Colorado veterinary board defines DVM supervision; clarifies animal massage therapy requirements


Denver - New state rules in Colorado place veterinary students under the direct supervision of licensed veterinarians.

DENVER — New state rules in Colorado put veterinary students under the direct supervision of licensed veterinarians.

The status change was one of several for Colorado's Board of Veterinary Medicine that were signed into law and became effective on July 1.

"Direct supervision" now requires that a licensed veterinarian be readily available on the premises where a patient is being treated, and "immediate supervision" requires that the licensed veterinarian and the person being supervised are in direct contact with the patient.

Veterinarians may also be disciplined for several new actions, including failure to notify the board of an address change within 30 days, failure to respond to a complaint and failure to properly supervise a veterinary student or veterinary staff.

Additionally, any veterinarian whose license has been revoked must now wait at least two years before applying for a new license.

The new law allows non-veterinarians to perform animal massage, as long as they don't dispense drugs, perform surgery or make a diagnoses and have earned a degree or certificate in animal massage from an approved program.

The law allows veterinarians to dispense drugs to patients with whom they do not have a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship if another veterinarian does not have the drug in stock or cannot get access to it.

Rules for establishing veterinary professional service corporations are outlined in the law and so is a veterinarian peer-review health assistance program.

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