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Old 09-27-2010, 12:30 PM
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Default Beware of Bogus Vets

Monday September 27, 2010

extracted from The Star

WENDY Leow and her family were overjoyed when they were given a Shih Tzu puppy in February. They were advised to take Precious for his primary vaccination when he turned three months old. The friend who gave them the pup mentioned that Precious had a skin problem and that it could be a food-related allergy.

In early March, Precious was taken to a veterinary clinic in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, where he was diagnosed with scabies.

“We were horrified. Scabies is mange and is caused by microscopic mites that can spread to other dogs and even people,” says Leow, a public relations consultant.

The pup was given an injection and a course of pills to consume. By the third day, Precious’ right eye had become inflamed, so they took him back to the same clinic. The same “vet” said Shih Tzus were prone to eye problems and advised them to trim the fur around the face and he prescribed eye-drops. He insisted it was the fur that caused the eye problem and asked them to continue with the scabies medication.

“Unfortunately the inflammation got worse, and our poor puppy was in pain, judging from his puffy red eye. A colleague recommended a good vet in Brickfields (KL). This vet informed us that Precious’ eye had become ulcerated and there was a danger of losing the eye. Surgery had to be performed immediately,” says Leow.

Surgery was carried out the next day. The head vet and his team gave the family a clear idea of what was being done. For 40 days, Precious’ right eye had to be stitched shut to give it a chance to recover.

Although Precious recovered, his vision in the right eye is compromised due to scarring.

Leow and her family asked the new vet for a second opinion on the scabies diagnosis. Using a skin swab (a requirement when checking for mange and which was not done earlier), the vet found that Precious only had a simple yeast infection.

All they had to do was to substitute his meat-based dog food with a fish-based diet. Leow also did her own research and found that a teaspoonful of yogurt with each meal could have helped to clear Precious’ skin problem within 10 days.

Who’s in charge?

StarTwo decided to check up on the earlier “vet”. The clinic in question had two vets with the same name. It was the younger “vet” who had treated Precious.

A check with other vets revealed that the “vet” in question was not a qualified one. He was just an assistant employed at the clinic. He was not on the list of registered vets under the Malaysian Veterinary Council (which is empowered to regulate the profession). His modus operandi involved giving out the name card of the older qualified vet who shared the same first name.

The owner of the clinic and chief vet had been told by other vets to stop the assistant from treating animals but this went unheeded, despite many complaints of malpractice against the latter.

Another pet owner, Elsie (name changed upon request), claims that the same clinic (its main one in KL) did a botched job of spaying her one-year-old Pekingnese in March last year. She claims the vet punctured the dog’s intestines and stray fur left in the wound resulted in infection.

After surgery, Elsie claims that her dog was left on its own in an unhygienic area in the locked clinic. Only when she called the “vet” did he let her in to see her dog.

Elsie took her dog to another vet who found that the dog’s insides had turned septic. He gave her two options: operate on the dog to try and save it, or let nature take its course. Elsie opted for the former. Unfortunately, the dog could not be saved despite surgery.

The report issued by the second clinic confirmed that the dog’s intestines had been punctured and subsequently became infected. Elsie confronted the “vet” at the first clinic but was threatened for complaining.

“I’m so sad about losing my dog. I hope someone can do something and stop more animals from dying because of this horrible ‘vet’,” says Elsie who started a Facebook page in memory of her dog.

No action taken

Pet columnist and author Ellen Whyte speaks of her own experiences in dealing with a bogus vet. When Whyte was living in Malacca, she adopted a kitten from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

She took the kitten to the “vet” for a check-up and was told the kitten had ringworms. The “vet” prescribed some ointment containing sulphur.

“I was surprised because she didn’t really examine the kitten. I was expecting a topical anti-fungal cream, a tablet like itraconazole and a special shampoo. These are standard treatments,” says Whyte.

So she took the kitten to another vet for a second opinion. The vet promptly prescribed the standard treatment. When Whyte informed this second vet of what the female vet had prescribed, she was told that the practice was owned by a man.

