Louisiana board mandates direct supervision for laypersons performing alternative therapies

May 01, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

BATON ROUGE, LA. — The Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine is permitting laypersons to provide alternative therapies on animals under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.

The new rule, adopted Feb. 20, allows both alternative therapy and collaborative treatments on animals by a qualified layperson as long as it is performed under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian and with informed consent by the animal's owner.

The layperson must possess a license, registration or other certification from a Louisiana regulatory authority in the alternative therapy or collaborative therapy he or she is providing. The supervising veterinarian will be held accountable for proper diagnosis and treatment of the animal, including the work performed by the layperson, according to the board's new rule.

Alternative therapies covered under the rule may include, but are not limited to, ultrasonography, magnetic field therapy, holistic medicine, homeopathy, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy and laser therapy. Examples of areas in which collaborative treatment of companion animals may occur include ophthalmology, cardiology, neurology, radiology and oncology.

Other changes made by the veterinary board in Louisiana include prohibiting euthanasia by intracardiac injection on cats and dogs unless the animal is unconscious.