complaint was filed with the Texas attorney General

Medical guidelines should insists on proof that time-honored medical practices and procedures that cost money and may harm or kill patients are actually effective. This Forum is about how to force organized veterinary medicine to issue Evidence Based Guidelines.

complaint was filed with the Texas attorney General

Postby malernee » Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:12 am

April 22, 2002, 12:32AM

Pets don't need shots every year
Experts say annual vaccines waste money, can be risky
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle Medical Writer

Debra Grierson leaves the veterinarian's office clutching Maddie and Beignet, her Yorkshire terriers, and a credit card receipt for nearly $400.

That's the cost for the tiny dogs' annual exams, including heartworm checks, dental checks and a barrage of shots.

"They're just like our children," said the Houston homemaker. "We would do anything, whatever they needed."

What many pet owners don't know, researchers say, is that most yearly vaccines for dogs and cats are a waste of money -- and potentially deadly. Shots for the most important pet diseases last three to seven years, or longer, and annual shots put pets at greater risk of vaccine-related problems.

The Texas Department of Health is holding public hearings to consider changing the yearly rabies shot requirement to once every three years. Thirty-three other states already have adopted a triennial rabies schedule. Texas A&M University's and most other veterinary schools now teach that most shots should be given every three years.

"Veterinarians are charging customers $36 million a year for vaccinations that are not necessary," said Bob Rogers, a vet in Spring who adopted a reduced vaccine schedule. "Not only are these vaccines unnecessary, they're causing harm to pets."

Just as humans don't need a measles shot every year, neither do dogs or cats need annual injections for illnesses such as parvo, distemper or kennel cough. Even rabies shots are effective for at least three years.

The news has been slow to reach consumers, partly because few veterinarians outside academic settings are embracing the concept. Vaccine makers haven't done the studies needed to change vaccine labels. Vets, who charge $30 to $60 for yearly shots, are loath to defy vaccine label instructions and lose an important source of revenue. In addition, they worry their patients won't fare as well without yearly exams.

"I know some vets feel threatened because they think, `People won't come back to my office if I don't have the vaccine as a carrot,' " said Alice Wolf, a professor of small-animal medicine at Texas A&M and an advocate of reduced vaccinations. "A yearly exam is very important."

The movement to extend vaccine intervals is gaining ground because of growing evidence that vaccines themselves can trigger a fatal cancer in cats and a deadly blood disorder in dogs.

Rogers conducts public seminars on the subject with evangelical zeal but thus far has been unsuccessful in persuading the Texas Veterinary Medical Association to adopt a formal policy.

"I'm asking the Texas attorney general's office if this is theft by deception," said Rogers, whose Critter Fixer practice won an ethics award from the Better Business Bureau in 2000. "They just keep coming out with more vaccines that are unnecessary and don't work. Professors give seminars, and nobody comes and nobody changes."

When rabies shots became common for pets in the 1950s, no one questioned the value of annual vaccination. Distemper, which kills 50 percent of victims, could be warded off with a shot. Parvovirus, which kills swiftly and gruesomely by causing a toxic proliferation of bacteria in the digestive system, was vanquished with a vaccine. Over the years, more and more shots were added to the schedule, preventing costly and potentially deadly disease in furry family members.

Then animal doctors began noticing something ominous: rare instances of cancer in normal, healthy cats and an unusual immune reaction in dogs. The shots apparently caused feline fibrosarcoma, a grotesque tumor at the site of the shot, which is fatal if not discovered early and cut out completely. Dogs developed a vaccine-related disease in which the dog's body rejects its own blood.

"That really caused people to ask the question, `If we can cause that kind of harm with a vaccine ... are we vaccinating too much?' " said Ronald Schultz, a veterinary immunologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. "As you get more and more (vaccines), the possibility that a vaccine is going to cause an adverse event increases quite a bit."

Less frequent vaccines could reduce that risk, Schultz reasoned. Having observed that humans got lifetime immunity from most of their childhood vaccines, Schultz applied the same logic to dogs. He vaccinated them for rabies, parvo, kennel cough and distemper and then exposed them to the disease-causing organisms after three, five and seven years. The animals remained healthy, validating his hunch.

He continued his experiment by measuring antibody levels in the dogs' blood nine and 15 years after vaccination. He found the levels sufficient to prevent disease.

