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VCA Animal Hospital

Posted:    

Suspected Veterinary Malpractice

Complaint Rating:  100 % with 6 votes
100% 6
5
Contact information:
VCA Animal Hospital
United States
The VCA hospital I am complaining against is located in a state in the southwestern United States, and that is the only location information I wish to disclose. I was a long-time customer, bringing in several pets for about a decade, being loyal to one doctor there. I made the mistake of completely trusting them with my pets' care. I can't say too much about the one experience that has turned me against this practice, because I MAY eventually want to take legal action against them. One of our pets died as a result of complications with anesthesia after dental surgery. I'm not sure they hire the most skilled vet techs who work behind the scenes doing the dental work that is supposedly supervised by the doctor in charge. Like most veterinary practices, they push very hard for pet parents to buy dental cleaning and tooth extractions (if needed). Yet, I feel they don't adequately explain the risk of the anesthesia associated with the dental cleaning, which is, in fact, a surgery, with all the complications of surgery. The dental cleanings under anesthesia are spoken of in a matter-of-fact fashion, as if it's a procedure with minimal risk. Actually, it's a very risky procedure because the animal is under full anesthesia, and the vet techs handle a good portion of the procedure; that's the way it was explained to me by a doctor AFTER my pet was already hospitalized with severe complications that later caused its death. Had I known a vet tech (who is supposedly a licensed professional with special training/certification in anesthetic techniques and dental procedures) would probably be the one doing most of the work, AND NOT THE DOCTOR, I would NOT have elected this procedure that was strongly encouraged by the doctors at this practice. The vet in charge will not admit any wrongdoing or on the part of his technician who performed the bulk of the dental work. He would only say that he himself performed the extractions and that he monitored his vet tech's actions the entire time my pet was in surgery. He would not admit who was responsible for inserting the breathing tube, but he explained enough for me to infer from the conversation that his assistant was the one who intubated our pet. Now, our pet is dead, and I have read that it is almost useless to file a veterinary malpractice lawsuit, esp. in the state of TX, which has a poor record of defending pet parents who suffered a pet loss due to negligence. Negligence is hard to prove in this state and elsewhere in the USA. Make no mistake, many vets are only in practice for the money and very few pet parents actually lodge a complaint. Many complaints are dismissed by the state, and you can't even get the state board to say whether a complaint against a particular dr has been submitted. Only if a vet has been investigated and been formally disciplined can you, the consumer and pet owner, find this information out. My family learned these painful truths after we went through much grief over the wrongful death of our beloved pet. I hope my truthfullness in this review will help someone make a more informed decision about choosing a vet and will empower someone to fully investigate all the risks associated with any veterinary procedure that is suggested.
Complaint comments Comments (7) Complaint country United States Complaint category Animal/Pet Hospitals

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D  5th of Jun, 2011 by    -6 Votes
First off, you signed an anesthesia release form. This form explains all risks involved in anesthesia. Second, every clinic with the capabilities to do dental procedures have technicians do the cleaning and polishing. Only about 1-2 % of patients die from complications of gas anesthesia (1-2 % depending on the use of Isoflurane or Sevoflurane). This risk can increase if the patient has underlying conditions. If you did not do pre-anesthetic work-ups prior to the procedure that is your fault! How dare you try to say that the technician was at fault! Many things could have caused your pet to crash during the anesthesia. I am sure you did not have a necropsy done in which you do not have a foot to stand on as far as any legal action is conserned. You are a typical a##h### that wants to quickly blame someone for an event that can and does happen whether a complicated surgery is performed or a dental prophylaxis. Even in a complicated/emergency surgery a technician is monitoring anesthesia. Move on with your life and stop being an idiot!
N  9th of Apr, 2017 by    +1 Votes
@shookertx VCA has extremely questionable practices and procedures. Their vets get reprimanded or worse for not meeting selling goals every month. They use software to write treatment plans that automatically includes a list of items that may not be needed. They killed my dog too. Look into their practices. Like Banfield they are despicable.
N  5th of Jul, 2011 by    +2 Votes
It was the tech's fault. For the most part every single employee of VCA is borderline ###ed. That is why they work for VCA and not a trusted family vet business. They make so many mistakes, so often, that they have to move every two years. Most technicians are useless, that is why they are techs and not vets.
N  5th of Jul, 2011 by     Best Advice +4 Votes
If you want a recommendation. Don't submit a complaint by yourself. Go online and recruit as many people as you can that have complaints about the same vet or animal clinic. The more individual complaints you can group together, kind of like a class action lawsuit, you will find greater results. Word to the wise, while the state may seem unresponsive...you can post all of your complaints to the health board and courtesy copy your local representative and other elected officials. Once the board sees that you are willing to involved other voters and elected officials, you will see more action.
A  2nd of Nov, 2015 by    +3 Votes
My healthy six year old registered therapy cat just went in for routine dental cleaning to a local VCA hospital, but didn't make it out alive. I suspect the vet was out of the room on a cell phone call (asking me permission for 2 dental extractions), when the tube was inserted. I met a retired internist last night who told me a minimum of 2 should assist in the insertion. I had already given written permission to do whatever work the vet deemed to be needed if I could not be reached by phone. I coincidentally called her right back after her unsuccessful phone call to me, but in the meantime I suspect she already started on another patient, so busy the office was. A necropsy test revealed 2 ruptured lungs that led to collapsed lungs. The
technician exonerated herself from any wrongdoing- of course, but judging from an after the fact phone conversion to me (which I saved) by the vet,
the vet was not in the room at the time of insertion. In the phone message left to me the vet did speak of necessary ventilation during anesthesia,
which exceeded could rupture the lungs, but from the technician's assertion, this was not a factor. The vet concluded this young buck of a cat must have entered surgery with already weak lungs. In that case, I would wonder how he could jump my landlord's fence 6 times a day and how he could have so successfully survived castration surgery at an earlier, more vulnerable age. Please direct me, if possible, even if it is only to force the hospital to follow updated safety protocols to anesthesia administration. (5l0) 548-8762. Thanks. Kate
A  24th of Oct, 2016 by    +1 Votes
https://www.change.org/p/american-veterinary-medical-association-protect-your-pets-from-unethical-physicians

