News

Alta View Animal Hospital owner faces new state charges

Complaint alleges 86 violations, including inhumane treatment

Veterinarian Tejpaul Ghumman, who owns Alta View Animal Hospital in Mountain View, is facing the possible revocation of his license and the closure of his clinic by state regulators.

Ghumman was already on probation from the California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) due to disciplinary action taken against him in 2014. The board, which licenses and disciplines veterinarians, recently released a new complaint that alleges 86 violations of the law by Ghumman, involving nearly two dozen cases over almost 10 years.

Fourteen of these cases prompting disciplinary action occurred after Ghumman had already been placed on probation.

The action was filed on Jan. 19 by the state Attorney General, who handles serious disciplinary cases seeking the revocation of licenses on behalf of the VMB.

The 63-page complaint, called an "accusation," alleges that Ghumman and Alta View were negligent in their care of animals and engaged in unprofessional conduct that includes: failure to provide humane treatment; false advertising; acting as a pharmacy by compounding drugs; negligence and incompetence in administering medication; and numerous record-keeping violations. The details are spelled out as "causes for discipline" in 22 cases, including one in which a 13-year-old dog died and several others in which the complaint charges that puppies weren't given any pain medication during or after surgery.

Ghumman and his attorney did not respond to requests for comment by the Voice's press deadline.

One of the cases scrutinized by state regulators involved a 13-year-old dog named Lena that was brought to the clinic last March with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Among the violations alleged in the complaint were administering drugs at much higher than recommended doses and that hadn't been on the market for years or that were contraindicated, and performing unauthorized tests. One of the drugs, Metacam, was given at a dose eight to 16 times higher than recommended for a dog of Lena's weight, according to the complaint. The filing also states that Ghumman did not perform CPR when Lena's condition became critical, and that the dog died shortly thereafter.

The complaint noted that Ghumman's records showed scant details of a physical examination, diagnosis, treatment plan or a disposition for Lena.

It accused Ghumman of multiple counts of professional negligence, deception and unprofessional record-keeping related his treatment of Lena.

A pattern of similar professional lapses show up in the other 21 cases investigated by VMB and detailed in its complaint.

In nearly all the cases Ghumman is alleged to have failed to follow record-keeping standards, often neglecting to write out a diagnosis or give basic details from a physical exam. The accusation repeatedly alleged that he failed to specify details of the vaccinations or drugs he administered, or their quantities. In one instance, Ghumman failed to note the species of the animal he was treating, according to the complaint.

The accusations detailed in the filing show a pattern of alleged negligence in administering drugs. For example, cats were given antibiotics in dosages that exceeded recommended amounts, which risked causing blindness. Scheduling and dosage instructions for drugs were not followed, and Ghumman's records showed he compounded or mixed drugs himself, which he was not authorized to do, according to the complaint.

The VMB complaint alleges that on several occasions, Ghumman kept no record of giving animals pain medication before, during or after invasive medical procedures, which is required by law. These cases includes four instances when puppies from Copper's Dream animal rescue in Sunnyvale were spayed or neutered, with no record of any pain medication being given. In the filing, Ghumman is alleged to have provided inhumane treatment in eight different cases.

The complaint also points out the Alta View Animal Hospital was using forms and documents from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the accrediting body for U.S. veterinary clinics. But Alta View was not an AAHA member and was not accredited by the group, according to the vet board's allegations, leading to the charges of false advertising.

Some of the cases investigated were brought to the attention of the VMB through complaints filed by Alta View clients. Among them was the complaint filed by Irina Badea and Jim Frimmel, a Mountain View couple who spoke to the Voice last year and blamed Ghumman for the death of their dog, BooBoo. Eighteen other cases referenced in the complaint came about through a review by VMB officials of Alta View's records.

Badea said she felt vindicated to see that government officials were pursuing BooBoo's case, but that it was shocking to read so many other accounts of animals being harmed.

"As you read this, you can just feel the people are totally heartbroken," she said.

Ghumman's license was previously revoked by the Veterinary Medical Board in 2014, but in a settlement agreement, he was instead placed on probation for four years under certain conditions, including that he "obey all federal and state laws and regulations substantially related to the practice of veterinary medicine," according to the filing. According to the settlement agreement signed by Ghumman, he admitted to numerous violations, including to falsifying records.

The Jan. 19 complaint against Ghumman notes that the premises permit for Alta View expired on May 31, 2017, indicating that the facility is in violation for continuing to provide treatment past that date.

