NEW CANEY, Texas - The Matthews found Dakota in a box at Walmart.
"She was about the size of a hampster covered with fleas, mangy," said Alicia Matthews.
On July 29, Donald Matthews took Dakota to Big Thicket Veterinary Clinic in New Caney for a spay procedure.
"No issues, no complications they told me it went well," he said.
When Matthews picked up Dakota, he says two vet techs carried her out to his truck.
Within just a few hours, Dakota died en route to an emergency vet clinic.
"I don't know at what point of time, she was dead by the time I got there," said Matthews.
"The one paper that they gave us said she hemorrhaged from the surgical site," said Alicia Matthews. "They never mentioned hemorrhage to him at all."
The Matthews say they first got only a portion of the medical records, and when they got them, all they say it was clear the document had been altered.
A necropsy was performed.
"It showed that she died from shock from a massive abdominal bleed," said Matthews.
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"We're not just mad, we are furious," said Pam Graham.
Dakota wasn't the only dog to die from a spay procedure at Big Thicket Veterinary Clinic on July 29.
That came to light after the Matthews did a Facebook post about Dakota's death.
Jim Axley and Pam Graham had their red Heeler, named Maggie, undergo the same procedure at the same clinic by the same vet on that day.
Maggie died shortly after getting a post-op sedative at 11:50.
"Between 11:51 and 12:59, who was in that recovery room with her? No one," Graham said.
Big Thicket Veterinary Clinic sent us this statement: "The unfortunate reality in medicine is that no one is able to give you a 100 percent success guarantee to a surgical procedure even to the most routine ones. There is a small percentage that occasionally a patient could die. The doctor felt Dakota’s lab work and physical exam were within the range for a successful routine procedure. Dakotas vitals were monitored during surgery and all were within normal range. Her post-surgical recovery was unremarkable. At this time, words cannot express how truly sorry our entire staff is for Dakota’s passing. Our stance is the same for Maggie as well. We followed our standard procedures with the patient’s health a top priority. None of us expected such tragedies to occur the same day."
Both owners said they’ve filed complaints with the Texas Veterinary Board.