Please read my petition and sign it if you agree and pass it on.

I learned there is an on going class action law suite between VCA and their employees.

They were unethical.

We need to make change because this company is dominating the market with hospitals and labs.

Please sign my petition!
N  24th of Oct, 2016 by    0 Votes
Please go to Change.org https://www.change.org/p/american-veterinary-medical-association-protect-your-pets-from-unethical-physicians

Uphold THE PRINCIPLES: Vote for the Fairness to Pet Owners Act (H.R. 3174/S. 1200)
Pet Owner Fairfield, CT

In 2004, I adopted my dog Jacob from the Westport Humane Society which is located in Westport Connecticut. He is a beautiful animal. He was healthy and fit for the majority of his life. He was harmed by his doctors at the age of 10 because they did not uphold the "Principles".

https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Principles-of-Veterinary-Medical-Ethics-of-the-AVMA.aspx

I am posting this petition so that all animals may be protected through ensuring the enforcement of existing laws/ethics and to help implement new ones ( the Fairness to Pet Owners Act (H.R. 3174/S. 1200). (effective record keeping helps to make effective diagnosis and remedies which protects pets and their owners)

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3174

* Did you know that animals are considered property(similar to a car)and historically there have been few legal ramifications for malpractice.

https://www.animallaw.info/article/animals-property

**** ALWAYS BE SURE TO (obtain a copy)OF THE REFERRAL FORM FROM THE PRIMARY DOCTOR TO THE SPECIALTY PHYSICIAN TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS ACCURATE before they start examining your animal!!! THE BENEFIT MUST OUT WEIGH THE RISK!!

In addition to the treatment we endured, I now find it concerning that my personal experience included an entity that predominantly influences the market and claims to be setting a standard of care(they have over 700 small animal veterinary hospitals across the United States and Canada, a nationwide clinical laboratory, and diagnostic imaging company ). According to one source, VCA has "1 of the 10 most over paid CEO's". In fact the CEO is also the chairman and the president of Veterinary Centers of America Antech Inc. .

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/executive-pay-america-top-10-overpaid-ceo

When I read the articles below, I felt as if all the pieces of the puzzle were coming together. I reached out to Mr. Antin before I discovered these but there was no response. I thought that he deserved the opportunity to comment on the situation seeing as he is building an empire which incorporates HEALING. He did not return my call. He can't see all that goes on. I thought it was the morally correct thing to do. It's one thing to have a goal, it's another thing to reach that goal. ITS ONE THING TO LOVE YOUR CUSTOMERS AND ITS ANOTHER THING TO IGNORE THEM. I don't like to think of myself or my animal as the percentage that is expendable.

http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=32842

http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=19664

http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=31861

http://www.investors.com/research/the-new-america/animal-hospital-chain-vca-antech-profits-from-a-pet-loving-public/

IT IS CONCERNING WHEN A COMPANIES EMPLOYEES FILE A ONGOING LAW SUITE AGAINST THEM BECAUSE THEY FEEL VIOLATED

http://vcalawsuit.com/

Fairness to Pet Owners Act (H.R. 3174/S. 1200)

"Introduced in House (07/23/2015)Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2015 Directs the Federal Trade Commission to require prescribers of animal drugs to verify prescriptions and provide copies of prescriptions to pet owners, pet owner designees, and pharmacies, without the prescriber demanding payment or establishing other conditions. Applies these requirements to medication for a domesticated household animal that consumers are not allowed to purchase without a prescription.
Treats a violation of this Act as an unfair or deceptive act or practice under the Federal Trade Commission Act."

