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Dog dies after suffering burns during surgery

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 09:20:48-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - A grieving dog owner says a routine surgery turned deadly after his dog suffered burns during a brief stay.

In early May, John San Filippo brought 11-year-old Sofia, a Boxer mix, to the Bastet Veterinary Hospital for knee surgery.

"Dropped her off in the morning and picked up her up in the afternoon. She was doing great," said San Filippo.

Six days after the surgery, San Filippo found several oozing sores on her right side. The vet told him the electric blanket used to warm Sofia had somehow burned her.

"I was stunned, but at that point, it was just three little spots," said San Filippo.

Within weeks, the full extent of the burns emerged: 3rd- and 4th-degree burns on over 40% of her body. Sofia developed sepsis and pneumonia, before she died in early June.

"Just broke down crying ... brought her in for knee surgery and my dog was barbecued," said San Filippo.

San Filippo has filed a complaint with the State Veterinary Medical Board and wants the business shut down.

Bastet Veterinary Hospital released the following statement: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Sofia, which was a result of thermal burns derived from the malfunction of our patient warming system. We are committed to working with all involved parties to help recoup financial losses, and our hearts grieve along with Sofia'a family for their loss."

Experts suggest asking your veterinarian about how they warm animals during anesthesia. Safer alternatives include circulating air or water systems.