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Reporting a Vet

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  • Reporting a Vet

    There was a situation that resulted in the loss of an animal. The vet displayed clear negligence resulting in undue suffering for several hours. The vets who stepped in were disgusted by what happened. Nothing will bring back this animal but I genuinely believe this vet is not qualified. Is there a state board that fields citizen reviews? Does it have to come from a fellow vet? Does it vary state to state?

  • #2
    Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
    There was a situation that resulted in the loss of an animal. The vet displayed clear negligence resulting in undue suffering for several hours. The vets who stepped in were disgusted by what happened. Nothing will bring back this animal but I genuinely believe this vet is not qualified. Is there a state board that fields citizen reviews? Does it have to come from a fellow vet? Does it vary state to state?
    Do a search for “Veterinary Board” with the name of the state. If you do so for Texas, as an example, under “enforcement” you will find “complaints” and a paragraph that includes a link to the appropriate form. You could also get there from the ”Forms” tab. Maryland has a direct “filing a complaint” link on their home page.

    Anybody can file a complaint. Keep in mind that there is a broad swath of issues that may not be actionable under the Practice Act, but still may be actionable in a financial sense in civil court.


    • #3
      AVMA is a lobbying organization with no regulatory oversight. It's going to be the Board of Veterinary Medicine in whatever state is applicable

      I am sorry for your loss


      • #4

        here is a link to the Wa state process. Vets are included in the health profession umbrella

        when you write your report stay factual and avoid accusations and emotional intent. Include the visits by the other vets. Be careful about what the vets may have said or implied about the first vet, that could get them in hot water. They can provide their statements.

        I have worked for a bad vet in the past and the state (WA) does take these complaints seriously.

        Last edited by hoopoe; Nov. 8, 2019, 09:03 PM.
        -- * > hoopoe
        Procrastinate NOW
        Introverted Since 1957


        • #5
          Worked as a legal assistant for a lawyer (and former vet) who specialized in veterinary legal issues for 5 years. I’m in Canada but I believe the US process is fairly similar.

          As others have said, google your state and “veterinary board” to find your state’s website. There should be a section directed toward the general public and a subsection in there specifically for submitting complaints or disciplinary matters, usually a form you can submit online, by mail or fax.

          Read any literature they provide with advice on how to submit a complaint. Be as factual and unemotional as possible, do not use loaded words like “disgusting” or “terrible”. If it is vital to your complaint to describe the vet’s demeanour or behaviour, preface your description with “I found” or “I felt like” when “x” happened. If possible, include accurate timelines to lay out the order of events. Include any reports or invoices from the intervening vet and reference them in the body of your complaint. Do not include any statements the intervening vet made in the heat of the moment, you don’t want to get them in trouble. The veterinary board can contact them for their opinion on the situation if they deem it necessary.

          Be aware that complaints do get taken very seriously and can have very damaging long term repercussions. Even a nominal fine and 3 month suspension can shut down a vet’s practice if they’re unable to afford a loccum
          during that period.

          Sorry for your loss, it sounds like a terrible situation and worthy of disciplinary action. If you anticipate a civil suit, make sure to keep your copies of everything organized and records of any contact you have with the veterinary board and involved vets. Fax is a good form of delivery as you can keep the delivery receipts for proof.


          • #6
            There is a Vet in this area who was sued for negligence in the death of a horse in his care. There was no question that he did it. They took the horse down to New Bolton, and were able to determine exactly what he'd done, prior to having to euthanize their horse.

            The civil suit filed by the owner went to a jury trial. He was found liable, but they did not award damages. When questioned, the jury explained that he was "just so likable" that they couldn't believe that he would have done anything "on purpose". Still practicing. Still an idiot.
            When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


            • #7
              You should be able to make a complaint/share the problem with your states veterinary licensing board. Years ago I worked for a vet who inherited a small animal case in which the animal ultimately died. When pressed by the owner it was the second vets opinion that vet #1 was negligent in several areas. There were facts to support #2 vet's conclusion. The owner filed a complaint and nothing was done to the vet, in fact that person is still in practice.

              Good luck to your friend but I wouldn't get my hopes up for any action from the state board.


              • #8
                Mia Sorella gave good advice about how to file with the state vet board. While you may not get the decision you want from the vet board, the complaint does go on the vet's record. And I am sorry that your animal had to suffer needless for such negligence.
                Where Norwegian Fjords Rule