Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Colorado Vet Board Sucks: Tells Konishi -- Yeh, Go Ahead and Retroactively Create Medical Records!

In human medicine, it is estimated that only a very small percentage of those individuals harmed by medical errors or malpractice ever file a complaint or sue.

I feel certain that the same is true in the veterinary realm.

As a rule, something pretty bad has to happen for a pet owner to go through the time and trouble to file a complaint with a vet board -- a process which holds no promise of recompense, but is done to call attention to what the complainant believes to be practices that are dangerous for pets.

So, as I read the Colorado Veterinary Board's "Stipulated Letter of Admonition" admonishing veterinarian Benjamin Konishi, the question that I ask is: "What happened to the horse to compel the owners to file a complaint????"

The answer may be in the board's comments, brief and cryptic as they are:

" . . . the Board found that you failed to properly keep records. The board also found that you treated a horse whom was laterally incumbent [sic], which increased the animal's vulnerability to aspiration and pneumonia as a consequence of the treatment."

Did the horse get aspiration pneumonia as a consequence of the vet treating this horse while he was "laterally incumbent" (I'm quite certain this should have been RECUMBENT. No, the vet board doesn't seem to have a great command of english . . . .)

This seems to me to be implied.

The Colorado Vet Board found that Konishi had violated two statutes of the Veterinary Practice Act. They cited the numbers of those statutes in the "Letter of Admonishment" -- "C.R.S. 12-64-111(1)(a)" and "C.R.S. 12-64-120(3)(b)". Of course, no consumer would know what those numbers meant -- and in this document, the board doesn't bother to tell them. You would have to cross-reference this document with the actual statues to know what violations they found Konishi committed. This is one of the reasons the Colorado Vet Board sucks -- this document is very unfriendly to the viewing public, not forthcoming with information.

Here is what those violations mean --

The first violation -- the violation of 12-64-111(1)(a), means that Konishi committed:

"An act or omission which fails to meet generally accepted standards of veterinary practice.”

The second violation -- the violation of 12-64-120(3)(b), means that Konishi violated the provision that states:

“All practicing veterinarians . . . shall maintain accurate records for every new or existing client-patient relationship . . . Animal patient records shall justify the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment administered or prescribed and shall be legible, written, printed, or prepared electronically as unalterable documents. Records shall be prepared in such a manner that any subsequent evaluation of the same animal patient would yield comprehensive medical, patient, and veterinarian identifying information. Records shall be maintained for a minimum of three years after the animal patient’s last medical examination.”

Here is another reason why the Colorado Vet Board sucks:

In spite of finding Konishi in violation of these statutes, and implying that his actions put the horse at risk for pneumonia, the board had only two requirements for Konishi:

The second was that he complete 6 hours of continuing education in acute abdomen diagnosis. (Hmmm, does that mean he also misdiagnosed this animal???)

The first was very outrageous. The vet board ordered Konishi to "Write records in connection with this case within 12 months."

EXCUSE ME???????? You are finding him in violation of record keeping rules and then you tell him to RETROACTIVELY CREATE RECORDS for the case that spurred the complaint and you give him a YEAR TO RETROACTIVELY CREATE RECORDS?

EXCUSE me, he was supposed to have records that are UNALTERABLE . . .already.

The statute says that the record must "justify the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment administered or prescribed . . . " yet they state that he administered the treatment while the horse was "incumbent" which increased his risk of pneumonia -- so either he lies in the records he creates and makes it look like he didn't do those things, OR he violates this statute all over again by failing to meet its "justification." Also, the board ordered him to take a class in diagnostics. Did he misdiagnose this patient? If he did, and you are asking him to RETROACTIVELY CREATE A RECORD UP TO A YEAR LATER, does he RECORD his misdiagnosis??? (If he does, then he violates the statute because he won't be able to justify the diagnosis . . .). But if he doesn't, THEN HE'S CREATING INNACURATE RECORDS!

This is all they did. No fine.

And an incomprehensible order to retroactively create non-existent patient records that either do, or do not, accurately describe what actually occurred.


With friends like the Colorado Vet Board, Colorado's pets sure don't need any enemies.

