Whistleblower: 9 veterinarians disciplined, including one ordered to stop

  • Updated: September 29, 2012 - 6:07 PM

One veterinarian routinely euthanized animals without properly administering an anesthetic. Another veterinarian declawed a kitten after using only half the recommended amount of anesthetic.

Two made false statements on their licensure applications, and two failed to complete required continuing education course work.

In all, the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine disciplined nine veterinarians and unlicensed practitioners in the 12-month period ending in August. About 2,400 veterinarians hold active Minnesota licenses. The seven-member veterinary board investigates about 90 complaints each year.

Eight of the professionals listed below agreed to the board's actions. Kathryn E. Marr's order was imposed.

Paul P. Masheimer, Hibbing, stayed suspension, $2,500 fine

Masheimer failed to sedate a 16-year-old Chihuahua, Snickers, before injecting euthanasia solution into the dog's heart. The dog's owner said that Snickers "screamed, snarled and went limp." According to American Veterinary Medical Associations guidelines, it is unacceptable to perform the procedure on "awake animals."

Masheimer admitted euthanizing 20 to 30 feral cats per month in this way and said he chooses the method when "he feels at risk of being bitten."

Masheimer is prohibited from euthanizing an animal without properly sedating it and may euthanize animals only while under the observation of another veterinarian.

He must take any course work recommended by a veterinary consultant and allow the board to review his records.

Scott S. Greiman, Maple Grove, limited and conditional license

Greiman released a Schnoodle to its owner before it had recovered sufficiently from surgery. The dog also experienced postoperative complications. Greiman failed to prescribe medications that fit his diagnoses and diagnosed a thyroid disorder despite lab results that came back "normal."

Greiman failed to properly declaw a kitten, in part by administering only half the recommended dose of anesthetic. "The kitten showed signs of discomfort and was vocalizing and moving" during the procedure, according to a witness.

Greiman is prohibited from performing surgery until he completes one-on-one consultations with a veterinary anesthesiologist and a veterinary surgeon, complies with their recommendations and updates his written protocols for pain management.

Albert C. Batchelder, Faribault, voluntary surrender of license

Batchelder allowed an unlicensed employee to diagnose and treat animals while he was on a medical leave of absence. According to a complaint received by the board, "many animals received incorrect treatment at this business, and one animal died."

Kathryn E. Marr, Maplewood, cease and desist from the practice of veterinary medicine

Marr's license had been suspended for 19 months when, in April, she was found to be advertising veterinary services, including the administration of medicine, on the website of her business, PetVet Homecare.

Richard H. McConnell, Newport, stayed suspension

Though McConnell held proper licensure in Minnesota, he practiced in Wisconsin from 1999 to March 2011 without a Wisconsin license. He must take an exam on the topic of Minnesota veterinary regulations and pass a course in veterinary law and ethics.

Mark R. Van Elzen, Lincolnwood, Ill., license granted, reprimand, $500 fine

Mary Lillian Brown, Plano, Texas, license granted, reprimand, $500 fine

Van Elzen and Brown falsely stated on their applications for licensure that they had never been subject to disciplinary action as a veterinarian or other licensed person.

Van Elzen was disciplined in Illinois in 2005. Brown was disciplined in Texas in 2009.

Ross C. DeWitt, Worthington, $500 fine

Larry D. Lewis, Elgin, $500 fine

Routine audits found that DeWitt and Lewis failed to complete the required 40 hours of continuing education for the most recent two-year licensing period.

Hard Data digs into public records and puts a spotlight on rule breakers in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Contact me at jfriedmann@startribune.com.

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