Veterinary Care Unlimited — A Betrayal Of Trust
I recently took my beloved 8 year old pet bird "Mighty" to Veterinary Care Unlimited in Ozone Park, to be examined for a slightly swollen abdomen. I was told by Dr. Theresa Paoloni, the veterinarian in charge and clinic's owner, to bring my pet back the next morning for testing. That morning, my pet had eaten, and his behavior was normal —singing, flying, and playing.
Because of the clinic's overbooked schedule, I had to leave him there all day for an just an X-ray and a blood test. My pet was not released until 7pm that evening. I tried to speak to the doctor several times to discuss the results of the tests but was unable to.
It wasn't until I brought him home that I noticed that he was extremely, and very noticeably dehydrated, and disoriented. It was evident to me that he had not eaten or had drank anything all day. It seemed the clinic had not even checked my pet's, and also just before discharge.
That evening his condition started deteriorating rapidly, and died only three hours after discharge. He suffered for the last thirty minutes of his life. When Dr. Paoloni/Veterinary Care Unlimited was notified that my pet had died, her only response was that the bird was very sick, and hung up on me! If as she claims he was very sick, why were such stressful tests performed? Why was immediate hospitalization not advised? Why was an oral antibiotic— to be administered at home—the only treatment provided with a follow-up visit two days later?
It is the clinic's responsibility to ensure quality care and to monitor every pet's condition while in its care. I believe that my pet's death was caused and precipitated by improper care and monitoring by Dr. Paoloni/ Veterinary Care Unlimited. Negligence and malpractice, and a lack of communication played a critical role in the death of my pet.
After requesting the medical reports for two months I had to file a subpoena in court to be able to retrieve them. These records showed discrepancies and misstatements as to what happened. A Board Certified Avian Vet examined the medical records and concluded that blatant errors, and misdiagnoses were made. I tried to take this my case to Small Claims Court but unfortunately this vet was not able to appear in court as my expert witness.
I feel it is only a matter of time before this happens again to other pets at this clinic. I will always wonder if Mighty would still be alive today if he had been taken care of differently.