2001-Mon Mar 27 10:42:55 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
The fact that veterinary medicine is looking to the allied human medical professions for inspiration is a very good thing. After all, the drive to heal humans — not animals — has been the overriding force behind the development of medical innovations since the dawn of time. That’s why “creative mooching,” as I like to call it, affords a way for veterinary medicine to improve animal health by taking lots of its high-tech (and not-so-high-tech) cues from its sister professions.
Read on to learn about 10 newfangled things modern veterinarians are currently adopting from human medicine.
1. Transplant medicine. In addition to blood transfusions, dialysis and skin grafts, we’ve set our sights on bringing kidney, liver and heart transplants to our veterinary patients. But only because we’ve learned how from human medicine.
2. Checklists. As I intimated earlier, not every item on this list is a high-tech adaptation from human medicine. This one’s actually an engineering solution that arrived by way of human medicine and was popularized by Dr. Atul Gawande in his seminal book, The Checklist Manifesto.
The idea is that medicine’s become so technologically complex that mistakes are happening at a higher rate. Just like a fighter pilot checks off points on his checklist before every flight, so too should veterinarians employ checklists for everything from anesthesia management to laboratory techniques, and even new puppy/kitten visits. (Who can remember everything one needs to talk about during these critical visits?)
3. Antinausea medication. Nausea is not necessarily second to pain when alleviating animal suffering. It’s a really big deal. In fact, without nausea medication, I probably would’ve lost last week’s pancreatitis patient. Thankfully, increasingly effective iterations of these drugs are becoming more widely available to animal medicine.
In large part, I’m told, this increased availability has to do with the prevalence of chemotherapy in humans and the need to address the extreme nausea these protocols too often elicit. As drug companies cycle through the drugs they find effective, many of these medications are being conscripted into veterinary service.
4. Radiation technology. It may sound crazy to you, but in South Florida, where I live, my patients have access to three linear accelerator machines dedicated full-time to irradiating tumors in pets. Cool, right? More so when you consider that plenty of facilities are now starting to offer the Gamma Knife, an even more precise radiation therapy tool for pets with brain tumors.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.