KitKat cat malpractice allegation: Lazy 5 Vets’ response is inadequate

Kitkat was needlessly killed by animal hospital staff

Kitkat was needlessly killed by animal hospital staff, it is alleged.

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:

Response of Lazy 5 Vets

Response of Lazy 5 Vets

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.

The statement:

Lazy 5 Vets response to allegation of malpractice

Lazy 5 Vets response to allegation of malpractice

Facebook Discussion


KitKat cat malpractice allegation: Lazy 5 Vets’ response is inadequate — 10 Comments

  1. I would like to know who this vet tech was. And the business cannot be good that defends someone like that. I also am not impressed with the number of positive responses for the vet clinic, as people tend to think it will never happen to them and their pet. For the sake of the animals, I pray not.

    • No pet should be sedated unless they have the owner consent. It’s sad to realize how insanely ignorant may veterinarians and their employees are over the special concerns regarding cats and any medication. Even worse is most victims will never know what really happened because clinics are very good at covering up.
      The pet owners should have demanded a tox screen pre euthanasia but really who is thinking like that at a time like that. If there was blood work done it’s very important they get the full record not the summary most clinics will hand you. You need to know the difference.

  2. A friend of mine’s pet died while in the care of a vet. I won’t go into all the details why the pet was admitted, it is too long. He was pretty sick suffice it to say. She found out the vet or vet tech administered a drug to her cat without her knowledge that is known to cause serious reactions in a good proportion of cats including being lethal. It was not a drug to cure illness, it was a drug to sedate her cat so the tech did not have to deal with her sick cat being “upset and growling” which was in the chart. If you do not want to learn how to handle sick animals with safety to you and compassion for the pet and instead just find it easier to drug them you do not belong in amimal care near anyone’s ill pet. She found out about it only because in her state she has the legal right to access the records for her pet and keep a copy which she can report to the Vet Board any malpractice. She and a friend went to this vet unannounced so she had a witness and told them she wanted a copy right then and there. So check your state law before they can doctor the records to cover their asses and get a copy. I would also tell them when your pet is admitted they are not to administer any drugs to your animal without your knowledge and consent before and make sure you have proof of it. Hope I can save someone grief. Even if Lazy5 will not reveal things to the public they may have to give the pet owner the medical record depending on the state.

  3. My question is:

    If KitKat was current on his rabies vaccination, how was he possibly infected with the disease? The rabies vaccination is forced upon us because we are told it will prevent the pet from contracting the disease.

    • Good question. I think the practice manager answers that or tries to in his statement. It is about following protocols and they followed them but….there would have been no need to if the vet tech had listen to her client about biting.

      • I am pretty sure that KitKat’s owner knew that at 18 his time was limited. There is outrage that is not the kind of grief you see when we lose a pet to the natural and inevitable clock of time.
        Unprofessional conduct led to this situation.

  4. Carefully and legally crafted to absolve the clinic of any wrongdoing.
    Something went very wrong here and the staff failed to react in a professional way. One of those professional ways would have been to simply offer to take care of the cat for 10 days at their expense medical issues and all. Most quarantines of vaccinated animals happen at home.
    The cost to the clinic would have been less to absorb the cost of one sick cat than the negative publicity that will indeed impact them.
    I suggest that the cats owner thinking they were going home with a cat they’d had for 18 years were forced , cornered and basically battering ram tactics used to force a decision that had the clinic offered to care for KitKat for the NIGHT and have a consult the next day would have resulted in a totally different outlook from KitKat’s owners.
    The root cause of this debacle is the clinic’s failure to properly restrain an animal in pain or sedate her. Exactly what provoked the cat to bite? We don’t know. It’s easy to say he was in pain but was the handling overly rough? No one knows.
    I’m not impressed by the percent of positive reviews. It’s not how we act when things are going swell it’s how we behave under adversity. I’m not impressed with them at all.

    • Thanks ME for a excellent comment. I have added to the article the hospital’s belated response to my request for info. on why the vet tech was bitten under these circumstances. They say they are investigating. How long does it take to ask a couple of questions?

      • MB: The time it takes to investigate depends on the length of time this issue is in the public’s eye. Once it is forgotten by the public, then they, the clinic, can finish looking the other way.

        It’s very tragic that this happens when a few simple steps should have been taken to prevent it in the first place.

        If I worked at a vet clinic, I would most likely overlook being bitten by small animals, as long as it was no major attack. Animals suffering do tend to lash out, and vet staff should know this from school. Killing an elderly cat in this fashion is unprofessional and unforgivable.

        • Yes, well said. The hospital will try and kick this into the long grass while social media cools down. They now how transient social media chat can be.

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