Dr. William Schultz of Schultz Veterinary left gauze in my dog during surgery
On Dec. 26, 2008 Dr. Wm. Schultz DVM, owner of Schultz Veterinary Clinic in Okemos, Michigan did a c-section on my show dog Mulan. Eight months later she showed signs of distress so was rushed to Michigan State University clinic. I was flabergasted at what they found. There surgeons removed a huge cantalope sized growth. In it was a piece of GAUZE left on her uterus by Dr. William Schultz. Her body tried to isolate the infection caused by the gauze with the growth, but eventually it escaped the protective growth and spread throughout her body cavity and almost killed her. She had never had surgery of any kind before the c-section done by Dr. Schultz so he was the only one that could have left the gauze in there. Michigan State University did lifesaving surgery to remove the growth and the gauze in it, and expertly managed the massive pyometra infection caused by the gauze. She was cut open from her ribcage to crotch (a 2 ft incision) so they could rinse the infection out of her organs.
She then spent days tethered to a drain and IVs. The bill was very very expensive to save her life - all because Dr. Schultz left the gauze in her. She is a purebred show dog for our kennel, and was being actively shown at AKC dog shows. She is from Champion Best in Show lines and while pointed, could no longer be shown due to the damage caused to her reproductive organs by Dr. Schultz. We had spent a fortune training her for showing and getting the proper health clearances for breeding her. Mulan's hips were x-rayed on 9/8/2004, her CERF clearance is #AM2727/2008-41, and her CHD clearance is AMCA 1344. Contrary to common knowledge, you don't "make money" at dog shows - it's very expensive to show a show dog. The only way you can recoup some of that is when she has an occasional litter. We are not wealthy by any means! We go above and beyond to be ethical and raise healthy, happy puppies and make sure they go to good homes - but becasue of this, Mulan will never have another wonderful temperamented puppy. She was a wonderful representative of the breed and now her unique genetics are lost forever.
The damage done by Dr. Schultz' negligence severely impacts the health and temperament of future generations. But beyond this, she is our beloved pet and family member and we love her dearly. Dr. Schultz made her suffer unnecessarily. Mulan was in pain for almost 8 months, but being a stoic breed, did not let us know until the infection became so severe she was close to dying. Almost 4 years after the c-section, the vet bills still sit on a credit card accumulating interest I cannot afford, while Dr. Schultz' flys around in his private plane and the insurance company stalls. They argue that MSU should have pieced her septic uterus back together with infected tissue, rather than save her life. Had MSU done that, she would have surely died.
I have nothing but respect and admiration for the vet at MSU handled the surgery and pulled her through. In his first two phone calls to me Dr. Schultz admitted his mistake and said he would take care of the damages. I took him at his word and waited. He lied. I retained an attorney when his Insurance company refused to even talk to me. Then he called and harassed me at least 4 more times saying that if I told anyone he would sue me for slander. After almost a year of waiting and no solution, I filed complaints with various state agencies. When the state decided to investigate his license, Dr. Schultz' insurance suddenly decided to settle after more than a year of foot-dragging - but offered to reimburse just a small portion of expenses and damages. Meanwhile, the complaints were mysteriously tabled for "lack of evidence" even though I have the MSU surgical report, photos, and all documentation.
To obtain their offer of settlement, they demanded I sign a gag order that would infringe on my constitutional right of free speech, stop the state licensing investigation, and have me state that leaving gauze in Mulan was "alleged" and a "doubtful and disputed claim" which was not true. If I had signed, I'd be liable for Schultz' attorney bills defending the state investigation, and would open myself up to a defamation lawsuit even though I did nothing wrong. I declined signing and did not take the barely adequate settlement at that time. They then claimed I "agreed" to the settlement - which I did not. I was then threatened and harassed because I refused to accept it with those terms.
The very next day, I received a threatening letter saying Dr. Schultz is planning to file criminal charges against me for extortion and defamation unless I remove certain true statements and supporting documentation from my website and print a retraction. Apparently he was upset I wouldn't go away. His attorney even went so far as to say she would recommend he file a (false) police report against me, even though it was a felony to do so. I filed a complaint against his attorney for harassment.
I feel it's important people know that while he is a personable and seemingly good vet when things go well - should he make a mistake treating your dog - he will not do the honerable thing - but will come after you! Mulan deserves to be treated fairly for all she went through. I feel it's important others know so they can make informed decisions as to whether they would use a veterinarian that would make a mistake, then harass and threaten the victim for speaking out. This is why, in early Nov. I made the web page he is so angry about. www.petmalpractice.com where I am exercising my right to free speech and telling the entire story that Dr. Schultz so wants so desperately to silence through gag orders and intimidation. On this site there are additional photographs and the medical reports documenting the entire situation, including information about Michigan's 1919 Dog Law which Dr. Schutz is also using to hide behind. Because CNA (Schultz' insurance company) will not pay for the damage done to Mulan by Dr. Schultz, I was forced to file a lawsuit against him to try and recover damages. This was not his first mistake on one of our dogs. He previously did some other questionable veterinary care on other dogs, one of which died.
At the time I gave him the benefit of the doubt that it was "just a mistake". So when this happened, I tried being nice and all I got was foot-dragging and harassment. In the meantime, I discovered that Dr. Schultz is not the board certified specialist he holds himself out to be! According to the AMVA it is unethical for vets to indentify themselves as members of an AVMA recognized speciality if such certification has not been awarded. Dr. Schultz represents to clients that he is a veterinary reproduction specialist and as such implies he has met the criteria of the specialty college. His website states he offers a variety of canine reproductive services, implying he is an expert. Behind closed doors he allows you to believe he has credentials. He charges more than 3x the standard fees for his c-section services, yet is not Board Certified by the American College of Theriogenologists, the only entity that can certify this specialty. He leads his clients to believe he has these credentials, and does not. It is bad enough we were defrauded by a vet without the specialty accreditation he implies, but worse that he continues to threaten and harass us and will not take responsibility for his mistake. Most of all he is unconcerned that he almost killed a very beautiful and loved girl who suffered greatly due to his negligence. He is more concerned about his reputation and attempts to silence anyone who tells the truth. He has gone so far as to have honest negative reviews from other people removed from some websites. (Were they threatened too?)
This situation has now gone on for 4 years.
Monetary Loss: $50000.