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Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Back issues
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Ultrasounds Blamed for Sheep Herd Deaths

(CN) - A veterinarian's botched rectal ultrasounds caused the death of 92 sheep, their owner claims in court.

Michael Cox sued Eric Dent, DVM, doing business as Sanpete Veterinary Clinic PLLC in Sanpete County, Utah court, for veterinary malpractice.

Cox took his 106 Suffolk ewes in for pregnancy tests at Dent's office in July 2013, using an ultrasound system developed by the veterinarian, according to the complaint.

"Soon after being tested ... the sheep began suffering from the effects of the testing. The next day, one of the ewes that was from the herd that was examined by Dr. Dent, died," the complaint states. "To date ... 92 of the ewes that had ultrasounds have died and the remaining are in a condition to which they should be euthanized. Prior to their ultrasound, the ewes were in good condition."

The rectally-administrated ultrasounds caused abdominal abscesses and rectal injury, Cox alleges.

"Dr. Dent was negligent in his examination of plaintiff's ewes in that he failed to possess and exercise the degree of skill, diligence and attention which may ordinarily be expected of trustworthy veterinarians practicing in the defendant's community," the lawsuit states. "Defendant was negligent in this instance utilizing a procedure which could be capable of causing a sheep's death."

Cox says the purebred sheep were worth $2,000 each. He calculates an additional $72,000 in damages for the loss of future lambs.

Cox seeks $268,000 in compensatory damages. He is represented by James Gillespie in Boise, Idaho.

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