HomeArticles of Jo SingerAmerican Mobile Veterinarians Need More Freedom to Practice Fully


American Mobile Veterinarians Need More Freedom to Practice Fully — 23 Comments

  1. Amy,

    I interviewed several vets when the issue first was made public a couple of years ago- spreading the word about the law. I was totally amazed that many of the practitioners -both vets practicing only in clinics and those with mobile practiceswith whom I spoke didn’t even know that this law is on the books. All the mobile vets told me they carry controlled substances anyway- in a locked box which they take out of the car every time they arrive at a destination.

  2. I was aware of this law in the past. I also know that the mobile vets many times ignore the law and carry what they need. When it comes to helping ailing and injured animals there is just no time to go back to the office to get more supplies. One vet that I know caries what the law allows and calls to the office for the needed meds. One of the assistants brings them to him. As a result it costs $50.00 just for our large animal vet to pull in the driveway. Part of that cost is a state levied fee per call. That just hacks me when I have to give the state money because I need a vet. We would just load our large animals up and take them to the vet but the cost is the same. These laws are made by people who jump the gun on legislation because someone they know has been effected by a problem. That is how some dog breeds get banned in places and even some cat breeds. It is unfair to limit meds that vets can carry. Just wrong.

  3. I can totally understand the need for this law. Have multiple pets having a mobile vet would and could impact my critters quality of life. Now to the other side of the coin, isn’t there always a negative for each positive? As soon as the low lives find out mobile vets carry controlled substances the vets themselves could become targets. I hate to look at it that way but to be honest it would not surprise me one bit to see people who save animals lives could be hurt or even killed by some drug addicted jerk.

      • Marc- an excellent question. I am wondering if they get an exemption from the law. I’m thinking that it’s possible these mobile units that spay and neuter may be considered “free standing” clinics rather than being considered the typical mobile vet.

  4. Caroline,

    You can call your veterinarian and remind him/her to contact their legislators. The bill’s number is on the blog. We can also call our legislators too and let them know that we are supporting the passage of the bill and why it is so important in the appropriate treatment of animals.

    What makes the law now in place so outrageous is that a vet is only permitted to take ONE dose of a specific drug for a patient of a certain weight.. administer the drug and then have to return to the clinic to get another dose of a controlled substance to bring to the next patient- over and over again. Some vets here are mobile all the time and having to return to the clinic is a waste of their time in getting to their next patient in a timely fashion.

    • Yes, my comment was directed specifically to jmuhj. I do understand the issues, it’s just that I am always left wondering if I’ve left some pro-action out 😉 that’s as effective as writing to legislator supporting the bill. You see, I want to do what I can, yet I’m new to this.

  5. That’s a crazy law and thanks for publicizing this.

    You know what I don’t understand? They don’t want vets to carry more than single needed doses but are they going after those horrid PETA vans that carry multiple doses of drugs to kill cats? Grrrr

  6. Thanks for this Jo. The Controlled Substances Act was enacted in 1970 as far as I know. Part of the reason for its existence is to comply with international treaties.

    But…(a) I can’t understand why it applies to the medical profession. I would seem to be a incorrect way of interpreting the Act to allow it to impact on the work of vets and (b) it is 43 years old and regarding legal drugs the world has moved on and (c) our attitude towards companion animals has moved on too.

    Perhaps 43 years ago a lot of vets and legislators didn’t understand that companion animals feel pain and have emotions like people.

    We know more about pain in animals. We are more sympathetic. Although there is a long way to go.

    Bearing in mind how upsetting it is for cats to attend a vet’s clinic, home visits are probably underused. Certainly for euthanasia at v.old age and/or terminally ill, a home visit must be the best way provided the owner can afford it.

    So, a change is overdue and it appears that the legislators agree that.

    • It seems that “b” is the nucleus/essence of this, and I am certainly now -thanks to Jo and Michael- understanding the obsolescence of this particular law, The Controlled Substances Act of 1970. My god, is this the only means of getting crazy laws still on the books amended? Why aren’t there mainframe computers responding to these needs in law, before our lawmakers/reformists get hit in the noggin with a sledgehammer? Are we more at fault, as citizens? or is it the Judicial System more oft than naught to blame? I am so naive. 🙁

      • LOL. Great comment Cal. It is amazingly slow and laborious to change bad law. It is the nature of the democratic process.

        In Russia, Putin just makes presidential declarations and it is law! Overnight. That can be good but obviously is normally bad.

  7. Thank you for sharing this with our community, Jo. If I was to express my feelings honestly on this subject, it might get me in trouble, so I’ll just say that, as a Californian, I am *OUTRAGED* and as someone whose family members are felines, I am *WAY BEYOND OUTRAGED* that the “celebs”, politicians, and others whom the mainstream society claims to respect can abuse substance to their heart’s content, and not even get a slap on the wrist for it, while these livesaving medical experts’ hands are tied. You better believe I’ve contacted my legislators about this issue, for all the good it will do.

      • Caroline, if you’re asking the author of the article, she’s suggested we contact our legislators telling them to support/vote for this legislation. If you’re asking me, however, my reply would get me in a whole heap of trouble, but you might be able to guess ;(

  8. My vet comes to my home, and I rely on him to provide me what I need to keep my cats without pain. If that means a controlled substance, then so be it.

  9. I hope you get that law passed there. So many rules and regulations are badly thought out and can hinder the quality of treatment vets can give.

  10. I am very grateful that our vet was able to come to the house to euthanize Daisy. It makes no sense to have the last hours of a beloved pet be subjected to a trip to the vets office. I wish more small animal vets would make house calls. It is much better for cats. Less stress for the human as well. I would use a mobile pet exclusively if it were available.

      • Thank you Marc. That was back in May of last year. She went peacefully. I did talk about it here, but I think only in a comment. Marvin is king of the roost now. He is the main reason I need to find a mobile vet. He has been only once. His wildcat nature took over. Never again! But he will need the services of a good vet someday, I’m sure.

        This is an important piece of legislation. I’m calling my veterinarian today.

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