Couple alleges clinic killed their cat with incorrect dose

Following the error, the clinic asked the pet owners still pay for the treatment

A couple is suing a Queens-based veterinary clinic for allegedly killing their cat by prescribing a high dose of medication by mistake.

According to an article by the New York Post, the couple says Blue Pearl’s veterinary clinic in Forest Hills, N.Y., killed their cat Camry by accidentally prescribing a dose of drugs for an animal weighing 6 kg (13 lb.), rather than Camry’s weight of 2.7 kg (6 lb.). The dosage given was 220 percent the amount their cat Camry should have received.

The suit alleges the clinic still asked pet owners Matthew and Louise Ritter pay for the treatment following the error.

The Ritters are asking Blue Pearl for $290,000, which includes $250,000 for their mental anguish, $15,000 for veterinary bills, $5,000 for the value of the cat, $10,000 for Camry’s pain and suffering—a rare legal move—and another $10,000 for lost wages.

Matthew Ritter says the incident began in March of last year, when he brought his 17-year-old cat to the clinic with a kidney disorder.

According to court documents, Ritter says a veterinarian told him his cat’s condition was treatable, though when he returned the next day, Camry was “quivering and unresponsive” in a litter box.

The cat was then placed in an oxygen cage, but did not survive.

“As an organization of pet lovers, we care deeply about every pet we treat,” Blue Pearl told the New York Post.

“While we have not been served with this complaint, we are still in communication with the Ritter family and hope to address their concerns.”

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27 thoughts on “Couple alleges clinic killed their cat with incorrect dose

      1. IV fluids doses vary dramatically and are at the best of times a guess as far as what you think the animal can tolerate. It’s an educated guess, but it’s a guess. A 2.2x overdose of fluids for a few hours isn’t likely the root cause of the problems.

  1. Was a necropsy done to find out the reason for death? A lost of the medications used in practice have gone through clinical trials and the LD 50 can be many times over the recommended dose.

  2. VERY VERY POOR JOURNALISM to not provide the drug. Understandable problem if meloxicam, but if SQ fluids still would not be the issue if 30 ml/# “overdose was given”, and rarely can we give that much fluids to a cat on one setting. Hopefully veterinary practice news is competent enough to find out the problem.

      1. I had taken care a lot of cats with crf (chronic renal failure) When the kidneys are severely impaired they cannot “dense” the urine. In this case the specific gravity of the urine is almost 1. The same as water. In this case the quantity of the fluids “leave” the body immediately. To keep the animal hydrated you should increase the recomended dose , may be more than (5) five times. The recomended dose is an indicative.

  3. Sadly there are veterinarian hate groups that will run with this story that has no confirmed facts. A 17yr cat with kidney disease is on borrowed time. Its kidneys are compromised. Treatment is cautious and difficult at best. Who would want to be a vet anymore?. People plead with you to do everything you can to save them, then want it done for free and then guarantee a perfect outcome. People are unreasonable and often stupid. So are the courts. It costs to care and this sounds like blackmail to not pay the bill.Yes doc, do everything , oh, but I love my cat and you love animals right? so you should treat it for free? not like they don’t have bills to pay and staff to pay.This is a crazy world.
    There is a vet hate monger still vilifying a vet online about her cat that died at 20yrs old many years ago(kidney disease). She celebrated that a cyber bullied vet was into suicide. They are nutbars. There is always 2 sides to a story and rarely is the vet heard.

    1. So true and so sad, The veterinary profession has been hijacked by coporations.. at least they will have the man power ie lawyers to fight the “vet haters.” This is not the same profession I joined 40 years ago
      There used to be a palpable trust you could feel from your clients, now they Google & You tube everything and question everything you tell them, even though it is in the best interest of their pet. We at one time had the same trust as clergy. but even clergy is suffering now.

  4. I once took a four-year-old Persian cat to have his teeth cleaned. He died from the anesthesia. Thinking this was just one of those things that sometimes happens, I returned about a year later with a 10-month-old French Lop pet rabbit to be neutered. She also killed my rabbit with the anesthesia. I was not charged a fee for her services, such as they were, and I never used this veterinarian again. Ten years later a co-worker told me a horrific story of malpractice by a veterinarian on her cat. Guess who the vet was? Sometimes veterinarians are just plain no good and they deserve to be sued.

    1. Don’t forget your compassion for the vet too. From what I can find out (this article is so bad, it probably should be taken down), it sounds like the vets involved went to heroic measures to save a cat that was in pretty rough shape (even if the owner didn’t see it), they pulled it back from the jaws of death, discharged and were sued for nearly $300,000 for their efforts…. (article neglects to mention that ‘appropriate fluid doses vary massively and amount to give is a clinical judgment)

  5. Why would Veterinary Practice News print such an article? Cut and pasted from a very poor uninformed source? Worth cancelling the subscription to Vet Practice News, free or not,I wouldn’t line a litter box with it.

  6. By common law pets are property with a fair market value. The owners are not likely to be awarded non economic damages. That is a huge discussion, that could take months to debate. I’m working on CT-Pet-Network that would link veterinary practices, so they can benchmark themselves against “other practices”, share important data and trends that are unseeable in the veterinary silos that exists in the USA. I’m sorry for the cats family, and I believe that who ever gave the cat 200 times the normal dose should be forced to take continuing education at the very least and be put on some sort of probation. The licensing agency in NY would take the complaint and investigate.

    1. Also, the majority of veterinarians I’ve ever met, care deeply for the patients they serve and printing an article without all the facts can ruin reputations. A 17 year old cat…well, it would take very little to tip over the edge and the owners need to realize that. Instead of suing I would suggest making this a learning moment so this can be prevented.

    2. Ummm it was (supposedly) 2.2x the ‘normal’ dose, not 220x the normal dose, and was apparently IV fluids so 2.2x the normal dose was likely well within a normal amount to give the cat.

    3. Looks like you need the continuing education, the dose was claimed to be 200% over (not unreasonable when discussing fluids). Very different from 200 times that you mention.