Sunday, February 3, 2008

California: Horror on Wheels

Today's Vet is from California.

Vet Boards almost never revoke a veterinary license outright. But sometimes, I guess, even they are shocked into action. And it seems like mobile veterinarian Eugene Kravis did just that.

The California Vet Board's findings tell in painful, horrifying detail the story of four "patients" and Dr. Kravis' treatment of them. They include:

The case of "Daisy Mae," a three year-old springer spaniel on whom Kravis performed surgery -- spay - in his mobile clinic while practising in the Santa Rosa area. "Several hours after Daisy Mae was released, she began moaning," the document says. "Over the next five or six hours Daisy Mae became progressively worse, went into convulsions, and died." A necropsy performed on Daisy Mae showed that "The case of Daisy Mae's death was intra-abdominal hemorrhage caused by loose ligatures on the uterine stump and missing ligatures on the right pedicle. A tied ligature was loose on the uterine stump and no ligature was found on the right pedicle." The Board stated that Kravis' procedure fell below the standard of practice and that specific "failures . . . constituted incompetence in the practice of veterinary medicine and led to Daisy Mae's hemorrhaging and death."

In two other cases, the Board found that Kravis "demonstrated negligence in the practice of veterinary medicine" and "demonstrated incompetence" in the practice of veterinary medicine, respectively.

But perhaps the most horrific case was the fourth described. It is the case of Holly, a border collie/labrador. Holly's owner brought her to Dr. Karvis reporting that Holly had a seizure the day before. Apparently intending to treat Holly for heatstroke and seizures, Kravis "injected 500 ml of Lactated Ringers Solution and 36 mg. of Sleepaway into Holly's abdomen . . . Sleepaway is a euthanasia drug . . .The manufacturer states, 'WARNING. For euthanasia Only. Must Not Be Used for Therapeutic Purposes.' The manufacturer labels Sleepaway with a skull and crossbones and 'POISON.' Sleepaway is highly caustic; it destroys living tissue." The following day, the owner took Holly to another vet. She died that night.

An autopsy was performed on Holly. "The tissues in Holly's abdominal cavity were blackened, chemically burned, fetid and necrotic." The vet board document cites the pathology report which stated, "The generalized necrosis and degeneration is considered to be due to the server irritating action of the components of the improperly used euthanasian soluition [Sleep-Away]. The cause of death is the severe generalized tissue damage that resulted from the injection of the euthanasian solution into the peritoneal cavity."

The board stated: "Sleepaway has no therapeutic use . . . respondent's dilution of Sleepaway likely caused Holly prolonged suffering before her death. His use of Sleepaway on Holly was far below the standard of care and demonstrated incompetence and negligence in the practice of veterinary medicine."

Kravis license was revoked, and he was order to pay Vet Board costs of investigationand prosecution -- an amount in excess of $12,000.

But Kravis had a mobile clinic, and this document states that before coming to California, Kravis was previously licensed in Connecticut and New York. It's hard to imagine another state would issue him a licensed after this, but if a mobile clinic comes to a neighborhood near you, make sure it's not him.