went home fine– God knows it was an old cat, and who knows what happened after it left the hospital (these owners sound like a piece of work poor cat).
This case, as with so many others like it, stink to high heaven about money- sad but true.
Some of the things written here are disgusting, and I would love to know the people doing the writing, and see your face (it’s easy to hide behind a computer).
I have spent a lot of money at BluePearl Queens- the care I have received and the knowledge that these doctors possess amazes me. I bow down to you all, and please try to ignore these nasty posts from nasty people.

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QueensRight

I understand you feel compassion for vets, but you accuse people of being nasty and your own message here is also pretty nasty to the other posters, and to the cat owners. Nowhere does it say Blue Pearl sent their cat home “fine.” It is like you are looking to judge these people harshly.

This story has been reported in the NY Post with much more details, plus the owners posted some more details on this page. Couple brings in their cat for treatment. Cat is medicated for several hours as a 6 kilogram cat instead of the real weight of 6 pounds. How ridiculous! The hospital even admits it.

As a result, the cat goes into heart failure. No one at Blue Pearl even notices until the owner visits and discovers the cat face down in a litter box!!!! It’s like a horror story!!!

Cat is placed on oxygen. Cat stabilizes just enough to be removed from oxygen and the owners take the cat away from Blue pearl as quickly as possible in worse condition than they brought her in. They take her to 3 other vets desperately trying to undo the Blue Pearl damage, to no avail. The cat dies.

Blue Pearl still charges the couple many thousands of dollars for the botched treatment. No apology.

I see you said you had some good experience at Blue Pearl, but you do not need to defend their behavior in this incident. You insult the owners and also the other people who find Blue Pearl’s behavior in this case to be unacceptable. I said it before, and I will say it again. Very bad form, Blue Pearl! Inexcusable!

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Dale

It’s obvious you don’t have much of a medical background. Fluid doses aren’t an exact science. While impossible to tell for sure, as exact doses aren’t indicated in the article, a factor of 2 ‘over dose’ for fluids isn’t really much, and was probably still within limits. We also only have the owner’s word that they ‘admitted their mistake’ (I can think of several ways the facts could be distorted here without any malicious intent on the part of the owners). Most likely scenario here – Camry was in ‘anuric renal failure’ meaning his kidneys were producing any urine. This means regardless of fluid dose he’d have trouble. (Needed the fluids to cope with the kidney issues, but system couldn’t cope with the fluids that were needed). In terms of ‘face down in the litter box’ goes, first off that can mean anything, that can mean what I’m sure you’re picturing, which is ‘face plant in the litter’, to lying in the litter box (not uncommon in a cat having issues), to lying with head over the edge of the litter box. All of these are signs of weakness. Regardless though, we are talking about a cat who is unstable enough to need an oxygen kennel. Hardly surprising they would be feeling weak. The fact that the cat died weeks after the incident I suspect is what is being used to say ‘cat was pretty stable when they left’. (And the fact they went to 3 different vets says they didn’t get very extensive care at any one of them)

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Ruth

Why have compassion for a vet who has no compassion cor pet owners? A sincere heartfelt apology would have been cheap and so much appreciated. Or don’t they teach that in those expensive specialist vet schools? Our pets are our families and deserve the attention we give our families. And a kg is not a lb. A kg doesn’t feel like a lb. Whoever made this error was asleep, distracted, uneducated or unsupervised or just shouldn’t have been at work that day. This has nothing to do with the pet’s age, diagnosis, or prognosis. If it happened to this pet, it has happened before and will happen to the next pet to come in. These folks deserve what it’s costing them to bring this situation to light, through a lawyer who had to pay for his training too… so that it might eventually get to a state board. How do you think these cases get there? Vets don’t report them! My sympathy to Camry’s owners!

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FuhBluePearl

Could of gone a different route & makes more money? That’s a passive aggressive statement. What you want worship for failing to care for injured animals due to medical negligence?

