Veterinary Medicine: Putting Animals First
You may know them as veterinarians. You may call them "vets." But they are veterinary physicians, among the proudest and most noble doctors in medicine.
And there are literally more than three-dozen specialties within the field of veterinary medicine. The vet who keeps your pet healthy and happy is just one type of specialist. From veterinary dentists to veterinary oncologists, there are many, many others. This is because, as humans, we extend a compassionate hand to these animals that cannot care for themselves. We provide them not only with the vaccinations they need to shield them from life-threatening illnesses and the nutritional guidance they need when they aren't eating properly, but also with eye care, surgery, rehabilitation, and other services that help to improve their quality of life.
You will want to select only the best, most experienced physicians and surgeons to provide care for your beloved animals.
Their lives are important. And veterinary physicians help to make their lives healthy, long, and comfortable. That, after all, is what we would wish for ourselves and our human loved ones, right? That's why we select only the best, most experienced physicians and surgeons to provide our care. Obviously, you will want to select only the best, most experienced physicians and surgeons to provide care for your beloved animals, as well.
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What types of veterinary specialties are there?
The American Veterinary Medical Association recognizes 40 specialties within the field of veterinary medicine. Some of these specialties are centered on the type of animal being treated while others are centered on the condition being treated.
- Critical care
- Internal medicine
- Reproductive medicine
- Sports medicine
There are, of course, general veterinarians; in most cases, if your pet is young and healthy, a reputable, experienced general veterinarian will be able to provide perfectly sufficient care. If, however, you have a relatively unconventional pet, or if your pet has special needs due to its age or a medical condition, you may wish to consider consulting with a specialist.
What treatments do veterinarians provide?
Understandably, many people believe that veterinary medicine entails an entirely different set of procedures and treatments than human medicine. In truth, however, the two overlap to a remarkable degree. Any treatment that you can imagine being available to a human being is most likely available, in some form or another, to an animal, from psychiatric care to plastic surgery.
There are certain treatments that are more commonly provided by veterinary physicians, of course. These include:
- Medicinal treatments
- Weight management
- Pain management
- Emergency care
- Laboratory services
- Skin care
- End-of-life services
Perhaps most importantly, veterinarians provide preventive care. Ideally, preventive veterinary care will comprise the majority of your pet's medical treatments. Even pets that appear healthy should see their doctors on a regular basis to maintain their health and protect them against future issues.
At routine appointments, your general veterinarian can catch preventable diseases such as obesity, fleas, ticks, heartworms, gum disease, and tooth decay early on to effectively treat them before they jeopardize your pet's overall health. These visits also allow your veterinarian to administer precautionary treatments and services, such as vaccinations.
How much does veterinary care cost?
Veterinary care can be expensive, especially since most people do not have insurance for their pets. If you do purchase pet insurance, make sure that the veterinary practice you frequent accepts that insurance. Otherwise, you could be stuck with an unexpected - and expensive - bill.
As for the hard costs of veterinary care, they will depend largely on the animal and the treatment provided. Larger animals such as dogs and horses can cost their owners several hundred dollars annually, while smaller animals such as birds and hamsters may require well under $100 per year in treatment costs.
Larger animals such as dogs and horses can cost their owners several hundred dollars annually, while smaller animals such as birds and hamsters may require well under $100 per year in treatment costs.
The best way to keep your veterinary bills down is to have your pet routinely examined. While the cost of preventive care may seem somewhat high, it is a drop in the bucket compared to caring for a sick animal, especially one that requires medication.
Naturally, an experienced, well-qualified veterinarian that provides care of the highest standard may be a bit more expensive than a cut-rate vet that puts cost above quality.
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