Veterinary services provide healthcare for animals - especially pets, farm animals, and animals kept in zoos and wildlife parks. The Practice provides veterinary services to domestic animals such as dogs and cats, exotic animals, reptiles, and large animals. Veterinary treatment is the branch of medical treatment which focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and the treatment of injuries, disorders, and diseases in animals which are not human in nature. It includes all animal species and the wide range of conditions which can impact various species of animals, both domestic and wild. Veterinary medicine and practices are prevalent around the world, with or without any professional or qualified personnel. Veterinary treatment can help in extending the life and improving the quality of life of animals. Professional veterinary care is usually headed by a veterinary physician but includes para-veterinary workers, nurses and people from other technical fields. Veterinary science also impacts human life and health by monitoring, understanding and controlling diseases or epidemics which may be transmitted through non- human animals to humans or other animals. They also focus on the nutritional supplements and health standards necessary for the animals through strict regulations, monitoring, and regular follow up practices. This includes ensuring that the animals are treated in safe and humane manners and that their mental health and wellbeing is well looked after. Ethically, the veterinarians are bound to serve the animals and ensure their health before focussing on the needs and requirements of the owners or humans who are associated with them.
Veterinary services provide healthcare for animals - especially pets, farm animals, and animals kept in zoos and wildlife parks. These treatments may be administered at regular appointments, in response to a particular issue, or during an emergency situation. Similar to the case of humans, veterinarians focus on understanding, diagnosing and treating the diseases which animals face. The scope of their practice, their medical qualifications, their specialization, and level of experience usually dictate the procedures and functions they perform but most veterinarians perform the basic functions of treatments and surgeries. However, unlike in the case of humans, veterinarians must rely more on clinical signs, for the animals are incapable of vocalizing and explaining the symptoms or difficulties which they may face. If the animals are domesticated or live in association with humans, the humans may attempt to understand their conditions or provide medical reports and suggestions. Along with this, veterinarians combine the information provided by various tests including, but not limited to, radiography, CT scans, MRIs, urinary and blood tests etc. As with the case of human medicine, most veterinarian work focuses on treating current or predicted ailments, with the aim of preventing their future occurrence. Common practices include vaccination against common illnesses in animals, including rabies or distemper, and educating the owners about the medical practices and lifestyle choices to adopt in order to prevent of future health issues. Veterinarians also play an important part in maintaining and working towards good public health and the protection against zoonoses. In some cases, when animals are found to be in very poor health and increasing pain, veterinarians must also consider the ethical appropriateness of euthanising the animals. This is only done in cases where the treatment options are extremely dangerous or would have adverse impacts upon the physical and mental state of the animal, or if the owners are under financial constraints. It is mainly considered when the chances of the animal surviving any medical procedures are extremely slim or non- existent.
All animals excluding humans are eligible for veterinary treatment, although the extent of treatment which they can receive is greatly decided by the financial constraints of their diseases. Hence, it is normally found that pets and animals which live in close association with humans have better access to veterinary treatment. Animals living in the wild or undomesticated animals do not stand as much chance of receiving veterinary help, and are usually treated only in cases where organisations or people voluntarily choose to take up their cases and ensure their treatment through private funding. According to the American Medical Veterinary Association, 77% of the treatment provided by veterinarians is for pet animals such as dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rabbits and others.
Generally, veterinarians do not work with humans, since their specialization is in animal care and they may lack some of the crucial education and qualifications necessary for the treatment of human conditions. However, certain veterinarians have qualifications allowing them to work with both animals and humans, often in combination, or for research purposes. It is also found that certain animals may not have access to veterinary care due to lack of funds, or lack of attention to their cases. Since veterinary care is also a professional field and involves an element of money, it is evident that financial issues may occur. However, there are organisations and trust funds set up for this purpose which review and study such cases before offering funds and relief options for the animals’ treatment.
Similar to the case of human medicine, it is not unnatural for veterinary treatment to have certain side effects. It is expected that mediation and prescriptions given to the animals may come with certain unwanted or unexpected impacts. In case of more intense surgeries or activities, it is common that animals may face discomfort or temporary decrease in their quality of life. This is usually predicted by the medical practitioners and the animals are given required amenities, and the humans in charge of them are briefed about the expected side effects. In general, veterinary practice aim to improve the quality of life of the animals in the long run, with minimal losses, and to extend their life spans and expectancies.
For most veterinary treatments, the guidelines are similar to those that would be provided to humans. In case of vaccinations or medications, the guidelines would be to proceed cautiously and to expect mild side effect for a certain number of hours, usually under 72. In case of surgeries and treatments, post- treatment guidelines about protecting, treating, or dressing the affected areas may be provided. In case of long-term diseases or ailments, the post treatment guidelines may include follow up actions or more veterinary treatments. In general, it is found that follow up treatments usually involve a certain amount of rest and caution, coupled with required medications such as pain killers or antibiotics. The guidelines are usually not extremely hard to understand and implement.
The expected recovery rates for veterinary activities vary greatly according to the kind of treatment which they have received. In case of minor treatments, recovery times are usually zero or up to 48 hours under observation. In the case of surgeries or treatments on a larger scale, recovery times may extend to a few weeks or even month. This is usually found in the case of major injuries, broken bones, serious diseases or internal injuries. Some veterinary treatments such as modification of diets or intake of supplements and medications may have no recovery time but simply persistent application and proper focus on the suggested procedures. In almost all cases, the veterinary doctors and physicians will give a prior intimation of the expected duration.
The costs of treatments in India depend mainly upon the level of experience and the competency of the veterinarian performing them. In case of rare or exotic animals, prices may rise to exorbitant amounts, running into tens of thousands. Minor injuries and treatments would require amounts ranging from a few hundreds to around five thousand rupees. Vaccinations and medications depend on the prevalent market rates. Generally, veterinary medications cost between Rs: 1500/- to Rs: 14000/- per month.
It is desirable for the treatment to be permanent in order to enhance the quality of life and the life expectancies of the animals. Most veterinary doctors focus on making sure that the administered treatment and medications are permanent or very long-term effects. It is common for certain treatments to require longer recovery times or a number of follow up actions, medications, or treatments. However, there are very few cases where the administered treatments do not aim to bring about permanent changes or find long term solutions. This is usually cases where the treatments cannot be effective due to the extent of injury or disease, or in rare cases, due to improper administration or actions by the veterinarians and in-charges of the case.
The alternatives to veterinary treatment are usually basic home remedies. In some cases, the owners of pets or domesticated animals may be able to diagnose and treat them based on their own knowledge and awareness, but this is only possible to certain extents. In some cases, doctors who specialize in the treatment of humans may also be able to treat animals effectively. However, the best course of action for the treatment of animals would remain taking them to veterinary physicians or doctors.