Disciplinary Action vs. Benjamin Konishi:


Colorado Regulatory Decisions:

Board Orders

Colorado Veterinary Practice Act

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Video on the Perils of Veterinary "Care"

Jan Rasmusen, canine health advocate and educator, author of the award-winning book "Scared Poopless" has released a compelling video that I recommend to all readers. While this blog post isn't about a particular bad vet, Ms. Rasmusen's video covers most of the common instances of vet care gone wrong, including over-vaccination, the veterinary profession's conscription in the pharmaceutical and pet food sales industry, and the perils posed to pets left overnight without qualified supervision at clinics all over the country -- just to name a few.

This incisive short and educational piece looks at "profit-driven and outdated methods of care."

Ms. Rasmusen articulately points out one of the chief reasons our pets become so vulnerable in the hands of vets -- our own trust in those vets. Rasmusen says:

"Most of us trust our vets wholeheartedly, because we see dog care as too complicated for mere mortals, we happily abdicate our responsibility as our
pets advocate in favor of our vet's perceived wisdom."

To hear many good reasons why you shouldn't abdicate that responsibility, watch the video.

You can also visit Rasmusen's website at

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tennessee: Charles Thompson; Tiffani Rogers; Joseph Kendrick; Janet Jones; Bryan Bondurant; James Lyons; Ron Wilson; and Elizabeth Miller

These people are the WORST OF THE WORST. They are the BAD VETS (and a tech, and a bureaucrat)who make all the other BAD VETS possible.

They are the members of the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medicine, and they JUST GAVE THE HORRIBLE BUTCHER BILL BABER his license back!

These people are sending EVIL VETS out into the community -- in this case a vet who has been CHARGED WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY FOR ACTS of CRUELTY AND INSENSITIVITY THAT strain human comprehension.

Baber -- former Gallatin TN Shelter vet -- was videotaped in the shelter performing illegal and inhuman euthanasias -- directly shoving needles of deadly solution into the beating hearts of fully conscious struggling animals. FULLY CONSCIOUS, I REPEAT.

Having previously suspended his license, and having called him an "eminent threat to public safety" just months ago, this group of people NAMED ABOVE have decided to LOOSE the HORROR that is BILL BABER back onto the innocent animals of Tennessee.

To understand the HORROR that is BILL BABER (William Baber), you must watch this video:

Video -- Story on the HORROR SHOW that is WILLIAM BABER the EVIL VET

I warn you: This video shows a cat struggling as it is pushed down onto the floor using a catch pole, then shows Baber stepping on this cat -- fully conscious and struggling -- after which he bends over to shove the needle in her heart, while the animal is is fully conscious, freaking out, and stuggling!

It also shows, torturously, dog after dog after dog, walking into Baber's death room, tail wagging, eyes trusting, only to be hoist upward by an assistant and held, chest exposed, flailing, as Baber callously and emotionlessly shoves a needle of solution directly into their hearts.

One witness says that the heart shots were sometimes done so fast that he missed the heart.

“They scream, I’ve actually just seen them stagger everywhere, underneath his feet, down the hallways, finally [they] just collapse.”

In another interview, a source said:

“He hits them with the needle. They flip. They flop,” said a source who didn’t want his identity disclosed to the public. “They’re just basically going nuts. They’re yelping.”

I have blogged about Baber here before:

Below are more links for you at the end of this post.

If you do only one thing this week,

WRITE THE MEMBERS OF THE TENNESSEE VETERINARY BOARD and tell them what EVIL they do by giving this heartless, cruel, horrifying, facsimile of a human a VETERINARY LICENSE TO GET ANYWHERE NEAR ANIMALS.

They have given him a LICENSE TO KILL AGAIN.

Here is the address of the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Examiners:

227 French Landing, Suite 300
Nashville, TN 37243

Each and EVERY one of them is PERSONALLY culpable for EVERY cruelty to be perpetrated by William Baber, because they have the power to stop it, and they choose not to.

IT IS THESE PEOPLE FOLKS -- THESE PEOPLE -- who make ALL the other BAD VETS possible.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Holistic Hocus Pocus For Bleeding Dog Earns Connectict Vet Mark Danetz' Treatment the Adjectives "Negligently" and "Unskillfully"

In 2002, Connecticut Vet Mark Danetz (currently of Clinton Veterinary Hospital) saw a dog named "Carob," who had progressed from vomiting to vomiting blood.

