Two veterinarians have been charged with one count each of professional misconduct or neglect for failing to carry out an adequate investigation before making a diagnosis on a dog with a ruptured oesophagus. Christina Chan Jen-lam, the owner of Bambi, a Yorkshire terrier, consulted Dr Leung Lai-wan on June 15 and 17, 2007, and Dr Chan Man-to on June 18 at Sandy Chui Animal Clinic in Mong Kok. At a disciplinary inquiry, Christina Chan told the Veterinary Surgeons Board she brought Bambi to the clinic because she believed that a piece of dried chicken gizzard, a flat disc the size of a HK$5 coin, was stuck in the dog's throat. Bambi died on June 20 at the age of 11 years and two months. An autopsy revealed a hole three millimetres in diameter in the oesophagus, but no foreign object was retrieved. On both visits to Leung, the vet allegedly concluded after taking X-rays that there was no sign of a foreign object. The owner said Bambi had been in good health before the first consultation, despite her old age. At the second consultation, Bambi had a problem with a front leg. At the third consultation, Chan Man-to took X-rays and put the dog through other medical tests. She diagnosed kidney problems and heart disease. Christina Chan said the vet mentioned problems with the oesophagus but did not primarily focus on it. Expert witness Dr Mark Glyde said the X-rays taken were plain radiographs, which were not good at picking up tissue-based objects such as the chicken gizzard. However, they were good for identifying bone-based objects - the type that usually obstruct the oesophagus. Glyde added that the existence of foreign objects inside animals was difficult to diagnose. However, an endoscope could have made it easier, he said, because it removes objects 85 per cent of the time. The owner said this option was not mentioned by the veterinarians. Glyde acknowledged that Bambi had not shown classic signs of such obstruction. The dog had been lethargic and anorexic, but these were non-specific symptoms. However, he said that while owners might not always be correct about what is wrong with a pet, Christina Chan did tell the vets that 'something was stuck in its throat'. 'Progressive deterioration should have prompted the doctors to do more,' Glyde said, adding that it was too early to dismiss that diagnosis before further imaging. Dr Lawrence Chan, who chairs the inquiry, adjourned it to March 13.