Send Dr. H. a copy and he will post it here (with only your initials).

Return to Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Letters Page 4 ............

Dear Ms. A,

It was so sweet of you to write to my veterinary Boards on my behalf. Letters like yours keep my spirits up and keep me hopeful that all will eventually turn out for the best. Although they are currently only blocking my communications with pet owners; my Vet Boards, and many others like them, still operate and think in the horse-and-buggy age. There was a time, in the 1930's and 1940's, when a veterinarian had only his eyes and hands to help him make a diagnosis. Back then, a law requiring a veterinarian to physically touch a sick animal before he could venture an opinion could have made sense. But medicine has progressed so far since then. We now have sophisticated test results that tell us so much more than our eyes and hands; and those results are routinely transmitted electronically. Physicians seem much more open to these changing realities.

It turned out that no complaint against me had been filed. The Board began this proceeding on their own initiative or, perhaps, at the behest of someone with very powerful inside influence. That was a great relief to me because I could not think of anyone who was dissatisfied with my correspondence on a pet health issue and it would have troubled me greatly if I had let some pet owner down. The Board attorney did brag that each letter that was sent to the Board in my support constituted proof of an additional crime !

I do not know anything about Change.org. But if so many letters of support did not sway them, I do not believe that a petition will either. You see, the Board does not represent the interests of pets or pet owners. They represent the very worst of the veterinary profession – old outdated veterinarians fearful of being made irrelevant and struggling, through any means possible, to get by in a World that they no longer understand or control.
Good luck with your dog and Best Holiday Wishes,
Ron Hines

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December 13, 2012
To Vet Boards:
I am a California resident and not shackled by any of your state or any State's vet board rules (I am a certified specialist, NOT a DVM). While looking for some additional information on a particular problem one of my clients was having with their animal, I stumbled across Dr Hines site and ongoing issues with your board.To say I am incredulous is an understatement. First, to be vilifying Dr Hines is an obvious 'witch hunt' reaction to perhaps more well funded veterinary sources with a serious internet presence threatened by an individual offering FREE advice, none of which, that I can find (and I looked very carefully) is directing any person to do anything dangerous or irresponsible.
I DO see plenty of vets being paid at different online sites, often giving laymen instructions awfully dangerous and even blatantly wrong. If you're not slapping every single Texas vet on these sites with the same ongoing threats you are Dr Hines, then you are clearly singling him out, targeting, discriminating, disadvantaging, etc. - all illegal and worthy of a lawsuit on so many levels BY Dr Hines, but curiously, not even considered by him. Which brings me back to the possible motive behind your actions being fueled by well heeled heels in the industry feeling threatened by a good man giving good (free) advice that 'they' can and do charge for. If you are going to enact your rules, apply them to all or apply them to none. And be forewarned Texas Vet. Board, you are attracting attention. With that comes scrutiny and if your bed isn't made, believe me, there are countless media outlets who would love to air your own dirty laundry.

Dr. A. A.

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December 15, 2012
Dear Board :

I see no reason why a veterinarian should be disciplined for providing accurate
and balanced information on a website.

tOM T.
Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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December 20, 2012

To Vet. Board,
Hello,

Dr Hines provides a great online resource to pet owners that face the high cost
of pediatric care. This is our right to information and our right to make informed
health care decisions.
To block his site www.2ndchance.info would be unconstitutional..period.
Please record my comments in this email on this urgent matter in his file.

Thank you,

B.B.
San Francisco, CA

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December 22, 2012
To: Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Dr. Hines and any and all Texas Officials, along with anyone else who cares to read, It seems like I must be dreaming or better yet in a bad nightmare. As we move forward with technology and the wisdom that pushes our world how in the heck do we allow such foolish codes to persist while other problems plague our cities like pet mills and abandon family pets to name just two.

I would challenge the Texas Board to solve real problems by calling on those other firms that feel so threatened by Dr. Hines. Get a grip. Oh, and have a Merry Christmas to one and all.

G. R.
Palmdale, California

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December 22, 2012
To: The Texas State Board of Veterinarian Examiners:
I am extremely upset over the attempt to disallow Dr. Ronald Hines to consult with pet owners. I have a local veterinarian, but it is so comforting to have someone with his knowledge to share information and offer to consult with your local veterinarian. I believe we have the constitutional right to ask for his opinion and share his experience to better care
for our pets. I am asking that this decision be reversed and allow this great man to do what he does best, take care of our precious animals. One of my dogs has a serious and rare heart condition and I would like to discuss this with him but I can't because of this ridiculous ruling. My dog is under the care of a canine cardiologist in Pennsylvania but I feel I have
the right to speak with Dr. Hines to review his case.

