What We Learn

what_we_learn

Continuing education is important, even after veterinarians have completed their college studies and acquired the appropriate licenses.

Students interested in a career in veterinary medicine should begin their preparation by doing well in general science and biology in junior high school. They need to take a strong science, math, and biology program in high school. Admission into veterinary medical school is competitive. In fact, many people would agree that it’s just as tough if not tougher to get into a veterinary medical school compared to a human medical school.

To be considered for admission to a college of veterinary medicine, a student must first complete undergraduate preveterinary medical coursework, which usually includes three to four years of college study, with specific course requirements. Each college of veterinary medicine establishes its own preveterinary requirements. Typical requirements include basic language and communication skills, social sciences, humanities, mathematics, chemistry, and the biological and physical sciences.

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What We Do

Doctors of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Surgeons are medical professionals whose primary responsibility is protecting the health and welfare of animals and people. The term “Veterinarian” comes from veterinae, which means “working animals.” Every veterinarian has gone through extensive medical training for animals and has received a license to practice veterinary medicine.

Veterinarians diagnose and control animal diseases, treat sick and injured animals, prevent the transmission of animal diseases to people, and advise owners on proper care of pets and livestock. They ensure a safe food supply by maintaining the health of food animals. Veterinarians are also involved in wildlife preservation and conservation and public health of the human population.

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Help & Support

University of California at Davis Veterinary Students
(530)752-3602 or toll free (800)565-1526
Monday-Friday 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm (PT)
http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/petloss/index.htm

Florida Community Volunteers
(352)392-4700 Dial 1 and 4080
(352)392-4700 X4744 (Joy Diaz)
Monday-Friday  7 pm to 9 pm (ET)
http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu/vmth/companions.htm

Michigan State University Veterinary Students
(517)432-2696  Tuesday to Thursday 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (ET)
http://cvm.msu.edu/petloss/index.htm

Chicago VMA Veterinarians and Staffs
(630)325-1600 Leave Voicemail Message
Calls will be returned 7 PM to 9 PM (CT)

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The Next Step

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The grieving process includes accepting the reality of your loss, accepting that the loss and accompanying feelings are painful, and adjusting to your new life that no longer includes your pet.

How do I tell my family?

Family members usually are already aware of a pet’s problems. However, you should review with them the information you have received from your veterinarian. Long-term medical care can be a burden that you and your family may be unable to bear emotionally or financially, and this should be discussed openly and honestly. Encourage family members to express their thoughts and feelings. Even if you have reached a decision, it is important that family members, especially children, have their feelings considered.

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The Decision

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Your decision is a personal one, but it need not be a solitary one. Your veterinarian and your family and friends can assist and support you.

How Do I Make The Decision?

Your relationship with your pet is special, and you are responsible for its care and welfare. Eventually, many owners are faced with making life or death decisions for their pets. Such a decision may become necessary for the welfare of the animal and for you and your family.  A decision concerning euthanasia may be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make regarding your pet. Your decision is a personal one, but it need not be a solitary one. Your veterinarian and your family and friends can assist and support you. Consider not only what is best for your pet, but also what is best for you and your family. Quality of life is important for pets and people alike.

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Camping with Pets

Camping with pets presents its own challenges. Skunks, raccoons, porcupines, snakes, and other wildlife can bite or otherwise injure your pet. Keep your pet within sight and on a leash. Be considerate of other campers. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about flea, tick and heartworm prevention.

Travel by Bus or Train

Most states prohibit animals from riding on buses and similar regulations restrict travel on trains. Exceptions are made for guide and service dogs accompanying blind and disabled persons. Consult your local carriers in advance for information.

Travel by Car

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Pets should not be allowed to ride with their heads outside car windows. Particles of dirt can enter the eyes, ears, and nose, causing injury or infection.

If your pet is not accustomed to car travel, take it for a few short rides before your trip. Cats should be confined to a cage or crate to allow them to feel secure and to avoid having a pet under your feet while driving.  Stick to your regular feeding routine and give the main meal at the end of the day or when you reach your destination. Feeding dry food will be more convenient, assuming your pet readily consumes it. Dispose of unused canned food unless it can be refrigerated. Take along a plastic jug of cold water in case other reliable water sources are not available. Give small portions of food and water and plan to stop every two hours for exercise. Remember to include a leash with your pet’s traveling supplies.

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Travel by Airplane

Transport crates, available from most pet shops, must have specific criteria.

Air travel is of most concern to pet owners. You can minimize the chances of an unpleasant experience by following a few guidelines. Federal regulations require that pets be at least 8 weeks old and weaned at least 5 days before flying. Generally, a health certificate (which is not more than 10 days old) must be available before pets will be permitted to fly. A valid rabies vaccination certificate will also be required.  Contact the airline well in advance for specific regulations and to secure your pet’s reservation. Try to book a nonstop, midweek flight and avoid plane changes if possible. During warm weather periods choose early morning or late evening flights. In colder months, choose midday flights.  Arrive at the airport early, exercise your pet, personally place it in its crate, and pick up the animal promptly upon arrival. Do not take leashed animals on escalators.

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Planning and Preparation

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It may be stating the obvious, but always find out in advance if pets are welcome.

Planning and preparation are necessary when traveling with family pets. Consider whether your pet is comfortable when traveling. Some animals, like some people, function better in familiar surroundings. A car-sick animal can make a trip miserable for everyone. Some ill or physically impaired dogs and cats cannot withstand the rigors of travel. If this is the case, discuss options such as using a reliable pet-sitter or a clean, well-managed boarding facility with your veterinarian.

If you will be staying with friends along the way, be considerate. Find out in advance if the pet is welcome. The same goes for hotels, motels, parks, and campgrounds. Always check whether pets are allowed or kennel facilities are available. If the pet must be left alone in a hotel room, place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door and inform the maid and the front desk. Consider bringing along a portable kennel for use in hotel rooms or the homes of friends or relatives who are not comfortable with your pet loose when no one is home.

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