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3174

Walmart sells Novalin N and Novalin R for $25.00 in case you didn't know. Other pharmacies may sell it for over $100.00. The AVMA seems concerned about pet owners having the best prices but none of my doctors shared this information with me, I discovered it on my own. VCA also didn't inform me of the only FDA approved insulin for animals called Vetsulin in the U.S.A. Caninsulin in other countries. If your dog is regulated but appears to be having an adverse reaction to the human synthetic insulin you may want to try Vetsulin, a natural, animal based pork insulin(check with your doctor) I have read it is easier for some animals to adjust to. At one time people were offered non synthetic insulin as well, you can read about this below.

The AVMA DOES NOT support this bill. The physician that I saw stated an emergency medication in her case notes. I wasn't given a prescription nor did she dispense it to me. I later learned that only veterinarians can dispense it. She later claimed to not be treating his airways yet she was actively collaborating. The VCA job description which explains her expertise says otherwise as well. I wish I was a doctor, then I would know what to prescribe for my dog!!! I am depending on them to HELP ME! I have certainly learned a LOT ABOUT VETERINARY MEDICINE since all of this began. I wish I had listened to my intuition and NOT TAKEN HIM TO VCA!

https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/160615g.aspx

Because of my experience I would also like the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to revisit standard practice for dogs which are having endocrine disorders such as Diabetes. My dog may have continued to decline if I didn't trust my ability to know that my dog was in a crisis. He couldn't walk by himself among other things after VCA's treatment. My dog was placed on human insulin. I told my veterinarian that I thought the medications that she prescribed weren't agreeing with him. She stopped the antibiotics that were prescribed in error and also the blood pressure medicine (once I removed the dog from the office and placed him in a safe place, my car) his blood pressure reading was acceptable but she left him on the insulin. She stated in her case notes that I thought that my dog was having an anaphylactic reaction to the blood pressure medication. That is not what I stated. She left him on the human insulin and did not even mention changing it. I did not learn about canine insulin until after I left VCA's care.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-04/m-mah042913.php

http://www.iddt.org/here-to-help/iddt-campaigning/animal-insulin-ministers-letter

http://www.iddt.org/here-to-help/iddt-campaigning/synthetic-human-insulin-versus-natural-animal-insulin

Lastly, my local Connecticut Health Department is responsible for making sure that the veterinarians in question are accountable for their actions or lack there of; I hope this petition helps to ensure that their process is judicious and that's its meaningfulness is NOT DISTORTED.

http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3143&q=388948

If you believe that you and your animal may have been harmed due to poor performance, click on the link above and learn how to make a complaint in Ct.. Go to your local Department of Health's website and do the same. IT'S EASY!!! Don't wait you may miss your opportunity(there are time restrictions)! Help to MAKE CHANGE!

MY HOPE is to:

1. Raise awareness about the AVMA ethics called "The Principles". The AVMA Judicial Council is charged to advise on all questions relating to veterinary medical ethics and to review the Principles periodically to ensure that they remain current and appropriate. If all doctors actually animated "THE PRINCIPLES" we would have very well taken care of pets and owners.(please see below) * did you know that animals are considered property(similar to a car)and historically there have been few legal ramifications for malpractice.

2. Ask the public to vote the Fairness to Pet Owners Act (H.R. 3174/S. 1200) into action to help protect animals and owners through a well documented case file which will ensure proper distribution and accountability of services. (presently, the AVMA is not in favor of this bill, please see below)* in my circumstance my dogs case notes stated an emergency medication but I was never offered it by the doctor or given a prescription to go elsewhere to obtain it. In addition, the pharmacy records showed another physicians name in their log. I also had 10 pages of other animals records mixed into my dogs file. When I requested my dogs complete records from VCA (Veterinary Centers of America) I was not given his chest x-ray or his ultrasound or his blood pressure readings etc.. The radiologist wouldn't even discuss my dogs chest x-ray with me and the internist put her opinion on my dogs discharge sheet instead of the radiologists. Had I not been vigilant I would not have known the radiologists opinion of my dogs chest x-ray or that the internist had recommended Torb, a medication for breathing emergencies. I was told to use urine dips, I later discovered they sold glucometers at VCA!

* "This creates an administrative burden for veterinarians and staff who should be spending their time and resources taking care of their animal patients, not on paperwork." American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) statement regarding the bill

By not signing the bill we are allowing veterinarians to not keep complete records and may impair the consumers ability to protect their animals best interest. While it is nice to be allowed to request medicine for your animal, the fact of the matter is, dog owners are not doctors although they are invaluable instruments that may lead to health and wellness. With an authentic collaboration as described in "The Principles" I believe clearer communication and assessment can prevail when working with a COMPETENT doctor.

