This case, from Maryland, provides a really good example of how veterinary boards always believe the veterinarian when the owner's account and the vet's account are diametrically opposed, even when the suspicious behavior of the veterinarian seems to indicate that the owner is telling the truth.
For example -- don't you think you would know whether or not you told a vet, or gave permission to a vet, to spay your dog? If you thought a vet was just going to remove a lump on your dogs leg, but your dog came out of surgery having had an entire spay performed, wouldn't you be mighty pissed? This is what a Maryland owner claims happened with her pug, Shelby.
This case also provides a good example of how the vet board believes that the vet did things he CLAIMS he did, but NEVER wrote down. SHAME on the vet boards -- for this type of behavior on their part merely encourages vets to make up any old story. Moreover, bad things happen to animals, but vet boards seem to chalk everything up to "recordkeeping" violations, which sound not-so-serious. Use your noggin, people. Read between the lines. I don't even believe the vet boards believe this shit -- but they aren't in the business of uncovering the truth, they are in the business of coddling their colleagues no matter what.
Ah, but back to the case of Shelby:
Daniel Peck owned and operated the Eastern Shore Animal Hospital in Chesterstown Maryland.
In the summer of 2003, her owner brought 1 1/2 year-old pug Shelby in to Dr. Peck because she had a lump on her left leg. Dr. Peck decided that the lump was a "histocytoma" [sic]. (Hystiocytomas are benign skin tumors usually seen in small dogs. Here are some links to more information; and by the way, these articles say that they often resolve on their own: http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/diseasesconditionsfaqs/f/FAQ_histiocytom.htm
But Dr. Peck recommended surgery to remove the lump, and the owner consented.
The vet board document says that Peck also performed an "ovariohysterectomy" (spay) on Shelby. Shelby's owner says that she NEVER gave permission for the spay!!!
The Board document says (emphasis added):
"Dr. Peck states otherwise, and amended the patient's record to include the following information: 'Called owner, permission given by father and Stacy.' Dr. Peck failed to initial and date this entry, signifying that it was an amendment."
OK, lemme get this straight. Shelby's owner said she never gave permission for the spay. The doctor LATER, AFTER THE FACT, modified (or "doctored?") the record to specifically say that permission was given for this spay, BUT he didn't follow state guidelines for the way to properly date and initial RETROACTIVE CHANGES MADE TO PATIENT RECORDS, indicating perhaps, that it was his intent to deceive people into believing that these were the original notations?????
The document further says:
"Dr. Peck administered an anesthetic agent to Shelby [for this surgery] (to wit: a combination of Ketamine, Rompun, Acepromizine) but failed to note in the patient's record the dosages given."
"Before anesthetizing Shelby and performing these procedures, Dr. Peck assessed the dog's physical condition, but failed to note his findings in the patient's record."
OK, so if it's not written down, HOW DO YOU KNOW HE DID IT? JUST BECAUSE HE SAYS SO??????
See how they always believe the vets? Even when the vet has NO proof, and the client has no proof, THEY TOTALLY 100 PERCENT BUY THE VET'S ACCOUNT OF THINGS!!!!!!!!
"Following surgery, Dr. Peck administered Flocillin to Shelby, but failed to note in the patient's record the amount given."
So, what did the board decide?
The board decided that Peck DID perform a physical exam of Shelby even though he wrote nothing down. BUT they found him in violation of the recordkeeping requirement.
For failing to write down the medications and amounts he used for anesthesia, they found him again in violation of record-keeping requirements. And AGAIN in violation of record keeping requirements for failing to write down that he gave Shelby Flocillin or the amount.
But the thing that really steams me is this:
For failing to initial and date his retroactive modifications to Shelby's medical records -- the one where he CLAIMS he called and got permission for the spay -- the one the owner says is total B.S. -- they just found him in violation of recordkeeping for that one too. For failing to date and initial the amendment.
They placed Peck on probation for 6 months and fined him $1,300, but they "stayed" $300 of the fine, which meant that he onnly had to pay $1,000.
As vet boards go, these are pretty high fines, but all the same, it is entirely maddening that a vet can retroactively modify his records to create documentation of things the client said NEVER occurred, and all he is found in violation of is recordkeeping. The fact that Peck did this, to me, tends to confirm the clients version of events, otherwise why would he suspiciously modify these records and not date them?