Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, control, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, disorder, and injury in animals. Along with this, it also deals with animal rearing, husbandry, breeding, research on nutrition and product development. The scope of veterinary medicine is wide, covering all animal species, both domesticated and wild, with a wide range of conditions which can affect different species.
Veterinary medicine is widely practiced, both with and without professional supervision. Professional care is most often led by a veterinary physician (also known as a vet, veterinary surgeon or veterinarian), but also by paraveterinary workers such as veterinary nurses or technicians. This can be augmented by other paraprofessionals with specific specialisms such as animal physiotherapy or dentistry, and species relevant roles such as farriers.
Veterinary science helps human health through the monitoring and control of zoonotic disease (infectious disease transmitted from non-human animals to humans), food safety, and indirectly through human applications from basic medical research. They also help to maintain food supply through livestock health monitoring and treatment, and mental health by keeping pets healthy and long-living. Veterinary scientists often collaborate with epidemiologists and other health or natural scientists, depending on type of work. Ethically, veterinarians are usually obliged to look after animal welfare. Veterinarians diagnose, treat, and help keep animals safe and healthy.
Archeological evidence, in the form of a cow skull upon which trepanation had been performed, shows that people were performing veterinary procedures in the Neolithic (3400–3000 BCE).
The Egyptian Papyrus of Kahun (Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt) is the first extant record of veterinary medicine.The Shalihotra Samhita, dating from the time of Ashoka, is an early Indian veterinary treatise. The edicts of Asoka read: "Everywhere King Piyadasi (Asoka) made two kinds of medicine (चिकित्सा) available, medicine for people and medicine for animals. Where there were no healing herbs for people and animals, he ordered that they be bought and planted." Hippiatrica is a Byzantine compilation of hippiatrics, dated to the 5th or 6th century.
The first attempts to organize and regulate the practice of treating animals tended to focus on horses because of their economic significance. In the Middle Ages, farriers combined their work in horseshoeing with the more general task of "horse doctoring". The Arabic tradition of Bayṭara , or Shiyāt al-Khayl, originates with the treatise of Ibn Akhī Hizām (fl. late 9th century).
In 1356, the Lord Mayor of London, concerned at the poor standard of care given to horses in the city, requested that all farriers operating within a seven-mile radius of the City of London form a "fellowship" to regulate and improve their practices. This ultimately led to the establishment of the Worshipful Company of Farriers in 1674.
Meanwhile, Carlo Ruini's book Anatomia del Cavallo, (Anatomy of the Horse) was published in 1598. It was the first comprehensive treatise on the anatomy of a non-human species.
The first veterinary school was founded in Lyon, France, in 1762 by Claude Bourgelat.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 school 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." The school received immediate international recognition in the eighteenth century and its pedagogical model drew on the existing fields of human medicine, natural history, and comparative anatomy.
The Odiham Agricultural Society was founded in 1783 in England to promote agriculture and industry,and played an important role in the foundation of the veterinary profession in Britain. A founding member, Thomas Burgess, began to take up the cause of animal welfare and campaign for the more humane treatment of sick animals. A 1785 Society meeting resolved to "promote the study of Farriery upon rational scientific principles."
The physician James Clark wrote a treatise entitled Prevention of Disease in which he argued for the professionalization of the veterinary trade, and the establishment of veterinary colleges. This was finally achieved in 1790, through the campaigning of Granville Penn, who persuaded the Frenchman, Benoit Vial de St. Bel to accept the professorship of the newly established Veterinary College in London.The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons was established by royal charter in 1844. Veterinary science came of age in the late 19th century, with notable contributions from Sir John McFadyean, credited by many as having been the founder of modern Veterinary research.
In the United States, the first schools were established in the early 19th century in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. In 1879, Iowa Agricultural College became the first land grant college to establish a school of veterinary medicine.
Veterinary care and management is usually led by a veterinary physician (usually called a vet, veterinary surgeon or veterinarian). This role is the equivalent of a doctor in human medicine, and usually involves post-graduate study and qualification.