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Dale

I don’t think anyone is asking for worship. Sounds to me like the vets involved in this case pulled this animal back from the jaws of death and are being rewarded for it by being sued for nearly $300,000. While the cat may or may not have been dosed in kg rather than lbs, knowing it was IV fluids to me says this is unlikely to have been causative in the cat’s death…obviously can’t say for sure without exact figures, but generally there is quite a bit of give in the amount of fluids an animal can take. Likely the cat had an underlying condition (anuric renal failure), which caused a backup (which would have happened at just about any therapeutic dose).
It’s all too common (this article and thread being one example among many), to see people armchair quarterback a case with no medical knowledge what so over (or just what they can google), and come to the conclusion that ‘someone screwed up, so heads must roll and all the internet vigilantes must be mobilized’. Do you realize that cases just like this one have resulted in death threats against not only the vets but their families? I’ve read stories about vets hiding in their houses afraid to go outside when vindictive owners fabricate stories and start posting about it. Do you realize that some are driven to suicide by cases like these? So no, no one is expecting to be worshiped. Yes, in cases of legitimate screw ups, one expects consequences. One does not expect harassment. One does not expect frivolous law suits after doing everything possible for an animal.

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Anonymous

They love animals more than you do, for real? dvm are humans, some are very good and unfortunately many are not and some don’t care that much. Most of them charge way too much. When they make a mistake that kills your furbaby, causing horrific suffering and pain, the least they should do is apologize and not charge you for it. I had this happen to me twice and I did not have money to sue in one case which I should have. It was a terrible mistake and my cat suffered unbelievably. Even years later, I have not gotten over that trauma. The head dvm was such a coward he never even spoke to us about it. That is unacceptable. Giving too much fluid is not ok, it puts the cat into heart failure.

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Camry's Owner

Thanks to those of you who have expressed your sympathy here. I won’t be posting regularly, but I just wanted to clarify a couple of points that were unclear in the article.

Camry did indeed have white in her fur, so it seems that perhaps she was technically calico. Thanks to those who pointed that out. The various vets who saw her over the years tended to list her as “dilute tortie.” Either way, her coloring was quite beautiful.

Camry was approximately 6 pounds. She had not wasted away due to illness. She was, and always had been, a very tiny cat…much tinier than she may appear in her photo.

The tragic medical treatment she received was fluid administered with IV. The dosage was calculated as a direct multiple of her weight. Unfortunately, this calculation was done based on 6 kilograms (approximately 13 pounds) instead of her true weight of 6 pounds. This massively excessive dosage was fed directly into her veins for several hours. All of this was admitted by the veterinarians at BluePearl.

Once she stabilized just enough to be removed from the oxygen cage at Blue Pearl, we quickly took her out of that hospital and brought her to 3 other vets. They all confirmed that the massive flood of fluids to her little heart had doomed her. Sure enough, she passed away shortly thereafter.

At 17 years old, Camry was definitely a senior cat. That’s what makes this entire story all the more upsetting. After living for 17 years, Camry had every right to peacefully to live out whatever time she had remaining. Up until the BluePearl incident, she was still very playful and loved her life.

A simple online search will reveal that this type of occurrence has become all too common at BluePearl . We are intentionally making a large legal statement here to draw attention to the situation at BluePearl and hopefully prevent any future tragedies like this.

Thank you again to all who have shared your support.

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Cindy Rockwell

Im so sorry for your loss, she deserved better then she got from this place. Its happening everywhere. Vets are seeing more patients and are doing careless work and charging big bucks. Wish it wasnt so but it is. Ive seen it first handed and im ashamed of a profession i gave my heart and soul to. I worked as a veterinary technician for years until i was forced to quit due to injuries. Its sad so so sad. I took my moms dog from her regular vet to a specialty center in a much bigger city. The vets were all specialist which they had a few more years of study. A simple mistake was made using a U 100 insulin syringe when they were suppose to using a U 40 insulin syringe. It made a big difference in his health. They didnt get jim out og ketoacidosis before pushing him out of the hospital. But heh wed only spent $15,000.00. Poor Ceasar deserves better.

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May

I am sorry for your loss, truly. But you are doing more damage than you know. Occult heart disease is incredibly common in cats. Even cats that have never had a heart murmur or arrhythmia. The only treatment for chronic kidney disease is IV fluids and you do run the risk of pushing a cat into heart disease. Almost always. I understand that you were hurting, but what you are doing is not right. You have no idea whether she was given the maintenance or twice maintenance or three times maintenance which is commonly given to chronic renal failure patients. Unfortunately in her case, her heart could not handle it. But this lawsuit will only further increase the cost of veterinary care and possibly contribute to the already high suicide rate of veterinarians. It is a selfish and self-centered way of punishing someone, while at the same time gaining from it financially. It’s a shame that unfortunately, this will continue to happen with frivolous lawsuits which will only drive up the cost of veterinary care.

