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Animal duty-of-care

Explore veterinary animal duty-of-care with an example case scenario.
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If a veterinarian is in charge of an animal, that Veterinarian has a duty-of-care to that animal. Duty-of-care does not change based on treatment length or the reason why the animal has been admitted.

Example Case Scenario

‘Mary has brought a stray dog called Rufus to Dr Alice’s clinic. After the receptionists scanned for a microchip, they contacted the owners. The owner, Mrs Law, would collect Rufus the following day, and accepted to pay the impound fees. Mrs Law shows up the next day and noticed that Rufus is very quiet.

Unfortunately, Rufus has hurt a leg in the dog cage. Dr Alice has offered all the treatment and care necessary to return Rufus to health. The owner paid for the impounding fees as agreed, but all extra costs were waived because the clinic had neglected appropriate supervision.’

The created scenario about Mrs Law’s situation, happens more often than not. It is important to understand the limitations behind duty-of-care in this industry.

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Veterinary Administration: Managing a Veterinary Practice

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