In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Introduction to Veterinary Science 2. Development and Modernization of Veterinary Science 3. Graduates 4. Role of Veterinary Professionals 5. Expectation from Veterinary Professional 6. Conclusion.
Introduction to Veterinary Science:
From time immemorial human had interactions with many of the wild animals in their environment. They have always found animals interesting and companions. Animal-based products are used as food, useful implements, clothing, writing media, etc., apart from these; humans have regularly been able to utilize some species of animals for transport of people, goods, and equipment, for peaceful purposes and military campaigns, etc. Human relationships with animals have been and still are difficult. Human being tried to understand their illness and often recognized that many of these same illnesses seemed to attack their animals as well.
Hippocrates, the father of Medicine has evolved the theory of disease due to imbalance of body humours (fluids). The Chinese used herbal medicine and other treatments to attempt to cure themselves and their favourite/most valuable animals. Historical information in China depicts that there are records dating to 4000-3000 BC that record the use of herbs for curative purposes for humans and animals.
Egyptian hieroglyphics from around 3500 BC prove the presence of numerous types of domesticated animals. The first individual to be considered a veterinarian is Urlagaldinna. The Greek Scientist, Alcmaeon (c. 500 BC) was the first person known to have dissected animals for scientific purposes. In India there are records that animal hospitals were established in India during the Brahman era and the reign of King Ashoka (273-232 BC).
During the period of Greco-Roman, there were a number of individuals who recorded the current knowledge regarding animal care and disease. Aristotle (384-322 BC) recorded much of the knowledge regarding animals. He predicted that animals were different and yet some showed similar characteristics to humans.
Columella, a Roman scholar was a very prolific writer on the topic of animal care and breeding. He used the term “veterinarius” for individual who is a caretaker of pigs, sheep and cattle. During the end of 16th century, there are many indications to animal plagues and their devastating effects on farmers’ productivity.
A plague in European cattle in 1711, namely Rinderpest as a contagious viral cattle disease. After this outbreak of plague it was in 1762 that Claude Bourgelat in Lyons, France established the first veterinary school in the world. In about AD 500 Roman wrote a book on what is the task of veterinarians followed by a book called Anatomy of the Horse and was written by an Italian, Carlo Ruini, in 1598.
The first school that taught people about scientific veterinary was in Europe in the mid-eighteenth century less than three hundred years ago. In ancient India, treatment of animals was generally confined to Ayurveda medicine. Salihotra was denoted as horse doctor, apart from that Vaisampayana, Nakula and Palkapya contributed highly in animal practices through sanskrit treaties on animals.
Development and Modernization of Veterinary Science:
The veterinary science started developing on the line of scientific trends after the invention of microscope by Antony Van Leuwenhoek. In the twentieth century, progress in veterinary science continued to advance gradually through educational institutions and associations were founded and evolved to communicate the advances to the veterinary community.
Their major responsibility were to control and eradication of major epidemic farm animal diseases, the control of imported and exported animals and animal products, the operation of animal health laboratories and treatment of the animals within them, and other animal welfare matters.
“Operation Flood”, the largest dairy development programme in the world has modernized Indian dairy industry and linked producer and consumers through establishing a national milk grid. The organization of cooperatives of milk producers was a major part of the program, which gave opportunities to the farmers for production, and marketing of their produce.
Technological progress in the production, processing, and distribution of livestock products will be the focus now. Rapid advances in feed improvement; genetic and reproductive technologies and health coverage offer scope for overcoming many of the technical problems posed by increased livestock production.
Future growth prospects in developing livestock for food security and the livelihoods of the rural poor and for environmental sustainability are crucial. Biotechnological tools offer an opportunity for a rapid expansion and better management of livestock production and health management through novel, cost-effective and dependable means of vaccine production and diagnostics, development of genetic resistant animal varieties to diseases and increasing the fertility potential of the pedigreed dairy animals.
The molecular biological technique such as PCR, RAPD-PCR, gene probes, REA, cloning is very useful for the rapid and sensitive diagnosis of animal diseases. “Therapeutic and preventive approaches to deal with diseases of farm and companion Animals” is in concurrence with the revolutionary phase through which livestock sector is passing in India.
