Recent Advances in Veterinary Science

Recent Advances in Veterinary Science

If you’re like most, you’ve heard of the advancements that medical science has made in the past 10 years. It’s difficult to miss news about minimally invasive procedures, new drugs, and potential cures for chronic conditions. However, you might not realize that veterinary science has also improved by leaps and bounds. Though it is not as well published as news about medical science, veterinary science has benefited from many of the same advances that have brought medical science into the 21st century.

The Ability to Treat New Diseases

Veterinary Science

Cancer, dementia, joint problems, kidney disease, and UTIs are just some of the diseases that veterinarians can now treat in cats and dogs that would have been untreatable in the previous decade, according New York Times reporter William Grimes. In fact, there have been confirmed cases of canine cancer going into remission after treatment, such as a bone marrow transplant.

New Technology

Veterinarians and pet owners alike can thank the advancement of technology for making treatments like those above possible. For example, TomoTherapy, a radiation machine, has been responsible for saving the lives of dogs and cats with inoperable brain tumors. The ever increasing accuracy of high power microscopes allows doctors and researchers to make better decisions regarding treatment options. According to Texas A&M University, veterinarians have begun to use the MRI, a tool frequently employed in human medicine, to scan animals, which has resulted in better diagnoses and accurate information in the neurological, cardiac, and orthopedic practice areas.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

The less invasive a procedure, the safer that procedure, for both humans and animals. Thanks primarily to improved imaging software and hardware, such as the MRIs discussed above, surgeries that would have been invasive/dangerous and would have required a long recovery time can now be done as outpatient procedures. This not only means reduced costs, since animals do not have to stay in the hospital, but it also means more time to heal at home and a reduced chance of complications.

Advanced Schooling

Veterinary Science has historically been one of the hardest college and graduate school majors. Even getting into a veterinary science program is very challenging. However, as the decade has progressed, veterinary science programs have only gotten more selective and challenging. For example, while the 4th year of veterinary school has typically emphasized internship/clinical/practical work, some colleges began implementing a full year of only practicum (no classes) work as their fourth year requirement. As program standards get more challenging, the quality of veterinarians increase, improving veterinary science.

While major news outlets like to tout the successes of medicine in the last decade, veterinary science has made some important advancements of its own. As the next 10 years go by, it will be interesting to see how veterinary science continues to advance.

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