DIMENSIONS OF VETERINARY MEDICINE

  :  DIMENSIONS OF VETERINARY MEDICINE   :


The Veterinarian, a member of the medical community, plays essential roles in all aspects of animal production, prevention of diseases, their treatment, research and extension of research findings to other members of the profession and the farming community.

The meaning of Veterinary is not alone coming under the concised heading ‘Medical treatment to animals.’ Veterinarians are involved in a variety of fields like drug administration, dairy and food technology, vaccine production, race clubs, as scientists in medical research institutions and having a higher share of action with medical experts in public health etc., Thus he is basically required to be a jack of all trades….. a diagnostician, surgeon, anesthetist, pathologist, epidemiologist and as a productive scientist.
Veterinary science has many diversified aspects of practice of medicine as the veterinarian has to handle many species which have no similar way of life and characters. Hence specialized skills in the practice have been developed by him.

THE VETERINARIAN AS A SMALL ANIMAL SPECIALIST:

“A physician can directly ruin a person’s life, but a veterinarian by losing a pet can indirectly cause a person tremendous anguish”.
Small animal practice cares mostly the pet animals which include not only dogs and cats but also birds, reptiles, rodents, fish and primates. Preventive medicine is emphasized with frequent consultation in breeding, nutrition and vaccination procedures for the pet. The veterinarian also possesses the responsibilities of educating his clients about the zoonotic diseases. Indeed, a large number of vets engage themselves in mixed practice that varies seasonally in its activity.

THE VETERINARIAN AS A LARGE ANIMAL SPECIALIST:

In domestic animal medicine, veterinarians who choose to practice in communities deal with food producing large animals. The small mixed farms with many species are being replaced by recent scientific methods of rearing specialized to one type of animal. The approach to Veterinary services has undergone material changes to meet the needs of larger farm operations and preventive herd medicine is given due importance. Laboratory tests and regular visits are made to arrive at accurate diagnosis from which the appropriate treatment is formulated on a herd-basis. The following aspects are emphasized in large animal practice.

a. Prevention, treatment and control of diseases in herds.

b. Extension education to farmers for animal production and animal health and

c. Disease eradication and prevention schemes involving surveys and field investigations in the event of outbreaks.

THE ZOO VETERINARIAN:

Special interest has been developed by highly skilled and courageous veterinarians for the care of wild animals like Lions, Tigers, Elephants, Giraffes, Panthers, Bears etc., Prevention of interspecies spread of diseas is the prime object. The zoo veterinarian has to be familiar with the behaviour, feeding, diseases and reproductive habits of a wide range of species. He as to devise special restraint procedures and guard against epidemics in the Zoo or wild life population whereby he experiences ‘infinite variety and interest’.

THE CIRCUS VETERINARIAN:

Veterinarians are also involved in the health care and maintenance of number of circus animals which are highly praised for their training and heroic acts in capacity. The job is such a wonderful one as Doctor Henderson writes in his ‘Circus Doctor’ “I think I have learned more about animals, animal medicine and human beings than I euer could have learned anywhere else; I have learned how even wild animals will respond to the proper kind of treatment, and that amazing attachments are often formed between human beings and presumably savage animals”.

THE VETERINARIAN IN RACE CLUB:

The veterinarian is the authority to decide and issue the certificate of soundness and absolute fitness of race horses. Success in racing by many reputed gallopers and trotters has been achieved by valuable contributions of skilled and experienced veterinarians. Well equipped equine clinics are being constructed for efficient preventive herd health programmes and visits of consultation of feeding, management and breeding.

THE VETERINARIAN AS A FOOD HYGIENIST:

The veterinarian is the medical authority in the slaughtering plant, the food hygiene authority in the processing plant and a manager and supervisor at all times. He is the final word on wholesomeness of the food.

THE MARINE VETERINARIAN:

The veterinarian in sea is involved in the evaluation of health of sea food and in the preservation of health of endangered marine creatures. U.S.Naval veterinarians are involved in the health and training of dolphins that are used to detect enemy ships by means of electronic devices.

THE STUDIO VETERINARIAN:

The studio veterinarian is responsible on the creation of wonderful animal characters like lions in fightings and tigers in plays. Anaesthesia and tranquillisation in those animals is a special feature.

THE AEROSPACE VETERINARIAN:

Veterinary services are offered in space to various pets. Veterinarians are involved in research on flight feeding, behaviour and food acceptance in space flight and effects of drugs on behaviour in space.

THE INDUSTRIAL VETERINARIAN:

Veterinarian in drugs, feed and biological companies are engaged in testing of new drugs prior to their release, evaluation of feed mixtures, vaccine production and also in technical writing, marketing and sales and field investigation of drug problems.

THE VETERINARIAN AS A LABORATORY ANIMAL SPECIALIST:

In laboratory animal medicine, veterinarians are engaged in then production, and maintenance of health of laboratory animals for research studies in various biological institutions. Veterinarians work using laboratory animals for research studies in various biological institutions. Veterinarians work using laboratory animals for testing compounds, the production of vaccines, the effects of nutrients on disease, the psychological function of the body and the ever increasing demand for further knowledge on organ transplantation and the causes of cancer. The gnotobiotic methodology utilising laboratory animals is now a very valuable work in many fields.

THE VETERIANRIAN AS A RESEARCH SCIENTIST:

Veterinarians have contributed much in various fields such as cytogenetics, epidemiology of disease for the welfare of man and animals. Experimental surgery has given rise to new techniques of clinicosurgical procedures in both veterinary and human medicine. Studies on invertebrate diseases, insect pathology and biological control contributed knowledge of disease transmission. Increased information is being obtained by studies on comparative animal behaviour, experimental psychopharmacology, psychosomatically induced problems and behavioural aspects of resistance to infection. Intensive biomedical engineering studies have given rise to the development of artificial organs such as artificial heart and valves as prostheses.

THE MILITARY VETERINARIAN:

Apart from the veterinary services concerned with the maintenance of cavalry and military pack animals, veterinarians have additional responsibilities for training and health of guard dogs, for the procurement, ;whole someness and quality of animal food. In atomic Energy Commission, studies are made in food irradiation and preservation. They also assume responsibility of protection of military as well as civilian personnel from infectious diseases of animal origin.

*This article was written by Dr.M.MOHAN who was then student of Final B.V.SC., for the Madras Veterinary College Annual 1979 when the blogger was their Student Editor.








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