The concern in Texas is that while some teeth floaters do work under supervision of veterinarians, others do not.
Horse owners need to be able to have some accountability if something happens to their horse while under the care of a teeth
floater, Helmcamp contends.
"We currently, by rule, allow chiropractors operating under the indirect supervision of a veterinarian to perform (treatments)
on animals," he says. "Part of the safeguard is that there is supervision. And chiropractors are licensed by a different board.
With an unlicensed person, there is no board to provide that protection to the public," he says.
"Some people think they should be able to give animals injections ... or perform their own spays and neuters. It's a complicated
subject, and the only answer I can give you is you have to look at what the person wants to do to the animal" and look at
what the rules permit unlicensed persons to do, Helmcamp says.
The court's ruling and the proposed action by the veterinary board does not end the battle in Texas, Helmcamp says.
"It remains to be seen how this will ultimately play out. I think there's a place in veterinary medicine for persons who are
not licensed veterinarians, but I think that place needs to be in harmony and conjunction with the veterinarian."
The Institute for Justice may file another lawsuit to overturn the board's new rule if it is adopted at the March meeting,
and the legislature will likely take note of the issue this year.
"We'll just have to wait and see what might happen," Helmcamp says. "In meantime, the Texas legislature convenes a new session
this month, and there might be various bills introduced on both sides."
The Texas Veterinary Medical Association aims to back a bill to limit the practice of equine dentistry to qualified veterinarians
or those under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. But no bills have been introduced or pre-filed at press time.