Equine Dental Technicians and other paraprofessionals

Equine Dental Technicians

A wide variety of people perform equine dental procedures, qualified Equine Dental Technicians, Veterinary Surgeons and some inexperienced people who have had minimal training, but nevertheless perform very advanced dental procedures.

Under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, only qualified Veterinary Surgeons, registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) are permitted to carry out procedures that interfere with the sensitive tissue or bone structure of an animal. This has implications for other equine professionals, such as dentists and physiotherapists, as they must not carry out any invasive procedures and they must be aware of when treatment for a particular problem should be handed onto a vet.

There is tight control over procedures that equine dental technicians may perform. The list in full can be accessed here. In summary Category 1 procedures can be performed by everyone including unqualified dental technicians; Category 2 procedures may only be performed by qualified dental technicians and vets; Category 3 procedures can only be performed by veterinary surgeons. 

It is strongly recommended to only use dental technicians who are members of the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians (BAEDT) or category 2 members of the World Wide Association of Equine Dentists (WWAED) as these technicians have undergone approved examinations to attain their qualifications. Both societies encourage their members to keep up to date; those that don’t will often be removed from their societies membership. As a result, there may be some dental technicians who have passed the above examinations but do not appear on the list. 

MUSCULOSKELETAL ALLIED PROFESSIONALS

There are a myriad of different organisations and individuals offering musculoskeletal (MSK) therapies for horses, which causes much confusion amongst horse-owners and veterinary surgeons alike. 

There is currently no legal requirement for a musculoskeletal therapist to be regulated in the UK.  The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (VSA) stipulates that only vets are allowed to diagnose an injury and give advice based on the diagnosis. Therefore, under current legislation, a vet should examine the equine, make a diagnosis and decide on a course of action, before any form of therapy is administered. If the proposed therapy is a “physical therapy” it may be administered by any musculoskeletal therapist (regulated or not).  

It is common for musculoskeletal therapists to provide maintenance physiotherapy without veterinary direction. The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) considers this to be appropriate so long as the therapist is sufficiently well trained to recognise when veterinary intervention is required and sufficiently regulated to protect owner and horse.

It is important to ensure that the therapist you want to use is registered, insured by their governing body and that they will work in conjunction with your vet where required.

The Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP) Register was created to bring together practitioners who work only within their scope of practice and have demonstrated a professional level of education and / or clinical experience.

Further details can be found here

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