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Information for Licensed Members

Practice Advice

If you have a question associated with the regulations, policy and expectations associated with the practice of veterinary medicine, please contact the College. The practice advisory service offered by the College is free and confidential.

Practice Advisory Service
1-800-424-2856 / 519-824-5600 x2401 or practiceadvice@cvo.org

Your feedback is important! If you have recently contacted the Practice Advice Service, the College wants to hear from you. Please complete the Practice Advice Satisfaction Survey regarding your most recent experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of the questions, and answers, that the College frequently receives through its practice advisory service. If you have other questions, please feel free to contact the College’s practice advisor.

Can I add an additional charge on the fees of the itinerant veterinarian?

The College regulations prohibit adding a charge to a disbursement or cost. For example, a client may be billed for the services of an itinerant veterinarian who provides a service to a client at the primary veterinarian's clinic. This clinic is not prohibited from charging reasonable fees associated with coordinating appointments, providing the facility space, staff and some equipment.  However, when a client is charged for these items, they should appear as separate invoice items so the client is aware of the individual charges. What is prohibited is an additional charge on the fees of the itinerant veterinarian, without additional service provided by the primary veterinarian. 

Reference: Section 17.1 Para 14 of Regulation 1093

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Can I dispense a controlled substance to the client of a veterinarian from a neighbouring clinic?

While it would seem the neighbourly thing to do, the College regulations only allow a member to dispense controlled substances to animals that are under his/her direct care. Clients do have the option of having the prescription filled by a pharmacist at a community pharmacy.

Reference: Section 28, Paragraph 6 of Regulation 1093

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Am I allowed to offer coupons for discounted veterinary services?

Yes. The provision of discounts is an example of a component of a particular business model and is permitted.

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I have other questions about advertising. What resources are available to me?

The Advisory Statement - Advertising which provides guidance for advertising is available for review on the College website in the Resources section. Alternatively, please contact the College’s Practice Advisor for assistance with any specific questions you may have.

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Two owners are listed in my patient’s file. If one owner requests that the other owner be removed from the file, what should I do?

In order to remove an owner from a patient’s file, consent must be obtained from the individual whose name is being removed from the file. Alternatively legal direction may be provided. The change to the medical record must then be made in such a way that original content is maintained.

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I suspect that an animal is being abused or neglected. What are my obligations?

According to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, a veterinarian is obligated to report suspected animal abuse. Specifically, the Act states that “every veterinarian who has reasonable
grounds to believe that an animal has been or is being abused or neglected shall report his or her belief to an inspector or an agent of the Society. 2008, c. 16, s. 8”.
Reporting suspected animal abuse or neglect is a permitted violation of client confidentiality addressed in Section 17 of Ontario Regulation 1093 of the Veterinarians Act.

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If a client has a prescription from a veterinarian in another city, am I able to fill it on behalf of the veterinarian?

Yes, a veterinarian can fill the prescription of another veterinarian under the following
conditions outlined Section 33 (1.1) in Ontario Regulation 1093 of the Veterinarians Act:

  1. it is not reasonably possible for the client to obtain the drug from the prescribing member or a pharmacy;

  2. it is necessary in the interests of the animal to administer or dispense the drug without the delay that would  be associated with returning to the prescribing member;

  3. the member makes a reasonable effort  to discuss the matter with the prescribing member;

  4. the member conducts a sufficient assessment of the animal’s circumstances, which may not require a physical examination in every case, to ascertain that it is unlikely that there has been a material change in the circumstances since the prescription was given;

  5. the quantity of the drug dispensed is no more than would reasonably enable the client to return to the prescribing member for future prescriptions or quantities of the drug; and

  6. the member makes a written record of the transaction as otherwise required by this Regulation. O. Reg. 161/04, s. 19 (1).

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