3. Help raise awareness about typical canine geriatric illnesses: (Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Cushing's Disease, Obesity, Arthritis, Gum Disease, Blindness, Cancer, Heart Disease, Addison's Disease etc.) which if handled early on can potentially be managed more effectively(a geriatric blood panel can help diagnose them among other tests). Your veterinarian should help to educate you ideally without you having to ask. Discuss with your doctor at what age your dog should begin to receive geriatric testing and other considerations. ALWAYS BE SURE TO READ THE REFERRAL FORM FROM THE PRIMARY DOCTOR TO THE SPECIALTY PHYSICIAN TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS ACCURATE BEFORT EXAMS BEGIN AND DO NOT LET YOUR ANIMAL BE MISHANDLED OR OVERSTRESSED.

4. Please be sure that your physician is very clear that your animal is not to be exposed to undue stress; you may even have them sign an agreement to avoid confusion. Stress may influence how their body reacts to medication or may make them de-compensate. My dogs nails were cut in error against my explicit orders to NOT cut his nails while he was awake; he requires sedation (he was being seen for exercise intolerance). This is a mistake that he could not afford to have made!

5. Avoid unnecessary anesthesia/sedation especially during standard blood draws. One of the primary veterinarians that examined my dog wanted to sedate him to complete a general blood draw because he didn't have a vet tech to help him.

6. VCA was founded in 1986 under the name "Veterinary Centers of America", with the goal of creating a company that would be the leader in providing veterinary care for pets across the country. This organization is becoming a monopoly. While I am sure that they have helped many people, I happen to be one of the many that they could have done a better job with. Its a real possibility and it did happen. Recently my primary veterinarian referred me to a VCA animal hospital several times instead of performing the basic age appropriate testing in his office which would have identified my animals condition earlier on and prevented decline.

7. My hope is that the state of Connecticut Department of Health will do their job: "The Commissioner of Public Health with the advice and assistance of said board may issue regulations to insure proper veterinary care and the protection of public health, considering the convenience and welfare of the animals being treated, methods recommended by the code of ethics of the national and state veterinary associations, proper registrations of veterinarians for prompt identification and accepted health and veterinary standards as promulgated by the Department of Public Health, Department of Agriculture health ordinances and state statutes and regulations. " Ct. General Statutes Chapter 384, Section 20-196b. Board powers and duties. The Connecticut Board of Veterinary Medicine shall (1)hear and decide matters concerning suspension or revocation of licensure (2) adjudicate complaints filed against practitioners licensed under this chapter and (3) impose sanctions where appropriate. I have placed a formal complaint and it's been over 2 years. I still have not gotten my my dogs diagnostic records.

MY EXPERIENCE RELATED TO SOME OF THE PRINCIPLES

1)A veterinarian shall be influenced only by the welfare of the patient, the needs of the client, the safety of the public, and the need to uphold the public trust vested in the veterinary profession, and shall avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof.

My primary veterinarian referred me to a Veterinary Centers of America ( VCA ) Animal Hospital instead of performing age appropriate tests over a 2 year period. I later found out that a relative was a leading physician at one of their offices. Once I went(after my vet passed up 1 more opportunity to run a test ), the VCA office did not have my records on site which I specifically called at least 3 times to make sure that they would be there. I was being very protective because my cat had died at another one of their offices in Norwalk Ct. several years before. The attending physician did not rule out other diagnosis before placing my dog on medication for Diabetes even though I stated that he did not appear symptomatic. She was hurried and short with me. She quickly took him off of blood pressure medication after he had a complete break down. She also took him off of antibiotics that she prematurely placed him on because he did not have a bladder infection it turned out(when the test arrived). When I returned with him in a state where he could not walk on his own, she simply stated that I would have to "SLING" him around. The office would not give me his record without me getting the Ct.Dept.of Health involved and I still haven't gotten his chest x-ray, ultrasound, and blood pressure readings.

2)A veterinarian shall provide competent veterinary medical clinical care under the terms of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR), with compassion and respect for animal welfare and human health.

VCA"Veterinary Centers of America" informed me that my primary veterinarian should be able to manage my dogs case going forward and my primary veterinarian said my dogs case was "COMPLICATED". Neither of them wanted to assume the care of my dog. During this experience I was accused of swearing at the office staff and a note was placed in my dogs file which defamed my character. This could potentially influence my ability to obtain care for my dog. While he was in crisis I had to go find a new primary veterinarian and get a second opinion from another specialist. I didn't even get to speak to the doctor that referred me to VCA. I was told he was out of the office, my note must have gotten lost, they didn't have my phone number etc.. VCA would not let me talk to the radiologist who read my dogs chest x-ray instead I received an email from the internist who had placed her opinion on his discharge sheet and she claimed she wasn't treating his airways. Had I not repeatedly asked for his file I would not have viewed the WRITTEN chest x-ray results. I can't mention all of the things that took place but I hope you have an idea of circus that was created when my dog was in crisis.

3)A veterinarian shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and report veterinarians who are deficient in character or competence to the appropriate entities.Yes, they should.

4)A veterinarian shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes to laws and regulations which are contrary to the best interests of the patient and public health.

