Dog left paralyzed and had to be put down after vet facility pushed unnecessary MRIs on arthritic pooch, lawsuit claims

Harold Lehr brought Oscar to Long Island Veterinary Specialists last fall because the dog had been limping, and the vet, according to the suit, gave him two risky MRIs that paralyzed the dog


                            Dog left paralyzed and had to be put down after vet facility pushed unnecessary MRIs on arthritic pooch, lawsuit claims

A Manhattan man has reportedly filed a lawsuit against a veterinarian facility that pushed expensive and unnecessary tests and procedures which ended up paralyzing his arthritic pooch, who he had brought there over a limp.

The suit claims that it eventually forced the man to put down his 14-year-old rescue dog Oscar.

Harold Lehr brought Oscar to Long Island Veterinary Specialists last Fall because the dog had been limping, and the vet, according to the suit, gave him two risky MRIs that paralyzed Oscar.

Reports state that the dog was put under anesthesia for hours and techs present there forced his body into positions that damaged his spine. According to the claims, the procedure left Oscar in "agony" and the poor care at the facility after that left him with bed sores and fecal and urine burns. Oscar was reportedly not taken out of his cage for regular walks and was not cleaned properly, the suit claims.

The suit also says that a technician at the facility told Lehr "she has seen this [paralysis] happen before and it is because of how they twist and position the dog for the MRI that causes problems. She said she has seen it with older arthritic dogs the most."

After Oscar was left paralyzed, the vet attempted to cover it up by saying that the paralysis was temporary and would wear off in a few days, adding that the dog's incontinence was because of the medications he was taking, "when in fact it was from spinal injury,” the court documents allege, according to the New York Post.

Reports state that the vets at the facility convinced Lehr to not to move Oscar to another animal hospital, assuring physical therapy and acupuncture.

However, the suit alleges that Lehr was not allowed to watch the physical therapy sessions and was told by a nurse that the dog did not receive at least two of the rehab treatments. Lehr was reportedly also not allowed to see where Oscar was being housed at the facility.

After a week at the Long Island Veterinary Specialists (LIVS), Lehr finally, on November 4, decided to move Oscar to a facility in Manhattan where vets said the dog's spinal injury was "due to improper handling, positioning or impact during and after the MRI."

The Manhattan facility also added that it would not have allowed the MRI in the first place "as it was totally inappropriate for a mild limp and way too risky, especially since they already knew arthritis was causing the mild limp."

Alexander Bateman Jr., a lawyer for LIVS, said: "Nobody at LIVS recommends or renders treatment unless it is medically necessary and fully explained to pet owners. We are certain that others who allegedly reviewed the care of the animal in question, are either lacking in sufficient education and experience, or were provided incomplete and inaccurate information. Either way, their attempt to opine in this instance is reckless and irresponsible, and takes advantage of pet owners at a vulnerable time.”

The documents stated that Lehr incurred over $27,000 in vet and medical bills including for the Oct. 29 MRIs, round-the-clock at-home care for the dog for over a week and Oscar’s ultimate euthanization on November 17, 2019. 

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