Veterinary Importance and Information

A veterinary physician, colloquially called a vet, shortened from veterinarian or veterinary surgeon, is a professional who practices veterinary medicine by treating disease, disorder, and injury in non-human animals.

A veterinarian typically needs to:

-have a high school diploma or GED
-complete at least two years of pre-veterinary study
-graduate from veterinary medicine school

-pass a state licensing exam

The first veterinary college was founded in Lyon, France in 1762 by Claude Bourgelat.[2] According to Lupton, after observing the devastation being caused by cattle plague to the French herds, Bourgelat devoted his time to seeking out a remedy. This resulted in his founding a veterinary college in Lyon in 1761, from which establishment he dispatched students to combat the disease; in a short time, the plague was stayed and the health of stock restored, through the assistance rendered to agriculture by veterinary science and art."[3]In many countries, the local nomenclature for a veterinarian is a regulated and protected term, meaning that members of the public without the prerequisite qualifications and/or licensure are not able to use the title. In many cases, the activities that may be undertaken by a veterinarian (such as treatment of illness or surgery in animals) are restricted only to those professionals who are registered as a veterinarian. For instance, in the United Kingdom, as in other jurisdictions, animal treatment may only be performed by registered veterinary physicians (with a few designated exceptions, such as paraveterinary workers), and it is illegal for any person who is not registered to call themselves a veterinarian or prescribe any treatment.

Most veterinary physicians work in clinical settings, treating animals directly. These veterinarians may be involved in a general practice, treating animals of all types; they may be specialized in a specific group of animals such as companion animals, livestock, zoo animals orequines; or may specialize in a narrow medical discipline such as surgery, dermatology or internal medicine.

As with other healthcare professionals, veterinarians face ethical decisions about the care of their patients. Current debates within the profession include the ethics of purely cosmetic procedures on animals, such as declawing of cats, docking of tails, cropping of ears and debarking on dogs.

Veterinarians treat animal health problems. They work to prevent, control, and cure animal diseases.

Veterinarians examine animals and ask owners questions. They give animals shots to protect them against diseases such as distemper and rabies. Veterinarians talk to owners about the care and feeding of their animals. They keep detailed records about animals and their treatments.

Veterinarians perform lab tests and exams of sick animals. They explain test results and review treatment options with animal owners. If more than one treatment is available, veterinarians help owners decide which option to choose. They often prescribe medicines for animals that are ill. Veterinarians stay in contact with animal owners to monitor the condition of animals and make changes in the treatment.

Sometimes veterinarians operate on animals. They may also treat injuries such as wounds and broken bones. Occasionally, veterinarians euthanize animals that are seriously ill or injured.

Many veterinarians work with pets, such as dogs, cats, ferrets, and lizards. Some work with pigs, goats, horses, and other livestock. In addition to taking care of the health of these animals, veterinarians may offer owners advice about animal breeding.

Some veterinarians specialize in animal:

Eye care
Skin care
Veterinarians assign tasks to technicians. They consult with other animal care professionals. In private practice, veterinarians may oversee the business aspects of running an office. For example, they hire and train new employees, keep track of supplies, and pay employees.

Veterinarians may do research to prevent diseases in humans and animals. Some veterinarians are meat inspectors at food processing plants. Others work in wildlife management. Some veterinarians teach in universities and colleges. A few veterinarians care for animals in zoos, aquariums, or labs. They share information with people at other zoos and aquariums to keep records of all kinds of animals.

Quick Facts: Veterinarians

Wages -Earn $82,060 per year
Employment -Medium-sized occupation
10 Year Growth -Faster than average
Annual Openings -Moderate

In North America, 80 percent of veterinarians are in private practice. The remaining 20 percent work at zoos, inspect meat and poultry for the federal or state government, teach at veterinary universities, or conduct research. When serving in the U.S. Army, Air Force, or Public Health Service, veterinarians are commissioned officers.

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