Ghumman and his attorneys have 30 days to respond to the allegations. After that, the case will be adjudicated by the 13-member Veterinary Medical Board. The charges could result in a $5,000 penalty for any of the violations alleged, according to the complaint. Ghumman could also be ordered to pay the cost of the investigation and enforcement.

Unless Ghumman and the Veterinary Board reach an agreement to settle the case, a hearing will be held before an Administrative Law Judge, who will then have 30 days to issue a proposed decision. This decision will go to the Veterinary Medical Board, which may accept, reject or modify it.

A defendant can appeal the decision by petitioning to have it be reconsidered, but the board has discretion to decide whether to grant the reconsideration.

Comments

18 people like this
Posted by cc-r
a resident of North Bayshore
on Feb 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Please take away his license....my cat died due to him not being fed for two weeks that I boarded him. I gave them a box with his blanket, favorite toy, two weeks of canned food and two weeks of dry food. When I returned, my cat was just bones, could not even stand up, he was so weak. Then they gave me the box...and everything I gave them to use was still in the box. They had not used anything I left.... Spent weeks trying syringe feeding, etc but my cat died in my arms. This place is hell for animals.


19 people like this
Posted by PLP
a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2018 at 4:56 pm

When I read the first story about Alta Vista and Dr. Ghumman, I was shocked but not surprised. I too had a terrible experience there with two cats, both of whom died. Then I was overcharged for procedures that never took place, immunizations that were never given, and a host of other questionable issues. I took my pets there because it was convenient, but now I go to Adobe Animal Hospital which may be expensive, but they are experienced, ethical, and loving. I am so sorry to hear about all of the others who suffered as a result, especially the pets we love and care for so much.


26 people like this
Posted by Elliot
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 8, 2018 at 5:08 pm

My family has taken our pets to Alta View Animal Hospital for over 20 years. They have always been gentle and caring. It seems like a campaign has been launched by disgruntled persons against the clinic. I hope they are fair to Dr Paul. He has treated my pets for many things including spleen tumor.


12 people like this
Posted by Carol
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 8, 2018 at 5:22 pm

How can you defend this practice when you see this testimony not just from clients but from the State!!!!


10 people like this
Posted by OldTimer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 8, 2018 at 5:53 pm

You can read more about Ghumman's disciplinary actions at the California State Veterinary Medical Board”s Disciplinary Actions page:

Web Link

It's shocking that he was even permitted to be on parole.
I urge pet owners to only use veterinarians who have graduated from an accredited veterinary school in the United States. The United States leads the world in quality veterinary education. Veterinary schools are accredited by the by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE).


13 people like this
Posted by SarahG
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 8, 2018 at 6:26 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


12 people like this
Posted by Jery
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Feb 8, 2018 at 6:54 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


19 people like this
Posted by LouraK
a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2018 at 8:11 pm

I honestly do not and will not believe any of these complaints against Dr. Paul. He has been my families 1 and only pet Dr. for over 20 years. He has ALWAYS treated my family and my pets with honesty, love and kindness. I believe that people just want to blame someone for their pets death and they have jumped on the bandwagon and are blaming Dr. Paul. The compassion he has shown me with 5 dogs, 7 cats, 3 hamsters, 3 rabbits has been phenomenal. I hope that Dr. Paul is treated fairly and allowed to continue to provide quality pet care for my pets and all others. People are all too quick to find fault and blame especially when they are grieving the love of their lost pet. It isn't Dr. Paul's fault, he is a good man and a top Dr!!


9 people like this
Posted by Concerned Resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Feb 8, 2018 at 8:45 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


16 people like this
Posted by TracyH
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 8, 2018 at 9:12 pm

We have been taking our dogs to Dr. Ghuman for 20 years and have always been treated with respect and compassion. When one of our dogs had a very difficult problem to diagnose, he only did the necessary tests before sending us to a specialist. He didn’t guess or order a lot of expensive tests so that he could run up the bill. I know losing a pet is awful, but Dr. Paul has always been kind and gentle to ours and we hope to continue using his clinic.


11 people like this
Posted by Trolls, Anyone?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Just like the last time a story on Tejpaul Ghumman was run by the Voice, we have a number of "people" coming on this discussion board and defending Ghumman.

Notice, though, that they seem to be following the same script, and using the same talking points.

Could it be that Ghumman his using a reputation-defending site to defend himself against this reporting?


10 people like this
Posted by Tracyh
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 8, 2018 at 9:59 pm

Tracyh is a registered user.