Respectfully,
J.M.H.
King of Prussia Pa

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December 29, 2012
To: The Texas State Board Of Veterinary Medical Examiners

I wish to express my disappointment of the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for their position on distance veterinary care in regards to Dr. Hines. It is done all the time in Canada and I believe it is time for Texas to take a long, hard look at changing their
policy regarding this.
I recently read his article about arthritis and am truely grateful to him.
With advanced technology, many health consultations are done via e-mail/telephone,etc. whether for humans or animals, with the person providing information not examining the pet or the human. Also, private e-mail conversations should be just that...private. The board should not be able to mandate what I can view on the internet or who I choose to correspond with. Distance veterinary care is a mainstay in many locations (Canada, U.K.....etc.). It is a comfort to know they are there when needed. It is a comfort to know they care.
Likely the veterinarians (I'm assuming that is who is opposing) opposing Dr. Hines distance veterinary care are worried they may lose business-very selfish of them. Surely you as a Board can come to a rational conclusion and let Dr. Hines provide distance veterinary care. It is of benefit to pet owners everywhere, allows Dr. Hines to use his immense knowledge, and harms no one. Please review this matter again and put it to rest with the right decison.
Regards,
M.S.
Alberta, Canada

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January 5, 2013
To: "nicole.oria@tbvme.state.tx.us
Subject: Dr. Hines

To Whom it May Concern

I'm writing in support of an informational website I have benefitted from visiting. I have accessed the Internet, using search engines to figure out what could be happening with my pets. On several occasions, the engine landed on Dr. Hines site. I had the good fortune to read his explanations, in layman's terms. In every instance, reading on my pets issues prior to visits with my vet, helped my pets have a more favorable visit with the vet, and helped me to be a more informed consumer. Never did I get specific advice. Never was I dissuaded from visiting our vet. Never have I met or personally corresponded with Dr. Hines. Always, did I have a better understanding as to what was happening. Please allow a professionals to continue to make understandable information available to the public.
I can't imagine what the downside is to the public who you serve and their beloved pets......
Respectfully,
C.R.
Fairfield, CA

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Jan 6 2012
to vet.board,

Dear Veterinary Examiners,

I have found the information Dr. Hines provides via his website incredibly invaluable and am dismayed to learn that his experience and insight may be inhibited by your organization. I live in California and am in a situation whereby I am having to do my own detective work with regard to the care of my elderly cat. My veterinarian, though a competent person,
is for the most part simply a person who orders diagnostic tests and reads the report. Unfortunately she is not able to explore "the Big Picture/Ankle Bone connected to the Shin Bone" . If the answer is not apparent she shrugs. By using the internet to educate myself about cat hyperthyroidism I have been able to help my cat recover and thrive by asking probing questions and spurring the doctor to put together
the pieces of the puzzle. I am truly grateful for the internet and it's ability to connect me with true healers like Dr. Hines.

Sincerely,
B.T.
Venice, CA (formerly of Austin, Tx.)

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January 8, 2013

Please include my following comments in your file concerning Dr. Hines.
I live in Williams OR, a tiny rural community between Medford and Grants Pass. Here we have access to 2 mobile vets providing farm services for large animals. There is no small animal clinic within one hour's drive. I have two horses and an excellent relationship with my large-animal vet. I can call with a question or to schedule a ranch visit and know he will do his best to help me. If I take time to research a horse-related topic on-line, it is to expand my understanding of the issue, not to attempt treatment. I also have canaries. One is sick with what I believe is gout. The nearest avian vet is 1 1/2 hours away. It is difficult to figure how to get the bird there safely. Canaries are tropical creatures. Our daytime outdoor temperature is 40-45 degrees from late October till mid-April. How am I supposed to safely take him outside and into my pre-heated car without stressing an already-ill bird ? And, once I accomplish getting him into my car, then into the vet's office, how do I get there when roads are always foggy, wet and often icy? On a recent sunny Monday morning I called the avian vet's clinic hoping to get an appointment that day. The next "emergency" appointment available was the following Wednesday afternoon. These issues make me question the advisability of traveling to a vet's clinic. I have since used the information offered freely by Dr. Hines to deal with my sick bird, which seems to be responding to treatment. His site asks that I consider a donation, but does not ask a fee. He is not getting rich from his web page. Obviously, if I have to wait more than two days for an appointment, as stated above, this vet is doing well and raking in the fees. Why should he or his Texas olleagues feel threatened by Dr. Hines' website? I suggest your organization needs to review its purpose – is it to help pet owners or protect the financial interest of your membership? Does Dr. Hines really present a threat to your other members? If they are any good at their chosen profession, their skills should speak for themselves, the clients then see the added value of interacting directly with that vet, and this allows them to retain these clients. Perhaps your charter needs to be re-evaluated and brought into the 21st century by reflecting the invaluable resources available through the internet and the idea of freedom of information as well as the basic premise of veterinary care: to ensure the best possible quality service for our pets and dependent animals.
Thank you for your time.
V. E. J.

