Woman sues Albuquerque veterinarian over a troublesome surgery


A local veterinarian is getting sued for what a woman says he did to her dog’s leg. 

He is standing by his work, but the Pomeranian’s owner says the x-rays speak for themselves. 

It was a broken bone, but this dog owner was told by a veterinarian he would likely have to amputate her then-puppy’s leg. 

She convinced him to operate and was soon shocked by the outcome. 

Koda is a little dog who means a lot to his family. 

The Johnsons brought Koda home about two years ago during a dark time. Kathryn Johnson’s 24-year-old daughter ‘Britney’ went missing while hiking in the Sandias. Her body was found a week later. 

“I thought, you know, maybe a dog and a really cute one could bring some sunshine back into our lives,” she said. 

Unfortunately, Koda broke his leg not long after he got home. 

She took him to Northwest Animal Clinic. 

Johnson says Dr. Michael Riegger first recommended amputating the then-puppy’s leg. When she refused that option, Riegger operated. 

The x-ray shows what Riegger did to Koda’s leg. Johnson says the crude-looking contraption left her dog unable to walk and even after nine weeks it didn’t fix the fracture. 

Frustrated, she ultimately took Koda to a different veterinarian, who fixed the dog’s leg. 

In hopes of holding Dr. Riegger responsible and getting her nearly $10,000 back, Johnson is suing. 

In response to the lawsuit, Riegger’s attorneys admit he did perform the surgery, but deny Johnson’s claims he didn’t do a good job. 

“In the end, I feel like I have to have a voice for this little dog…He doesn’t have a voice for himself,” she said. 

KRQE News 13 did reach out to the lawyers representing the animal clinic last week and again on Monday. We will keep you updated on a response.

Johnson is set to go to court against Dr. Riegger in February. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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