All about veterinary medical records
Pet Medicine December 8, 2017

All about veterinary medical records

Strictly kept by the veterinarian, pet medical records may consist of major elements like information about the owner of the pet, animal identification, reports regarding physical examination of the pet, the pet’s past medical and treatment history, diagnosis, records of surgical and medical events arranged chronologically, billing, etc. There are various laws and regulations that a pet owner has to follow for the same. Let’s have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) by the pet owners regarding these medical records.

How do you get a copy of the pet’s medical records?

The pet owner has every right to have a copy of his/her pet medical records. To obtain a copy, one must submit a written request for the medical records to the vet treating the pet. Once the application is submitted, the vet is obliged to present you the summary of the medical records within a reasonable amount of time.

Is it possible to obtain the license number of a vet?

As per medical laws, every vet is required to show their license number at their places of work. One can also ask for the license number for future purpose, if need be, directly to the vet. To have detailed information about the license, you can go to the website of the medical board.

Can the vet keep the pet in case the bill is not paid?

According to the Lien Law, a vet can withhold your pet, if you do not clear the bill amount. Until you clear the bills, not only can the vet refuse to return your pet, but can also add the charges for the boarding of the animal to your existing bill amount.

In case the vet has relocated, how do you get the records?

You can directly contact the Board asking for your pet medical records. However, to get the medical reports of the pet directly from the Veterinary Medical Board, the pet owner needs to submit a written application. If the pet owner doesn’t receive the summary of the records, he can file a complaint with the board.

Is it approved by the vet to charge higher than what’s estimated?

The Veterinary Medical Board doesn’t practice any jurisdiction over the fees charged by a vet. Therefore, a vet is not required to present a written estimate and depending on the treatment required, the charges may vary. In that case, in the court of small claims, the pet owner can apply for a remedy, if he or she feels being overcharged.

Also, any information that is there in the pet medical records is strictly confidential and privileged, shared only with the owner of the pets. Veterinarians are legally bound not to share the information kept in the records to anyone unless there’s a court order or the consent of the owner of the pet in question.

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