Texas attempts to shut veterinary practice

Posted Monday, Nov. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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A woman charged with illegally practicing veterinary medicine has been ordered by a Tarrant County judge to shut down her practice and to particularly stop performing dentistry on horses.

State District Judge Dana Womack issued a temporary restraining order last week against Dena Leann Corbin, who owns North Texas Equine Dentistry in Fort Worth, after the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners filed a complaint.

The complaint accuses Corbin, who is not licensed in Texas as a veterinarian or as an equine dentist, of continuing to practice veterinary medicine without a license after she injected a horse with drugs while working on its teeth.

The board of veterinary medical examiners wants the court to issue temporary and permanent injunctions, ordering Corbin to stop practicing equine dentistry, administering controlled substances and accepting compensation for the dental work.

The board is also asking the court to issue civil penalties of $1,000 per day for practicing medicine illegally and attorney’s fees.

A temporary injunction hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday.

A spokeswoman for the veterinary board did not return calls from the Star-Telegram seeking comment.

The Texas attorney general’s office, which is representing the veterinary board, is seeking to shut down Corbin’s operation.

Tom Kelley, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said, “As far as we know, the horse [involved in this case] was not injured.”

Corbin, however, said the restraining order against her is “fraudulent” and a “setup” by the veterinary board because she filed a lawsuit several years ago over its licensing practices.

To practice equine dentistry, a person must be a veterinarian or licensed and under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Corbin isn’t budging on her view on equine dentistry.

“Equine dentistry is not illegal. It is not veterinary medicine,” Corbin said.

Corbin said that she has not practiced equine dentistry since 2012 but that she helped a woman in July whose horse was having problems with its teeth.

Swollen gums

The request for the temporary restraining order alleges that on July 18, Corbin diagnosed a horse with swollen gums and incisor problems, sharp points and worn teeth. She anesthetized the animal with a mixture of drugs, according to the complaint.

She then “debrided the horses’ gums to remove swollen tissue and “floated” the horse’s teeth to make it easier to chew and to reduce pain, documents state.

The complaint describes how Corbin used a speculum, a hand tool and an electric tool to grind the teeth.

Asked by the Star-Telegram about the allegation that she used a mixture of drugs to anesthetize the animal, Corbin denied doing so.

“The horse was very relaxed. In my professional opinion, the owner sedated the horse before I got there,” Corbin said.

Previous incident

The July incident was not the first time Corbin has been accused of practicing veterinary medicine illegally, according to the veterinary board.

In 2010, she was charged in Wise County with illegally practicing medicine because she administered drugs to a horse, according to court documents.

In a pretrial agreement, Corbin admitted violating law and was ordered to pay $328 restitution and perform community service.

She was also placed on probation for one year and ordered not to administer any drugs to animals she did not own, documents state.

Kelley said Corbin sedated the horse and it was injured.

In 2011, Corbin signed an affidavit stating that she signed a “cease and desist order not to practice veterinary medicine.”

Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696 Twitter: @fwstliz

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