I believe standard practice should be changed regarding Diabetes for dogs. No animal should be placed on insulin without the owner owning a glucometer and knowing how to use it ( the chosen initial method of urine testing IN MY CASE WAS not accurate enough!!! It had readings that were not in real time and would not protect any animal against highs and lows in the present moment from what I have read). All veterinarians should have standard instruction sheets that inform the owners of how long insulin lasts ( 3 different people gave me 3 different shelf lives). A Fructosamine test should be given to help assess the animals glucose regulation prior to diagnosis (my dog did not have one although I told her I didn't see the symptoms, she did not recommend one). Antibiotics should not be prescribed without a valid urinalysis showing an active infection because antibiotics can alter a dogs appetite and cause distress. Pancreatitis should be ruled out if the labs show signs of it and a thyroid panel should be run and assessed before the animal is placed on insulin. A complete information sheet about Diabetes(to include common complications(beyond highs and lows) and how to care for your pet should be given to include information about their eyes(my dog went blind in 6 months)everything was very overwhelming. I had placed my dog on fish oil over the 2 years prior (unknowingly) hoping it would be a natural anti-inflammatory. It had turned out to be a great choice, he was amazingly healthy for his age and had a great prognosis from the vet, I could see the surprise on her face when he came back lame. It was too late, he had transformed from a very healthy dog to a crippled dog from one dose of insulin, blood pressure medicine, and antibiotics. DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! I WAS NOT EDUCATED ABOUT geriatric CANINE wellness, I HAD EXPECTED MY PRIMARY VETRINARIAN TO CLUE ME IN. Had I not questioned their care I would not have received the help my dog needed. He walks short distances on his own now. HE IS BLIND WHICH IS COMMON IN DIABETIC DOGS(50%). BLIND dogs can live very happy lives. Being blind may not have occurred with better care.

5)A veterinarian shall respect the rights of clients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and shall safeguard medical information within the confines of the law.

I had 10 pages of other animals records mixed in with my dogs incomplete record.

The American Veterinary Medical Association's Statement

" We feel that this bill—the Fairness to Pet Owners Act (H.R. 3174/S. 1200)—is unnecessary because clients should already have the ability to fill a prescription at a pharmacy of their choice. Though not required by federal law, the AVMA’s Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics and its guide on Client Requests for Prescriptions encourage veterinarians to write a prescription in lieu of dispensing a medication when asked by a client, and a majority of states have similar laws or policies. In some cases, veterinary medications are only available through a veterinarian, negating the need for a written prescription. In other situations, the client might want to have the medication dispensed by their veterinarian. But if this bill were to pass, veterinarians would still be required to provide the written prescription, take the piece of paper back, and then dispense the medication. This creates an administrative burden for veterinarians and staff who should be spending their time and resources taking care of their animal patients, not on paperwork."

This is a perfect example of why laws need to be instituted: Once I obtained my dogs partial records with the help of the Dept. of Public Health ( VCA neglected to supply his chest x-ray, ultrasound and blood pressure readings) I learned by reading the case notes that the attending doctor had suggested that my dog have Torb on hand for hot summer months. She didn't even tell me that in her office. I checked back at the pharmacy where I picked up his insulin and found that there was no prescription for TORB. I also learned that another doctors name was on the medication log that I had never even met with. It turned out that TORB can only be dispensed by veterinarians. She didn't dispense it when she dispensed the other medication(blood pressure medication and antibiotics).

I approached the VCA office manager and she never followed through with a response to my concerns other than giving me a partial file and initially apologizing for not having my animals records. I was alienated from my primary care physician by the office staff. I called 2 different customer care offices for VCA and finally asked for the president. You see, VCA looks like its a "FAMILY" operated business. Not one of them took the time to speak to me!

I later saw on a social media site customers voicing their complaints against VCA... there was an invitation to resolve their complaints from the same office manager that I was dealing with at the very same VCA Animal Hospital where my dog was harmed ...she was of very little help to me and I was not pleased with the outcome which facilitated my formal complaint to the Ct. Dept. of Health. I also viewed complaints about my primary physician at the time which reflected that other clients were referred to emergency hospitals.

"THE VETERINARIANS I ENCOUNTERED SEEMED HURRIED AND DESENSITIZED. MY DOGS RECORD AND MEDICAL CARE IS A REFLECTION OF THIS. Diagnostics are important but so is the opinion of the owner(their basic assessment of their animals symptoms). More importantly, the messages the animal is sending. My dogs initial referral was misleading I discovered once I saw his file. During his 2nd exam while I was not present, he was presenting with a cough according to the same doctor that forgot to tell me about the Torb. It was perceived as typical behavior when it was not. I suspect he was saying "STOP". It is imperative that those individuals who have chosen to practice veterinary medicine truly adopt the elaborate code of ethics that have been designed to guide their professional conduct so that animals owners can be educated and vigilant as well as confidant in their care, geriatric pets may not be able to survive such errors." Jessica Kristoff

American Veterinary Medical Association

Taken from the AVMA website: " Veterinarians are members of a scholarly profession who have earned academic degrees from comprehensive universities or similar educational institutions. Veterinarians practice veterinary medicine in a variety of situations and circumstances. Exemplary professional conduct upholds the dignity of the veterinary profession. All veterinarians are expected to adhere to a progressive code of ethical conduct known as the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics (PVME). The PVME comprises the following Principles, the Supporting Annotations, and Useful Terms.

