Veterinarians in private clinical practice work to prevent disease and other health problems in their patients. They examine animal patients, vaccinate them against diseases, prevent the transmission of animal disease to people and advise owners on ways to keep pets and livestock well nourished and healthy.
When health problems develop, practitioners must diagnose the problem and treat the patients. Accurate diagnosis frequently requires the use of laboratory tests, radiography or x-rays, and specialized equipment. Treatments may involve a number of procedures including: emergency lifesaving measures, prescribing medication, setting a fracture, delivering a calf, performing surgery, or advising the owner on feeding and care of the patient.
Today's veterinarians are in the unique position of being the only doctors educated 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.
In taking The Veterniarian's Oath, a doctor solemnly swears to use his or her scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society, through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, and the advancement of medical knowledge.