Veterinary medicine
Overview
 
Veterinary Medicine is the branch of science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in non-human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s. The scope of veterinary medicine is wide, covering all animal species , both domesticated and wild
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

, with a wide range of conditions which can affect different species.

Veterinary medicine is usually only practiced by professionals, normally led by a veterinary physician (also known as a vet, veterinary surgeon or veterinarian), but also by paraveterinary workers
Paraveterinary workers
Paraveterinary workers are those people who assist a veterinarian in the performance of their duties. 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...

 such as veterinary nurses or technicians.
Encyclopedia
Veterinary Medicine is the branch of science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in non-human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s. The scope of veterinary medicine is wide, covering all animal species , both domesticated and wild
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

, with a wide range of conditions which can affect different species.

Veterinary medicine is usually only practiced by professionals, normally led by a veterinary physician (also known as a vet, veterinary surgeon or veterinarian), but also by paraveterinary workers
Paraveterinary workers
Paraveterinary workers are those people who assist a veterinarian in the performance of their duties. 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...

 such as veterinary nurses or technicians. This can be augmented by other paraprofessionals with specific specialisms such as animal physiotherapy or dentistry
Dentistry
Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

, and species relevant roles such as farrier
Farrier
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...

s.

Veterinary science helps human health through the monitoring and control of zoonotic disease
Zoonosis
A zoonosis or zoonoseis any infectious disease that can be transmitted from non-human animals to humans or from humans to non-human animals . In a study of 1415 pathogens known to affect humans, 61% were zoonotic...

 (infectious disease
Infectious disease
Infectious diseases, also known as communicable diseases, contagious diseases or transmissible diseases comprise clinically evident illness resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism...

 transmitted from non-human animals to humans) and veterinary scientists often collaborate with epidemiologists
Epidemiology
Epidemiology is the study of health-event, health-characteristic, or health-determinant patterns in a population. It is the cornerstone method of public health research, and helps inform policy decisions and evidence-based medicine by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive...

.

History

The Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian Papyrus of Kahun (1900 BCE) and Vedic literature
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 in ancient India
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 offer one of the first written records of veterinary medicine. (See also Shalihotra
Shalihotra
Shalihotra , the son of a Brahmin sage, Hayagosha, is considered the founder of veterinary sciences. He is said to have lived in Sravasti , a place associated with Buddha and Mahavira in the sixth century B.C.E...

) One of the edicts of Ashoka
Edicts of Ashoka
The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 269 BCE to 231 BCE. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Bangladesh, India,...

 reads: "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."

Veterinary physicians

Veterinary care 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 only be performed by registered vets (with a few designated exceptions, such as paraveterinary workers
Paraveterinary workers
Paraveterinary workers are those people who assist a veterinarian in the performance of their duties. 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...

), 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
Pet
A pet is a household animal kept for companionship and a person's enjoyment, as opposed to wild animals or to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic or productive reasons. The most popular pets are noted for their loyal or playful...

, livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

, zoo animals
Zoological medicine
Zoological medicine refers to the subspecialty of veterinary medicine that addresses the care of captive zoo animals, free ranging wildlife species, aquatic animals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and non-domestic companion animals...

 or horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s; or may specialize in a narrow medical discipline such as surgery
Veterinary surgery
Veterinary surgery is surgery performed on animals by veterinarians. Advanced surgical procedures such as joint replacement , fracture repair, ACL treatment, oncologic surgery, herniated disc treatment, complicated gastrointestinal or urogenital procedures, kidney transplant, skin grafts,...

, dermatology
Dermatology
Dermatology is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin and its diseases, a unique specialty with both medical and surgical aspects. A dermatologist takes care of diseases, in the widest sense, and some cosmetic problems of the skin, scalp, hair, and nails....

 or internal medicine
Internal medicine
Internal medicine is the medical specialty dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases. Physicians specializing in internal medicine are called internists. They are especially skilled in the management of patients who have undifferentiated or multi-system disease processes...

.

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
Onychectomy
Onychectomy, popularly known as declawing, is an operation to surgically remove an animal's claws by means of amputating all or part of the distal phalanx, or end bones, of the animal's toes. It is performed most often on household cats, though occasionally on other animals such as circus lions or...

 of cats, docking of tails, cropping of ears
Cropping (animal)
Cropping is the removal of part or all of the pinnae or auricles, the external visible flap of the ear, of an animal. Most commonly performed on dogs, it is an ancient practice that was once done for perceived health, practical or cosmetic reasons...

 and debarking on dogs.

Paraveterinary workers

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.

Allied professions

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
Osteopathy
Osteopathy and osteopathic medicine are often used interchangeably for the philosophy and system of alternative medical practice first proposed by A. T. Still MD, DO in 1874....

, chiropractor
Chiropractor
A Chiropractor, according to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges , "focuses on the relationship between the body's main structures – the skeleton, the muscles and the nerves – and the patient's health. Chiropractors believe that health can be improved and preserved by making adjustments to...

s 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 farrier
Farrier
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...

s, 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.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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