What Is Sid Miller's Position On Equine Dentistry- An Email Exchange Between Miller (Tx House District 59) and Dr Mike Jones of Glen RoseSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

Teeth Floating

What Is Sid Miller's Position On Equine Dentistry- An Email Exchange Between Miller (Tx House District 59) and Dr Mike Jones of Glen Rose

29 October 2010 at 3:59:42 PM

Sent from Dr Mike Jones

UPDATE: Court victory for horse teeth floaters- Nov , 2010.


An email transcript from Michael Jones, DVM, forwarded to Sid Miller, Texas representative. This concerns Rep. Miller’s support of “equine dentists”, a group of non-licensed individuals practicing dentistry in horses in violation of the Texas statutes regarding the practice of veterinary medicine.

From: Michael Jones forwarded to Sid Miller:

While Sid Miller is a republican, and running unopposed, he is not a friend of the veterinary profession in any form or fashion. He advocates the degradation of our veterinary practice act, the laws that regulates our profession, to allow non-professionals to perform veterinary procedures for fees in the private sector. If you want more info, I can get it to you or talk. He would allow individuals to perform oral surgery essentially on horses, with prescription sedatives/anesthesia, without the input of a veterinarian. Veterinarians are graduating from 8 years of college these days, with over $125,000 in debt, and THIS representative wants to take that part of our profession and let someone with six weeks of charm school play doctor on livestock. So wrong. I hope someone gets funded enough to run against him.

Sid gets a visceral response from the veterinary community as much as if he were okay as a republican but was okay with abortion. Not on my ticket.

I’ll not support him ever again.

Michael Jones, DVM
1404 E Big Bend Trail
Glen Rose, Texas 76043


From Representative Sid Miller:

much if not all of the email is false
I am not running unopposed my opponent is Will Bratton
I don't support non veterinarians doing oral surgery, never have
I don't support non veterians giving sedatives with out the supervision of a veterinarian
I do support the practice of non invasive teeth floating by professional teeth floaters, which has been the practice for over a 100 years.  Only recently has the vet board started going after these guys.  Teeth floating is much less invasive than castration or dehorning which any one can do.  This all about getting a cut of the money by the vets.  Very few vets do teeth floating and most are not trained in it as it is not mandatory to their degree.  We have a serious shorage of large animal vets and the vets don't want to stop the teeth floaters and do it their self, they just want it to be done in their clinic so the can collect part of the fee. Thanks for allowing me to set the record straight.  By the way I have numerous vets that support and contribute to my campaign.
Your Servant,
Sid Miller

My mistake on stating he was unopposed. Everything else I stand by. His words in public contrast with his actions. He was recently at a hearing in Austin specifically about the equine dental issue where his remarks were heard by no less than 30 veterinarians present to voice their adamant opposition to this proposal. “Much if not all of my email” being false is a truly from a politician’s perspective. In referring to “Equine Dentists”, it also maligns the definition of dentistry.


much if not all of the email is false
>1. I am not running unopposed my opponent is Will Bratton

Sorry for the mistake on my part. Winning as a republican in this district is so easy I didn’t realize ever that you had opposition.

>2. I don't support non veterinarians doing oral surgery, never have

“Rep Miller has probably never stated in public that he supports anything except “teeth floating” or filing of the teeth.” (Quote from another veterinarian.) This is where his words and actions don’t correlate. Representative Miller probably never has stated that.

By virtue of the fact that you support “equine dentists” for floating, AND having stating in public that you personally use them, and are promoting a bill to allow dentistry by these individuals, you are also supporting the acts which they are performing illegally in Texas. You advocate their position while turning a blind eye to the common knowledge they are using prescription sedatives rampantly and going above and beyond the mild “filing” of the teeth. The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is tasked specifically to follow the rules of the state and pursue anyone not following these rules. They are not the veterinarian’s lobby group, however, they are an agency of the State. Texas law specifically defines the practice of human medicine, human dentistry, and veterinary medicine. A clip from the Texas statute is below. This defines a veterinarian, the practice of veterinary medicine, and even addresses dentistry. Even the mild form of filing known as “floating” falls into this definition and is illegal in the State of Texas.