Danetz did bloodwork on Carob, which revealed that Carob had a low platelet count, also called "thrombocytopenia."

There is no mention in the document of any treatment being given to Carob at that time.

Four months later, Carob's owner brought Carob back again. This time, he had a nosebleed. According to PetPlaces description of thrombocytopenia, this is one of the things to look for.

PetPlace says:

"When the concentration of platelets becomes too low, bruising and bleeding may occur. Dogs with blood platelet concentrations of less than 40,000 per microliter of blood are at risk for spontaneous bleeding . . . The severity of bleeding associated with thrombocytopenia depends on how low the platelet numbers fall . . . In general, the lower the platelet count, the more likely bleeding is to occur . . .

    What to Watch For:

  • Small red spots on the white parts of the eyes (sclera), the gums or the skin

  • Bruises on the skin (ecchymoses)

  • Nose bleeds (epistaxis)

  • Bloody urine

  • Bloody stool

According to PetPlace, there are numerous tests that may be done to identify the cause of thrombocytopenia. The causes range from tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Erlichiosis; to cancer or autoimmune disease.

But according to the vet board document, Danetz didn't order any diagnostic tests when Carob was brought in with a nose bleed, in spite of his prior history of low platelets. Instead, he prescribed an "herbal, holistic agent."

The document says:

"In providing care and treatment to Carob, respondent negligently and/or unskillfully: prescribed an herbal/holistic agent without proper diagnosis of Carob's condition; failed to conduct diagnostic testing in relation to the symptoms presented; failed to ensure that the results of blood work were accurately transmitted to [Carob's owner]; and/or failed to properly diagnose and treat Carob."

The Board placed Danetz on probation for a year. They also ordered a random review of his cases by a supervisory veterinarian.

So WHAT happened to Carob?

DID he have cancer? A tick-borne disease? An immune problem? Did his lack of treatment by Danetz cause serious health consequences for Carob? What happened to his nosebleed?

What was the "herbal," "holistic" remedy Danetz gave?

What BAD thing happened to Carob that inspired his loving owner to file a complaint with the vet board?

Now, I'm not saying that holistic remedies are always hocus pocus. But they are no substitute for needed diagnostics.


Pet Place Info on Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets) in dogs

Minutes referring to Consent Order signed by Board and Danetz

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Michigan Vet Michael Curley: Vet Board Says He Altered Records, but Dismisses 2 Out of 3 Charges

This is the kind of unreal, outrageous things vet boards do:

On the one hand, they affirm that their allegations against a bad vet -- in this case, Michigan Vet Michael Curley -- are true. On the other hand, they SIMULTANEOUSLY DISMISS CHARGES AGAINST HIM.

It's convoluted: Let me see if I can help you follow it. Hopefully, at the end of the story, you will see what I see: A slimy vet, and a spineless vet board that rolls over and wallows in the slime rather than protect their state's beloved pets.

On March 28, 2007, the Michigan Department of Community Health, acting for the Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine (the "vet board") filed a complaint against Michigan vet Michael Curley, of the Red Barn Veterinary Clinic in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In this complaint, the vet board said (emphasis added):

"On June 13, 2006, [Curley] performed an initial examination of an 11-year old German Shepherd with a history of degenerative myelopathy, and dispensed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. [Curley] failed to document the chief complaint, examination results, or reason for dispensing medication."

"On July 31, 2006 [the Vet Board] received an allegation against [Curley] which included a copy of the canine's medical records from the clinic."

"On October 5, 2006, pursuant to a signed release, [Vet Board] received a copy of the canine's medical records from the clinic. A review of the records indicated that [Curley] had altered the canine's medical records to indicate that the examination was a second opinion and that x-rays and bloodwork were recommended."

