The Veterinary medicine reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Veterinary medicine

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Veterinary medicine is the application of medical diagnostic and therapeutic principles to companion, domestic, exotic, and wildlife animals.

Veterinary medicine is informally as old as the human/animal bond but in recent years has expanded exponentially because of the availability of advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for most species. Veterinarians assist in ensuring the quality, quantity and security of food supplies by working to maintain the health of livestock and inspecting the meat itself. Also pets nowadays often receive advanced medical care including hip replacements, cataract surgeries, and pacemakers. This is mainly a question of how much money the pet's owner is willing to spend on their animal. The same goes for equine and bovine medicine, though from a more financial or economical aspect. For a horse that is worth a lot of money it is economic to spend money to lengthen it's lifespan, whereas other animals that do not have as high an economic value may not receive expensive veterinary care. Veterinary scientists are very important in chemical, biological and pharmacological research.

In many countries, equine veterinary medicine is also a specialized field. Clinical work with horses involves mainly locomotory and orthopaedic problems, digestive tract conditions (including equine colic, which is a major cause of death among domesticated horses), and respiratory tract infections and disorders.

Education in veterinary medicine

Many universities worldwide confer undergraduate and postgraduate degreess in veterinary medicine. In most countries, veterinary practitioners are regulated and registered on a national or state level. While the duration and exact content of undergraduate degrees in veterinary medicine varies, they are typically from 4 to 7 years in duration. They consist of several introductory years which may include some "pre-vet" or general scientific training. These pre-clinical years provide a basis in veterinary anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, parasitology, animal breeding, botany, animal feeding, radiology, virology, microbiology, zoology, animal physiology, physics, chemistry and other important subject areas. The final years of most veterinary medicine degrees consist of a greater proportion of practical clinical work (Internal Medicine, Surgery, Obstretics), in which students are guided to apply the theory they have learned in a supervised environment.


See also

Schools of veterinary medicine

External links