What is the law regarding veterinary medical procedures performed without an owner’s consent?

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What is the law regarding veterinary medical procedures performed without an owner’s consent?

After 2 visits to the veterinarian, I was told that 1 tooth needed to be extracted but instead 7 teeth were removed without my authorization. The Vet said that 2 of the teeth were going to fall out anyway in 2 years. The Vet said that the other 3 were loose but he never found any loose teeth during the visit. They are allowed to do extra work if it’s an emergency but if the teeth were not going to fall out for 2 years that does not make it an emergency. All my dogs upper chewing teeth have been removed.

Asked on September 9, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As with any medical procedure, it must be authorized prior to being done.  If you authorized one tooth being pulled and the dog was not in any emergency situation or immediate danger then I do not see the need for the remaining procedures that were done. And what a mess and inconvenience! I see that you are in the "collections" section of the questions.  I am then assuming that they have billed you for ALL the work and are now attempting to collect on the bill.  Am I correct?  Do you have all you documentation as to the procedures authorized, etc?  Then you need to fight them on this. Send them a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, and let them knw exactly where you stand.  Undoubedtly you will be sued.  Countersue for any inconvenience (special dog food, etc., given the dogs condition).  Good luck.


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