If there is one thing that the vast majority of veterinarians have in common, it’s the desire to provide the highest possible level of care to their patients and improve Animal Health Care.
Fortunately, this aim goes beyond the profession: since the end of the last century, efforts to achieve this goal have been increasing at the public and governmental level. In fact, institutions such as the European Union are gradually regulating certain practices to improve the quality of life of all types of animals (whether in the wild, at home, on farms, or in zoos).
A Social Commitment to Global Health Care
Animal health careis undoubtedly the order of the day. This can be seen in initiatives such as One Health, where animal health and welfare are seen as key to improving society. However, in some sectors, animal welfare remains a major challenge.
Fortunately, veterinarians have a key role to play. In fact, according to the Veterinary College Organisation (VCO), “animal welfare is a science that should be embedded within the veterinary profession”. Why? To measure their welfare, it’s necessary to understand their physiological and behavioural state, knowledge that veterinarians possess (source: Animal’s health).
But what should be taken into account when assessing animal welfare? Among other things, it’s necessary to take into account feeding, hygiene, housing, the relationship with other animals of the same species, and also the mental health of our furry companions.
In other words, animal welfare encompasses overall quality of life, and as veterinarians, we have an obligation to ensure that this is fulfilled. In fact, in many countries, veterinarians are considered the sole authority on animal care and welfare (source: Animal welfare, a challenge for veterinarians).
Animal Welfare in Veterinary Practices
As veterinarians, we have a great responsibility to improve animal health care, and we can do this in a number of ways from your veterinary practice.
Increased Focus on Preventive Medicine
One of the first steps that will help you to improve the welfare of your patients is to prioritise preventive medicine, especially in front of your clients.
It’s possible that this type of medicine may take a back seat for some more careless owners. However, to ensure the quality of life of pets, it’s essential to take care of their nutrition, vaccination, and active lifestyle. These are the main keys to preventing many ailments and diseases.
Offering the Best Options for Monitoring
In recent years there has been a great evolution of technology in the veterinary field, from more accessible diagnostic imaging instruments to wearables. A veterinarian has more and more options to improve the monitoring and diagnosis of their patients. Thanks to these devices, it’s easier to detect any anomaly that can prevent diseases, especially cardiac or respiratory diseases.
Avoiding Stressful Situations for the Patient
On many occasions, animals can suffer from stress when visiting the vet, as if they could smell from afar that a medical visit is coming! Nowadays, there are more options available to avoid this potentially difficult experience.
On the one hand, we have telemedicine, which, although not yet regulated, allows some veterinary questions to be answered from home. Many owners also use telemedicine to make sure that the visit is necessary, thus avoiding as many trips as possible.
On the other hand, in the case of hospitalised patients, it’s also possible to avoid a high frequency of physical examinations, through devices such as the multi-parametric harness. This type of wearable allows the main parameters of the patient’s health to be monitored via a mobile device.
Animal Health Care in the Hands of Veterinarians
In terms of animal health care, veterinarians have a fundamental role in knowing their physiological and mental characteristics. Veterinary clinics can also do their bit, especially through preventive medicine and the advantages offered by new technologies. In short, both institutions and private initiatives are giving more and more importance to animal health care, which bodes well for the future!