The AVMA Judicial Council is charged to advise on all questions relating to veterinary medical ethics and to review the Principles periodically to ensure that they remain current and appropriate.

"The Principles"
A veterinarian shall be influenced only by the welfare of the patient, the needs of the client, the safety of the public, and the need to uphold the public trust vested in the veterinary profession, and shall avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof.
A veterinarian shall provide competent veterinary medical clinical care under the terms of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR), with compassion and respect for animal welfare and human health.
A veterinarian shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and report veterinarians who are deficient in character or competence to the appropriate entities.
A veterinarian shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes to laws and regulations which are contrary to the best interests of the patient and public health.
A veterinarian shall respect the rights of clients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and shall safeguard medical information within the confines of the law.
A veterinarian shall continue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge, maintain a commitment to veterinary medical education, make relevant information available to clients, colleagues, the public, and obtain consultation or referral when indicated.
A veterinarian shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide veterinary medical care.
A veterinarian shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.
A veterinarian should view, evaluate, and treat all persons in any professional activity or circumstance in which they may be involved, solely as individuals on the basis of their own personal abilities, qualifications, and other relevant characteristics.
The Principles with Supporting Annotations
A veterinarian shall be influenced only by the welfare of the patient, the needs of the client, the safety of the public, and the need to uphold the public trust vested in the veterinary profession; and shall avoid conflict of interest or the appearance thereof.A veterinarian shall not allow any interests, especially financial interests, other than those mentioned above to influence the choice of treatment or animal care.A veterinarian should consider the potential for creating a conflict of interest (or the appearance thereof) when deciding whether to participate in vendor incentive programs or other arrangements where the veterinarian receives a benefit for using or prescribing a particular product.
The medical judgment of a veterinarian shall not be influenced by contracts or agreements made by their associations or societies.
A veterinarian shall not offer or receive any financial incentive solely for the referral of a patient (fee-splitting).
Performance of surgical or other procedures in any species for the purpose of concealing genetic defects in animals to be shown, raced, bred, or sold as breeding animals is misleading to the public and is unethical. However, should the health or welfare of the individual patient require correction of such genetic defects, it is recommended that the patient be rendered incapable of reproduction.
Veterinarians shall not promote, sell, prescribe, dispense, or use secret remedies or any other product for which they do not know the ingredients.
A veterinarian shall provide competent veterinary medical care under the terms of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR), with compassion and respect for animal welfare and human health.A veterinarian should first consider the needs of the patient to prevent and relieve disease, suffering, or disability while minimizing pain or fear.
Regardless of practice ownership, the interests of the patient, client, and public require that all decisions that affect diagnosis and treatment of patients are made by veterinarians in the context of a VCPR.It is unethical to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine without a VCPR.
When an attending veterinarian assumes responsibility for primary care of a patient, a VCPR is established with the attending veterinarian.
Clients may terminate the VCPR at any time.
If there is no ongoing medical or surgical condition, veterinarians may terminate a VCPR by notifying the client that they no longer wish to serve that patient and client.
If there is an ongoing medical or surgical condition, the patient shall be referred to another veterinarian for diagnosis, care, and treatment. The former attending veterinarian shall continue to provide care, as needed, during the transition.
Attending veterinarians are responsible for choosing the treatment regimen for their patients. It is the attending veterinarian's responsibility to inform the client of the expected results and costs, and the related risks of each treatment regimen.
Humane euthanasia of animals is an ethical veterinary procedure.
A veterinarian shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and report veterinarians who are deficient in character or competence to the appropriate entities.Complaints about behavior that may violate the Principles should be addressed in an appropriate and timely manner.
Local or state veterinary associations have a responsibility to monitor and guide the professional conduct of their members. Members of local and state committees are familiar with local customs and circumstances, and those committees are in the best position to confer with all parties involved. Local and state veterinary associations should consider adopting the Principles or a similar code as a guide for their activities and include discussions of ethical issues in their continuing education programs. The AVMA Judicial Council may address complaints prior to, concurrent with, or subsequent to review at the state or local level, as it deems appropriate.
Veterinary Medical educators should stress the teaching of ethical issues as part of the professional veterinary curriculum for all veterinary students. Concomitantly, veterinary medical examiners are encouraged to prepare and include questions regarding professional ethics on examinations.
Veterinarians must not defame or injure the professional standing or reputation of other veterinarians in a false or misleading manner. Veterinarians must be honest and fair in their relations with others, and they shall not engage in fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit.
Veterinarians should use only the title of the professional degree that was awarded by the school of veterinary medicine where the degree was earned. All veterinarians may use the courtesy titles Doctor or Veterinarian.
It is unethical for veterinarians to identify themselves as members of an AVMA-recognized specialty organization if such certification has not been awarded and maintained. Only those veterinarians who have been certified by an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization should refer to themselves as specialists.
A veterinarian having supervisory authority over another veterinarian should make reasonable efforts to ensure that the other veterinarian conforms to the Principles.
A veterinarian may be responsible for another veterinarian's violation of the Principles if the veterinarian orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, approves the conduct involved; or if the veterinarian has supervisory authority over another veterinarian and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated, but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
Veterinarians who are impaired must not act in the capacity of a veterinarian and shall seek assistance from qualified organizations or individuals. Colleagues of impaired veterinarians should encourage those individuals to seek assistance and to overcome their impairment.
Veterinarians shall disclose to clients potential conflicts of interest.
Advertising by veterinarians is ethical when there are no false, deceptive, or misleading statements or claims. A false, deceptive, or misleading statement or claim is one which communicates false information or is intended, through a material omission, to leave a false impression.

