Vet Injected Friends With Horse Tranquilliser Ketamine On Drug-Fuelled Weekend

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A veterinary surgeon in Coolup, Western Australia, has been struck off after admitting to injecting two friends with horse tranquiliser during a weekend bender.

Catherine McGuigan who worked at Murray Veterinary Services told a State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) she had taken a vial of ketamine with her on the weekend and used it to inject two of her friends and herself.

She had also given a friend diazepam, a powerful muscle relaxer, and told her it would help her sleep.
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The tribunal heard McGuigan went on the weekend with friends who she regularly took drugs with, including cocaine and ecstasy.

In October this year, the group stayed at a rented apartment in Wannanup, south of Perth, and were drinking and using cocaine when McGuigan retrieved the vial of ketamine from her car.

Ketamine is a prescription medication primarily used for induction and maintenance of anaesthesia.

It induces dissociative anaesthesia, a trance-like state providing pain relief, sedation, and amnesia, and is primarily used in horses and other large animals.

McGuigan asked her two friends how much they weighed so she could calculate the right dose before injecting them with the drug.
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"When acting in the lawful practise of her profession as a veterinary surgeon, the respondent was authorised to possess ketamine but was not authorised to administer or use ketamine on humans," the SAT said.

"The respondent was required to make a clinical record of its supply but she did not do so," the SAT said.

McGuigan told the couple to keep the drug use a secret or she could lose her job.

Ketamine is heavily governed by regulations, must be kept in a locked medicine cabinet and its use is closely monitored in detailed clinical records which are regularly reviewed.

McGuigan admitted to giving the same woman diazepam to help her sleep, and also gave herself Airway Gel, which is normally used to treat horses with respiratory problems.
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In findings published last week, the tribunal found Ms McGuigan's actions 'would reasonably be regarded as disgraceful or dishonourable by registered veterinary surgeons of good repute and competency'.

It was noted the vet admitted she was at fault, was remorseful and has accepted responsibility for her actions.

"The respondent misused, or improperly used, the authority granted to her ... as a registered veterinary surgeon," the SAT said.

"As a veterinary surgeon, she was only authorised to administer, supply or use ketamine, diazepam and clenbuterol hydrochloride for the treatment of an animal."

Mcguigan was fined $1,000, plus $3,000 in costs, and was removed from the register of veterinary surgeons in WA.

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