On a recent pet loss forum, a cat owner chatted with members at length about how to express gratitude to her local vet. The vet had offered her advice on the best foods and medications for her cat, then had seen her cat through syringe feedings and subcutaneous IV fluids, all in an attempt to forestall her cat’s death from Chronic Kidney Disease. Many of us had all encountered the same dedication from our vet and so had various suggestions. She finally settled on a card, photos, and flowers.
If you’ve never thanked your vet, consider doing so on World Veterinary Day. In 2000, the World Veterinary Association initiated this annual celebration on the last Saturday of April to bring attention to the ways our animal doctors help make the world a better place.
We all know that vets care for our common household pets like dogs, cats, and birds, and exotic pets like chinchillas, sugar gliders, and z. And don’t forget that they also care for our livestock. But vets also serve in lots of other ways too; of which just a few are listed below.
- Education pet owners about animal bites.
- Identify at-risk pets.
- Provide information on the benefits of exercise to pets.
- Teach responsible use of medicine for animals.
- Detect and diagnose animal disease conditions.
- Develop policies and promoting laws to improve the care and welfare of animals around the world.
- Conduct research to develop vaccines and cures for diseases in animals.
- Involved with food safety, food security, and safe world trade in animal products.
- Investigate outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that spread from animals to humans, such as rabies, bird flu and Ebola.
- Collaborate with the medical community. Because animals and people are often affected by the same diseases, veterinarian research often benefits people directly.
Veterinarians care about the health and well-being of animals, people, and the environment we share together because animals affect human health.–World Veterinary Association
In 2008, the World Veterinary Association together with the World Organization for Animal Health, also created a World Veterinary Day Award to honor the most successful contribution of a veterinarian to society on a particular theme. This year, the theme was Continuing Education with One Health. The theme recognizes that veterinarians play a crucial role in protecting not just local but also global health. “In all areas of the profession, they have opportunities and responsibilities to improve the health and welfare of animals, and therefore, to improve the health of humans.”
Because of their contribution to global health, as well as to the well-being of our beloved pets, let’s honor our veterinarians this April 28. My husband and I could certainly name many animal doctors who have made a different in the lives of our pets. And I’m sure you could too. Share your stories here and send a thank card to your vet. Let’s celebrate World Veterinary Day together!