§801.001. SHORT TITLE.

This chapter may be cited as the Veterinary Licensing Act.

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

§801.002. DEFINITIONS.

In this chapter:

(1) "Board" means the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

(2) "Compensation" includes a fee, monetary reward, discount, or emolument, whether received directly or


(3) "Direct supervision" means supervision of a person by a responsible veterinarian who is physically present on

the premises.

(4) "General supervision" means supervision of a person by a responsible veterinarian who is readily available to

communicate with the person.

(5) "Practice of veterinary medicine" means:

(A) the diagnosis, treatment, correction, change, manipulation, relief, or prevention of animal disease,

deformity, defect, injury, or other physical condition, including the prescription or administration of a drug,

biologic, anesthetic, apparatus, or other therapeutic or diagnostic substance or technique;

(B) the representation of an ability and willingness to perform an act listed in Paragraph (A);

(C) the use of a title, a word, or letters to induce the belief that a person is legally authorized and qualified to

perform an act listed in Paragraph (A); or

(D) the receipt of compensation for performing an act listed in Paragraph (A).

(6) "Veterinarian" means a person licensed by the board under this chapter to practice veterinary medicine.

(7) "Veterinary medicine"includes veterinary surgery, reproduction and obstetrics, dentistry, ophthalmology,

dermatology, cardiology, and any other discipline or specialty of veterinary medicine.


“Equine Dentists” They are people who have "graduated", a very loose term in this context, from schools similar to the Texas Institute of Equine Dentistry,
http://www.equinedentistryschool.com/  For between $6,000.00 and $10,000.00, "graduates" can exit their six week course and assume the role of an equine dentist.  Of course, these people have little if any real knowledge, but they can fool the public, which they are doing daily, arriving at farms and ranches with "Equine Dentist" emblazoned across their trucks and enough dental terms and instruments to mislead and victimize the unwary.



Rep Miller
>3. I don't support non veterians giving sedatives with out the supervision of a veterinarian.


“Rep Miller has never stated in public he wants non-veterinarians to sedate horses” quote from another vet.

Good equine dental work requires sedation, therefore the sedation and the dentistry must be under the supervision of a veterinarian by law. The use of power tools in dentistry requires sedation to be safe for both operator and the horse. As this procedure is being  taught to the non-licensed “equine dentists”, and is promoted in their classrooms and websites, obviously this is one of their techniques they are using on regular basis without supervision. The non-licensed “equine dentists” are performing aggressive dentistry, and using tranquilizers. You can’t have it both ways, where you don’t support them giving sedatives without supervision, and then accusing the veterinary community of wanting a “cut” for the supervision and administering the sedative.

I don’t support illegal aliens working in this state or country. They’re here illegally, and it’s ILLEGAL for me to hire them. Restating, you have personally hired people who are illegally practicing veterinary medicine in the State of Texas as defined by Texas laws, and are an advocate of their cause. They acquire drugs, and use them frequently in their horses. You do support them, and if you’re just turning a blind eye to their rampant use of sedatives, then you’re misleading more than just the public.

The mass dispensing of sedatives by veterinarians to non-veterinarians is also a problem. It’s illegal to provide a bottle of sedative to an individual to use on any animal he desires other than the specific animal for which it was prescribed. There is no “herd” prescription for a tranquilizer. That’s a problem in our profession just like overdispensing or diversion of drugs is a problem in the human field. Any veterinarian who has sold a bottle of tranquilizer to an individual for his “horses” has violated prescription rules.

>4. I do support the practice of non invasive teeth floating by professional teeth floaters, which has been the practice for over a 100 years.  Only recently has the vet board started going after these guys. 

Re: Something that you swore to uphold: The Laws of Texas. Dentistry, on animals, is strictly covered by the practice act and is defined as part of the Veterinary Practice Act. The practice act was adopted over 80 years ago. Only recently did a “dental school” open up in Texas.  If you want to change the law, that is your prerogative. However, financially supporting and contributing to the illegal practice of veterinary medicine is wrong. It would be akin to advocating illegal aliens to have the right to work in Texas, and so as an employer you just ignore the law and hire them anyway. Very “not acceptable” for an elected official.