Testimonials or endorsements are advertising, and they should comply with applicable law and guidelines, such as the Federal Trade Commission guide and regulations relating to testimonials, endorsements, and other forms of advertising.
A veterinarian shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes to laws and regulations which are contrary to the best interests of the patient and public health.A veterinarian should obey all laws of the jurisdictions in which they reside and practice veterinary medicine.
The AVMA Judicial Council may choose to report alleged infractions by members and nonmembers of the AVMA to the appropriate agencies.
It is unethical to place professional knowledge, credentials, or services at the disposal of any nonprofessional organization, group, or individual to promote or lend credibility to the illegal practice of veterinary medicine.
A veterinarian shall respect the privacy rights of clients, colleagues, and other health professionals and shall safeguard medical information within the confines of the law.Veterinarians and their associates must protect the personal privacy of clients, and veterinarians must not reveal confidences unless required to by law or unless it becomes necessary to protect the health and welfare of other individuals or animals.
Veterinary medical records are an integral part of veterinary care. The records must comply with the standards established by state and federal law.Medical records are the property of the practice and the practice owner. The original records must be retained by the practice for the period required by law.
The information within veterinary medical records is confidential. It must not be released except as required or allowed by law, or by consent of the owner of the patient.
Veterinarians are obligated to provide copies or summaries of medical records when requested by the client. Veterinarians should secure a written consent to document that provision.
Without the express permission of the practice owner, it is unethical for a veterinarian to remove, copy, or use the medical records or any part of any record for personal or professional gain.
A veterinarian shall continue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge; maintain a commitment to veterinary medical education; make relevant information available to clients, colleagues, and the public; and obtain consultation or referral when indicated.Veterinarians should strive to enhance their image with respect to their colleagues, clients, other health professionals, and the general public. Veterinarians should present a professional appearance and follow acceptable professional procedures using current professional and scientific knowledge.
Veterinarians should strive to improve their veterinary knowledge and skills, and they are encouraged to collaborate with other professionals in the quest for knowledge and professional development.
When appropriate, attending veterinarians are encouraged to seek assistance in the form of consultations and/or referrals. A decision to consult or refer is made jointly by the attending veterinarian and the client. Attending veterinarians must honor a client's request for referral.When a private clinical consultation occurs, the attending veterinarian continues to be primarily responsible for the case and maintaining the VCPR.
Consultations usually involve the exchange of information or interpretation of test results. However, it may be appropriate or necessary for consultants to examine patients. When advanced or invasive techniques are required to gather information or substantiate diagnoses, attending veterinarians may refer the patients. A new VCPR is established with the veterinarian to whom a case is referred.
Referral is the transfer of responsibility of diagnosis and treatment from a referring veterinarian to a receiving veterinarian. The referring and receiving veterinarians should communicate.The referring veterinarian should provide the receiving veterinarian with all the appropriate information pertinent to the case before or at the time of the receiving veterinarian's first contact with the patient or the client.
When the referred patient has been examined, the receiving veterinarian should promptly inform the referring veterinarian. Information provided should include diagnosis, proposed treatment, and other recommendations.
Upon discharge of the patient, the receiving veterinarian should give the referring veterinarian a written report advising the referring veterinarian as to continuing care of the patient or termination of the case. A detailed and complete written report should follow as soon as possible.
When a client seeks professional services or opinions from a different veterinarian without a referral, a new VCPR is established with the new attending veterinarian. When contacted, the veterinarian who was formerly involved in the diagnosis, care, and treatment of the patient should communicate with the new attending veterinarian as if the patient and client had been referred.With the client's consent, the new attending veterinarian should contact the former veterinarian to learn the original diagnosis, care, and treatment and clarify any issues before proceeding with a new treatment plan.
If there is evidence that the actions of the former attending veterinarian have clearly and significantly endangered the health or safety of the patient, the new attending veterinarian has a responsibility to report the matter to the appropriate authorities of the local and state association or professional regulatory agency.
In keeping with applicable law, a veterinarian shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide veterinary medical care.Veterinarians may choose whom they will serve. Both the veterinarian and the client have the right to establish or decline a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship and to decide on treatment. The decision to accept or decline treatment and related cost should be based on adequate discussion of clinical findings, diagnostic techniques, treatment, likely outcome, estimated cost, and reasonable assurance of payment. Once the veterinarian and the client have agreed, and the veterinarian has begun patient care, they may not neglect their patient and must continue to provide professional services related to that injury or illness within the previously agreed limits. As subsequent needs and costs for patient care are identified, the veterinarian and client must confer and reach agreement on the continued care and responsibility for fees. If the informed client declines further care or declines to assume responsibility for the fees, the VCPR may be terminated by either party.
In emergencies, veterinarians have an ethical responsibility to provide essential services for animals when necessary to save life or relieve suffering, subsequent to client agreement (or until such agreement can be obtained when no client is present). Such emergency care may be limited to euthanasia to relieve suffering, or to stabilization of the patient for transport to another source of animal care.
When veterinarians cannot be available to provide services, they should provide readily accessible information to assist clients in obtaining emergency services, consistent with the needs of the locality.
Veterinarians who believe that they haven't the experience or equipment to manage and treat certain emergencies in the best manner, should advise the client that more qualified or specialized services are available elsewhere and offer to expedite referral to those services.
Veterinarians who provide emergency services should send patients and continuation of care information back to the original veterinarians and/or other veterinarians of the owners' choice, as soon as practical.
Veterinarians (to include those attending, consulting, receiving and referring) are entitled to charge fees for their professional services.Regardless of the fees that are charged or received, the quality of service must be maintained at the usual professional standard.
A veterinarian may charge a fee for the services the veterinarian provides in conjunction with the use of third-party providers such as laboratories, pharmacies, and consulting veterinarians.
A veterinarian shall honor a client's request for a prescription or veterinary feed directive in lieu of dispensing, but may charge a fee for this service.
It is unethical for a group or association of veterinarians to take any action which coerces, pressures, or achieves agreement among veterinarians to conform to a fee schedule or fixed fees.
A veterinarian shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.The responsibilities of the veterinary profession extend beyond individual patients and clients to society in general. Veterinarians are encouraged to make their knowledge available to their communities and to provide their services for activities that protect public health.
A veterinarian should view, evaluate, and treat all persons in any professional activity or circumstance in which they may be involved, solely as individuals on the basis of their own personal abilities, qualifications, and other relevant characteristics.
As health professionals seeking to advance animal and public health, veterinarians should strive to confront and reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination that may lead to impediments to access of quality animal and public health care for clients/patients or lack of educational, training, and employment opportunities for veterinary colleagues/students and other members of the animal health care team. These forms of prejudice and discrimination include, but are not limited to, race; ethnicity; physical and mental abilities; gender; sexual orientation; gender identity; parental status; religious beliefs; military or veteran status; political beliefs; geographic, socioeconomic, and educational background; and any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law."

