Comments on last month's dilemma: A patient abroad

Siobhan Mullan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial (Academic Journal)


The dilemma in the last issue concerned a pet owner in another European Union country who requested a second opinion on a life-threatening heart condition in her dog (In Practice, June 2008, volume 30, pages 352-353). The client was desperate to obtain treatment from the UK and was prepared to visit the vet's practice to pick up any medication, as her dog was unable to travel. The UK vet discussed the case with the attending veterinary surgeon, but the dog's further treatment would involve supplying medication that was not available in the country of residence. Martin Atkinson commented that the most important issues were the legality of exporting drugs to a country in which their use might be prohibited, of treating an animal not directly under one's care and the RCVS guidance on supersession. It was understandable that the vet might want to help, and one way forward was to direct the owner towards another local practitioner such as a locum who might be able to visit. It might also be possible for the vet to act as an adviser and provide the original veterinary surgeon with medication for him or her to supply, meaning the animal remained under his or her care. As the vet could possibly be found liable for providing the medication illegally if its use was banned in the client's country of residence, it would be reasonable to ask the attending clinician to provide written evidence that the product, to the best of their knowledge, was not prohibited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-417
Number of pages1
JournalIn Practice
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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