Before we had human dentists, and the Dentistry laws in Texas, for over a 100 years ago, barbers did the dentistry. Is that what you’re advocating by rolling back the clock 100 years to accommodate the equine “dentists”? Veterinarians first became licensed in the state of Texas nearly 100 years ago, and that is how our entire industry is regulated and is supposed to follow the laws of the state. 

Many years ago, it was still legal to buy R-12 refrigerant and an adapter to recharge your air conditioning system. Anybody could do it. But our progress and recognition of the effects on the environment mandates only licensed refrigeration individuals to even acquire R-12. They not only have to have a license, but also expensive refrigerant scavenging systems to avoid discharge of refrigerant into the Texas air. It’s not legal to do it any other way, regardless of your background, and regardless of whether it was a practice 30 years ago or 100 years ago.

Representative Miller, prostitution flourished in Galveston from 1870-1910, also “a practice of over 100 years”. It’s never been really legal in Texas either but certainly has been supported well for centuries, or even ignored by politicians. We have laws against that and veterinary dentistry, and we should have government representatives that advocate the enforcement of the laws.


>Teeth floating is much less invasive than castration or dehorning which any one can do.

Anyone can do it, but only on their OWN livestock. Again a reference to Texas Statute. This great state also recognized the agricultural needs of ranchers by allowing certain veterinary procedures such as castration and dehorning to be performed by the rancher owner and his employees/caretakers. This provision does not give the right to an individual to perform these tasks for anyone else for hire. Our agricultural programs at 4H, FFA, and colleges teach much of this standard husbandry. This is still the practice of veterinary medicine but allows you to work on your own livestock within the statutes.



This chapter does not apply to:

(1) the treatment or care of an animal in any manner by the owner of the animal, an employee of the owner, or a

designated caretaker of the animal, unless the ownership, employment, or designation is established with the intent

to violate this chapter;

(2) a person who performs an act prescribed by the board as an accepted livestock management practice,


(A) castrating a male animal raised for human consumption;

(B) docking or earmarking an animal raised for human consumption;

(C) dehorning cattle;

(D) aiding in the nonsurgical birth process of a large animal, as defined by board rule;

(E) treating an animal for disease prevention with a nonprescription medicine or vaccine;

(F) branding or identifying an animal in any manner;

(G) artificially inseminating an animal, including training, inseminating, and compensating for services related

to artificial insemination; and

>This all about getting a cut of the money by the vets.  Very few vets do teeth floating and most are not trained in it as it is not mandatory to their degree.

Large animal horse vets, who have devoted themselves to the horse industry, perform true equine dentistry. In fact, they do it legally everyday. They use sedation, power equipment, and have the ability to examine and treat any number of ailments on a horse after a thorough exam is performed prior to sedation. If you say 90% of the vets don’t do teeth floating, you’re right. Those 90% are in small animal, exotic, or cattle practices. The course tracking a student follows while in the four year veterinary curriculum touches on all aspects of veterinary medicine, including equine dentistry. For the students who wish to pursue an equine track, they spend semesters of time, not two weeks, on all aspects of equine medicine. For you to claim that “most are not trained it” may be technically true for the non-horse vets, but I also know you have been shown the extensive curriculum that the equine veterinarians follow in that aspect of training.

“Most not trained in it”. There’s not a lawyer around that graduated from law school in a specialty. They specifically graduate people with a general law degree, trained to research and read the law, and then proceed into an area of specialization. Few are boarded in their specialties from their advertisements, but most confine their profession to their area of expertise (family or criminal law, for example).

The following is a copy of a letter from a 2010 graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine, submitted to the State Board of Veterinary Medicine, and was also presented to that board at the recent meeting in Austin where Sid Miller was in attendance.

