(1) Support personnel shall work under the supervision of a veterinarian licensed and residing in Montana, who is responsible for the services performed by the support personnel. Support personnel shall not diagnose, initiate treatment, perform surgery, prescribe medicine, prognosticate or accept a direct fee for services rendered as support personnel. Support personnel may only administer anesthesia when the supervising veterinarian is physically present.
(2) The supervising veterinarian is responsible for determining the competency of the support personnel to perform animal health care tasks delegated to the support personnel. In addition, the supervising veterinarian shall be responsible for making all decisions relative to the diagnosis, treatment, management and future disposition of the animal patient.
(a) When the supervising veterinarian is on the premises, the veterinarian shall examine the animal patient before delegating any tasks to support personnel;
(b) When the supervising veterinarian is not on the premises, the veterinarian must instruct support personnel by radio or telephone as to the appropriate action to take. These instructions are to be recorded in writing by the support personnel in the animal patient's file and initialed and dated by the supervising veterinarian within 24 hours.
(3) A veterinary support person may, under the general authority and at the responsibility of his/her veterinary employer, render emergency care to a patient without direct authorization when it would appear that to delay treatment and care for the time necessary to send the animal to another practitioner would be life threatening. Such care may be rendered only after reasonable efforts have been made to contact the employing veterinarian or another veterinarian who could manage the case within allowable time constraints.