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Court orders Proactive Pet Health Inc. to cease unauthorized practice

June 17, 2015

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has issued an Order requiring a non-veterinarian stop practising veterinary medicine.

The College initiated proceedings against Susan and Scott Currie and their business Proactive Pet Health Inc. as a result of their engagement in the practice of animal dentistry and their activities which held themselves out as engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine.  The College and the Curries reached an agreement that was incorporated into an Order that also awarded the College $500. The Judgment states:

THIS COURT ORDERS that Proactive Pet Health Inc. and Mr. & Mrs. Currie refrain from scaling or polishing of the teeth of an animal, and performing dental hygiene on an animal (other than brushing, flossing and spraying a non-clinical breath spray) and that they will not engage in any activity other than brushing and flossing an animal’s teeth in a similar manner that a human being brushes and flosses his or her own teeth, however, nothing in this Order prevents either of the personal respondents from being employed as auxiliaries within the meaning of the Veterinarians Act and its regulations.

“The College is pleased the Court continues to echo the College’s position that performing dentistry on animals is an aspect of veterinary medicine. As a result, dental services for animals should only be provided by a licensed veterinarian or a supervised delegate.  The judgment of the court clearly states that anything outside of brushing, flossing and breath spray is considered animal dentistry and is an aspect of veterinary medicine,” said College Registrar and Chief Executive Officer Jan Robinson.

Consistent with its Position Statement on Veterinary Dentistry, the College has long taken the position that veterinary dentistry includes cleaning animals’ teeth (other than simple brushing) and that only veterinarians may practise veterinary dentistry. Expert evidence supported the College’s position that permitting non-veterinarians to provide veterinary dentistry including dental hygiene creates serious risks to animals.

The College acts in the public interest and has been granted the authority, by statute, to obtain Orders preventing non-veterinarians from practising veterinary medicine.  In the event that a member of the public is of the view that a non-veterinarian is practising veterinary medicine, they are invited to contact the College at inquiries@cvo.org

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario exists to protect and serve the public interest through the regulation of the practice of veterinary medicine.  Accordingly, veterinarians are licensed, facilities are accredited, standards and policies are developed and maintained, and an investigations and resolutions process is available.  The College licenses approximately 4,500 veterinarians and accredits over 2,100 facilities in Ontario.