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 6 ............

May 19, 2013

Dear Dr. Hines,

Initially, I was looking to contact you because I am a veterinarian who tries her best to help wildlife in need and find your articles extremely helpful. I have an opossum that is probably fit for release (old enough), but it came to me very thin and dehydrated.

Your articles have helped me care for MANY wildlife orphans. I love the fact that you take donations instead of getting big chain sponsorship. That being said, I am SO angry for you to hear about the Board coming down on you. It's amazing to me that pet meds can exist (no vet-client relationship there) and they are coming hard at YOU. I'm so sorry.

If I can be of help to you please let me know. I have no idea if having my DVM will provide more weight to a letter, but I am willing to if you think it will help.

All the best,
M.M.

Dear Dr. M

How sweet of you to write me ! I am glad that some of my articles were of use to you. I could post your letter on page 6 of Letters to the Board - just like it is. But I'll just use your initials.

I have no idea where this Board silliness is eventually going to go. I noted in the Huffington Post that the AVMA intends to back them up to the fullest. I am old, and wouldn't have been online that much longer anyway. I have my bee hives, my chickens and my dog. I spend a lot of time gardening and grafting citrus.

I believe that I have helped more creatures online than I ever did in the traditional practices I have owned . And it seems to me that younger vets like you should have the same option to take advantage of the digital age as well. The AVMA and Texas really need to be pulled - willing or not - into the 21st Century. So I agreed to let the Institute for Justice represent me. The State of Texas has a few more weeks to respond to their lawsuit in federal court. If we succeed, I will feel greatly honor to have played a small part in advancing my profession and animal health. If not, we at least reached for the stars.

Good luck with the opossum, but according to the Board, I am not allowed to venture an online opinion on anything that has to do with animal health - possums included..

Best wishes,

Ron

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May 22, 2013
Dear Texas Board of Veterinarians,

Please have these comments recorded on file.

I am emailing in regards to Dr. Hines, and here is why; I have two cats and one of them is pregnant. I cannot afford a visit to the vet for an ultra sound to see how her pregnancy is going. I have looked all over the internet for help being this is the first time she is having
kittens, and I book marked his page. This page was so helpful! Of all the pages on the internet, this one has the most information and is easy to read and understand. Plus, he explains things thoroughly. He is obviously not doing this for the MONEY, he is doing it to help people and I appreciate and respect that. I believe this site should stay up for people like me, and I know there are a lot, who cannot afford to go to the vet for every little problem. I adopted these cats and I love my queen to death. I support this website and what Dr. Hines is doing. PLEASE keep this website up so people like me have somewhere to go online that is professional. Thank you and have a great day.
M.K.
Atlanta, GA

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June 16, 2013
Dear Sirs:

While researching canine health issues this morning on the internet, I came across a site with articles and information written by Dr. Ron Hines, DVM that provided complete information on the particular condition I was researching including objective and accurate discussion on treatment protocols and medications; including an option that I will discuss with my veterinarian here in Michigan to treat one of my family dogs. I was appalled to see that the State of Texas has been so wrongfully and blindly swayed against Dr. Hines that he is being prohibited his first amendment rights under the federal constitution and the people of this Nation are being denied freedom to access his knowledge and wisdom if they so choose.

I was appalled to discover that he and his site have been selectively targeted for persecution and prosecution. There is a sense of loss, or is there a loss of sense!

Although I do not personally know him, Dr. Ron Hines has my respect and gratitude already for the small gifts he’s already provided me through his site and for standing up for all those who have a right to his knowledge and the opportunity to share communications with him on any matter; whether through a web site, Email, personal mail, or telephone communications. Please feel free to respond to this Email, after all you do have the right to free speech.

Sincere regards,
J.A.E.
Ortonville, Michigan

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July 10, 2013

To: Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Dear Dr. Alldredge, Nicole Oria and Laura Moriarty:

This letter is in reference to Ronald S. Hines D.V.M. Re: Case Number 12-167 and concerns the controversy he is presently involved in. It is my hope that this controversy is based on a misunderstanding on your part of exactly what services he offers to his internet readers.

