Olive Branch vet cleared in dog’s death

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. -- An Olive Branch vet has been cleared of wrongdoing in a dog's death two weeks after the pet died hours after a routine visit.

Necropsy results show the Cat and Cow Veterinary Clinic wasn’t at fault for the death of Chop, a 2-year-old Rottweiler.

The vet’s owner says he lost business over the false accusations and wants to use this as a teaching moment for other pet owners.

Randy Rayford was heartbroken and angry when Chop died suddenly after getting two vaccinations at the clinic earlier this month.

"They didn’t have any answers for me," he said.

But two weeks later, those answers came.

A necropsy performed by Mississippi State University reveals Chop died of hyperthermia, better known as heatstroke, not as a result of vaccinations.

Dr. Lee Allen says he was devastated by the false accusations and reaction to the story on social media.

"A lot of times when we lose a family member, we get very emotional and we want to point the finger at somebody," he said. "There’s a lot of sleepless nights I got from this incident, but it’s sad on both parts."

Rayford admits Chop liked to hang out outside, and on the day he died, temperatures reached 97 degrees.

"In this part of the country, we have a really high heat index," Dr. Allen said. "And typically, when a dog’s temperature gets above 105, that’s when we start seeing signs of a heat stroke."

He wants pet owners to be aware of the dangers of leaving your animals outside in the scorching summer heat.

"If your dogs are not used to being outside, then they could potentially be more susceptible to a heatstroke," Dr. Allen said.

Although he admits veterinarians make mistakes, he hopes people will realize the tough job they’re faced with and why they do it.

"People ask why did I become a veterinarian, and honestly the best answer I can give is when you treat a sick animal and you return that animal to the owner and the kids come in and hug the animal," Dr. Allen said. "That makes it worth it."

Dr. Allen says his office sees at least two heat stroke cases a month.

If you notice your dog is panting excessively or having trouble walking, get them into the air conditioning immediately and take them to your local vet.

Rayford tells WREG he is “satisfied” with the necropsy results.