Ontario cracks down on animal dentistry performed by non-veterinarians

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario now has the authority to prevent non-veterinarians from performing animal dentistry in Ontario unless they are supervised by a licensed veterinarian.

According to the college, it obtained an order in March 2014 from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice preventing non-veterinarians from providing or offering to provide "anesthesia-free dental cleaning," including "scaling, polishing, and anti-bacterial gum treatment."

The action from the court stems from the investigation of a dog grooming and spa business in Ontario that was allegedly performing animal dentistry while also holding itself out as engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine.

Following the court's decision, the college commented on its strengthened authority to protect animals, which reinforces the college's stated position that non-veterinarians practicing veterinary dentistry pose serious risks to animals.

"The college's position is that animal dentistry is an aspect of veterinary medicine and should, therefore, only be practiced by a licensed veterinarian or experienced delegate. The college is pleased to see the court has taken action," said Jan Robinson, college registrar and chief executive officer.

According to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, members of the public can contact the college at [email protected] if they believe a non-veterinarian is practicing veterinary medicine. The college will then use its authority to prevent further dentistry work by the non-veterinarian if needed.

NEWStat Legislation & regulation