Fredric Scott, professor emeritus at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, obtained similar results comparing 15 vaccinated cats with 17 nonvaccinated cats. He found the cats' immunity lasted 7.5 years after vaccination. In 1998, the American Association of Feline Practitioners published guidelines based on Scott's work, recommending vaccines every three years.

"The feeling of the AAFP is, cats that receive the vaccines every three years are as protected from those infections as they would be if they were vaccinated every year," said James Richards, director of the Feline Health Center at Cornell. "I'm one of many people who believe the evidence is really compelling."

Texas A&M's Wolf said the three-year recommendation "is probably just as arbitrary as anything else," and nothing more than a "happy medium" between vaccine makers' recommendations and the findings by Schultz and Scott aimed at reducing vaccine-related problems.

But many vets are uncomfortable making a drastic change in practice without data from large-scale studies to back them up. There is no animal equivalent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which monitors outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease in people, thus keeping tabs on a vaccine's effectiveness.

Federal authorities require vaccine makers to show only that a vaccine is effective for a reasonable amount of time, usually one year. Richards notes that studies to get a feline vaccine licensed in the first place are typically quite small, involving 25 to 30 cats at most.

There is no federal requirement to show a vaccine's maximum duration of effectiveness. Arne Zislin, a veterinarian with Fort Dodge Animal Health, the largest animal vaccine maker in the world, said such studies would be expensive and possibly inhumane, requiring hundreds of animals, some of them kept in isolation for up to five years.

"I don't think anyone with consideration for animals would really want to go through that process," said Zislin, another vet who believes current data are insufficient to support an extended schedule.

Diane Wilkie, veterinarian at Rice Village Animal Hospital, said she tells pet owners that vaccines appear to last longer than a year, but her office hasn't officially changed its protocol yet. She said 20 percent to 30 percent of her cat patients are on the extended schedule.

"It's kind of a hard situation. The manufacturers still recommend a year, but they're the manufacturers," Wilkie said. "It's hard to change a whole professional mentality -- although I do think it will change."

In Houston, yearly pet examinations typically cost $50 to $135, with shots making up one-third to half of the expense. A dental check, heartworm test, fecal check and overall physical are usually included in the price. Without the shots, vets could expect to lose a chunk of that fee.

But an increasing number of vets are emphasizing other services, such as surgery. Wolf said savings on vaccines might prompt pet owners to get their pets' teeth cleaned instead. An in-house test to check antibody levels is in development.

"I definitely think there's a profit issue in there; don't get me wrong," Wilkie said. "(But) people are willing to spend money on their pets for diseases. Although vaccines are part of the profit, they aren't that big a part. We just did a $700 knee surgery."
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Veterinary Licensing Boards reporting

Postby guest » Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:27 pm

Veterinary Licensing Boards

This is a list of addresses and phone numbers to contact to report a veterinarian if you suspect veterinary malpractice or negligence in the United States (including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) or Canada. They are listed in alphabetical order by state or province. If you have any updated info, please e-mail it to us.


Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
P.O. Box 1968
Building Phase 5, Suite 501
Decatur, AL 35602-1068

Telephone: 205/353-3544 or 256/353-3544
Fax: 205/350-5629

Alaska Veterinary Medical Board
Division of Occupational Licensing
Donald Faulkenburry
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806

Telephone: 907/269-8186
Fax: 907/269-8195
E-mail: or
Web site:

Arizona Veterinary Medical Examining Board
1400 West Washington, Room 230
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Telephone: 602/542-3095
Fax: 602/542-3093

Arkansas Veterinary Medical Examining Board
P.O. Box 8505
Little Rock, AR 72215

Telephone: 501/224-2836
Fax: 501/224-1100

California Board of Examiners in Veterinary Medicine
1420 Howe Avenue, Suite 6
Sacramento, CA 95825

Telephone: 916/263-2610 or Toll Free 866/229-0170
Fax: 916/263-2621
Web site:

Colorado Veterinary Medical Examining Board
Suite 1310, 1560 Broadway
Denver, CO 80202-5146

Telephone: 303/894-7755
Fax: 303/894-7764
Web site:

Connecticut Board of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 340308, MS #12APP
410 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Telephone: 860/509-7648
Fax: 860/509-7553

