Trial for veterinarian’s license continued to December

The state Attorney General’s Office is seeking to revoke the license of two veterinary clinics in Santa Clarita, following a slew of negligence and unprofessional conduct complaints.
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A trial seeking to revoke Balpal Sandhu’s license to run three veterinarian clinics was continued Friday until December, after the deputy attorney general sought more time to complete her rebuttal of Sandhu’s defense. 

Sandhu currently operates three veterinary facilities in northern L.A. County: All Creatures Veterinary Center; Antelope Valley Veterinary Center; and Canyon Country Veterinary Hospital, which remain open. 

The trial was previously scheduled to run 15 days, in order to allow prosecutor Nancy Kaiser a chance to make the Veterinary Medical Board’s case regarding 41 causes for complaints that were laid out against Sandhu. 

The current case originated in 2016, when Sandhu’s license was placed on probation after a complaint from the previous year found three causes for discipline, which included negligence, record-keeping violations and anesthesia violations, in regard to the treatment of a dog that had several bones broken in a fight with another dog. 

The result of that case was that, in May 2016, Sandhu agreed to have his licenses placed on probation for all three clinics. 

However, a new complaint, with allegations that date back to January 2016, found 41 separate causes for discipline, some of which were repeated from the 2016 allegation. 

(The complete 72-page cause of action is listed here.)

In the first three weeks of trial, Sandhu’s defense included additional medical records that weren’t found in the charts reviewed by Beth Parvin, a subject expert and staff consultant for the Veterinary Medical Board who reviewed the medical records of the animal in the complaint. Sandhu also noted during his testimony that some treatments listed in the complaint involved other doctors who worked at his clinic, or animals that received treatment before they were brought to his care. 

As for the question of low levels of pain medications, the defense presented testimony from Dr. Alan Schulman, a board-certified veterinary surgeon who works out of the Animal Medical Center of Southern California and touts orthopedic, neurologic and reconstructive surgical expertise on his website. Schulman testified that a veterinarian had discretionary authority to adjust pain-medication levels to suit a particular animal based on the animal’s age, condition and various expressions of pain.

This was in response to testimony from Parvin that, based on calculated recommendations from the Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia Support Group, Sandhu was using pain-level medication that was about one-sixth to one-eighth of the recommended levels for animals based on the animals’ weights.

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