Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ghastly Dastgir in Maryland

Today's bad vet comes from my home state of Maryland.

Ghulam Dastgir has the rare distinction of having had two veterinary board actions taken on his license within a 1-year period. These were in the case of Rae-Rae the Dalmation and T-Jay the Yorkshire Terrier.

Dr. Dastgir owns Suitland Animal Clinic in Suitland, Maryland and Airpark Animal Hospital in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Each of these business is cited in one of the board decisions. He also apparently worked at a third clinic, called "Bonifant."

The Treatment and Death of T'Jay, the 4-month old Teacup Yorkie. T'Jay, the 4-month old TeacupYorkie puppy was originally brough to Dr. Dastgir for his booster shot. No veterinarian was at the hospital when she arrived. So, Dr. Dastgir's daughter - who is not a veterinarian or, apparently a licensed vet tech -- gave the shot to T'Jay.

Shortly thereafter, T'Jay "became lethargic and unresponsive." The owner called Dr. Dhastgir, who told her to bring T'Jay over to the other hospital where he was working. When he got there, he gave T'Jay 1 mg of torbutrol -- an opiate. He sent T'Jay home. Later that night, T'Jay vomited and had diarrhea, and the owner brought him back in.

Then, Dr. Dastgir gave T'Jay 1/2 cc of Gentocin. He did this without recording the concentration of the drug, and the Board says that the "omission is problematic because Gentocin, which comes in two different concentrations, is a weight-dependent medication . . . the dosage or amount that an animal should receive is dependent on weight.

"Dr. Dastgir never weighed T'Jay. [His owner] however estimated that T'Jay weighed less than two pounds"

"The amout of Gentocin that Dr. Dastgir administered to T'Jay exceeded the recommended dosage for a dog T'Jay's size . . . T'Jay died during the night."

The Board found Dastgir in violation of requirements that he supervise non-veterinary staff for allowing his daughter to administer medications without supervision; they also found him to have committed a "record-keeping" violation by failing to write down the dosage or amount of Gentocin given to T'Jay.

Commentary: I think you will agree if you read the above that it seems clear that things more serious than record-keeping violations went on. It is hard to read the above and come to any other conclusion other than that the dog had received an overdose -- in fact, the Board says that no matter which concentration he used, the amount given was excessive. Why didn't the board find Dastgir in violation of provisions against negligence or standard of care? Perhaps becase "record-keeping sounds so much less serious. I can hear them now: "The problem is not that you gave a drug overdose . . the problem is that you failed to document the overdose." Oh, gee whiz, and now the little 4 month old puppy is dead.

RaeRae's Bad Stay. "RaeRae's" owner brought 13-year old Rae Rae to Airpark Animal Hospital for boarding because she was experiencing health problems and was unable to care for RaeRae for a time.

More than a week after dropping RaeRae off, her owner went to visit RaeRae. According to the board documents, she noticed that Rae Rae was nervous and dirty. Rae Rae's owner removed RaeRae but then returned and boarded her again, "after discussing the dog's care with Dr. Dastgir."

For the first several weeks, RaeRae's owner continued to visit and would clean RaeRae's cage when she came. However, her health condition prevented her from visiting Rae Rae the following month. The next time she arrived to visit, she "observed that RaeRae was very skinny, filthy, and wet from lying in her own urine. [She] also observed that RaeRae had no food or water in her cage. She further observed that RaeRae could not stand up, and had an open bedsore on her leg."

The Dr. agreed to treat RaeRae's sore, but three days later the owner returned, and saw that the sore was larger and deeper. She also saw a second wound. "Dr. Dastgir advised [the owner] that RaeRae was paralyed, and would never walk again, and that it was time to euthanize her. "

That day the owner took RaeRae to another veterinary hospital, where she was treated. The new vet who assessed RaeRae noted "that RaeRae: (a) could not walk on entry, but with help was able to stand up and hobble; (b) had a large decubitus ulcer on her right hip and another debucitus ulcer on her right tarsus;" [bed sores]; "was emaciated, but really wanted to eat; and (d) really reeked of urine." The vet treated RaeRae. The Board found "RaeRae [had not been receiving] proper care . . . from Dr. Dastgir and his staff."