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How long is a vet required to keep records?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
Abby,- FDCH-G, TFE

If in doubt,- bark at it
 
 
Barked: Wed May 12, '10 10:06pm PST 
Abby got valley fever a year ago and nearly died due to vet neglect. I have requested her records from that vet numerous times, including going down in person twice to get them but each time there are excuses and they say they will send it to me but nothing ever comes. Part of me thinks there are no records.
After finding out that they never even gave her an iv when initially she went in for severe dehydration but their philosophy is that if "a dog chews the iv, they must not need it." I didn't know that for a week. As soon as I found that out, I snatched her out and took her to another vet. Thankfully, they were able to rehydrate her and get her looking better that very day. It took a couple more visits to really figure out what was wrong but she has pretty much recovered.
I would like to see what they say they did for her and complete her medical records file that I keep for her but so far have not been able to get anything.
Legally, how long do they have to keep the records? Is there any other legal avenues I can go to get the records? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
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Nakita Mae- Angel Girl

Live to dock- dive!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 12, '10 10:19pm PST 
Hey there, first of all, I am sorry for the terrible time you had with your 1st Vet. I would get ahold of your state Veterinary board to see what avenues you can take. For the most part Vets keep their records for at least 3-5 yrs, if not in their office, they will have them filed away in storage. We are paperless but still have our written records from before we went completely paperless stored in our store room. Most records were transferred to the computer so we can pull up records from years ago.
The 1st Vet should have had your records from a year ago, thats just a given. Do you still have your invoices? Keep everything from the other Vet also. I am not sure if there is a statute of limitations that is why I suggested you contact the State Board of Veterinarians for your area, they should be able to guide you.
Best wishes with everything.
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Nakita Mae- Angel Girl

Live to dock- dive!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 12, '10 10:24pm PST 
Opps, sorry, I forgot to say that your new Vet can request records be sent to his/her office, the other Vet should send them. We have had owners request records without much success but when we call they seem to pay attention and get it done. I think the only places we have really had a problem with were the "corporate vets" such as Banfield, some VCA hospitals and Petco vets. Hope this helps.
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Abby,- FDCH-G, TFE

If in doubt,- bark at it
 
 
Barked: Thu May 13, '10 9:01am PST 
Honestly, part of me thinks there may not be any records. I think they put her in the "ICU" area and forgot about her. They wouldn't let me see her when I came to visit and when I called, they would tell me conflicting statements- some saying she was perking up and others saying she was the same. One even said my cat was fine!

When a dog is in vet's care, what daily notes are required?
When I worked in a care facility for special needs adults, we were required to keep daily BM charts, med charts, temperature charts when sick, etc. Are these required of a vet with a severely sick pup in his care?
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Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Fri May 14, '10 7:42pm PST 
I think the other vet is a quack. It sounds like you did the right thing taking her to another vet. When Kali was in the hospital for 5 days, our vet let us visit her any time we wanted. You could try having your current vet request the records. If they can't get them, then I would consider them gone. I would report them to the proper authorities. Good luck and I'm glad your dog is ok thanks to your good sense.
[notify]
♥Lenn- on♥

How could you- not LOVE this- face???
 
 
Barked: Fri May 14, '10 8:38pm PST 
I don't know what state you are in, but here in Georgia, there is no set "standard" for what constitutes "notes" on any veterinary patient. Every doctor is different. Most vets (I've been a technician for almost 10 years) will at the very least keep track of a pets Temperature, Pulse, and Respirations (TPR) daily, and keep track of any medications the pet is receiving as well as examining the pet daily (if not more than once daily) to see how they are doing.

I agree with the other poster who suggested calling your states veterinary board. They may be your only hope in getting records. Once again, not sure on your state, but in Georgia they are required to keep records for 7 years.
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Abby,- FDCH-G, TFE

If in doubt,- bark at it
 
 
Barked: Tue May 18, '10 12:01pm PST 
thanks for the replies. We are in California. I checked with the online info through the Ca. Vet Board and they give several suggestions for notes but also state that the more the better because if someone reports a problem and there are no notes, then it didn't happen. So basically if I report my experiences but he has no notes to back up anything he says he did for/to her, then to the Board, no treatment was ever done for Abby. I also found out they are required to keep the records for 3-4 years.
I would like to get the record in person because I fear they will make up stuff if they finally find her file and there is nothing in it. I know she at least had a file that had her name and my billing info in it. I don't know that there is more than that though.
thanks again.
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Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Tue May 18, '10 4:59pm PST 
If you paid with a credit card or a check, and they say they did nothing for Abby, ask them why they took the money and what it was for.
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Abby,- FDCH-G, TFE

If in doubt,- bark at it
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 1:19pm PST 
Good point Kali, I like that.
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 1:23pm PST 
Abby said "After finding out that they never even gave her an iv when initially she went in for severe dehydration but their philosophy is that if "a dog chews the iv, they must not need it." I didn't know that for a week."

If every pet who chewed out it's IV didn't need it I think animal hospitals would go out of business!! --- And isn't that what e-collars are for?? Sorry but this statement made me laugh
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