Veterinary science graduates will find many exciting opportunities to work with animals and the general public in a variety of ways. If you are a caring person and compassionate to animals, you may want to explore the educational and career options within the field of veterinary science. Veterinary science plays a vital role in the maintenance and healthcare of pets, zoo animals, and livestock.
Apart from these also meet the healthcare and maintenance needs of animals; some individuals working in veterinary science use their skills to work on zoonotic diseases affecting both animals and humans, viz. anthrax, leptospirosis, brucellosis, rabies, etc. Veterinarian research has always played a vital role in understanding human heart disease, organ transplant procedures, and a variety of drug therapies.
Despite the fact that, the field of veterinary science is exciting and rewarding, working with animals requires patience, care and flexibility. Veterinary science is a field with many aspects and individuals working in the field of veterinary science are veterinarians, animal care and service workers, and veterinary technologists or technical personnel.
Role of Veterinary Professionals:
Apart from being caring about animals, a good veterinarian must have good dexterity, human communication skills, and management skills. Veterinarians generally diagnose animal health issues, vaccinate animals against diseases, and medicate animals experiencing illness or infection and if necessary they also perform surgery.
Small animal veterinarians are vital educators, enabling pet owners to optimally nourish, breed, maintain, and care for their pets. Veterinarians who work with large animals primarily focus on animals associated with farms, ranches, or zoos. These veterinarians usually drive to the animals’ living quarters and examine and treat them on site.
Large animal veterinarians are key to a large animal’s long-term health care plan by offering preventative care. They not only test for and vaccinate against certain diseases, but they also consult with farmers. This network of information restricts the spread of diseases and illness in regional populations and ensures health for the whole community. Veterinarians are committed and often work out doors, in all kinds of weather, and with animals in a variety of states for overall well-being of animals.
Veterinarians not only work as animal caretakers and animal trainers but are also responsible for the cleanliness, maintenance, Grooming and repair of animal habitats, such as cages or staged natural environments and thus ensuring health of the animals. In zoos, veterinarians closely observe animals for signs of illness or injury, monitor eating patterns for other signs of imbalance and treat the ailing animals. Veterinarians conduct clinical trial, perform various medical tests, often perform blood or urine tests, and prepare tissue samples.
Desirable Characteristics of a Veterinary Professional:
1. In-depth/advanced knowledge base of veterinary medical science and comparative biomedicine as described in the curriculum requirements.
2. Essentials of scientific and professional behaviour to include thoroughness, reliability, efficiency, and critical analysis.
3. Possess problem solving and critical thinking skills.
4. Experience in scientific investigation and scientific processes.
5. Skill in oral and written communication.
6. Integrated general understanding of the world, its cultures and people.
7. In-depth/advanced understanding of the concepts and principles of the biological sciences.
8. Skills in finding and using information and the management of information.
9. Skills and desire for sustained scholarship and lifelong commitment to learning and professional development.
10. Commitment to betterment of humanity and improvement of one’s community, society, and the profession.
11. Business and management skills including management of one’s personal affairs.
12. Compassion for people, animals, and a reverence for life.
13. Personal integrity and high ethical standards.
14. Dedication and sincerity towards veterinary profession
15. Vets should have knowledge of veterinary jurisprudence and ethics for animal welfare.
16. Moreover, veterinarian should be a good and positive human being who can understand the problem of other people.
Definition of Client’s Expectations:
People’s expectations include what is assumed, desired, wished and hoped for. In the word ‘expected’, one can perceive the necessity and potential for dissatisfaction if this expectation is not or no longer fulfilled. In other words, clients may be initially impressed because a service was beyond their expectation.
However, it then may become a need and is requested. This is the continuing challenge of trying to achieve excellence in client service by exceeding client expectations. A few years ago, when you called a veterinary clinic, or any consumer service oriented business, you received the typical welcome such as “Hello”.
