Vets Amputate Dogs
Vets Amputate Dogs

Horror vet bungle: ‘We’re talking about a whole leg’

A SEVEN-MONTH-OLD pup has had the wrong leg cut off in a bungled veterinary procedure leaving her devastated owner demanding answers and hunting for a prosthetic canine limb.

Steve Scarlett, from Mission Beach in the state's far north, took his jack russell cross foxy, Muni, to Tropical Vet Services Tully after she hurt her leg jumping from a parked car.

The vets took X-rays and Muni was kept overnight before a decision was made that the leg had to go.

Stephen Scarlett of Mission Beach with his dog Muni. Picture: Brian Cassey.
Stephen Scarlett of Mission Beach with his dog Muni. Picture: Brian Cassey.

It was amputated on April 3 and Mr Scarlett took his dog home, unaware that the left leg had been cut off, instead of the injured right.

Mr Scarlett, who has also lost a leg in a motorcycle accident, realised something wasn't right and returned to the vet, where he claims he was told the wrong leg was amputated due to the initial X-Ray not being tagged with left or right labels.

Now, Mr Scarlett is trying to get back what Muni has lost and offer a better quality of life, however prosthetics are not available in Australia and he faces the possibility of a trip to the US.

"She's basically dragging herself around the house and I pick her up and take her to the toilet … the amount of pain that Muni would have felt would have been incredible," he said.

"She's certainly stressed and so confused.

Muni, a jack russel cross, was injured jumping out of a car. Picture: Brian Cassey.
Muni, a jack russel cross, was injured jumping out of a car. Picture: Brian Cassey.

"All dogs want to do is run around and now she's trapped in a body that doesn't want to work and she's looking at me wondering what's happened … how do you apologise to a dog?"

Mr Scarlett said Muni is the "bravest dog" he has ever seen.

"To take your dog to a reputable vet and make that mistake - it's not just like accidentally cutting your dog's toenail too short where it bleeds - we're talking about a whole leg," he said.

Mr Scarlett said he had spent more than 20 days since the ordeal trying to obtain insurance details and was only offered them on Friday. But was previously given a full refund.

"I'm upset, frustrated and totally exhausted with the ordeal," he said.

"I've had no apology. He's (vet) doing the follow up medical for free … I don't want to go back to him but he's the only vet around here."

Tropical Vets Services Tully refused to comment on the specifics of the procedure, or who performed it, claiming client confidentiality.

Stephen Scarlett says Muni is the bravest dog he’s ever come across. Picture: Brian Cassey
Stephen Scarlett says Muni is the bravest dog he’s ever come across. Picture: Brian Cassey

A spokesman for the vet clinic said he had co-operated with Mr Scarlett and the insurance company as instructed.

"I can say though that as we are still treating Muni it would be too early to speculate on her long term quality of life," he said.

"I have put our insurance company in contact with Steve in regards to the issue and they are aware of the situation.

"As we are continuing to support Muni and Steve at this difficult time it would be problematic if this sensitive issue were made worse."

Mr Scarlett is fundraising on GoFund Me to help his in his search for a prosthetic leg for Muni.

 

 

 

Originally published as Horror vet bungle: 'We're talking about a whole leg'



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