I have been corresponding with Dr. Hines for about 10 years, and find his services invaluable to my informal feral cat rescue activities.I am not a veterinarian, or even a medical doctor. I was, however, Senior Staff Research Scientist at Daig-Medcor Corporation and Senior Staff Scientist at Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc., then a division of Ely Lilly and now, as Guident Corporation, a part of Boston Scientific. I was responsible for the design of the advanced pacemakers, such as Atrial Synchronous pacemakers and cardiac resynchronizers. As such, I have a working knowledge of medicine, both human and veterinary, to at the minimum be able to intelligently converse with a medical professional.

One of the primary problems in treating an animal is figuring out what to treat. All too many veterinarians do not particularly care what they treat as long as it generates cash flow. There is no way that we, the veterinary consuming public, can be assured that we are getting what we pay for, that is, proper medical care for our family members who happen to be animals.

Dr. Hines has never provided a medical recommendation concerning a specific diagnosis or treatment of a specific pet to me. What Dr. Hines has done is one of three things:

Explained the medical prospective, from a hypothetical standpoint, of a particular medical
condition. That is, he would never suggest that a particular pet had, or did not have, a
particular condition. He would, however, explain what physical symptoms or test results may indicate that a particular hypothetical animal did or did not have that condition. If my
veterinarian suspected a particular condition, he may suggest certain tests which may confirm the diagnosis or rule it out.If presented with specific test results, Dr. Hines was willing to act as an independent medical consultant, interpreting the specific test results, and suggesting additional tests which may be helpful for my local veterinarian to arrive at a proper diagnosis.

Dr. Hines might recommend that my local veterinarian consider a particular cutting-edge or even experimental off-label treatment, which he was familiar with, but had not yet reached the level of the local vet. It is important to note that a consultation with Dr. Hines invariably resulted in additional income for the local veterinarian. I understand that your official mission is“protecting the health and welfare of Texas pets.” All too often State medical boards, both animal and human, confuse maximizing the income of the medical professional as synonymous with that mission. Without an independent consultation with an unbiased, medical specialist, the consuming public, whether dealing with animals or humans, cannot be assured that the opinion of his chosen professional is the proper course of action. Indeed, even the medial professional requires the service of the independent specialist, who works from medical data and test results, and rarely, if ever, sees the patient. The consultant process not only gets another veterinarian involved in the "fee loop" it routinely results in additional income to the referring veterinarian, whether that "referral" was formal, from the originating veterinarian, or informal, by the owner
searching the internet and finding and employing Dr. Hines. The result is that whether or not“protecting the health and welfare of Texas pets.” is synonymous with maximizing the income of the medical professional it often has that effect.Consider: After a human patient receives a CAT scan, the “films” are then sent to a radiologist for initial review. This specialist then sends the information to further specialists relevant to the condition being treated; possibly an Internist, Urologist, Surgeon, Orthopedist, Neurologist, Oncologist, or any of dozens of other specialists. None of these specialists will ever see the patient. Their consultation, however, is invaluable to the proper medical care of the human patient by the primary medical professional.

Although consultation in the animal realm is less common, I have personal experience with the medical schools of both the University of Georgia and the University of California at Davis. Both have performed for me all three of the three services I have described above, from medical records, without a physical examination of the patient. The sole difference between the services of these state-sponsored veterinary teaching hospitals and the services of Dr. Hines was that Dr. Hines charged me considerably less, or, upon occasion, performed the services free of charge, which these teaching hospitals would never do.

I specifically received the exact same services offered by Dr. Hines from N.P. BS, DVM,
PhD, Professor, Medicine & Epidemiology, University of California, Davis, relating to a cat that tested “positive to FIP.” I originally consulted with Dr. Hines, who, after reviewing the medical records, expressed doubt that they meant anything at all, and recommended that I further consult with Dr. P. After a comprehensive analysis of the medical records, and without ever examining the animal, Dr. P. recommended a DNA analysis of a specimen, which was performed at UC Davis, and it was determined that the cat did not have FIP, but had merely been infected with a harmless coronavirus. This saved a huge expense (as all California vets have their own secret process that will cure FIP if you are willing to pay for it) or euthanization of the animal. It also vindicated the original opinion of Dr. Hines. In this case, consultation with Dr. Hines, leading to the further consultation with Dr. P., had the direct result of “protecting the health and welfare of Texas pets.”