Today, a correct welcome would be along the lines of, “Welcome to the Samaritan Animal Hospital, Gail speaking, how can I help you?” to the point that when we do not receive such a type of personal greeting, one wonders if he or she did not dial the wrong number? There are several kinds of expectations. Those that are expressed by clients, so-called ‘explicit’ expectations, and those that are not expressed, so-called ‘implicit’ expectations. It is quite important to know what our client’s implicit expectations are since, by definition, these will not be mentioned by people.
A perfect example is the fact that people expect the personnel and staff in a veterinary clinic to have a ‘professional, medical look’ (white or medical types of clothes). Intact dress code for a professional is highly essential, which provides the feeling and belongingness for the profession and also render awareness of his duty.
There should be different dress code for a veterinary professional and his subordinate or assisting staffs, which will help the owner to recognize the vets. If it is not the case, people may be surprised or even upset but they will not mention it—it is implicit for them. Veterinarians specifically need to have a good understanding of this category of expectations.
Expectation from Veterinary Professional:
To talk about the expectations from a veterinary professional include many but to mention few are health protection of the national herd by ensuring effective control of disease, including common, zoonotic, and exotic disease, satisfactory animal welfare and environmentally sound production and processing systems, assuring high quality and safe food, efficient and effective private and public veterinary services, economic competitiveness of livestock and livestock product at home or abroad.
Expectations relating to veterinary in the public interest are health protection of the national herd and effective control of disease, protection of the national herd and effective control of animal and zoonotic disease. The main veterinary related threats are from, the introduction of seriously damaging disease, e.g., foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever, rabies, avian influenza, equine infectious anaemia, mastitis, hemorrhagic septicemia, anthrax and RQ, the loss of export status especially to elite markets, customer and consumer resistance to real or perceived “substandard” quality livestock and product.
The community expects that all animals will be protected through effective clinical practice, surveillance and control of disease, especially zoonotic and exotic disease, up-to-date and effective production, hygienic husbandry and welfare practices.
As far as satisfactory animal welfare and environmentally sound production, processing, and animal waste disposal systems are concerned the society expects that all animal husbandry practices should be welfare friendly, environmentally sound, and sustainable, there should be compliance with animal welfare and environment directives and regulations, such as, caging, tethering, transportation, further to mad cow disease, any worthwhile system for the destructive disposal of fallen animals and hazardous animal waste is a better option that recycling into the food chain, the veterinary professional should come forward for a significant input as well as a leader role in many of these developments.
Further, expectations in relation to assured quality and safety of food are controlling specific diseases, animal remedies, residue levels; exclusion of certain animal products from the food chain, all participants in the food chain from production to consumption will operate and comply with proper practice.
Nevertheless, expected private and public veterinary services are effective animal health, welfare and disease control programmes both at farm and national level, application of effective clinical practice using modern technology in diagnosis, disease control. The expectation from a professional for sustained production of animal and animal products are satisfactory production systems, high standard veterinary public and private services, safety and quality validation, with product appropriately labeled and correct professional and commercial certification.
A study in Turkey was conducted to determine peoples’ expectations from veterinarians and how satisfied they were with the care they received. It was shown that most of the clients expected a high level of interest from veterinarians prior to consultation. They were also more concerned about their emotions than the health of their pets.
The clients were highly satisfied by their veterinarians, where cat owners were more satisfied than dog owners. These results show that client expectation is not only limited to pet health, and that client satisfaction is related to counseling services as much as veterinary medical services.
The expectations from the zoo veterinarians in respect to practical basics of parasitology, hematology, postmortem examination, minor and major surgical interventions and follow-up cases of wild animals help the zoo animals to be in sound health. A zoo veterinarian should not be arrogant towards keepers, as they know much more about zoo-animals than some times the veterinary professionals. Hygiene and sanitation are very essential. Veterinary professionals in the zoo should be practical, polite, and punctual and should try to understand animal behaviour.