In many countries, the local nomenclature for a vet is a protected term, meaning that people without the prerequisite qualifications and/or registration are not able to use the title, and in many cases, the activities that may be undertaken by a vet (such as animal treatment or surgery) are restricted only to those people who are registered as vet. For instance, in the United Kingdom, as in other jurisdictions, animal treatment may be performed only by registered vets (with a few designated exceptions, such as para-veterinary workers), and it is illegal for any person who is not registered to call themselves a vet or perform any treatment.
Most vets work in clinical settings, treating animals directly. These vets may be involved in a general practice, treating animals of all types; may be specialized in a specific group of animals such as companion animals, livestock, laboratory animals, zoo animals or horses; or may specialize in a narrow medical discipline such as surgery, dermatology, laboratory animal medicine, or internal medicine.
As with healthcare professionals, vets 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.
A wide range of surgeries and operations are performed on various types of animals, but not all of them are carried out by vets. In a case in Iran, for instance, an eye surgeon managed to perform a successful cataract surgery on a rooster for the first time in the world.
Paraveterinary workers, including veterinary nurses, technicians and assistants, either assist vets in their work, or may work within their own scope of practice, depending on skills and qualifications, including in some cases, performing minor surgery.
The role of paraveterinary workers is less homogeneous globally than that of a vet, and qualification levels, and the associated skill mix, vary widely.
A number of professions exist within the scope of veterinary medicine, but which may not necessarily be performed by vets or veterinary nurses. This includes those performing roles which are also found in human medicine, such as practitioners dealing with musculoskeletal disorders, including osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists.
There are also roles which are specific to animals, but which have parallels in human society, such as animal grooming and animal massage.
Some roles are specific to a species or group of animals, such as farriers, who are involved in the shoeing of horses, and in many cases have a major role to play in ensuring the medical fitness of the horse.
Veterinary research includes research on prevention, control, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of animals and on the basic biology, welfare, and care of animals. Veterinary research transcends species boundaries and includes the study of spontaneously occurring and experimentally induced models of both human and animal disease and research at human-animal interfaces, such as food safety, wildlife and ecosystem health, zoonotic diseases, and public policy.
As in medicine, randomized controlled trials are fundamental also in veterinary medicine to establish the effectiveness of a treatment.However, clinical veterinary research is far behind human medical research, with fewer randomized controlled trials, that have a lower quality and that are mostly focused on research animals. Possible improvement consists in creation of network for inclusion of private veterinary practices in randomized controlled trials.
There are no studies on the effect of community animal health services on improving household wealth and the health status of low-income farmers.
A veterinarian (vet), also known as a veterinary surgeon or veterinary physician, is a professional who practices veterinary medicine by treating diseases, disorders, and injuries in non-human animals.
A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves, if necessary. A farrier combines some blacksmith's skills with some veterinarian's skills to care for horses' feet.
Acepromazine, acetopromazine, or acetylpromazine is a phenothiazine derivative antipsychotic drug. It was used in humans during the 1950s as an antipsychotic, but is now almost exclusively used on animals as a sedative and antiemetic. Its closely related analogue, chlorpromazine, is still used as an antipsychotic in humans. Acepromazine is used primarily as a chemical restraint in hyperactive or fractious animals.
Claude Bourgelat was a French veterinary surgeon. He was a founder of scientifically informed veterinary medicine, and he created one of the earliest schools for training professional veterinarians.
Veterinary surgery is surgery performed on animals by veterinarians, whereby the procedures fall into three broad categories: orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery, and neurosurgery. Advanced surgical procedures such as joint replacement, fracture repair, stabilization of cranial cruciate ligament deficiency, oncologic (cancer) surgery, herniated disc treatment, complicated gastrointestinal or urogenital procedures, kidney transplant, skin grafts, complicated wound management, and minimally invasive procedures are performed by veterinary surgeons. Most general practice veterinarians perform routine surgeries such as neuters and minor mass excisions; some also perform additional procedures.
Equine podiatry is the study and management of the equine foot based on its anatomy and function.