It turned out she was the vet’s wife. When Whyte confronted her, she maintained that she was “just as good as a vet”. Her husband the vet was not perturbed by the complaint.

“I think defrauding the public and pretending to be a vet is a serious crime. I got the numbers for the vet authority in the state and reported them both. Nothing was done. When I left a year later, these two were carrying on in exactly the same way,” says Whyte.

More hijinks

In January 2008, a local TV station highlighted a pet shop owner who doubled up as a “vet” of sorts. The man had opened the pet shop with a big signboard advertising the premises as a veterinary clinic.

He openly acknowledged on TV that he had no veterinary qualifications. He said he could treat minor injuries because he had experience, having worked with a vet.

Veterinarian Dr Jon Satyamoorthy says he has come across a Filipino “vet” who did vaccinations at his premises in Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. After his “practice” became known, he moved to a shop in the vicinity of Sri Hartamas, KL. Then there are the bogus vets who operate out of pet shops and offer vaccinations and other treatments. A check with several bona fide vets revealed that such a practice was quite common.

Malaysian Small Animal Veterinary Association (MSAVA) president Dr Clement Anthony and past president Dr Paul Chelliah both acknowledge the problem. Dr Chelliah, who is based in Seremban, says he knows of four such bogus vets in his town.

“They not only vaccinate, they do spaying, surgery, castration, and so on. And they are cheap. Some of them are former DVS (Department of Veterinary Services) staff who are not qualified, just assistants previously. Some of them operate from their houses or go house to house. I have confronted some of them but they laughed and challenged me to do something,” reveals Dr Chelliah.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:34 PM
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Default Sniffing Out The Fakes

extracted from The Star

How to tell if a vet is genuine.

YOUR dog, cat, rabbit or whatever pet you have gets sick and needs treatment. You send it to the local vet, taking for granted that the person who is treating your precious “baby” is a competent, qualified veterinary surgeon.

But what if the vet turns out to be bogus? How would you know? Are there provisions to deal with bogus vets in the veterinary profession in Malaysia? StarTwo delves into these questions and more.

The Veterinary Association Malaysia (VAM) is the biggest professional association for vets in the country. It covers vets in the government and private sectors. It has other affiliates, including the Malaysian Small Animal Veterinary Association (MSAVA).

Both groups say there are bogus vets in the country operating at will. They are frustrated over the problem and upset that nothing has been done about it.

“We have brought this issue up to the Malaysian Veterinary Council (MVC) many times,” said MSAVA president Dr Clement Anthony.

MVC is the body that is legislated to regulate the veterinary profession. It is given powers under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1974. In the Act, it is stipulated that the director-general of the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) is the president of the MVC.

In an interview with DVS director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamalud*din, he was asked what the department has done to resolve the issue. He confirmed that they had received reports of non-registered vets on non-registered premises.

“It is not under us. We cannot investigate un-registered vets as they do not come under the purview of the Act. The Act only regulates registered vets. It comes under the Penal Code so it is for the police to take action,” explained Dr Abdul Aziz.

KL Bar Committee’s Young Lawyers Committee chairman Lai Chee Hoe and KL Bar Committee Animal Rights sub-committee co-chairman Vince Chong Khin Young both pointed out that the DG was “sadly mistaken”.

Section 33 of the Act clearly states that under subsection (1) (a) to (g), anyone trying to portray themselves as a qualified or registered vet is guilty of an offence against the Act.

Under Section 34 subsection (1), (2) and (3), any registered vet who allows or enables an un-registered vet to practise veterinary medicine or practises in the premises of an un-registered vet is also guilty of an offence.

Section 36 subsection (1) allows for the prosecution for an offence against the Act to be instituted by the president of the MVC or any DVS state directors or any officers appointed by them. Section 36 subsection (2) gives the police powers to arrest those who have committed an offence under Section 33.

“The MVC can prosecute but it does not provide them with powers to arrest. So what they can do is, get a council member to make a police report. Let the police do the arrest. If they don’t act on it, you can still draw up the charge sheet and prosecute in court after getting the certificate from the Attorney-General’s chambers. So long as they have powers to prosecute, they can still do so without even arresting the bogus vet,” Lai explained.

