Science, Technology and Discoveries

Veterinary Medicine

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Veterinary Medicine, branch of medical science that deals with the health and welfare of animals. Doctors of veterinary medicine diagnose and treat the diseases and injuries of household pets, livestock, laboratory animals, zoo animals, and wildlife (see Diseases of Animals). They promote public health by combating zoonotic diseases (animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans) and by inspecting livestock and food processing procedures to insure a safe food supply. Some veterinarians actively participate in wildlife preservation and conservation, while others conduct scientific research into the causes and prevention of disease.

Veterinary medicine is a challenging field. One significant difference between human and animal medicine is that veterinarians must be familiar with the anatomy and diseases of several different species. An appropriate treatment for one species might be ineffective or harmful if applied to another. Veterinarians must be proficient in both medicine and surgery, and be well versed in areas such as pediatrics, obstetrics, anesthesiology, plastic surgery, dentistry, dermatology, geriatrics, and orthopedics. They must deduce problems without sharing a single spoken word with the patient. Many veterinarians, therefore, are acute diagnosticians with top-notch powers of observation and intuition.