A veterinarian was reprimanded yesterday for poor communication with staff and clients, and ordered to attend a client management course, after he was found guilty of one count of professional misconduct by the Veterinary Surgeons Board. Veterinary surgeon Ivan Leung Yau-kwan had been the subject of a complaint by Wong Shan-shan, who alleged misconduct resulted in the death of her chinchilla, 'BB'. The chinchilla died in November 2004, less than a week after it was sterilised at Dr Leung's clinic. The board heard that Ms Wong tried to contact Dr Leung for advice when the chinchilla would not eat following the surgery, but the lay employee who answered the phone told her the chinchilla would resume eating within a few days, and did not refer the call to the vet. A few days later, Ms Wong took her pet to another vet, who said it was unable to eat because of a medical collar put in place after the surgery. Despite the late intervention, the chinchilla died. Ms Wong then lodged a complaint against Dr Leung, alleging that he allowed lay staff to offer medical advice, failed to offer proper medical treatment in person, and sold expired probiotic sachets to her in November 2004. The board found Dr Leung guilty of the first charge, but the rest of the charges were not sustained. Dr Leung, who did not submit any evidence or seek legal help in his defence, said he regretted the board had found him guilty. Delivering its ruling, the board said the case 'demonstrates a total communication breakdown between yourself and clients'. It issued a warning to Dr Leung and ordered that he participate in a client management course recognised by the board. If he fails to comply, the case will be reviewed.