Please click on the link below to see this complete statement.

https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Principles-of-Veterinary-Medical-Ethics-of-the-AVMA.aspx

**** Please revisit this petition to view updates. The main premise will remain: Enforcing existing laws and ethics, passing new laws/ethics, raising awareness and reviewing standard practice for dogs with endocrine disorders such as Diabetes and Hypothyroidism. I reserve limited liability, I am not a medical doctor; these statements reflect my experience and information I have gathered from other sources. Please don't sue me Mr. Antin. I want my animals records and for you to do a good job.

This petition will be delivered to:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
The Humane Society
The Humane Society of Connecticut
Senator
Richard Blumenthal

7 more decision makers...

laws that protect pets
Animal Cruelty
tests for geriatric pets
vca animal hospitals
dogs

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1 week ago

Petition update
Dept. of Agriculture Lends a Hand! Please Review the Petition for Updates

I have learned some valuable information that reflects the underlying culture of VCA. Please click on the links to review the articles and please encourage people to sign the petition. Thank you for your efforts! I also have...

2 weeks ago

Petition update
A Step in the Right Direction! Please continue to share this petition!

Thank you all for your support! I recently had a response from Senator Marilyn Moore. I would like to personally thank her for her immediate response and action taken to work towards resolution. I will update you...

2 months ago

Petition update
Thank You!

We just got started and we have over 300 votes! Thank you all so much and keep spreading the word. We can all make a change in the world! Very Sincerely, Jess

2 months ago
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3 months ago
Pet Owner started this petition

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Vets are finding ways to charge you for services that usually do not need to be done
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SO SAD AND CRUEL !!!
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A voice for the voiceless.
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