An arthritic dog had to be put down after the veterinarian conducted unnecessary tests and procedures that left the canine paralyzed, a new lawsuit states.

In fall 2018, Harold Lehr, a man from Manhattan, New York, took his pet, a 14-year-old rescue dog named Oscar, to Long Island Veterinary Specialists (LIVS) after he noticed the canine limping. The suit alleged that the veterinarian conducted two costly and risky MRI’s during which the pooch was forced into a position that damaged the spine and left it paralyzed.

The suit said that not only did the procedure leave the dog in “agony,” the poor care post the procedure made things worse. The dog was not taken for regular walks nor was he cleaned properly. This led to the canine having urine burns and bed sores. A technician at the center reportedly told Lehr “she has seen this [paralysis] happen before and it is because of how they twist and position the dog for the MRI that causes problems. She said she has seen it with older arthritic dogs the most.”

In order to cover things up, the veterinarian who conducted the tests, said the paralysis was temporary and that the dog’s agony was because of the medicines it was taking. The veterinarian also convinced Lehr to not shift Oscar to another hospital. However, when he was not allowed to watch the physical therapy sessions, Lehr moved the dog to another facility where she was told the canine’s spinal injury was “due to improper handling, positioning or impact during and after the MRI.”

The veterinarian at the new hospital also told the pet owner that he wouldn’t have allowed the MRI “as it was totally inappropriate for a mild limp and way too risky, especially since they already knew arthritis was causing the mild limp.” The dog was eventually put down.

“As a direct result of LIVS’s office culture of pushing unnecessary, inappropriate and lucrative services…designed primarily to maximize LIVS’s profits; Oscar suffered needlessly and was crippled and had to be untimely euthanized,” the lawsuit alleged.

Responding to the allegations, Alexander Bateman Jr., the attorney for LIVS, said, “Nobody at LIVS recommends or renders treatment unless it is medically necessary and fully explained to pet owners. We are certain that others who allegedly reviewed the care of the animal in question, are either lacking in sufficient education and experience, or were provided incomplete and inaccurate information. Either way, their attempt to opine in this instance is reckless and irresponsible, and takes advantage of pet owners at a vulnerable time.”