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sisonline

Completely agree. If a 17yr old cat was a specialty clinic and hospitalized on fluids for kidney disease…you can bet the cat was not “happy and running around and healthy” before the visit. This cat was likely in kidney failure and this was a “heroic” measure. Meaning…the p was going to die from kidney failure…so, give as high a dose of fluids as possible to determine if there is any renal function left to work with. Maybe the fluids were overloaded as far as what the heart was able to deal with..but, if the cat was going to die of kidney failure it is a far cry to claim the Vet hospital killed the cat with fluids and cardiac decompensation. Additionally, we truly only have one side of the story. What we don’t know..is what recommendations, warnings and criteria were given to the owner and what was declined or disregarded or ignored by the owner. True to public media…everyone is a hyper-critic with only one side of the story. You think the owner is going to post ALL the details?

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Gail

I feel your pain, I had a vet drop the ball which in turn I lost my little boy (13) way too early. In my case it wasn’t the clinic it was just one doctor there.

I hope everything works out for you, and your xclinic gets what they deserve.
I am so very sorry for your loss.

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Anonymeow

I am so sorry for what happened to your beloved Camry? this is an unacceptable mistake and I am glad you are doing something to try and prevent it from happening again. I had similar experiences and I did not, due to finances. I did participated in a complaint in one case with other pet owners but nothing came of it. Unfortunately things are stacked in favor of dvm etc. In that case a dvm killed my 17 year old fur baby by piercing his spleen during a procedure and then allowing him to go home. He suffered unbearably and I have never gotten over it. The head dvm who was also his doc was too cowardly to even speak to us.

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Anonymous

How come we accept that complications are a normal part of human medicine and that there are lots of shades of grey, diagnosis can take weeks if not months, but animal medicine is supposed to be black and white, one medicine cures all and if it costs more than $200-300 vets are ‘only out there for the money’, ‘don’t care about pets’ or just plain wrong. Just because animal may do well with cheaper treatments doesn’t mean those are the best. People love to hold up vets who charge nothing as hero’s and ones who charge appropriately as villains. When minimal care works, those cheap vets are hero’s. When it doesn’t, the owner sued them for malpractice. In this case, when a VERY OLD cat develops heart failure while being treated for another disease, it must be the fault of the vet. And they will do everything to bring them down – they should ‘lose their license’. There is no medicine for kidney disease that given at twice the dose would cause heart failure. Period. Whoever wrote the article and the owners should be sued for libel. Vets are tired of being run out of business for trying to save animals.

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Cindy Rockwell

Bet your a veterinarian arent you? Or work for one. They couldnt even apoligize to the owner. So what if it list half it bidy weight that doesnt give the vet the right to make such a mistake ya know chris.

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Ashley

Of course they should apologize. That is rule number one. They should apologize and own up to the error. But do I think that they should sue for over $200,000? Absolutely not. You don’t even have proof or know that the overdose is what actually killed the cat. I cannot think of anything that I would prescribe for a cat that is in kidney failure that would also cause heart failure other than fluids. and by the way, occult heart disease is incredibly common in cats with no murmur or arrhythmia. All I am saying is that veterinarian should not be hung out to dry every time a mistake is made. Veterinarians have the highest suicide rate of any profession in the country( mostly because of online social media bashing). We go to school for 8 plus years, take on upwards of $200,000 in student loans and still make barely $65,000 per year. We love our profession, and we do the absolute best that we can for our patients. Do mistakes happen? Of course they do. I’m sure that you have made mistakes in your profession and have not run the risk of losing everything that you’ve worked for because of it.

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K.S.

Reminder: you are only getting half the story. Perhaps they got an apology but the owner didn’t feel it was “sufficient.” Because of this lawsuit bluepearl is likely not commenting because of the legal ramifications. It sucks, but errors like this happen every day in human medicine. But they don’t get sued for $290k.

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Justice for Camry

Comments to the Ashley person – you are so nonchalant in speaking about an animal with a heartbeat, as if it is an “oopsy daisy” mistake. Clearly, you would better serve as something other than a veterinarian, and yes, it is possible that I can make a mistake, but I have an eraser on my pencil. Which means, when you are dealing with a living person or animal, you have to be exactly perfect, because otherwise, you have caused great harm to a living being. You write as if you are entitled to mess up, and that sounds way to narcissistic to me for a person to be in a medical field treating animals. Animals are people’s family.

