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Your Visit

Over your pet’s lifespan, there may be numerous times you seek veterinary care.  It is important to understand a veterinarian’s expertise and purpose in your pet’s life. The following information offers insight regarding how the veterinarian will play an important role in your pet’s healthcare.

Communicating with the Veterinarian

Whether your pet’s veterinary visit is a regulatory wellness exam or is meant to treat a serious illness, your communication with the veterinarian is critical. You know your pet better than anyone else and spend adequate time with your pet, enabling you to verify abnormal behavior. During your veterinary visit, conveying any irregularities to the vet will allow them to create a diagnostic method that will best determine what is ailing your pet.

Prior to your pet’s veterinary appointment, you can create a list of any questions about pet behavior, nutrition, or changes in pet demeanor. The veterinarian is a trained expert in pet care and will be able to answer your questions during your visit. Also, if you are new to pet ownership, be sure and inquire about the grooming, nutritional, and seasonal needs of your particular breed or species of pet. A vet can inform you of changes in local climate that will affect your pet, as well as inform you about how to adapt to these changes. They can also offer advice about how to properly care for your particular species or breed of pet.

Establishing open communication with your veterinarian allows you to better understand your pet and their needs and grants your veterinarian essential insight into your pet’s behavior and potential illness.

The Veterinarian’s Role

Veterinarians are highly educated individuals in the field health of animals. The profession is regulated by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), requiring veterinary students to pass a certification exam in order to practice veterinary medicine. The AVMA recognizes 38 veterinary specialties and their 21 affiliated organizations, which promote various aspects of pet care, including:

  • Alternative medicine
  • Anesthesiology
  • Animal behavior
  • Animal welfare
  • Birds
  • Bovine
  • Canine
  • Cardiology
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical pathology
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Dentistry
  • Dermatology
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Equine
  • Emergency and critical care
  • Exotics
  • Feline
  • Internal medicine
  • Laboratory animal medicine
  • Microbiology
  • Neurology
  • Nutrition
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Parasitology
  • Pathology
  • Poultry
  • Preventative medicine
  • Radiology
  • Reptile and amphibian
  • Shelter medicine
  • State veterinary medicine
  • Sports medicine
  • Surgery
  • Theriogenology
  • Toxicology
  • Zoo animals and wildlife

After passing regulatory exams, a veterinarian takes The Veterinarian’s Oath, vowing to use their education and training “for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.”

What does a veterinarian do?

The purpose of veterinary medicine is to treat ailing animals, prevent disease transmission from animal to human, contain animal disease, and educate the public about proper pet and animal care. Throughout the extent of your pet’s life, there may be numerous times where you seek veterinary care, during which the doctor can prescribe medicine, perform surgery, vaccinate a pet, and offer advice about helping nurse your pet back to health.