I mention Dr. P because I believe that the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners would not go after him for providing the same service as Dr. Hines, because Dr. P is bigger than the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. But possibly you might consider the appalling precedent which you are setting by your proceedings against Dr. Hines. You are essentially contending that it is unethical for a registered licensed medical professional to give a medical opinion based on the medical records unless that medical professional personally examines the animal. That not only flies in the face of present medical practice, both human and animal, it would eliminate the practice of a large number of medical professionals who provide consulting services, as well as significantly degrade the level of medical care provided to pets as well as the income of a considerable number of veterinarians. This will not do, and, I, for one, would not tolerate such a limitation on my right to receive medical care for my pets.

Very Truly Yours,
T.L.B., Ph.D.
Lithonia, Georgia

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August 27, 2013

To Whom It May Concern:
This letter should be added to the file regarding the Licensure of Dr. Ronald S. Hines.

Even if your sanctions against Dr. Hines weren't a violation of the first amendment,
you would be wrong. You are assuming that pet owners who contact Dr. Hines are stupid and need your protection. Thanks, but no thanks! I don't need you to protect me or my pet from the possible faulty advice Dr. Hines might dispense. I get plenty of faulty advice from my vet here in Oregon and I don't see you stepping in to protect me from that. Here, we have Banfield, VCA, and, Banfield's alter-ego, Hannah the Pet Society. Believe me, I know how to wade through the crappy advice I get and I don't need your "protection" to do it. For example, I recently paid $300 to the vet for blood tests for a sick cat, after which I was told that she had kidney problems. This may or may not be true. According to the advice
I got on the internet (WebMD's pet site and Dr. Hines informational materials) this cannot
be determined without combining blood tests with a urinalysis. Not only that, but I got a
copy of those blood tests, and besides a low platelet count, I can see no reason that the
vet came up with such a problem. In addition, the Abaxis "Comprehensive Profile" that I was billed for did not include ALB, ALP, ALT, AMY, BUN, CA, CRE, GLOB, GLU, K+, NA+, PHOS, TBIL, TP. According to the information I found using Dr. Hines' website, these tests should be on the Comprehensive Panel. It seems my vet's diagnosis was, at best, incomplete and, very likely, fiction. So I ask you, am I safe in taking all my vet's advice just because she touched my sick cat?

Now I am faced with either returning to the vet without any real knowledge of what to do
next, or finding someone who can give me advice on what questions I should be asking, what tests I should get for her, and what I should look for (not to mention getting a refund for tests that were not done).

I realize that Dr. Hines would be working with an incomplete picture without seeing the cat, but considering the fact that the local vet barely touched my cat and diagnosed her without all the proper information, how is this any different except that Dr. Hines has the time to consider the problem and doesn't cost me nearly as much?

You are hindering pet owner's ability to become knowledgeable, self-sufficient, and a c
ompetent advocate for their pets. If you care about animals, you will leave their care in the hands of those who love them and the advisers they freely choose. I am competent to care for my pet without the "protection" of the Veterinary Board.

Sincerely,
J.B.
Fossil, Oregon

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September 12, 2013
To: "vet.board@veterinary.texas.gov"
Subject: Long Distance Information

For many years I have trusted the advice given by Dr. Hines. Being in the military and
often stationed in various parts of the world his advice and concern for myself and my pets
has been a God send. Now the state of Texas wants to take my right for advice from a distance away from me.
My dogs and I are currently stationed in Japan. The VTF here could not treat my dog and sent him to a Japanese vet who speaks very little English. We think my dog may have contracted the Lepto virus even though he has never in 8 years missed a vaccination. I am in desperate need of Dr. Hines advice and support and your board has denied me that.
Because of this I may lose my dog and I have lost the genuine caring and concern of a dear and trusted friend..... Dr. Hines. Please include this email in Dr. Hines file.

