October 20, 2014

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Vet improperly euthanized animals, complaints allege

BRUNSWICK — The state veterinary licensing board plans to conduct a hearing on three complaints against Brunswick veterinarian Dr. Beatrice Turk.

The Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board confirmed complaints on file that allege Turk inappropriately euthanized two animals in her care in March and provided improper medicines to a third animal in February.

According to hearing notices on the complaints, the board said Turk’s care “fell below the standards of veterinary medicine.”

Theresa Stir, executive director of the licensing board, said the hearing notices were issued April 11, following the board’s monthly meeting on April 10. The hearing could result in a reprimand, or Turk’s veterinary license could be suspended or revoked.

Turk practices at Countryside Animal Hospital, 2909 Center Road.

Turk and the animal owners who filed complaints against her did not return calls seeking comment Friday.

The first complaint alleges Turk administered Rimadyl and methyl prednisolone to a dog named Bailey on Feb. 27 within a short time of each other, and there was no evidence of a radiograph taken of the dog or a diagnosis offered.

The board said medical records were “insufficient” and cautioned against using the two drug treatments together.

The second complaint alleges that on March 17 a cat named Bobbie was euthanized without proper sedation.

The board looked at medical records of the cat’s care and found that the cat was not sedated properly to be administered a cardiac stick for euthanasia.

The board received a similar complaint regarding the euthanasia of a dog named Honey Pot on March 21.

Cardiac sticks can be used to euthanize animals, but it’s important to heavily sedate the animal first, said Stephanie Moore, executive director of the Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“We were taught that you never, ever, ever do a heart stick on an animal that’s not properly sedated,” she said. “You check their eyelids and squeeze the pads of the feet to make sure there’s no pain sensation.”

Moore said the procedure involves injecting a large needle directly into the animal’s chest.

“It can be painful, so it’s only to be done if the animal is completely anesthetized,” she said.

Turk has been asked to schedule a hearing with the board by May 11.

If she does not request a hearing, the board has the option to review the charges against her and decide whether to issue a reprimand or to suspend or revoke her license.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.