BOARD OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
10, No. 1 AUGUST 2000
A. Aycock, DVM, President ° George E.
Gowan, DVM, Vice-President ° Robert M.
Lofton, DVM, Secretary/Treasurer ° J.
Edwin Davis, DVM, Member ° Glenn R.
Walther, DVM, Member
The board office in presently conducting the renewal
of licenses for the 2000/2001 year. The renewal period runs from July 1
through September 30, 2000. Presently held licenses will be expired
after September 30, 2000 and should be renewed prior to the September
30, 2000 expiration date deadline. Any person who willfully or by
neglect fails to renew his/her Louisiana license and who practices
veterinary medicine in the state of Louisiana after the expiration of
his/her Louisiana license shall be guilty of practicing veterinary
medicine in violation of the Louisiana Veterinary Practice Act. Renewal
packets were mailed by the board office to those licensees holding
active and inactive current licenses the last week of June, 2000. If you
have not received a renewal packet, please contact the board office at
(225)342-2176 or by email at email@example.com
to request a duplicate renewal packet.
A complete renewal packet must be received in the
board office postmarked no later than the September 30, 2000 expiration
date deadline. Those renewals received postmarked after September 30,
2000 must include the $125 late renewal fee to be considered complete.
Those renewals received postmarked after the deadline without the
renewal late fee will be returned to the licensee as incomplete for
payment of the late renewal fee. A complete renewal packet consists of
an original, complete, and signed renewal form, the appropriate renewal
fee for the license status chosen (and late fees if applicable), and
acceptable proof of no less than 16 hours of approved continuing
Continuing education for renewal of licenses must be
taken between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000. CE taken prior to July 1,
1999 will not be accepted. CE taken after the June 30, 2000 CE deadline
must include the $25 late CE fee. Per the Board's CE Policy Statement,
acceptable proof of CE attendance must be an attendance certificate as
provided by the sponsoring organization and must consist of the
following information for verification by board office personnel:
1. name of the conference/program - this should show
as evidence of the topic covered at the program;
2. date the program was held;
3. the actual hours you personally attended *; and
4. your name - if the attendance certificate requires you to complete
or sign your name as participant, please make sure to print or sign
your name legibly. Also, if you are the representative for a
sponsoring organization (i.e. local association), please remember that
you must have another official of the organization sign (or co-sign)
your copy of the attendance certificate. You may not sign for your own
* For large, multi-day/multi-subject,
conferences/programs, evidence of the actually programs (topics) you
attended must be provided along with any attendance certificate provided
by the sponsor. This evidence of personal attendance can be in the form
of a "Record of Personal Attendance" log form provided by the
sponsor. If no personal attendance log sheet is provided by the sponsor,
the board office can provide you with a general log sheet or you can
make a copy of the conference/program agenda/schedule/itinerary and mark
off the actual programs you attended to be attached to the certificate
of attendance from the sponsor.
Please remember that board office personnel must be able to verify CE
for the appropriate individual, in the required time frame, on an
acceptable topic, and for the total required hours.
Over the Internet
The Board received an inquiry from a DVM licensed in
California addressing the issue of consultations via the Internet. The
DVM's specific questions were (1) what the Louisiana Board's policy is
regarding clients in (residents of) Louisiana contacting the DVM's
website for information, and (2) would this DVM have to have a license
to practice in Louisiana.
After review and discussion, the Board concluded as
response that pursuant to the Louisiana Veterinary Practice Act,
particularly, LSA R.S. 37:1513(4)(a), the practice of veterinary
medicine means "to diagnose, treat, correct, change, relieve, or
prevent animal disease, deformity, defect, injury or other physical or
mental conditions; ...or to render advice or recommendation with regard
to any of the above." Section 1514 of the Practice Act also states
that "no person shall practice veterinary medicine in the state who
is not a licensed veterinarian or the holder of a valid temporary permit
issued by the Board. This section should not be construed to prohibit:
...(4) a veterinarian regularly licensed in another state consulting
with a licensed veterinary in this state."
In Louisiana, it is necessary for a Louisiana licensed
veterinarian to establish a veterinarian- client- patient relationship (VCPR)
in order to practice veterinary medicine. Board rule 700 states that
VCPR exists when:
1. "The veterinarian has assumed the
responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health of
the animal(s) and the need for medical treatment, and
2. The client (duly or authorized agent) has agreed to follow the
instructions of the veterinarian, and
3. The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal(s) to
initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis; of the medical
condition of the animal(s). This means that:
A. the veterinarian or associate veterinarian has
recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and care
of the animal(s) by virtue of an examination of the animal(s) and/or
the animal's records, and /or by medically appropriate and timely
visits to the premises where the animal(s) are kept, or
B. the veterinarian has agreed to serve as a consultant to the
licensed, primary care veterinarian with whom the client and patient
has established a relationship which meets the criteria of paragraph
(a) above, and
C. the primary veterinarian is readily available for follow-up in
the event of adverse reactions of the failure of the regime of
Board rule 703 addresses consultants and provides for
"The term 'consulting' as used in R.S. 37:1514(4) does not include
any acts which constitute the practice of veterinary medicine as defined
in R.S. 37:1513(4)." and "The term 'consultant' as used in the
definition of veterinarian- client- patient relationship found in rule
700 may only be applied to a Louisiana licensed veterinarian. To perform
a consultation, the consult veterinarian must speak directly with the
patient's primary provider of veterinary care who must also be a
licensed veterinarian in Louisiana or in the patient's primary or most
recent state of residence."