Respectfully,
D.S.

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September 19, 2013

To: Texas Board Of Veterinary Medical Examiners

I was flabbergasted to read that you are barring Dr Hines from continuing to offer his
expertise on line. I am a pet owner who refers to him as a highly skilled professional
source of information. My cats see a vet on a regular basis, but sometimes you require
further information or explanations that cannot be taken in at an office visit. If someone
has the idea Dr Hines is taking business away from other veterinarians, then please take
note he is constantly stating the need to take your pet to its own vet where applicable.
In my own case, there is no question of skipping a vet visit and simply referring to an
online source.

I fail to see anything unlawful or harmful in offering this type of service. I can't help
believing there is something more at play here considering the questionable pet info sites
available on the Internet.

A.N.
Sent from my iPad

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November 10, 2013
To: The Texas State Board of Veterinay Medical Examiners

I am against the actions taken against Dr. Hines. Don't make him a steppingstone on the pathway
to your superiority. It all boils down to money for everyone EXCEPT Dr. Hines. Perhaps, if all
Veternarian's were forced to live up to Dr. Hines standards, instead of forcing him to live down
to theirs, the overall treatment of animals would be improved and everyone would make more money.
Please do not leave animal owners in the hands of self proclaimed experts giving secondhand
advice. Our pets are part of our family. We love them.

Sincerely,

J.& K. F.
Proud owners of two Boxer dogs

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December 19, 2013
to: vet.board:

I would like a copy of this placed into the file. As a nurse in the state of Florida and a dog owner for many years, I have
never seen such a comprehensive, complete, informative and accurate web site in my long life as the one Ronald Hines DVM has made. I am flabbergasted that you have the gall to try and shut this excellent web site down, including my ability to contact
Dr. Hines directly if needed, whether for a fee/donation or for free, my choice. His information is accurate, honest and to
the point without advertising or trying to sell anything. I thought to myself that I would pay good money for this advice as
I sat here reading and could not believe how excellent the information was. There is no better animal web site out there and
I have seen many of them. I was actually trying to contact him to tell him how good his web site was when I saw that the
Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners was attempting to keep him from having contact with concerned animal lovers.


I also agree that the digital age has arrived. We have human patients that we treat with the knowledge and advice of diagnostic
tests, including lab test results and experience, many times without the doctor actually seeing/touching the patient (such as
UTI's, CXR's). That is part of what Dr. Hines gives in his web site. If it is good enough for humans, why are you doing this
to animal lovers? There are many web sites out there for humans that give medical advice/information. If we give him information that we have, such as lab results, he can tell us what to expect and which questions to ask in the 15 minutes we get with our own vet (for a $100.00 fee of course). The information (not diagnosis) he gives is priceless. Please reconsider this motion and let Dr. Hines continue with his web site, including contacting him.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration,

D. F.
Orange City, FL

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January 1, 2014

to vet.board
Attention to Nicole Oria,

I am respectfully commenting on this boards actions to interfere with Dr Hines website, and his personal e-mail replies to individual's regarding their pet concerns. I am an RN, so I do have a knowledge base on which to judge the excellence of the information on his website. I recently discovered the wealth of information he provides, when I went to the Internet for a problem my dog is experiencing. The information I found there was comprehensive, informative, and spot-on. I am disappointed to learn of your actions to interfere with my right to information that improves my ability to make sound health decisions for my pets. Dr Hines takes the time
to thoroughly research and present information in a way that is easy to understand. His love for animals, as well as teaching their owners how to give them the best care currently available is very apparent. He is clear that this information in no way should interfere with or take the place of a veterinarians care. He even provides tips on selecting a compatible veterinarian with whom a pet owner would be confident.

Please reconsider you actions in this matter, and your response to this e-mail is appreciated. My e-mail address is
xxxxxr4@yahoo.com.

Sincerely,
S.M.

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