When this was pointed out to Dr Abdul Aziz, he said he was not aware of it.

It was also pointed out to him that the copy of the Act that was displayed on the department’s website, had Section 33 removed and the ensuing space filled in by moving up Section 34.

“Didn’t realise this. This surprises me. Maybe someone didn’t want to put it there,” said Dr Abdul Aziz with a laugh.

Several vets interviewed for this story said they had been told by the MVC that the council had no power to act against bogus vets. Perhaps this impression was compounded by the fact that VAM’s website had the exact copy of the Act – with the missing section.

Many of the main office bearers of VAM are senior officers of the DVS. Datuk Dr Mohamad Azmie Zakaria, a past-president of the VAM and a senior DVS director, said he was not aware of this.

Real vs fake

Now members of the public must be wondering how to tell the genuine ones from the frauds.

Look out for the Registration Certificate and Annual Practising Certificate (APC) when you next visit a vet. These certificates have to be displayed in a prominent place for all their clients to see.

Under the provisions of the Act, all qualified vets have to be registered with the MVC. They also need to possess the APC which has to be renewed annually. So if a “vet” cannot show you one or both of these certificates, he or she could possibly be a quack!

There is a way of checking, especially if you know the name of the vet. The Act says that the Register of vets should be accessible to the public. But in reality, it has not been uploaded to the DVS website.

“Yes, we have not put it up on the website. If the public wants to check, they can come to our office in Putrajaya. If you’re outside the Klang Valley, then you can communicate with the Registrar (the one who compiles the Register, who is at present an officer of the DVS but whose name and number are not given in the department’s website),” said Dr Abdul Aziz.

Most of the pet owners spoken to say they have no idea how to make a formal complaint or a request to the DVS or the MVC. They complain that there is no proper procedure given on the DVS website. In addition, there is no contact detail for, or a link to, the MVC.

Since the DG has said that one could request for the Register, I put in a request with both the DVS and the MVC. Till press time, I had not received any reply.

Many of the contact details for the various officers at the headquarters and the various state officers are only available on the Bahasa Malaysia version of the website. If one is unfamiliar with the language, the English version is of no help.

Dr Abdul Aziz conceded that the present set-up of the website needed improvement.

He explained that there were various ways to lodge a complaint or put in a query. Both VAM and MSAVA said that they would also accept complaints or bring up issues on behalf of the public and forward them to the MVC.

Action taken?

Have there been complaints from the public or the vets themselves with regard to these charlatans? Dr Abdul Aziz said there were more from the public.

“Reports of non-registered vets or non-registered premises, namely pet shops having a vet operating there, come to us. We appoint a council member or a senior vet to investigate. There is only a small number of such complaints; I cannot recollect any big case,” said Dr Abdul Aziz.

However, StarWeekend pet columnist Ellen Whyte said her complaint about a fake vet to the Malacca DVS office saw no action being taken.

Dr Clement said many vets assumed pet stores operated with the permission of the local authorities of a particular locality as they came under the purview of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976.

When asked if that was the constraint the DVS faced if they needed to act against those stores, Dr Abdul Aziz said: “If it is reported and we can prove that these stores employ vets or unregistered vets, we can take action.”

So the DVS can take action against bogus vets.

Dr Abdul Aziz said they had adequate funding so money was not an issue.

The DVS stated that the number of complaints (all types) in total was 182 last year and 321 in 2008. They also gave figures for raids conducted, investigations opened and prosecutions taken. But when pressed for details as to the number of complaints, raids and prosecutions that involved fake vets or registered vets, the department remained tight-lipped.

So the question is: when will the Department of Veterinary Services or the Malaysian Veterinary Council take action against these bogus vets? How many more animals have to die or suffer the consequences before action is taken?
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Beware of Bogus Vets

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackie007 View Post
More hijinks

In January 2008, a local TV station highlighted a pet shop owner who doubled up as a “vet” of sorts. The man had opened the pet shop with a big signboard advertising the premises as a veterinary clinic.