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Date: January 18, 2013
To: vet.board@veterinary.texas.gov
Subject: Dr. Hines' internet help

To whom it concerns:

I live in an extremely rural area in Maine. There is not even a traffic light in 50 miles. Forget about a pharmacy or a movie theatre. Basically it's a fishing village. The vet I have used is over an hour's drive from here. She is a very decent person, but her knowledge and equipment are limited. When my dog became very sick she had to refer me to a hospital 5 hours from where I live. I have to stay overnight in a hotel for 2 nights for my dog to get tests. I have discovered that I have to be as knowledgeable as I can be, and ask the right questions, and be proactive in my efforts
to get my dear old girl the right help. I am deeply grateful for the information and understanding that Dr. Hines has provided, for free. I think it's awful that he is persecuted for offering information. Testing so far has put me over a thousand dollars -- and no answers! And this is from several vets, all of whom have seen my dog in person. Worse, they don't seem to care that you leave their offices without help or a way forward. When their favorite hypothesis doesn't pan out, "oh well." Dead end.
So don't take away Dr. Hines' ability to help those of us with sick pets and no clues. We're not rich, most of us, and are doing are best be "educated consumers." This "in person only" rule doesn't make sense! It does not protect the vets in practice, because we need them! People living in rural areas (Texas has a few of those!) need to be able
to get information to be better advocates for their pets. Humans living in very rural places already depend on "telemedicine" and it saves lives. Let's not take away the right to help ourselves.

Thank you for your attention
K.D

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January 19, 2013
To: Vet Boards
My dog is dying…right now, as I type this email. My wife and I are not sleeping. We are spending money that we don't have, and constantly researching to try and save her. My local vet hospital is doing all they can and I have faith in them, but my dog's case is becoming very specialized and we are running out of time because her condition is directly affecting her kidneys. She is only 4 years old, and we lost her brother 2 years ago to what seems to be an eerily similar condition (it was never fully diagnosed – it was too late when it affected him). They were the only two in the litter, and we have had them since they were 8 weeks old. These
are more than dogs to us – they are my family – my children. I do not have any biological children – I have an adopted daughter and a stepson, whom I love deeply. But nothing can replace the unconditional love that my wife and I receive from our dogs – one we have already lost, and the other who is dying right now. And we now cannot receive a critical second opinion because you and your board have forgotten your oath for the sake of greed.

Veterinarian Oath.
As a member of the veterinary medical profession, I solemnly swear that I will use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society.I will strive to promote animal health and welfare, relieve animal suffering, protect the health of the public and environment, and advance comparative medical knowledge.I will practise my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of
veterinary medical ethics.I will strive continuously to improve my professional knowledge and competence and to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards for myself and the profession."

I will not tolerate any twisted interpretation of the above by any of your board just so you can feel better about the fact that you are denying Dr. Hines, and patients in need, the right to information THAT DIRECTLY SUPPORTS AND UPHOLDS THE FIRST TWO STATEMENTS OF THE OATH THAT ALL OF YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN. Nowhere is there a disclaimer in your oath that mentions "within a reasonable financial cost that is appropriately charged and obtained before this oath can be upheld".

You should ALL be completely ashamed of yourselves. If my dog dies, and Dr. Hines's expertise could have helped save her, then every one of you are partially responsible. Multiply that by the hundreds or thousands of other people who are in the same situation, and I hope your lives feel completely meaningless at this point if you are upholding
this injustice. Most of us are already paying large sums of money to our local vets… You are denying us the potential opportunity to save the lives of our pets. If you cannot understand that, then you do not belong in the position you hold.