Delaware Board of Veterinary Medicine
Cannon Bldg. Suite 203
861 Silver Lake Blvd
Dover, DE 19904

Telephone: 302/739-4522 or 302/744-4506
Fax: 302/739-2711

Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0787

Telephone: 850/487-1820 or 850/922-2404
Fax: 850/922-2918
Web sites:
How To File a Complaint
Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine Contact Information

Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217

Telephone: 478/207-1686
Fax: 478/207-1699
Web site:

Hawaii Board of Veterinary Examiners
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801

Telephone: 808/586-2699 or 808/568-3000
Fax: 808/586-2874

Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 7249
Boise, ID 83707

Telephone: 208/332-8588
Fax: 208/334-4062

Department of Professional Regulation Complaint Intake Unit
100 West Randolph Street, Suite 9-300
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312/814-6910 or 217/785-0523
Fax: 217/782-7645
File a compliant by E-mail:
Web site:

Office of the Indiana Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
402 West Washington Street, 5th Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Telephone: 317/232-6330 or 1-800-382-5516
Fax: 317/232-7979
Web site:

Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine
Wallace Building, Second Floor
Des Moines, IA 50319

Telephone: 515/281-5305
Fax: 515/281-4282

Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners
P.O. Box 242
Wamego, KS 66547-0242

Telephone: 785/456-8781
Fax: 785/456-8782
Web site:

Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners
P.O. Box 1360
Frankfort, KY 40602

Telephone: 502/564-3296
Fax: 502/564-4818
Web site: ... /index.htm

Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine
263 Third Street. Suite 104
Baton Rouge, LA 70801

Telephone: 225/342-2176
Fax: 225/342-2142
Web site:

Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
35 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

Telephone: 207/624-8689 or 207/624-8620
Fax: 207/624-8637
Web site:

Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
50 Harry S Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401

Telephone: 410/841-5862
Fax: 410/841-5999

Massachusetts Board of Veterinary Medicine
239 Causeway St Ste 500
Boston, MA 02114-2130

Telephone: 617/727-3080
Fax: 617/727-2366
Web site:

Michigan State Board of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 30670
Lansing, MI 48909

Telephone: 517/373-9102 or 517/335-0918
Fax: 517/373-2179
Web site:

Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine
2829 University Avenue SE #540
Minneapolis, MN 55414-3250

Telephone: 612/617-2170
Fax: 612/617-2172
Web site:

Mississippi Board of Veterinary Medicine
209 South Lafayette Street
Starkville, MS 39759

Telephone: 601/324-9380
Fax: 601/324-9380

Missouri Veterinary Medical Board
P.O. Box 633
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Telephone: 573/751-0031
Fax: 573/526-3856
Web site:

Montana Board of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 200513,
111 N Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT 59620-0513

Telephone: 406/841-2394
Fax: 406/841/2305
Web site: ... plaint.htm

Nebraska Board of Examiners in Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 94986
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986

Telephone: 402/471-2115
Fax: 402/471-3577

Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
4600 Kietzke Lane, Bldg. O #265
Reno, NV 89502

Telephone: 775/688-1788
Fax: 775/688-1808
Web site:

New Hampshire Board of Veterinary Medicine
25 Capitol Street
PO Box 2042
Concord, NH 03302-2042

Telephone: 603/271-3706
Fax: 603/271-1109
Web site:

New Jersey Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Ms. Diane Romano, Executive Director
PO Box 45020,
Newark, NJ 07101

Telephone: 973/504-6500
Fax: 973/648-3355
E-mail: or
Web site:

New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine
1650 University Boulevard N.E. #400C
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Telephone: 505/841-9112
Fax: 505/841-9127
Web site:

New York State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Education Bldg, 2nd Flr, 89 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12234

Telephone: 518/474-3817 x210
Complaint Hotline 1-800-442-8106
Fax: 518/473-6282
Questions E-mail:
Web site:

North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board
P.O. Box 12587
Raleigh, NC 27605

Telephone: 919/733-7689
Fax: 919/715-5250

North Dakota Veterinary Medical Examining Board
P.O. Box 5001
Bismarck, ND 58502-5001

Telephone: 701/328-9540
Fax: 701/224-0435
E-mail: or
Web site:

Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board
77 South High Street - 16th Floor
Columbus, OH 43266-0116

Telephone: 614/644-5281
Fax: 614/644-9038
Web site:

Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
PO Box 54556
Oklahoma City, OK 73154

Telephone: 405/524-9006
Fax: 405/524-9012
Web site:

Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board
800 N.E. Oregon Street
Suite 407
Portland, OR 97232

Telephone: 503/731-4051
Fax: 503/731-4207
E-mail: or
Web site:

Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine
PO Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649

Telephone: 717/783-7134
Fax: 717/787-7769

Puerto Rico Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
PO Box 10200
Santurce, PR 00908-0200

Telephone: 787/725-7904

Rhode Island Board of Examiners in Veterinary Medicine
3 Capitol Hill, Room 104
Providence, RI 02908

Telephone: 401/222-2827 ext 100
Fax: 401/222-1272

South Carolina Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
P.O. Box 11329
Columbia, SC 29211-1329

Telephone: 803/896-4598
Fax: 803/896-4719
Web site:

South Dakota Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
411 South Fort Street
Pierre, SD 57501-4503

Telephone: 605/773-3321
Fax: 605/773-5459
Web site:

Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
1st Floor, Cordell Hull Building
426 5th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Telephone: 888/310-4650 or 615/253-3447
Fax: 615/532-5369

Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
333 Guadalupe, Suite 2-330
Austin, TX 78701-3998

Telephone: 512/305-7555
Fax: 512.305-7556
Web site:

Utah Veterinary Board
Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing
P.O. Box 146741
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741

Telephone: 801/530-6628 or 801/530-6767
Fax: 801/530-6511

Vermont State Veterinary Board
Office of Professional Regulation
26 Terrace St Drawer 09
Montpelier, VT 05609-1106

Telephone: 802/828-2875
Fax: 802/828-2465
Web site:

Virgin Islands Board of Veterinary Medicine
48 Sugar Estate
St. Thomas, VI 00802

Telephone: 340/774-0117

Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine
6606 W. Broad Street, 4th Floor
Richmond, VA 23230

Telephone: 804/662-9915
Fax: 804/662-7098

Washington Veterinary Board of Governors
1300 Qunice Street SE
P.O. Box 47868
Olympia, WA 98504-7868

Telephone: 360/236-4876
Fax: 360/753-0657
Web site:

Washington DC:
District of Columbia Board of Veterinary Examiners
941 North Capitol Street, NE, Suite 7246
Washington, DC 20002

Telephone: 202/442-4370 or 202/442-4345
Fax: 202/442-4528

West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0119

Telephone: 304/558-2016
Fax: 304/558-0891

Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board
P.O. Box 8935
Madison, WI 53708

Telephone: 608/266-2811 or 608/267-3280
Fax: 608/267-0644
Web site: ... vices.html

Wyoming Board of Veterinary Medicine
2020 Carey Avenue, Suite 201
Cheyenne, WY 82002

Telephone: 307/777-3507 or 307/777-6529
Fax: 307/777-3508
Web site:


Canadian National Examining Board
339 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON K1R 7K1
Telephone: 613/236-1162 ext. 16

Alberta Veterinary Medical Board
#100, 8615-149 Street
Edmonton, AB T5R 1B3
Telephone: 403/ 489-5007

British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association
1200 West 73rd Avenue, Suite 155
Vancouver, BC V6P 6G5
Telephone: 604/266-3441

Veterinary Medical Board of Manitoba
545 University Crescent
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5S6
Telephone: 204/945-7651

New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association
P. O. Box 1065
Moncton, NB E1C 8P2
Telephone: 506/851-7654

Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association
15 Cobequid Road
Lower Sackville, NS B2N 5E3
Telephone: 902/865-1876

College of Veterinarians of Ontario
2106 Gordon Street
Guelph, ON N1H 1G6
Telephone: 519/824-5600

Prince Edward Island Veterinary Medical Association
Kensington Veterinary Clinic
P. O. Box 10
Kensington, PE C0B 1M0
Telephone: 902/836-3410

Ordre des Médecins Vétérinaires du Québec
800, ave Sainte-Anne bureau 200
St-Hyacinthe, QU J2S 5C6
Telephone: 514/774-1427

Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association
102-108 Research Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 3R3
Telephone: 306/955-7862

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