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Dale

Here is what I suspect: Cat is in kidney failure. Owner brings in Cat, “I’ll pay anything doc just save her”, so they get to work on the Cat. She’s dehydrated so they put her on a relatively high rate of fluids. She starts to suffer from a fluid overload/trouble breathing etc (maybe her kidneys were totally shut down and not excreting anything they gave her). Vet calls and says ‘your cat is having trouble breathing, we need to put in an oxygen kennel’. Owners say WTF. She was breathing fine when she arrived, what’s going on? So the vet tries unsuccessfully to explain how fluid overload works, and how she’s getting the fluid they pumped in to her building up in her lungs, so now they have to get it out. Owners ask “did you give her too much?” Vet hedges, and hums and hahs (why, because clinically yep, it was too much for *her*, but not too much in general), eventually it comes out as a ‘yes we gave her too much’, well how much? They tell the numbers. Well how much is normal? Maintenance is xx mL/kg. OMG you have her twice that! No wonder she’s dying (twice maintenance is a fairly standard rate in these cases), owner draws own conclusion that it was a lbs/kgs thing or perhaps calls back and speaks to another vet, and says ‘Dr X says you were giving too much fluids by a factor of 2, how can that happen’ Dr Y, who is just picking up the case says ‘Ummm, umm, not sure, but one way is sometimes lbs and kgs get mixed up, I’ve seen it happen’.
All this to say, is (a) there is no set ‘dose’ of IV fluids, so a ‘200% overdose’ is meaningless. (b) even if the rate was faster than they meant it to be (which I’m not sure it was) double fluids for a day isn’t likely to cause the signs indicated (in fact the majority of drugs have a pretty wide therapeutic window), and I strongly suspect an underlying condition was at fault for the cat’s decompensating.
Clinic enacted heroic measures and pulls this cat back from the jaws of death to stabilize, and discharges to the owner…. I’m not sure what they are apologizing for? (Not being omniscient?)

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Justice for Camry

response to Dale – you are one incredible “know-it-all”, perhaps with all your information and your fierce defense, you must be a vet tech or vet aid or maybe work at the front desk of a vet clinic, because that is where all the intelligent vet people are working.

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Melissa

Exactly!! These are the same people that complain about the rising cost of veterinary Care. They think that vets hold a crystal ball and we just sit on a pile of cash hoarding all of our money. Nothing could be further from the truth. The body has limitations, and not everything can be fixed.

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susan

big business Mars vets promise pet owners outcomes they can’t deliver, then they exploit them financially and worst of all they give them back a dead pet.

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Anonymous

The words of one side mean absolutely nothing. Nobody can make an educated assessment without all of the information. You have angry and emotional owners with zero medical comprehension on one side, and veterinary staff who – thanks to an increasingly litigious society – are unable to provide any facts for legal reasons on the other. A 17 year old cat with renal disease significant enough to place the animal in the hospital is not going to have a positive outcome. There is far more to this story than is being said.

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Anonymous

The cat isnt even worth 200,000$ first off. In court, they will get what they paid for the cat. If they rescued the cat for 5$ then they should really just give it up

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Justice for Camry

Response to Anonymous – and perhaps there is a reason why you are “anonymous” -you are an idiot! and these people on the side of the malpractice and against Camry and Camry’s owners, is exactly why veterinarian malpractice is rarely acknowledged. If the malpractice against Camry was done to a human, that would be acknowledged, but a cat, I am stunned that these people are so heartless and disrespectful to Camry. I only hope these negative people are not pet owners or veterinarians to work with pets.

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CHRIS

17 yrs old, kidney disease and only weighed 6 lbs? Who was making this cat suffer. My 17 yr old Maine Coon was getting shots fir hus kidney failure. He weighed 18 lbs when diagnosed. When he lost 1/2 his body weight, I did the humane thing and put him down. Don’t blame a vet because of your dislousions. $297k? ROFLMAO

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Cindy Rockwell

Wow you have alot of nerve making such a comment. You know pets are actually members of families, not yours i take it. I used to work as a veterinary technician and im so ashamed of the profession i loved. Their charging professional fees but not doing the quality work. Overdosing by twice the amount is crazy. The feline should have been weighed when it came in to the clinic/hospital in the beginning. If they cant figure out doses then someone needs to go back to school.

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April

Cindy,
I am betting that you have no medical background, nor even know how the body works. The cat went into heart failure and had chronic kidney disease. these cases happen all of the time and there is an incredibly dead delicate balance that must be taken. Even if it is, cats will often die of heart disease with chronic kidney failure. Stop bashing that’s and ranting about something that you know nothing about.

