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Veterinary Hospital Inspections
The mission of the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is to protect human and animal health and welfare. Toward that end, the Board inspects every
licensed veterinary hospital
at least once every two years, though most are done every 18 months, to ensure they all meet minimum standards of sanitation. Every hospital must pass the inspection to maintain a valid license. If problem areas are discovered during an inspection, the Board can levy civil penalties against the owners and order them to fix the problems. (Note: The Board does not inspect or have jurisdiction over private kennels or rescue organizations.)
What does an inspection cover?
An entire chapter in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) is dedicated to the many things our inspectors look at when they inspect a veterinary hospital. Below are the regulations and their COMAR section number for
Licensing and Minimum Sanitary Requirements for Veterinary Facilities
(Title 15, Subtitle 14, Chapter 03).
Licensing Requirement (15.14.03.01-1)
Registration and license Posting Requirements (15.14.03.01-2)
Animal Housing and Care (15.14.03.01-3)
Sanitation Practices (15.14.03.02)
Feeding and Watering of Animals (15.14.03.03)
Facilities, Equipment and Supplies for Animal Surgery and Post Surgical Care (15.14.03.04)
Construction Standards for Veterinary Facilities (15.14.03.05)
Storage Areas: Food and Bedding, Refuse Equipment (15.14.03.06)
Local Building Codes: Use and Business permits (15.14.03.07
See the complete chapter of the regulations in a word format.
About Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS)
Veterinarians are required to follow certain standards in the way they (1)
manage controlled dangerous substances
; and (3)
dispense federal legend or veterinary prescription drugs
. The permits required to dispense these medications are administered by the
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
which is also responsible for inspecting CDS logs at veterinary facilities. Board inspectors, however, also review the logs not only to help facilities keep accurate records but to help ensure that these drugs are not being abused or stolen by veterinarians, employees or clients. The Board can sanction hospitals for poor record keeping and refer a facility to DHMH for further audit. See
sample CDS logs
Disposing of Expired CDS
If your practice has expired drugs, don’t just flush them or bring them to public take-back days. You have to account for what you have and how you got rid of it. The best way to do that is to use a
registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Reverse distributors receive controlled substances acquired from another DEA registrant for the purpose of returning unwanted, unusable, or outdated controlled substances. These standards ensure the proper documentation and record keeping necessary to prevent diversion of such controlled substances for illegal purposes.
Assistant Director, Field Operations
Pegeen Morgan, Inspector
Ellen James, Inspector
Forms of Interest
Veterinary Hospital Inspection Sheet
- This is the sheet inspectors fill out and leave with hospitals after an inspection'
Prescription or Controlled Drug Violation Sheet
- This is the sheet inspectors leave with hospitals that have issues with the way they are managing their controlled substances.
Record of Controlled Substances Destroyed
(DEA Form 41) and
DEA Registered Reverse Distributors
Sample CDS Logs
for Veterinary Practices
Controlled Substances Paperwork Basics
Helpful Web Links:
International Veterinary Academy of Pain ManagementI on the
MDH Office of Controlled Substances Administration
DEA Diversion Control Division
Drug Disposal Information
Disposal of Controlled Substances by Registrants
A veterinarian may not administer expired medications or remove expiration dates from medications. All expired medications must be packaged and kept separate and apart from unexpired medications. Board inspectors check for expired drugs on every visit. A veterinarian and/or hospital can be sanctioned for not following these standards.
See the regulations
All veterinarians who are legally authorized to prescribe controlled dangerous substances (CDS) are
to register with the Maryland
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
by July 1, 2017.
related to the Maryland Veterinary Practice Act.
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401
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