The clock is ticking…my dog is on IV fluids while we wait on another round of blood test results to come back. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

R. J. B.
St. Charles, MO

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Jan 24 2013

To vet.board, Nicole Oria,

Dear Texas Board of Veterinary Medicine, Ms. Executive Director, and Dr. Hines,

I am writing to request information. I am an American student of veterinary medicine here in the Dominican Republic. I am in my clinical rounds, near graduating and am focusing on nonhuman primates. I face the unfortunate reality that although primates are bred and sold here legally, there are no clinical laboratories, nor vaccines available (nor are they legal to import). I recognize I have a lot of challenges ahead of me in order to provide good veterinary medicine to these animals, but I need to start somewhere.

I came across Dr. Hines' literature online, I have a lot more information now and feel he is the most qualified individual to contact. My first question is where to start with the primates who are already here? Yes, blood work, blood and fecal culture, fecal test, but what about all the virus panels? I have contacted Antech to see what they recommend,
but I do not expect much more response than a CBC and Chem.
My second question is who do I contact in order to stress the importance of starting to vaccinate these animals, is this a WHO situation (considering their campaign to eradicate polio, for example)?
Lastly, apart from Measles, Polio and hepatitis B, what other vaccines are recommended for primates as pets, such as spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys and capuchin monkeys (which are the most common here)?
Any further information that can be provided will greatly be appreciated.

I am aware that Dr. Hines has been limited to the amount of help he can provide me. I feel I have the right to information and the right to make informed health care decisions for my patients, the Board has no mandate to interfere or meddle with private email conversations, what can or cannot view on the internet, or whom one chooses to correspond
with. I am extremely limited to the amount of information I can obtain from here, a third world country, and "distance" veterinarians are all I have to lean on in times of trouble and doubt.

Sincerely,
Y.W , Dominican Republic

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February 8, 2013
To: vet.board@veterinary.texas.gov

I am a sixty-two year old cat lover. From the time I was a baby, my homes have had cats and kittens in them. I recognize much of what Dr. Hines discusses in the article that I just read. In addition, the article helped me to understand the physical and behavioral changes in the 16+ year old cat in my current home. It helped me to know how better to care for this cat whom I dearly love. Please let this kind doctor continue to provide aide to those of us who are benefiting from his wisdom.

K.K.

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February 19, 2013
To: Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Dear Board,

I have had no contact with Dr Hines and wonder how he could do anything but consult me about any remedies for my animal with the distance involved. To assume that he could do much more than that seems absurd. Is it really a crime to consult a person about possible options? I am already working with a veterinarian and am considering consulting another regarding my pets health and diet because I know the second veterinarian personally and know he sells prescription foods that may help my pet. If I want to schedule a consultation, for a fee, without my pet due to the long drive involved causing more stress, is it a crime for him to give me an assessment of the situation?

Thank you,

L.H.

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February 20, 2013

Re: Case Number 12-167
Ronald S. Hines D.V.M.
To: Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Dear Dr. Alldredge, Nicole Oria and Laura Moriarty,

I am quite shocked at the narrow-mindedness of your actions in this case. The broader issue is that pet owners are seeking advice in order to provide better health care for their pets. As our economy tightens, people do not have dispensable income. Yet, the same people will keep pets for comfort as a low cost means to entertainment and companionship. Those pets are not being cared for when a sick animal needs attention or procedures and their lack of money wins out over the pet's care. Informed pet owners find education and options that make pet care viable; otherwise, as someone said to me when hearing of the emergency vet bill I was paying for an episode of FUS, something that was new to my care of my cat, they would have shot the cat before paying that much money. Really? Would you prefer that over access to information? I can confirm both the vet visit and that conversation if you would like proof.

I am personally grateful to Dr. Hines for having published his website and I found a better understanding of the urinary problems cats can suffer. I immediately felt I could navigate decision making over my cat's care and discuss with my local veterinarian the best plan for his care. This amount of information I learned from Dr. Hines site cannot compete with the 10 minute discussion, questions, and answers I had with my vet.

Please re-think your position in Dr. Hines case. His website clearly informs the reader of the limits to his advice and obviously the advice published follows current veterinarian medicine. My cat and other pets will be cared for by my local vets, but if I am a better pet owner because of the additional resource Dr. Hines provides, than my pets receive the most informed care possible. We live in a country that is suppose to protect free speech and economically competitive markets, not a protection of entitlement. Your decision should be based on the protection of pet care not the biased pressures within your field.

Thank you for your re-consideration of this case.

N. F.

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