As a young graduate of Texas A&M University, I would like to start off by
confirming that we are well educated in the field of equine dentistry. As a
first year veterinary student, we studied in depth the anatomy of the skull and
teeth and dove down deep into the cellular structure in our histology course. In
addition we studied the physiology of the body for the entire year. As a second
year student we spent almost the entire year learning pharmacology and how each
drug will react with the body systems we learned about in first year physiology.
In our third year, we were introduced to the pathology of the oral cavity as
well as the use of the instruments. Each student was given the opportunity to
apply the skills they learned in the classroom on cadaver heads each week. This
was followed up with the use of live horses once everyone was comfortable with
the equipment. Our education focused on the use of the powerfloat, reciprocating
Makita floats, and hand floats. Pneumatic air floats were introduced in the
fourth year. As a senior veterinary student, the ability to apply our skill was
abundant. Numerous opportunities to float teeth were offered through routine
hospital appointments, field services, TAMU horse center, TAMU Equestrian team,
and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. By the end of the year, a
motivated senior student could have floated over fifty head of horses. To put
this into perspective, this is roughly five to ten times the number of small
animal spays/neuters a student may  perform, twenty-five to fifty times the
number of large animal castrations, fifteen times the number of joint
injections, and ten times the number of colics on average that a student may
perform in his or her fourth year. So since we are lacking experience in these
areas, should we turn spays and neuters over to the kennel tech at the humane
society? Or how about just selling joint injection drugs to the horse trainers
so they can do it themselves?
The answer to these questions is a painfully obvious NO! So why then is it so
difficult to see that veterinarians are the only people qualified to be working
in a horse’s mouth? These “lay dentists” have only two weeks worth of
“education”. Some of them are lucky if they even received a GED, and here we are
debating as to whether or not they can identify oral pathology. What happens
when they float the horse with rabies, or overlook the case of vesicular
stomatitis? How are they qualified to identify diseased teeth that are
compromised at the root? Are we going to let them start taking radiographs?
After all, a comprehensive dental exam occasionally calls for radiographs of the
Not to mention, a comprehensive dental can only be done with the use of
sedation, drugs which only a veterinarian can prescribe and administer with a
veterinary client patient relationship. These drugs, when used improperly or at
the wrong dose, can result in devastating consequences for the patient. What
will one of these lay dentists do when they send a HYPP horse into a seizure, or
if they accidently overdose the patient? They are not trained to auscult the
heart for murmurs or arrhythmias, check the CRT or mucous membrane appearance,
or listen to the lungs. They are not trained to do any of this nor handle any of
the situations listed because they are not doctors. These skills cannot be
obtained in a two week short course. They require years of studying the
interactions of each of the body organ systems and how they function normally
and when under insult.
When it comes to allowing these people to work under a veterinarian, we have
already seen that they are unwilling to do so. Many have already tried with
devastating consequences. Most veterinarians will not hire them because of their
lack of education and the lack of need for them. Not to mention these people are
not held to any code of ethics. We’ve already seen that they are willing to
break to law by administering drugs without the consent of a veterinarian. Why
do we think these people would suddenly start obeying the law if we allow them
to operate underneath us? I’m certainly not going to hire one of these law
breakers so that I can accept all of the liability for their mistakes. Which
brings up another question, when they do make a mistake, will insurance
companies payout when they find out a non licensed person was doing the
The argument I keep hearing from these people is, “we’re horsemen, we’ve been
doing this our whole life and because of that we know much more about the
horse’s mouth than a veterinarian.” My question is where did they get their
education? Is it reliable? Is it accredited by any organization of higher
learning? Or did God himself just ordain it upon these people? Think about it
like this, I’m a human, I’ve been one my whole life, but that doesn’t make me
capable of being a human dentist.
In the few months that I have been practicing, I have already seen the damaging
effects of these lay dentists on three horses. The pulp cavity was entered on
several teeth, aggressive bit seats were applied possibly devitalizing the
teeth, and multiple oral ulcerations were seen. One of these patients also had a
respiratory disease and a heart murmur that was unknown to both the owner and
lay dentist. This horse was lucky that the sedation did not have a detrimental
In conclusion, these lay dentists have already shown themselves to be unethical
by illegally using prescription drugs, performing dentistry which is clearly
written in the practice act as being a part of veterinary medicine, and falsely
calling themselves “dentists” or “practitioners” to elude the public. My hope is
that the board does what is in the best interest for the horse industry and
return dentistry to it’s rightful place with veterinarians. Though it may cost a
few people their job, we are not a branch of government responsible for making
jobs. We are responsible for ensuring the best care possible for the animals of
this great state.