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Rebecca

Cindy, you should really not spread your lies and misinformation. I know for certain you were not a veterinary technician due to your supreme ignorance in your post. Convenia off the foreign market? Please stop making things up. Our job is hard enough without your stupidity. Oh, and no vet tech I know doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re, and their/there/they’re. Pretty pathetic.

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Cindy Rockwell

Bet your a veterinarian arent you? Or work for one. They couldnt even apoligize to the owner. So what if it list half it bidy weight that doesnt give the vet the right to make such a mistake ya know chris.

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April

Yep. I feel incredibly sorry for your veterinarian that has to deal with you. You clearly have no medical background, nor do you know what you are talking about. You said that you were a “vet tech”company, yet none of the stuff that you said made any sense whatsoever.
Giving maintenance fluids for chronic kidney failure is a standard. Unfortunately, occult heart disease was found in this cat. It was not the veterinarians fault. Your nastiness and vindictiveness are just shocking. I hope you can find a way to channel those an appealing traits into something positive.

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Heather Walkowe

Happy they are fighting for their beloved Camry! Good luck to the family, sorry for their loss!

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Anonymous

Really?! Wow, I hope if you ever make a “mistake” at your job, people aren’t waiting in line to bash you and “to your eyes out”. You are a terrible person.

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Ashley

This is freaking atrocious of these people. These are the same people that complain about the cost of veterinary Care. Why do you think it keeps getting more expensive? Because people like you continue to make frivolous lawsuits! The cat was 17 AND in chronic renal failure! No medication given to a renal failure cat, even at twice the recommended dose, is going to cause heart failure. This cat was already dying and these people are using it as an excuse. Was there a mistake, yes. But this was not the cause of the cat’s death. People, think about this before you start lawsuits. THIS is why veterinary care costs are increasing. This and Chewy.com

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Cindy Rockwell

I thought about it and they should sue the pants off these vets. I used to work as a veterinary animal technician for 25 years before i became disabled. I worked with a surgeon and a neurologist. What was done here was neglectious. You get the animals weoght and then 3xs you look at what the medication is along with the dosage. Obviously someone overlooked the steps you take to prevent such a thing from happening. Im ashamed at how much veterinarians are charging now days. Their charging the price of professional but arent doing the work of one. Believe i know i a new vet to our area basically killed both of my folks dogs one year apart from each other. They both had pancreatitis which is a very serious illness and they both had diabetes secondary to it. You wouldnt believe how they treated them for it. I should have my mom sue their asses. I hooe these people win and maybe vets will be more cautious in their PRACTICING OF MEDICINE. They never get sued and they need to when you cant even tell your client youre sorry for their loss. We all make mistakes you know but some dont have the balls to admit it.

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JB

Oh, I would LOVE to know how a veterinarian killed your moms dogs that had pancreatitis! This should be interesting! I’ll go pop some popcorn while you formulate your answer! ?

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Ashley

Yep. And I feel very sorry for your veterinarian, whoever they are. You just sound like an incredibly vindictive and angry person and I feel sorry for you. You have no idea what happened, nor do you have a medical background. It is useless trying to speak sense into someone that does not want to see reason, and I doubt you could see it anyway. I hope you can find a way to turn your anger and hatred into something positive.

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Catherine Pasanen

I got hosed at Blue Pearl also. Extremely expensive, they pushed for the most extreme and expensive and unnecessary surgery. My cat, whose labs initially were fine when he came in, showed, after their care for a urethral blockage, early stages of renal failure and probably would have gone into full blown renal failure as I just couldn’t afford additional care after the initial $5000 spent in just 1.5 days there. Lucky for me, I found another vet willing to set me up to do subcutaneous IV fluid boluses at home. I saved my cat. No thanks to them. They would barely come to the phone and when they did, I only got to speak to a tech.

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Paula

What medicine can cause heart failure at a double dose? I don’t know if any. Unless IV fluids which are administered in the hospital white they are being monitored for blood pressure to prevent this. It sounds like the cat just had heart disease that happened to be noticeable while started on the medication.

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bxgrl

I had a cat with both heart disease and kidney disease. My vet explained that it’s a delicate balancing act to treat, because kidney disease requires fluid addition and heart disease, fluid removal.