As a result of these assertions, the alleged the following violations:

"Count I: [Curley's] conduct, as set forth above, evidences a violation of general duty, consisting of negligence or failure to exercise due care, including negligent delegation to or supervision of employees or other individuals, whether or not injry results, in violation of section 16221(a) of the Public Health Code . . . "

"Count II: [Curley's] conduct, as set forth above, evidences a departure from, or failure to conform to, minimal standards or acceptable and prevailing practice for the health profession, whether or not actual injury to an individual occurs, in violation of section 16221(b)(i) of the Public Health Code . . ."

"Count III: [Curley's] conduct, as set forth above, evidences a lack of good moral character, in violation of section 16221(b)(vii) of the Public Health Code . . . "

Are you with me? You get what the Board was saying in this complaint?

Think they were saying that Curley ALTERED records . . . oh wait, that was the exact word they used, "altered" -- we don't have to guess, that IS what they were saying.

Why would a vet do that? To COVER HIS ASS in a veterinary complaint? Ya think? Ya think that would make him UNETHICAL??????

So get this -- The Vet Board's disciplinary subcommitte then entered into what is called a "Consent Order" with Curley. It means that both parties (the Board and the Vet) agree what will be done as a result of the complaint.

In this Consent Order, the Board says that Curley AGREES that the Disciplinary Subcommittee will treat the allegations as TRUE, but that he doesn't admit to them. The document goes on to say that "IT IS HEREBY FOUND that the allegations of fact and law as se forth in the complaint are true . . . "

YET, in the same document, while affirming the truth of the allegations in their complaint, the Board DISMISSED their charges of violations in Counts I and III of the Complaint, (the ones pertaining to lack of good moral character and negligence). They only issued action on Count II, which was the one pertaining to standard of care.

Is your head turning on its axis? The allegations are true . . . but we are dismissing charges. Does that make any sense to you?

I guess it shows how seriously the Vet Board takes altered records.

Yes, they fined him $750.

They put him on probation for six months.

They ordered him to take continuing education in veterinary recordkeeping.

(I wonder if the name of that class is: "How NOT TO GET CAUGHT the Next Time You Alter your Patient Records to Cover your Ass."

What do YOU think of the practice of vets altering patient records?

Would you go to a vet who did such a thing?

Resources (I can't vouche for these -- Just some things to read . . . )

Support group for families of dogs with degenerative myelopathy:

Degenerative Myelopathy Support Group

Ideas on Treating Degenerative Myelopathy

Yahoo Group

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Spotlight on Virginia: Only 20% of Complaints Against Vets Result in Violation Findings

Given our focus on a Virginia case today, I thought it would be informative to post some information about the Virginia Veterinary Board.

According to minutes of the Board's 5/14/2008 meeting, from July 1, 2007 though April 2008 the Virginia Veterinary Board closed 183 cases, only 36 of which resulted in findings of violation. Another way to look at that is: 80% of all complaints filed against vets in the state of Virginia are dismissed.

Virginia Vet Mark Johnstone: HOW do you miss THIS?

This one from Virginia has me scratching my head, wondering: How do you MISS something like this? Perhaps by not doing a very good job of examining the patient? Ya think?

In 2006, Virginia Vet Mark Johnstone saw a dog named "Tiki." Tiki had blood coming from both his nose AND his mouth. "Tiki was also recumbent [lying down] and had a foul odor coming from his mouth," the board document says.

After seeing Dr. Johnstone, Tiki "failed to improve," so his owner took him to another veterinarian. The second veterinarian saw that Tiki had "a stick wedged in his hard palate, between the right and left upper molars. Once the stick was removed, there was an ulcer present and a hold in the oral nasal cavity."

Stating the obvious, the vet board added:

"Dr. Johnstone failed to locate the stick during his physical examination of Tiki."

The Board found that Dr. Johnstone had violated regulations against unprofessional conduct, specifically that he had violated VAC 150-20-140(6) and (7). In finding that he had violated the latter provision, the Board found that he had "[Practised] veterinary medicine . . . in such a manner as to endanger the health and welfare of his patients or the public, or being unable to practice veterinary medicine . . . with reasonable skill and safety."

They ordered him to go back to school to learn how to give physical exams -- but just a 3 hour class.

That's it.

I'm a little baffled at how you don't look around in a dog's mouth to find that thing when he is bleeding and stinking from the mouth. ????

How DO you miss that?

Click here to read the order.