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A closer look: how to vet your veterinarian

According to the Maine Veterinary Medical Association, the Pine Tree State has some strict licensing laws, on par with the rest of New England.

PORTLAND, Maine — There are two ways to become a licensed vet in the state of Maine.

You can apply for reciprocity -- that’s when you are licensed and credentialed in another state.

You can also apply for a new license, which is what people who are just coming out of veterinary school do. In order to do that, you have to show your vet school transcripts and have a clean record.

Vets must renew their license each year, which includes taking continuous education courses to keep current on veterinary practices.

Most of the time, you find your vet, and it's a match made in heaven. Sometimes though, you might be unhappy with the quality of your veterinary care.

If you’re looking to get your issues addressed, the Maine Veterinary Medical Association says to always approach your vet first, and try and resolve the issues together.

"I think going to your veterinarian first. If that’s not working, going to your administration, whether that be your hospital manager, the practice owner, which usually is a different person, or again -- if they’re owned by a company, whoever that administration would be," Dr. Domenico says. 

Now, if you think that the issue or complaint is particularly egregious -- we’re talking jeopardizing the health of animals, abuse, neglect, etc. -- then you reach out to the Maine Veterinary Board.

If you’re in the market for a vet, where should folks to go to find the best doctor for their pet?

In the digital age, we’re finding all of the best things -- from pizza to hair salons to doctors -- through the internet.

Dr. Domenico says to use social media to your advantage. 

Check out Google reviews, Yelp. Surf the internet for reviews of your prospective vet. More often than not, what you need to know is right there on the internet.

Say you want to check them out before you bring your pet in, to make sure they are the real deal. 

How could you go about this?

If you are interested in verifying any license -- from your barber to your doctor or your vet -- you can go the Maine Professional and Financial Regulations website and search your doc’s name. That search will also give you the status of that license, so if it's active, expired, suspended, etc.

If you have a complaint you'd like to make the Board of Veterinary Medicine aware of, you can find information here.

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