He openly acknowledged on TV that he had no veterinary qualifications. He said he could treat minor injuries because he had experience, having worked with a vet.

for those who has experience with him, please do something..

orang lain bersusah payah belajar min 5 tahun untuk jadi doktor veterinar, pening2 kepala belajar anatomi tapi mereka ni senang-senang ja mengaku vet..
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Beware of Bogus Vets

One rule of thumb: NEVER ever go to a "vet" that operates out of a pet shop. Chances are, this is a bogus vet.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Beware of Bogus Vets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nur_illiyana View Post
for those who has experience with him, please do something..

orang lain bersusah payah belajar min 5 tahun untuk jadi doktor veterinar, pening2 kepala belajar anatomi tapi mereka ni senang-senang ja mengaku vet..
Betul tu Nur_illiyana,

Bukan senang nak jadi Vet...senang2 je yang tak bertauliah ni mengaku vet
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Beware of Bogus Vets

betul kuntum..

i tinggal sebilik dengan student Doktor Veterinar..tahu betapa susah payahnya mereka belajar untuk akhirnya ditauliahkan sebagai Doktor..
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: Beware of Bogus Vets

Have we ever stopped to consider that there are bogus vets who practised at veterinary clinics too? There is a clinic in Kuchai Lama area where the vet apparently allows his assistant, who obviously is not a vet, to do examinations and give injections. What about the one in Nilai where neutering is done by secondary students?

According to a couple of vets that I've spoken to, the vets themselves are aware of this rampant problem, like, 'vets' practising at pet shops (actually they are just lay people, not medical ones). They give injections and even sign vaccination cards (with a scribble of course) with no rubber stamp to indicate their designation and qualification. And, this is quite common. How is that so?

I think pet owners can only blame themselves. It's only common sense that only trained medical personnel should vaccinate. Why do owners still go along with this? It's because it's cheaper. Trying to save a buck here, a buck there. Even breeders vaccinate their own animals. It's been suggested to us, when we were operating a petshop cum shelter, to get our own vaccine and do our own vaccination. This came from a food supplier, who is also a breeder. He even offered to give us the contact to get the vaccine. Needless to say, I shot it down.

Then again, the vets themselves are not entirely blameless. Some of them charged so high for everything that people are driven to anything cheaper. Of course, I'm referring to the 'penny wise, pound foolish'.

According to one vet, this bogus vet issue, especially at pet shops, is an age old problem. How come nothing was done? The reply was a shrug of the shoulder.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Beware of Bogus Vets

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.ruth View Post
Have we ever stopped to consider that there are bogus vets who practised at veterinary clinics too? There is a clinic in Kuchai Lama area where the vet apparently allows his assistant, who obviously is not a vet, to do examinations and give injections. What about the one in Nilai where neutering is done by secondary students?

According to a couple of vets that I've spoken to, the vets themselves are aware of this rampant problem, like, 'vets' practising at pet shops (actually they are just lay people, not medical ones). They give injections and even sign vaccination cards (with a scribble of course) with no rubber stamp to indicate their designation and qualification. And, this is quite common. How is that so?

I think pet owners can only blame themselves. It's only common sense that only trained medical personnel should vaccinate. Why do owners still go along with this? It's because it's cheaper. Trying to save a buck here, a buck there. Even breeders vaccinate their own animals. It's been suggested to us, when we were operating a petshop cum shelter, to get our own vaccine and do our own vaccination. This came from a food supplier, who is also a breeder. He even offered to give us the contact to get the vaccine. Needless to say, I shot it down.

Then again, the vets themselves are not entirely blameless. Some of them charged so high for everything that people are driven to anything cheaper. Of course, I'm referring to the 'penny wise, pound foolish'.

According to one vet, this bogus vet issue, especially at pet shops, is an age old problem. How come nothing was done? The reply was a shrug of the shoulder.
a big NOD...but when it comes to vaccination, I believe that it is not a really big issue as compared to treating diarrhea or even long fever..since many people here in Malaysia do vaccination on their own be it byb or cb
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