Discussion: How many of us are practicing veterinary medicine without a license?

This is a discussion article on how many of us as animal lovers are practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

owner giving sub-q fluids
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After reading of Tammie Hedges arrest and being charged with practicing without the proper veterinary license, I decided to look into just what that means in the state of North Carolina.

According to the North Carolina Veterinary Medicine Board:

NCGS 90-181 Definitions

(6) ‘Practice of veterinary medicine’ means:

a. To diagnose, treat, correct, change, relieve, prevent animal disease, deformity, defect, injury or other physical or mental conditions; including the prescription or administration of any drug, medicine, biologic, apparatus, application, anesthetic, other therapeutic/diagnostic substance or technique on any animal.

I’m not positive but this is most likely a misdemeanor that will carry a fine if the case isn’t dropped. Note from Michael (Admin): It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine in North Carolina according to the AVMA. Each act in violation of any provision shall constitute a separate violation. Tammie was administering painkilling and antibiotic pills. Cat and dog owners administer pills to their companion animals all the time.

I believe Tammie may have had to render some first aid if an animal was injured. She was dealing with an emergency and from everything I’ve read the arrest is totally bogus.

The above definition even states preventing animal diseases and treating an animal with any medication constitutes operating without a veterinary license. And don’t dare use Feliway to improve an animals mental state because changing the mental state is considered practicing!

How about those who use holistic proven remedies on their pets? Are they also breaking the law? What about those who foster through shelters and rescues who have to provide emergency treatment such as sub-q fluids or even syringe feedings to an animal to save it’s life if getting the animal to a veterinarian means help wouldn’t be administered in time.

What do you consider veterinary medicine and what do you consider just being a good pet owner? Anyone with first-hand experience on this topic, please enlighten me in the comment section.

9 thoughts on “Discussion: How many of us are practicing veterinary medicine without a license?”

  1. Since I’ve had several undesirable experiences with vets over the years, I decided to do in-depth research on various home remedies, and have a fully stocked first aid kit for my cat, with over 25 items.

    I have several reference books for treating feline health issues. I also have the book “Secrets of a Vet Tech-The Guide to low cost pet care when the cupboard is bare.” by J.C. Ferris.

    I’ve been able to save a cat’s life who had a urinary blockage when the owner/guardian thought it was just constipation. The woman had called me to ask what she should do. After asking her several questions, I told her to take the cat to her vet ASAP. The vet said the cat was only hours away from dying, and they kept him in the clinic for 4 days.

    She now gives him D-Mannose powder in his meals, as I recommended, to prevent urinary issues and deadly blockage associated with male cats. Some time ago, I had asked my vet if she knew about D-Mannose as a UTI preventative, and she said she’d never heard of it. I wasn’t surprised, because vets aren’t in the business of “prevention”, other than recommending products for fleas, tick, and heartworm. Some of these are causing serious side effects. I’ve seen the effect of a Seresto collar on my friend’s cat. Her scratching led to a hole in her neck. She was allergic to the chemicals in the collar.

    I do not blindly trust vets or doctors. Although they may have similar training, they’re led by their “opinions” which can vary from person to person. They’re also influenced by “prescription” pet food manufacturers. One vet thinks that dry food cleans teeth, and is opposed to wet or raw food. Other vets believe that dry food causes dental issues, and supports raw feeding. There are opposing opinions on every issue. It’s kinda like religion. How do we choose?

    Mostly I choose to treat my cat myself, unless it’s a dental issue. When my cat needed dental work, I interviewed 5 vets, mostly asking about what drugs would be used, since my cat has shown a sensitivity to certain ones.

    One vet refused to take me as a client because I was “too involved”. Seriously, and I kept her email to prove it.

    I’m guilty of caring for my cat’s health issues (fortunately, at 9yr. she hasn’t had many) for the most part without consulting a vet.


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