Hey Trolls, Anyone-
Yes I posted last time an article was written about Dr. Ghuman. What’s wrong with repeating my views a second time? Maybe you have something significant to add to the discussion ?


13 people like this
Posted by bturner85
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2018 at 10:09 pm

bturner85 is a registered user.

[Post removed due to plagiarism]


16 people like this
Posted by LouraK
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2018 at 11:22 am

LouraK is a registered user.

Why is it that some people are posting negative opinions under different names? Is it to taint Dr. Paul's reputation? Find someone else to pick on. Shame on you!

Dr. Paul is a respectful, honorable and compassionate man and veterinary physician. He has helped to add many years to my loving pets lives. He offers affordable rates and is incredibly trained as a veterinary physician and veterinary surgeon. He in fact is the only Dr. I truly trust with my pets healthcare. My family is very lucky to have him as our pets Dr. and I look forward to him taking care of my babies for many, many more years to come.


13 people like this
Posted by VV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 9, 2018 at 12:28 pm

VV is a registered user.

To Lourak's comment: Please note that users with multiple names (Jerry and SarahG) posted comments to help Dr. Ghumman, not to taint his.

Please speak the facts.

Veterinary Medical Board is respectful and unbiased.

They found alleges 86 violations against Dr. Ghummand which are based on facts and their expertise in their veterinary medical fields.



9 people like this
Posted by Irina B
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 9, 2018 at 9:44 pm

Irina B is a registered user.

My heart breaks for all the recent and past victims, the pets and owners who suffered from the actions of Dr. Ghumman and his staff.
To all the fakers out there: everyone can see through your comments here and your fake reviews on Yelp.
You fans of Ghumman: beware! Until he is shut down, it could happen to you and your pet. You’re lucky so far and blind to the real facts. Other local vets have known for a long time about their poor services and sloppy record-keeping. We know of a few who filed their own complaints or helped others do so.
Only a heartless, inhuman monster could operate on puppies and kittens without anaesthesia.
Thank God that truth and justice is prevailing.


10 people like this
Posted by Giacomo
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 9, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Giacomo is a registered user.

No one can deny how real and scary this situation is. I met and talked to many real victims who suffered greatly. One still grieves 20 years after losing his pet the same way as Van’s poor sweet Lena: taken away to be “prepared” with a fatal injection when the owner wanted to take their pet to another vet. Search “Alta View” on NextDoor for more.

My impression of Ghumman is that he is a lazy, careless screw-up who’s chasing money and is rather heartless. Sure, he’s personable and somehow fosters trust by owners. But that’s misleading and dangerous when you can’t do a proper job and violate owners’ trust. He’s gotten away with it because people did not complain until recently. If you have a problem, FILE A COMPLAINT at breeze.ca.gov. It’s never too late. Ghumman’s license:10812. Remember, ONLY YOU can speak for your pet!

It is very hard to know whether your pet’s treatment is good. PLEASE…. ask questions. Ask to see your records. Get a second opinion. I’ve done this multiple times. It builds confidence when the other vet confirms your first vet. It can also save you from a disaster!

Note that Dr. Sterns at Alta View participated in the cover-up. Asking patients to sign a non-disclosure to not complain to the Vet Board is a punishable offense.


9 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 10, 2018 at 8:32 am

Gary is a registered user.

The vets at Arroyo on El Camino in Sunnyvale actually like pets and do not charge at arm and a leg and a tail.


3 people like this
Posted by Bill Ogilvie
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 10, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Bill Ogilvie is a registered user.

This is very disturbing to hear. No animal in the care of a vet. Should suffer in the way described. If this is true the facility should close. I used to bring my dog there for boarding and treatment. Most of the time the service was ok. One time when I complained Dr. Grumman snapped at me saying if I didn't like the service I should go elsewhere. I always had to wait over half an hour when picking my dog up from boarding. They would give him a complete shampoo, etc. I asked them to not do that and to bring him to me right away, but they never did. My impression was they were understaffed and maybe had staff that was untrained. I found alternate boarding and stopped going there for Vet. service almost 10 years ago. It sounds like something went wrong there.


13 people like this
Posted by jlynch
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 11, 2018 at 8:23 am

jlynch is a registered user.

These allegations are alarming, however I do want to come out in support of Dr. Ghumman. He had helped save my lab when I couldn't afford treatment at neighboring vets. He worked with me and was respectful and quick to respond. Although wait times were alarming, I can see why he is a busy man. Treating a pet should not cost me an arm and leg, and I felt that you get what you pay for here, the treatment- quick and easy. I hope the clinic stays in business as I cannot afford any of the neighboring vets.


