There is no profession that is without the occasional bad apple. Sadly, once in a while we even hear about a dishonest Vet.

We advise that you review your animal's medical bills exactly the same way as you review your own bills. For instance, if you paid for Fido's office visit with a licensed Veterinarian, was Fido actually seen by Dr. Gooddoggy ... or by his assistant, Mark Bark? Were Dr. Gooddoggy's fees in line with industry standard? Did you (or, more specifically, Fido) receive the medications you were billed for?

In one 2006 case of published Veterinary Fraud, a costly purebred animal was taken to a vet to be put to sleep. The owner paid the fee and left the animal. (The dog, even though it was relatively young, suffered daily seizures.) The vet, instead of doing what he was paid to do, medicated the dog and sold it to a new owner without telling the original owner.

Some might argue that this is not fraud at all and the vet is a hero. The fraud in this case was more in the deception of the "deal" than the morality. The details, plenty more than we have listed here, came out and charges were filed. Last we heard, the case had been set for trial.

Now and again we encounter the cases where Fido needs, ahem, unusual care. While we're sure that these "doctors" would argue with us as to the validity and value of what they are doing for the animal world, we're going to say this anyway.

"We do not believe that a Doggy Psychologist will be able to lay Fido down on a black leather couch and get results by talking to him about the inappropriateness of peeing on the living room carpet or biting the mailman."

Aurgh. We've SAID it!

Just for the record, we also have little faith in Doggie Chiropractic care, although we prefer to use softer words than Fraud .. for instance, "highly questionable in MOST cases".

Before we get angry emails from those few pet owners who routinely take "Binky," "Rover," and "Barkley" to the Doggy Chiro, let's throw out some facts.

  • Fact: No part of chiropractic education deals with animals, and no part of veterinary education deals with manipulative forms of physiotherapy.
  • Fact: The practice of chiropractic, by definition and in most states, is restricted to humans (a definition supported by a 1998 decision of the appeals court of the state of Michigan). There are chiropractors and veterinarians, albeit just a few, who would beg to argue with that finding.
  • Fact: Practicing on animals is legally restricted to veterinarians in all states. From a technical perspective, a licensed chiropractors may work on animals if a licensed vet orders such treatment and directly supervises it, but that work is as an unlicensed veterinary assistant and should/would be billed accordingly.
  • Fact: Any chiropractor working alone (unless s/he is also licensed as a veterinarian or is directly supervised by a veterinarian) who is manipulating animals is likely breaking current laws.
  • Fact: No scientific studies show that chiropractic adjustment does anything useful in any animal. Additionally, no published study has ever shown how a chiropractic-related problem can be diagnosed in animals or how treatment success can be determined.