Local vet still practicing despite losing license

Updated: 02/11/2014 5:42 PM | Created: 02/11/2014 1:49 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The state has stripped an Albuquerque veterinarian of her license, but that hasn't stopped her.

The allegations will make any pet owner cringe.

Surgical sponges left in animals; dirty surgical tools; and just being cruel to pets.

Employees at VetStat were in disbelief when they heard the news about veterinarian Dr. Gretchen Chapman-Steininger.

According to the employees, Dr. Steininger had already operated on two animals Tuesday morning.

The Board of Veterinary Medicine for the state of New Mexico revoked Chapman-Steininger's license February 3rd.

According to documents from her disciplinary hearing, she was accused of leaving a surgical sponge in a dog's eye socket after surgery. That caused an infection that required several antibiotics.

In 2013, her vet tech accused her of using the same surgical instruments on four cats at the same time, and having no sterilization methods.

There are also allegations that the vet mistreated pets in her care. The vet tech says she saw her choke a dog that was misbehaving.

Steininger's mother, Fran Chapman, denies the license was revoked.

Chapman says they are seeking an appeal but the Executive Director of the Board of Veterinary Medicine says appeal or not, the license is revoked.

Chapman says employees who blew the whistle on her daughter, and the board's investigator, lied.

This is not the first time that dr. Steininger's veterinary practice has been questioned.

KOB eyewitness News 4 discovered that Dr. Gretchen Steininger's veterinary license was also suspended in Michigan more than once.

Officials there say she had used unsterile surgical instruments, hadn't changed gloves between surgeries, and reused surgical drapes.

Back in 2008, Dr. Steininger was under investigation in Albuquerque after a dog died in the city's spay and neuter van.

The Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department says an investigation revealed the dog had eaten rat poison before going to see the vet, and that Dr. Steininger couldn't do anything to save that dog.

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