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Cindy Rockwell

Im so sorry for your loss, she deserved better then she got from this place. Its happening everywhere. Vets are seeing more patients and are doing careless work and charging big bucks. Wish it wasnt so but it is. Ive seen it first handed and im ashamed of a profession i gave my heart and soul to. I worked as a veterinary technician for years until i was forced to quit due to injuries. Its sad so so sad. I took my moms dog from her regular vet to a specialty center in a much bigger city. The vets were all specialist which they had a few more years of study. A simple mistake was made using a U 100 insulin syringe when they were suppose to using a U 40 insulin syringe. It made a big difference in his health. They didnt get jim out og ketoacidosis before pushing him out of the hospital. But heh wed only spent $15,000.00. Poor Ceasar deserves better.

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Justice for Camry

response to Paula – “what medicine can cause heart failure at double dose”? Perhaps a little more thinking before attempting to formulate a question, so dumb! First, it is a 6 pound cat, would you give double doses of anything to a 6 pound infant? Second, the cat was 17 years old, would you give double doses to a senior citizen? Third, any veterinarian should at least think that a 6 pound 17 year old cat most likely has compromises at that age, AND YOU BETTER MOVE VERY CAUTIOUSLY in the treatment plan for this cat. Without any clinical evidence, I can state that POSITIVELY. I don’t need clinical evidence, just COMMON SENSE, on how to proceed in this cat’s treatment plan.

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Kate Black

1) Most drugs have a pretty wide therapeutic range. For instance, several go from 5-20 mg/kg. Unless the dose of the drug was in the toxic level, a single dose is unlikely to cause a problem.

2) The chances of a 17 year old cat having occult cardiac disease is high. Frankly, any treatment for kidney failure can result in moving that sub clinical heart disease straight into heart failure because you have to hydrate those with kidney failure and dehydrate those with heart disease.
3) A 17 year old cat with kidney disease is at the very end of their life span. It is usually kidney failure or heart failure that does it.

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Animal Lover

Life and death decisions should have consequences . All those with that kind of power must be held accountable for there errors be it pet or person.

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Samantha Taylor

Technically it’s a blue tortoiseshell and white longhair also known as blue calico. I just lost a nearly 15 year old cat to a rabies vaccination. The cost of the vaccine, necropsy and cremation were covered but nothing else. Money can’t replace something priceless but it helps.

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Anonymous

One more pet owner and imbissilic lawyer who sensationalizes the loss for thrir excessive interest for the almighty dollar

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Ketti

It sounds like their cat suffered from congestive heart failure. I am curious about what ‘medication’ they were talking about. A lot of time CHF happens when cats with chronic or acute kidney disease are given too much fluid to flush out the toxins in order to prevent them from crashing. The 17 year old cat probably had an underlying heart condition and could not withstand such amount of fluid. It’s really really sad but the fluid amount was probably perscribed according to the kidney values of the blood work, not the cat’s weight. It’s tough to balance the hydration level between the heart and the damaged kidneys if you don’t even know the cat has an underlying heart condition. Sad but the vets only pretty much did what they knew to do to treat the kidneys if that’s the case. Can’t blame them for everything that can go wrong in a 17 year old cat.

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Sheila

A 17 year old cat??? Maybe he just died of old age, kidney failure is common with cats this old..

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Just a reader

1. The cat had a previous health issue.
2. Stating that ” if we got an apology, we wouldn’t be suing” –the Judge will make the Vet apologize, then dismiss the case.
3.The cat bounced back,survived for weeks before death— they’ll state the Vets brought him back,and that same ” previous” health condition, eventually caught up to kitty.
4. Its tragic,and sad. But not a suit.
5. Pets are considered “property”… I doubt itll go anywhere.
6. Rest in Peace little one.

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Pink Roses

The amount of mistakes I have seen veterinarians make is ridiculous. It’s as if there is little to no oversight in the profession.

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Annonymous

I’m so sorry for Camry and also for your loss. I hope that if the facts prove negligence and/or malpractice that you get every cent you are suing for and that the vet loses his license.

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sheila

Whats with the haters?? Never claimed to be an expert,…Have you ever been lucky enough to see a 17 y/o cat that is perfectly healthy? Its rare, but as a vet tech, cats do develop kidney problems when they are old, maybe read a book or better yet look it up… thanks for your comment and enlightenment..

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Cat Lover

You’re correct—tortoise shells have no white in their coat.
Poor Camry; my heart goes out to her & her mom & dad….

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