Like humans, animals also need to see a doctor to have their health care needs addressed. Veterinary hospitals exist to meet these needs. Understanding what veterinarians do is essential to appreciate the important role they play in ensuring good animal health and welfare management. On the surface, vets examine and treat sick and injured animals, give vaccinations, and prescribe medications to help animals stay healthy. However, they do a lot more than many pet and livestock owners think.
Here's a list of the not-so-obvious activities that vets perform.
X-ray technology is an imaging technique that is commonly used to help diagnose and recommend treatment for animals. An X-ray captures images of the bones and internal organs of an animal, allowing the vet to see what they can't see from physical examination alone. There are several reasons why a vet might need to take an X-ray. These include:
- Viewing and assessing fractured bones.
- Finding a foreign object that a patient may have swallowed.
- Assessing suspected internal injuries from trauma.
There are no reports of adverse effects of X-rays on animal patients' health, as vets use a very small amount of radiation to take X-rays.
Running blood tests
In addition to taking X-rays, vets also take samples of their patients' blood for analysis at a laboratory. Running blood tests generally helps to know a patient's blood count and diagnose disease and infection.
While several tests can be run on blood samples, only a limited number may be conducted at vet hospitals. The majority of tests are still done at dedicated off-site lab facilities.
Educating about animal health and welfare
Vets give pet owners and livestock keepers information they can use to improve the health and welfare of their animals. To get this information, pet owners and livestock keepers should bring animals in for regular check-ups, even when they're not sick or injured. Animal keepers also must providing a clean and sanitary living environment for animals and can get details from a vet. Vets will also set the record straight when it comes to animal nutrition and step in to help animal owners avoiding conditions that may cause mental suffering to animals.
By educating people on various aspects of animal health and wellbeing management, vets help to improve animals' health and quality of life.
Each animal has unique health care and welfare needs. Pet owners and livestock keepers need to work together in order to ensure their animals are well looked after. With that said, you can improve the health and welfare of your animal by establishing a good rapport with a local vet. For more information, visit a veterinary hospital in your area.