Can I sue veterinarian for making my dog sick?

Q.  Can I sue an animal doctor for giving my dog a vaccination shot that made him so sick that he had to be put down?

A.  Theoretically yes. Practically, it’s probably not worth it. The measure of damage for death of an animal in Georgia — even the most beloved family pet — is the cash value of the animal. What could you have sold the animal for on the market the day before the vaccination? Probably not much more than the cost of the court filing fee.

Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale), and is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy,. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases.  Currently he is Secretary of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.

  • Joyce McDowell

    This same issue with vaccines administered
    and made my dog sick enough to be put down
    happened to me BUT my vet gave a 2nd shot after she had been previously vaccinated only 6 days prior – is that any different? I have expenses from her emergency visit – also concerned about the negligence part of this for other pet owners not to go thru or their pets

  • Joyce McDowell

    Also regarding pet dying after vaccination
    what about the company that mfg the vaccine
    shouldn’t there be clear cut disclosure of potential deadly side effects – there are tons of case studies on this documenting that is possible

  • Yahwee3

    Why just the cost of the dog? What about all cost to raise the dog depending on the number years you invested in your pet?
    Unhappy with my Vet and he has sickened my dog more than once.

    • Under Georgia law, the value of any animal in a tort claim is its market value rather than its sentimental value. The origin of this rule lies in our agrarian past. I don’t expect it to change until such time as the legislature changes it.