Therefore, it was concluded as response that it is a
violation of Louisiana law for the California DVM to provided
consultation directly to a client (Louisiana resident) when the DVM has
not complied with Louisiana law regarding licensure and the
establishment of the veterinary- client- patient relationship. The
Board's opinion applies to all forms of communication including the
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Reproductive Ultrasonography for the
U. S. Dairy Industry
The Board received an inquiry addressing the issue of
reproductive ultrasonography in the dairy industry. The inquiry
specifically asked who can perform and charge for ultrasonography to
determine pregnancy and fetal sex in dairy and beef cattle; can a Ph.D.
and/or skilled non-veterinarian perform and charge for this
ultrasonography; and are there regulations regarding a non-veterinarian
teaching producers how to use ultrasound technology on their farms and
charging a fee for this service.
After review and discussion, the Board concluded as
response that the performance of ultrasonography falls within the scope
of the practice of veterinary medicine as defined in the Louisiana
Veterinary Practice Act, more particularly LSA R.S. 37:1513(4)(a), and
the Board's rules. Only a veterinarian licensed in Louisiana may perform
such a service, and charge a fee, after the establishment of the
veterinarian- client- patient relationship. Therefore, a Ph.D. and/or
skilled non-veterinarian may neither perform ultrasonography nor charge
for such procedure. This also applies to non-veterinarians teaching
procedures on their farms and charging a fee for such services.
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. . . an Everyday Skill"
By Michael Tomino, Board General Counsel
My position as General Counsel to the Board is rapidly
approaching the two (2) year anniversary date. My function as General
Counsel is somewhat multi-faceted in the legal services I provide.
Generally speaking, my function is to provide legal services to the
Board in the areas of general legal advice, recommendations to changes
in the Practice Act, assisting in the rulemaking procedure, preparing
Declaratory Statements, and participating in the
investigation/disciplinary process of those individuals who violate the
Practice Act and the Board's Rules.
It is the investigation arena which I would like to
address in this article. As set forth in the Board's Rules and as
required by State law, the Board is mandated to investigate complaints
it receives of allegations of wrongdoing by licensees and certificate
holders regulated by the Board. Upon receipt, the complaint is assigned
to an investigating Board member and me to obtain information regarding
the circumstance complained of. I have been involved in approximately
fifty (50) complaints in my first tow (2) years as General Counsel. The
vast majority of complaint are against veterinarians with a smaller
percentage involving certificate holders. An even smaller number of
complaints involve unlicensed individuals attempting to practice
Based upon my observation, it is my opinion that a
tremendous amount of the complaints against veterinarians can be
narrowed down to one basic cause. Such cause can be identified as a
"breakdown of communication" between the veterinarian and the
client. Perhaps the breakdown of communication is a symptom of the
current stresses and strains in the everyday practice and/or business of
veterinary medicine. In come instances it could be blamed on apathy or
the lack of an interest to make the effort to properly communicate.
In any event, I highly recommend, as the prosecuting
attorney for your Board, that you take the necessary time to properly
communicate with your clients. Such an effort on your part will not only
continue to foster the high esteem held for the veterinary profession as
a whole, but also narrow the chances of a complaint being filed against
you as a result of the absence of proper communication. After all, from
a business standpoint, as a practitioner you are a service company
providing regulated services to your clients for a fee.
I feel that it is inappropriate to state that
"the customer is always right," because when dealing with the
public you will not always be able to please a certain percentage of the
public based upon their expectations. However, while a client may not be
happy with the result of your services, it is far better from a
business, as well as legal, standpoint to maintain an open line of
communication with your client. You cannot guaranty a certain result,
however, you can insure proper and full communication.
To assist in accomplishing the goal of proper
communication, the Board will be promulgating in the very near future
Rules with regard to Surgery/Anesthesia Consent Forms and Euthanasia
Consent Forms. These proposed Rules will provide direction regarding
proper communication between the veterinarian and client.
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FROM THE REAL LIVES OF VETERINARIANS
Can a veterinarian refuse to euthanize an animal
upon the request of the owner if the veterinarian does not feel
justified doing the euthanasia procedure?
Pursuant to LSA R.S. 37:1513(4)(a) of the Louisiana
Veterinary Practice Act, the practice of veterinary medicine includes
the humane euthanasia of animals. Board rule 1009 relates that a
veterinarian, upon his own responsibility, must decide what employment
he will accept in his professional capacity and what course of
treatment he will follow once he has accepted employment. Board rule
1001 relates the Rules of Professional Conduct governing the practice
of veterinary medicine in Louisiana and includes the AVMA's Principles
of Veterinary Medical Ethics, including Principle V. Subsection A.
noting the choice of treatment or animal care should not be influenced
by considerations other than the needs of the patient, the welfare of
the client, and the safety of the public. Therefore, it is within a
veterinarian's professional discretion to refuse to euthanize an
animal that he does not feel is justified after considering the needs
of the patient, the welfare of the client, and the safety of the
(Note: The Board opinion presented above may require alteration with
changes in factual scenario or facts based on a given situation.)
What are the options regarding boarding abandoned
The Board suggests that veterinarians review the
Louisiana Abandoned Animals Act, LSA R.S. 3:2451 -2454. It is also
suggested that veterinarians contact private legal counsel or possibly
the District Attorney's Office in their parish with regards to a
veterinarian's rights and obligations concerning collection practices
and any other legal issues involving this matter.
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Welcome to Our
New Board Member
The members of the Louisiana Board of Veterinary
Medicine and board office staff would like to welcome a newcomer to the
Board, Dr. Glenn R. Walther. Dr. Walther was appointed to the Board to
serve a five year term from August 1, 2000 through July 31, 2005. We
extend our warmest welcome and best wishes for a productive term.
The Board will miss departing member, Dr. Dick C.
Walther, whose term with the Board expired as of July 31, 2000. Dr.
Walther has left a lasting impression with the Board over his four year
term. We all wish him the best.