>We have a serious shorage of large animal vets and the vets don't want to stop the teeth floaters and do it their self, they just want it to be done in their clinic so the(y) can collect part of the fee.

If you think vets just want it to be done in their clinic so they can collect part of the fee, and you oppose that,  then you apparently want these “equine dentists” to have the ability to work on horse’s mouths and using veterinary prescription drugs without supervision out on the farm. That contradicts your statement I don't support non veterians giving sedatives with out the supervision of a veterinarian. First, proper dentistry and oral inspection requires the use of those drugs, thus supervision by law. Second, if the veterinarian is responsible for the sedation of a horse, he does need to be compensated.  Third, these laws drafted by the state are designed to protect the public and the animals.

Shortage of vets.  As we successfully train our young ranchers through 4-H, FFA, and colleges to do more and more of their own procedures such as defined by §801.004, there is less demand for the routine ranch procedures that an older generation of veterinarians serviced. It’s not about producing more veterinarians, it’s the changing of entire agricultural world that is happening. Even in the human side, you will see an MD with a cadre of nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants helping that MD in practice. That MD is responsible for those individuals’ performance. That is what most veterinarians envision for the future agricultural needs. The veterinarian would still supervise, and be responsible for the actions of any licensed specialty person that is working UNDER his supervision. Yes, that means collecting a part of the fee. Your licensed, regulated, inspected, accountable veterinarians would be doing the job of insuring the safe and appropriate treatment of livestock, even if a non-veterinarian is performing some of the service. The State and Federal governments have veterinarians take tests for proficiency before ever beginning practice, assure competency through continuing education requirements, pass the state board examinations for medical knowledge AND legal requirements through the jurisprudence exam. For the State of Texas, this is the most practical way of getting a trained individual in the field doing agricultural work for less than the estimated overall $250,000 it takes to train a veterinarian to licensure.

Follow the Money.

Farriers (horseshoers) and the “equine dentists” notoriously are a cash operation. I have a brick and mortar building, pay property taxes, and pay a lot of professional fees, licenses, insurances,  to include reporting my income. These unlicensed, unsupervised, “equine dentists” with a hokey diploma you support have a cash cow operation they are trying to protect. Just speculation on my part, but I would suspect the “equine dentists” greatly underreport their income. My feeling is that they really don’t want their true income reported, and that’s one of the reasons they would not want to work under a legitimate, regulated, business environment like a veterinary clinic. Good Lord they would have to get a W-2, report their income, and pay taxes.

In your advocacy of the “equine dentists’” cause, be stern in demanding their supervision under a licensed veterinarian, not the unregulated free-lance work they are currently performing illegally. Any creation of another state agency to regulate, license, inspect, oversee one more group of people bloats the Texas budget even more, and could be averted by just keeping the laws exactly the same. The veterinarians already have the ability to comply with existing state laws and have anyone working under the umbrella of the veterinary license. The “equine dentists” are performing acts covered by the existing Texas statutes, and there is no one more capable of monitoring their legal performance better than licensed veterinarians. This is the same as true for veterinary technicians serving in any capacity of a veterinary facility.

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1 - Geoff Tucker, DVM   16 Nov 2010 @ 6:04:47 PM 

The discussion on who should float teeth, vets or non vets, has been going on since the 1960's.  Now we have a patch work of laws across this nation.  I have blogged on this several times.  Here is the link to the latest on this subject: http://www.equinedentistrywithoutdrama.com/2010/11/who-should-float-your-horse/

There are more horses needing dental care than there are people performing equine dentistry.  The dichotomy here is not helping the horse.  Geoff Tucker, DVM  www.TheEquinePractice.com

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