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RULE §573.16Alternate Therapies--Acupuncture

(a) Definition. For the purpose of this rule, acupuncture is:

  (1) the insertion of an acupuncture needle and the application of moxibustion to specific areas of a non-human animal's body to relieve the discomfort associated with painful disorders, to induce surgical anesthesia, and for therapeutic purposes; and

  (2) the administration of thermal or electrical treatments or the recommendation of dietary guidelines, energy flow exercise, or dietary or herbal supplements in conjunction with the treatment described by paragraph (1) of this subsection. Acupuncture in non-human animals is considered to be an alternate therapy in the practice of veterinary medicine.

(b) Use of Acupuncture in the treatment of animals. Only licensed veterinarians may use acupuncture in the care and medical treatment of animals. No veterinarian may allow a non-veterinarian employee or other agent to perform acupuncture in the treatment of an animal patient.

(c) Client Consent Required. Before acupuncture may be used in the treatment of an animal, the veterinarian must obtain a signed statement from the animal's owner or caretaker acknowledging that acupuncture is an alternate therapy in veterinary medicine and approving its use in the treatment of the animal. Before signing the statement, the veterinarian shall inform the client of the conventional treatments available and their probable ability to cure the problem. The statement shall become a permanent part of the patient's record.

(d) Standard Used in Determining Appropriate Use of Acupuncture. If the Board receives a complaint against a licensee about treatment involving the use of acupuncture, investigation of the complaint may include opinions from other licensees who use acupuncture in their treatment of animals. However, veterinarians who practice acupuncture shall exercise the same degree of humane care, skill, and diligence in treating patients as are ordinarily used in the same or similar circumstances by average members of the veterinary medical profession in good standing in the locality or community, or in similar locations or communities, in which they practice.

(e) Other Board Rules Not Preempted. Nothing in this rule shall remove or limit in any way the applicability of other rules of the Board as they apply to the practice of veterinary medicine.

Source Note: The provisions of this §573.16 adopted to be effective June 14, 2012, 37 TexReg 4229

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