The Indian Veterinary Association was established in the year 1922 and was registered as an Association under the Registration of Societies Act, as Reg. S.No. 96 of 1967. The expectations from the professionals of this association are to promote the advancement of veterinary science in all its aspects; to uphold the dignity and honour of the profession and to safeguard its rights and interests; to initiate, encourage and support veterinary research; education, employment and improving working conditions; to help organize and affiliate branches in different states and territories of the Indian Union, etc.
Veterinary extension activities must be of high standard so that what so ever newer technological know-how has developed by the veterinary profession, it can reach to ultimate users, i.e., livestock owner and/or clients. Till today linkage of veterinary and animal husbandry is not so strong as in case of other profession like agriculture and medical profession. Central government or state Govt., has to organize regular extension activities so that health and production of livestock sector may improve in this country as our economy and livelihood security is based on animal husbandry.
Other Potentials of Veterinary Profession to Meet Expectations of the Country:
Today’s veterinarians are in the distinctive position of being the only doctors skilled to protect the health of both animals and people. They are not only educated to meet the health needs of every species of animal but they play an important role in environmental protection, food safety, and public health.
Veterinarians consistently rank among the most respected professionals in the country. Veterinarians serve the public by preventing animal disease and promoting food safety. They ensure that food products are safe and wholesome through carefully monitored inspection programmes.
They help preventing the introduction of foreign diseases into the country, supervise interstate shipments of animals, test for diseases, and manage, prevent and eradicate diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, and rabies that pose threats to animal and human health. Employment opportunities for veterinarians are almost endless and include private or corporate clinical practice, teaching and research, regulatory medicine, public health, and military service.
Veterinarians use their education to teach veterinary students, other medical professionals, and scientists about the deadly nature of the zoonotic diseases. Faculty members conduct research, teach, and develop continuing education programmes to help practicing veterinarians acquire new knowledge and skills.
Veterinarians employed in research at universities, colleges, governmental agencies, or in industry are dedicated to find new ways to prevent and treat animal and human health disorders. The society should credit veterinarians for many important contributions to human health.
Veterinarians working in pharmaceutical firms develop, test, and supervise the production of drugs and biological products, such as antibiotics and vaccines, for human and animal use. These veterinarians usually have specialized education in fields such as pharmacology, virology, bacteriology, laboratory animal medicine, or pathology.
Veterinarians are also employed in management, technical sales and services, and other positions in agribusinesses, pet food companies, and pharmaceutical companies. They serve as epidemiologists, working in environmental pollution studies. Apart from these, veterinarians in the country are serving in remount veterinary corps (RVC) in protecting the country against bioterrorism, veterinary care of government-owned animals, and professional in DRDO (Defense Research Development Organization) work on the line of development of biomedical research.
Veterinary officers with special training in laboratory animal medicine, pathology, microbiology, or related disciplines, conduct research in military and other governmental agencies. In fact, RVC is highly essential and a dedicated corps in Indian army, reason being all the supplies in border areas of our country are maintained by the animals like donkey, mules, horses and camels.
Contemporary veterinarians are exceptionally dedicated and willing to work long, difficult hours to save the life of an animal or help solve a public health crisis. Individuals who are interested in veterinary profession should have an inquiring mind and keen powers of observation. Veterinarians must maintain a lifelong interest in scientific learning, and must genuinely like and understand animals.
Veterinarians should be able to meet, talk, and work well with a variety of people. Compassion is an essential attribute for success, especially for veterinarians working with pet owners who form strong bonds with their pets. Veterinarians manage private or corporate clinical practice, governmental agencies, and public health programmes.
In the face of exceptional competition, the veterinarian must provide their patients and clients with the best scope of medical and surgical care and also a variety of services and products related to their animal’s wellness. Most owners look forward to these services and products to be provided by the veterinarian. Owners seek necessary advice at the veterinary practice, but also about products and animal health services. It is therefore compulsory that veterinarians know and try to come as close as possible to the expectations of their clients.
The Indian Society for Veterinary Medicine (ISVM) established in 1981 is a professional organization of veterinary physicians of India. The primary objective of the society is to bring the different members working all over the country together and provide a common platform to project the scientific, technical and clinical information pertaining to livestock health.