Lazy 5 Vets have issued a statement on their Facebook page. It appears that it will be their one and only statement. I will telephone them today, later on, to see whether they are prepared to add to it and update the page accordingly. Update: I called later in the day and the practice manager was in but failed to answer the phone and I left a voicemail asking for details as to why the vet tech was bitten….
They need to add to their statement (screenshot below) because it fails to clarify a critical phase of the consultation between vet tech and client. They have sidestepped an important moment in the story: why the vet tech was bitten despite the warning from Starla Daniel.
Read the first article on this story if you are new to it – link opens in a new window
In summary Lazy 5 Vets say that they can’t disclose ‘specific medical details’ about this case. However, they do refer to the KitKat malpractice complaint obliquely by which I mean they address the complaint in a less than transparent manner.
I will therefore interpret their statement by reading between the lines.
They say ‘where animals are current on Rabies vaccine and bite a staff member, the owner and Animal Control are both notified.’ My interpretation of this is that the vet tech was bitten and that KitKat was current on rabies vaccinations. The confirms Starla Daniel’s version of events.
It seems to me that they claim that the 10 day quarantine was offered to Starla but that she turned it down as KitKat was ill with cancer (‘critical’) and the advice may have been that KitKat needed specialist care during the 10 day quarantine. I’ll presume that that would have presented an expense to Starla. Also they say that:
“If an owner decides that euthanasia before the 10 day quarantine period is better for their pet due to suffering or if that pet should pass within the 10 day quarantine period, then the pet must be tested for Rabies per NC law.”
It seems therefore that what they are saying is that Starla Daniel was forced into making a decision that KitKat had to be euthanised and tested for rabies. They say there is no cost to the client for the rabies test.
As mentioned, what they don’t address is why the vet tech failed to take sufficient precautions or take any precautions to avoid being scratched or bitten by KitKat. If she had taken precautions and had not been bitten this whole sorry saga would never had occurred.
Therefore I conclude that the hospital is deliberately avoiding this most critical aspect of the case. This is where the alleged malpractice should be focused in my view.
I have sent Lazy 5 Vets an instant message (IM) on Facebook but they failed to respond. I asked:
“They have not been transparent. The question remains as to why the vet tech was bitten having been warned by the cat’s client that he may bite. That is the cause of this problem. They have failed to address this important issue. Can we hear from you on this? Why did not the vet tech take precautions?
Why was the vet tech bitten when warned about this possibility?”
Update: Their response:
They are delaying and hoping that the problem will go away as it does sometimes on social media.
The Lazy 5 Vets say that there has been an outpouring of support for them. The comments under their statement are 95% supportive of the hospital.
Clearly this is not a bad animal hospital. It appears to be a friendly and pleasant place. But it is equally clear to me that the vet tech concerned made a mistake and then failed to deal with the consequences in a sympathetic manner which lead to this tragedy and Starla Daniel becoming upset and angry.