Veterinary oncology is a subspecialty of veterinary medicine that deals with cancer diagnosis and treatment in animals. Cancer is a major cause of death in pet animals. In one study, 45% of the dogs that reached 10 years of age or older died of cancer.
Veterinary anesthesia is anesthesia performed on non-human animals by a veterinarian or a Registered Veterinary Technician. Anesthesia is used for a wider range of circumstances in animals than in people, due to animals' inability to cooperate with certain diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. Veterinary anesthesia includes anesthesia of the major species: dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs, as well as all other animals requiring veterinary care such as birds, pocket pets, and wildlife.
Bernard E. Rollin is an American philosopher, currently professor of philosophy, animal sciences, and biomedical sciences at Colorado State University.
The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is one of ten major academic divisions of Purdue University. Accredited by the AVMA, this veterinary school offers the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, associate's and bachelor's degrees in veterinary technology, master's and Ph.D. degrees, and residency programs leading to specialty board certification. Within the state of Indiana, the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is the only veterinary school, while the Indiana University School of Medicine is one of only two medical schools. The two schools frequently collaborate on medical research projects.
Pyrantel is a medication used to treat a number of parasitic worm infections. This includes ascariasis, hookworm infections, enterobiasis, trichostrongyliasis, and trichinellosis. It is taken by mouth.
Atipamezole (brand name Antisedan, also available in generic forms as Revertidine, is a synthetic α2 adrenergic receptor antagonist indicated for the reversal of the sedative and analgesic effects of dexmedetomidine and medetomidine in dogs. Its reversal effect works by competing with the sedative for α2-adrenergic receptors and displacing them. It is mainly used in veterinary medicine, and while it is only licensed for dogs and for intramuscular use, it has been used intravenously, as well as in cats and other animals. There is a low rate of side effects, largely due to atipamezole's high specificity for the α2-adrenergic receptor. Atipamezole has a very quick onset, usually waking an animal up within 5 to 10 minutes.
Veterinary chiropractic, also known as animal chiropractic, is the practice of spinal manipulation or manual therapy for animals. Veterinary chiropractors typically treat horses, racing greyhounds, and pets. It has become a fast developing field in animal alternative medicine.
Paraveterinary workers are those people who assist a veterinary physician in the performance of their duties, or carry out animal health procedures autonomously as part of a veterinary care system. The job role varies throughout the world, and common titles include veterinary nurse, veterinary technician, veterinary assistant and veterinary technologist, and variants with the prefix of 'animal health'.
Veterinary medicine in the United Kingdom is the performance of veterinary medicine by licensed professionals, and strictly regulated by statute law, notably the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. Veterinary medicine is led by veterinary physicians, termed 'veterinary surgeons', normally referred to as 'vets'.
The American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) is the specialty board that defines the standards of surgical excellence for the field of veterinary medicine, promotes advancements in veterinary surgery, and provides the latest in veterinary surgical educational programs. The ACVS is responsible for overseeing the training, examination, and certification of board-certified veterinary surgeons.
Veterinary medicine in the United States is the performance of veterinary medicine in the United States, normally performed by licensed professionals, and subject to provisions of statute law which vary by state. Veterinary medicine is normally led by veterinary physicians, normally termed veterinarians or vets.
Greg J. Harrison is an avian (bird) veterinarian who is noted for having established the US' first all-bird clinic, The Bird Hospital in Lake Worth, FL. He later was a founder of the company HBD International, Inc. which manufactures the product line Harrison's Bird Foods. Harrison also was a main contributor and editor of several of the field's earliest and most well-known texts including, Avian Medicine: Principles and Applications and Clinical Avian Medicine. and the Avian Veterinary Compendium.
Veterinary education in France is ensured by four specialised grandes écoles, the veterinary schools, located in Lyon, Maisons-Alfort, Nantes and Toulouse. The studies last at least seven years after the baccalauréat and end with an exertion thesis giving the right to the state diploma of veterinary physician.
Feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD) is a cognitive disease prevalent in cats, directly related to the brain aging, leading to changes in awareness, deficits in learning and memory, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli. It is also known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). Alzheimer's disease and dementia in humans are diseases with comparable symptoms and pathology.