|(a) A veterinarian shall have a duty to a client to
suggest a referral to a specialist, or otherwise more qualified veterinarian,
in any case where the care and treatment of the animal is beyond the
veterinarian's capabilities. A veterinarian's decision on whether
to accept or continue care and treatment of an animal, which may require
expertise beyond the veterinarian's capabilities, shall be based on
the exercise of sound judgment within the prevailing standard of care
for a veterinarian faced with the same or similar circumstances.
(b) Complaints Regarding Failure to Make Proper Referral.
Board investigations of complaints alleging failure to properly make
referrals will include evaluation of the training and experience of
the veterinarian, the availability of a specialist or more qualified
veterinarian, the timeliness and adequacy of information provided
to the client regarding the possible need for a referral, the requests
of the client, and the likelihood that an adverse result could have
been prevented by a timely referral.