Repeal Veterinary Supervision Requirements For certified Holistic Practitioners

Repeal Veterinary Supervision Requirements For certified Holistic Practitioners

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Suzanne OBrien started this petition to The Texas Veterinary Medical Board the Texas Legislative Council

HELP ME CHANGE THE LAWS!  ‘MY STORY: I found roadblocks as a pet parent when trying to help my Doberman with spinal trauma who could barely stand. My veterinarian didn’t understand how or why animal chiropractic, water or massage therapy and acupressure would help. As a holistic animal therapist, after helping so many with arthritis, IVDD, DM, TPLO post surgery recovery and aiding sudden paraplegia due to spinal/neurological trauma regain mobility, the saddest case was a dog who’d been recently hit by a car. Nothing was broken, no internal bleeding. The pet parent wanted acupressure and cold light therapy. I attempted to partner with his veterinarian as asked and his veterinarian refused to participate in any holistic modalities. The dog was made to suffer while the pet parent spun on his heels begging for help. PEMF, reiki energy, PBM and  Craniosacral would have really helped this dog. All because we are submitting forms that appear to hold the veterinarians responsible for another practitioners work. This can be even more alarming to many veterinarians who don’t understand the scope of these therapies, leaving companion animals in pain and their people stressed with euthanasia a very real outcome when we close the doors to these effective, non-invasive complimentary healing options.’

Did you know that in Texas, even though your animal is viewed as property, you cannot directly seek treatment from an animal chiropractor or get water therapy? And many veterinarians are confused and opposed to bodywork as well. The current laws are vague providing direct access to animal massage therapy.  Doctors of Chiropractic are certified in Animal Chiropractic and licensed to practice. There are certification processes for pet rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, including water therapy and massage where there is training and certification for various modalities of bodywork. As an animal massage therapist, I do NOT make veterinary medical diagnoses or veterinary medical recommendations. I do refer clients and their animals to veterinarians on a routine basis for non-massage related concerns. I have animal malpractice/liability insurance.
Veterinarians aren’t trained in animal massage in Veterinary school. Additionally, most clinics are too busy to support this adjunctive therapy.  While a person may schedule water therapy or a massage or schedule a chiropractic appointment for themselves, without the need to gain written approval by a primary care physician, in Texas, pet parents are not allowed to seek these therapies - water therapy, chiropractic or massage - unless a vet (in writing) says it’s okay first.
This rule was put in place to theoretically protect the animal from harm (by having a vet rule out contraindications to care), but it is actually having the opposite effect as many owners don’t want to pay an office fee just to have their supervisory referral signed. Some owners may forego their veterinarian and instead choose to take their pet elsewhere to receive ‘treatments’ from those that may not be properly trained and certified. In other cases the animal companion simply suffers in pain without getting the proper therapy. This law also sours the budding relationship between veterinarians and holistic animal wellness providers, as many veterinarians do not want to assume liability for a service (or a person) they may have little knowledge about.
I am 100% in support of regulation of qualified animal wellness  providers in the effort to provide veterinarians, animal guardians, and their pets the best options in quality integrative care.
((Please note:)) there are not enough veterinarians certified in chiropractic to handle the demand for chiropractic care. The same is true for massage and water therapy. In DFW alone, with a populous exceeding 3 million residents, there are less than 30 qualified animal chiropractic providers and far fewer massage and water therapists. I would hope vets and holistic wellness practitioners could work together harmoniously to fill this void. I would love to see the Texas Veterinary Medical Board take a leading role in this harmonious relationship, for the benefit of animals and animal owners throughout the state of Texas.
I agree the Board should have regulations in place which are in the interest of animal welfare but I also believe animal owners should have the opportunity to hire qualified professionals for their animals and not be hindered in these efforts. We can work together to change the current regulations to protect animal welfare better by promoting the expansion of integrative animal healthcare options for the animal-owning public.

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