Know You Veterinarian - What To Do If

Choosing a veterinarian is an important decision.  There are many professional and caring veterinarians, however, there are a few whose medical history may contain errors in medication and/or procedure.  Learn about the vet in your area by visiting your local State Board of Veterinary Medicine.  The Board exists to oversee the profession and may take action to suspend a license, issue admonitions, or exonerate the veterinarian.  To inquire about any veterinarian, type in the correct spelling of the veterinarian's name and the type of license he/she holds. The site may contain information about the disciplinary actions (fines or sanctions) against the veterinarian you are considering.  Veterinarians with disciplinary actions have committed acts of negligence.

If you have a concern about the treatment your pet has received, obtain the pet's medical records (including x-rays) and obtain a second opinion. If the records you have requested are not released within a short period, call the State Board of Veterinary Medicine, and they will request the records for you.

If you decide to open a case in front of the Board, obtain a third opinion. Medical records are legal documents, and the State Board will consider these records above all other evidence. In addition, ask the second and third veterinarian to write their opinions about what may be wrong with the treatment of your pet or the medical records you have received. Inform these veterinarians that their information will be sent to the state's Board of Veterinary Medicine.

When you file a complaint with the Board refer to the medical records and the treatment of your pet. The Board will decide if your complaint will be investigated. They will send out a letter of acceptance or rejection. Your case, if accepted, will be assigned to investigators. These investigators will put your case in front of an unbiased Board for a ruling. If you are able, attend the Board's meeting when your case is formally heard. You may be able to speak to the Board after their vote. At this time, add any information, which may not have been presented.