Veterinary Malpractice is the number 1
cause of harm to companion animals (quote from the ISAR).
Pet owners don't know this because the
problem is hidden. The press seldom covers it and the
veterinary industry covers it up.
In fact, in spite of the fact that
veterinary malpractice is the #1 cause of harm to companion animals,
veterinarians are consistently ranked by the public as one fo the most
honest and trustworthy professions. A look behind the veil of
secrecy shows otherwise.
Malpractice takes many forms including:
abuse: hitting, deliberately injuring or killing animals in
their care. (Did you know that practicing veterinarians are
exempt from animal cruelty laws in most states?)
and even experimental surgeries, procedures, and drug regimens, often
without owner knowledge or consent.
to take the necessary steps to achieve an accurate diagnosis, sometimes
resulting in wrong and even contraindicated treatments with serious
consequences, up to and including death
widespread use of unqualified, untrained or inadequately trained and
unlicensed staff to perform medical functions, such as anesthetic
induction and monitoring, administration of drugs, and other invasive
to provide your pet with the "standard of care" including failure to
adequately treat disease. This may also include failure to do
bloodwork (pre-anesthetic screening) before surgery, failure to check
for drug interactions, use of improper or old x-ray machines and other
diagnostic equipment that do not yield any useful information
conditions that can lead to infections including MRSA
such as failure to suture properly after a spay resulting in internal
such as failure to monitor a patient who is recovering from surgery, or
leaving a critically ill animal alone overnight
to refer a pet to a specialist when the pet's medical problems are
beyond the vets clinical abilities (such as failing to refer to an
experienced specialist for a type of surgery that the vet has never or
rarely performed before, and doing the surgery themselves)
errors such as those committed in human medicine
to disclose to the pet owner risks associated with procedures or drugs
to provide adequate or accurate instructions to the pet owner
Each year in each state, many
veterinarians are disciplined by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine
for such violations. Yet, for every vet who is disciplined
approximately 9 more have had complaints filed against them by
distressed, often grieving owners, only to have their cases dismissed
by these boards, made up of veterinary cronies.
Moreover, in those few cases where State Boards do take action, the
results are rarely publicized, and the pet owning public remains
dangerously unaware of the dangerous vets in their midst.
Most states do not make vets' disciplinary histories public on the web,
and those that do often seem to go out of their way to make it hard to
find, access, or understand.
Aside from the State Vet Boards, the
only other recourse for these aggrieved individuals and their
pets is the courts. But bringing a veterinary
malpractice lawsuit is out of economic reach for most pet owners, and
few lawyers have experience in bringing these kinds of cases.
The Companion Animal Protection
Alliance was formed in part to help make the public aware
of the problem of veterinary malpractice and to push for reform of a
system that does not protect our pets .
...to be continued