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RULE §573.10Supervision of Non-Licensed Persons

(a) With appropriate supervision and after establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, a veterinarian may delegate veterinary care and treatment duties to non-veterinarian employees, or to the following independent contractors:

  (1) licensed equine dental providers, in accordance with §573.19 of this title (relating to Dentistry); or

  (2) individuals performing any form of musculoskeletal manipulation, including but not limited to animal chiropractic, in accordance with §573.14 of this title (relating to Alternate Therapies--Chiropractic and Other Forms of Musculoskeletal Manipulation).

(b) A veterinarian shall determine when general, direct, or immediate supervision of a non-veterinarian's actions is appropriate, except where such actions of the non-veterinarian may otherwise be prohibited by law. A veterinarian shall consider both the level of training and experience of the non-veterinarian when determining the level of supervision and duties of non-veterinarians.

(c) A veterinarian is subject to discipline if he or she improperly delegates care and/or treatment duties to a non-veterinarian, or fails to properly supervise the non-veterinarian performing delegated duties.

(d) A non-veterinarian shall not perform the following health care services:

  (1) surgery;

  (2) invasive dental procedures except as allowed for licensed equine dental providers under §573.19 of this title;

  (3) diagnosis and prognosis of animal diseases and/or conditions; or

  (4) prescribing drugs and appliances.

(e) Euthanasia may be performed by a non-veterinarian only under the immediate supervision of a veterinarian.

(f) A non-veterinarian may administer a rabies vaccine only under the direct supervision of a veterinarian, and only after the veterinarian has properly established a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

(g) The use of a veterinarian's signature stamp or electronic signature pad on an official health document by a non-veterinarian shall be authorized only under the direct supervision of the vaccinating veterinarian.

(h) When feasible, a veterinarian should delegate greater responsibility to a registered veterinary technician (RVT) registered by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association than to an unlicensed person that is not a RVT.

  (1) Under the direct or immediate supervision of a veterinarian, an RVT may:

    (A) suture to close existing surgical skin incisions and skin lacerations; and

    (B) induce anesthesia.

  (2) The procedures authorized to be performed by an RVT in paragraph (1) of this subsection may be performed by a non-RVT only under the immediate supervision of a veterinarian.

(i) Exception for Emergency Care. In an emergency situation where prompt treatment is essential for the prevention of death or alleviation of extreme suffering, a veterinarian may, after determining the nature of the emergency and the condition of the animal, issue treatment directions to a non-veterinarian by means of telephone, electronic mail or messaging, radio, or facsimile communication. The Board may take action against a veterinarian if, in the Board's sole discretion, the veterinarian uses this authorization to circumvent this rule. The veterinarian assumes full responsibility for such treatment. However, nothing in this rule requires a veterinarian to accept an animal treated under this rule as a patient under these circumstances.

(j) Exception for Care of Hospitalized Animals. A non-veterinarian may, in the absence of direct supervision, follow the oral or written treatment orders of a veterinarian who is caring for a hospitalized animal, so long as the veterinarian has examined the animal(s) and a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship exists.

Source Note: The provisions of this §573.10 adopted to be effective June 14, 2012, 37 TexReg 4229; amended to be effective December 25, 2012, 37 TexReg 9935; amended to be effective August 29, 2013, 38 TexReg 5486

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