JACKSONVILLE, Fl -- Samantha is a large American Bulldog with a very affectionate disposition.
"She is not just a dog, she is a member of our family," Heather Tucker said.
The problem is Samantha's health. The family believes her veterinarian missed the extent of her condition.
"The whole bone right here on the top is completely rotted and decayed in her mouth," Tucker said.
Last spring, the dog underwent oral surgery to remove a broken canine. Tucker said what followed was a series of complications.
She said Samantha had to have more surgeries and there was an infection. Today the dog can no longer chew her food.
"We have to make like special foods. Eggs, mac and cheese and mush it up so she can eat soft foods," Tucker said.
And she is on a diet of pain pills.
"She yelps, she is in pain," Tucker said. "she is on very high amounts of pain medication."
Days before the Thanksgiving holidays the family was faced with the unthinkable.
"They told me that I need to make the hard decision and just go ahead and to just put her down," Tucker said.
Instead of euthanasia, she sought a second opinion. She said the new vet told her the first surgery was not done properly and that compounded Samantha's health problems.
"I'm not sure I can keep my composure," Tucker said. "I am so angry for what they've done and put my dog through for months."
The former veterinarian is Dr. Don Nunn. He went over the pet's records with On Your Side and said Tucker's claims are exaggerated.
"The dog's mouth was a mess, a lot of bone damage," Nunn said. "We did all we could; there is a limit to what we can do, we are not oral surgeons. We tried to refer her to a specialist."
Samantha is being treated with antibiotics and pain medication and facing more surgery.
"At least one possible multiple reconstructive surgeries," Tucker said.
Nunn has been a licensed veterinarian 46 years. In 2011, the state fined him $1,500, after he performed a medical procedure on a large animal and it died.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help Samantha's surgery. It is to help save Samantha Leigh.
© 2017 WTLV-TV