8 people like this
Posted by sc1212
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 11, 2018 at 8:29 am

sc1212 is a registered user.

Lol MV Voice trolling this clinic hard. Defamation lawsuit anyone?


7 people like this
Posted by VV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 11, 2018 at 8:58 pm

VV is a registered user.

To jlynch's commnet: I used to bring my dog to Dr. Ghumman's clinic because there was no wait time when I made an appointment and was able to take my dog there within minutes.

To sc1212's comment: How dare of you to propose legal threats. I will file a petition to verify for all of the users who posted their comments here. I am sure there are fakers out there who help to defend Dr. Ghumman.

I don't believe there is a blind person to these real 86 violations found by Veterinary Medical Board, but fakers out there. I can see the script has changed from "N number of years taking my dog to respective Vet Bla Bla Bla .." to "I can't afford other clinic.. He is busy..."


7 people like this
Posted by Giacomo
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 12, 2018 at 8:19 am

Giacomo is a registered user.

Anyone who wants to can just read on the Vet Board site. See the reference in the article. It is truly shocking and horrifying. I wonder... if you didn't bother to take care of a of a dog or cat in a boarding place, didn't clean the cage and didn't feed them, then you would need to quickly clean the dog poop and pee off to hide your negligence. I don't know if that's what happened, but they did do it to one pet, according to the FIRST COMMENT on this article.
Also, go look at the photo of ghumman's handiwork - the stitches - on Yelp. The front page of the DCA complaint referenced here is also posted as a photo on Yelp. Several government agencies, the Attorney General, and consulting independent veterinary experts contributed to the case against him.


3 people like this
Posted by That MV guy
a resident of Jackson Park
on Feb 13, 2018 at 10:47 am

That MV guy is a registered user.

I took my dog to him in 2012 with a tooth infection and some swelling. His bloated estimate was over $700, including a $100 teeth cleaning! I asked him if he could just prescribe an antibiotic, since I had gone through the same ordeal personally, and the antibiotic pills my doctor prescribed for me worked just fine. With a disgusted look he said "give me a minute" and walked away, instructing me to go back out to the lobby. Several minutes later an assistant came out with a bottle of pills and a new estimate of $170, which I gladly paid. 2 weeks later my dog was fine and never had another similar issue for rest of her years. I know his lease cost for the building must be astronomical these days, but I certain can't be expected to pay it for him.


4 people like this
Posted by LouraK
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2018 at 11:21 am

LouraK is a registered user.

Dear That MV guy,

Just want to let you know that Dr. Paul's prices are VERY reasonable for the area we live in. Try doing dental cleaning at Adobe and see what it costs. Estimates are hard to give according to them but the prices start at $1,1100 to $1,200 and extra charges for extractions. Dr. Paul's price ~$300. Just saying!


3 people like this
Posted by VV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2018 at 10:32 pm

VV is a registered user.

To MV guy's and Lourak's comments: You compare apple and orange on dental services between Alta View and Adobe Animal Hospital. I have this experiences with both hospitals:

Alta View Animal: I don't really know what was going with my dogs' teeth after the service? It just "looks good" because it is white and shine. No medical document on my dogs' mouth and teeth.


Adobe: There are X-RAY of full mouth, individual teeth with dental problems and before and after service. The medical record clearly documents the procedure with gum recession, fracture tooth, Pulp exposure, ultrasonic cleaning both above and below the gum line ... just to name a few..
More importantly, Dr. Denise Johnsen at Adobe is loving and compassionate about animals. I trust her completely with my dogs.

"YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR" or worst yet "TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!"

I would not go back to Alta View Animal Hospital, even if getting free service. Dr. Ghumman is dangerous with these poor animals who are helpless and can't defend themselves at his clinic. Please read VMB cases regarding his operation on puppies and kittens without anesthesia.


3 people like this
Posted by VV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 15, 2018 at 12:43 am

VV is a registered user.

Oh. I forgot to mention that Tanya's dog die while having his teeth cleaning at Alta View Animal Hospital (information from Yelp's review.)

My dog, Lena also died at Alta View Hospital. Please read Yelp's review of her heartbreaking story. I regret for the rest of my life for not checking Dr. Ghumman's backgrounds, nor reading Yelp's reviews about his clinic, prior taking Lena there.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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