Veterinary Medicine: Animals Need Supplements Too!

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Typically, when one thinks of what types of animals veterinarians treat, one’s mind goes to dogs and cats, also known as canine and feline medical specializations. Many natural health supplements are can be used in canine patients. However, there exists an extended list of other types of animals veterinarians can specialize in treating. Some are very large, some much smaller and some are very exotic.

One type of veterinary discipline, which focuses on large animals, is bovinae medicine. This biological subfamily consists of a group of 10 large animals, which include bison, cattle, water buffalo, American buffalo, antelopes and yak. Although these animals can be very different in size and characteristics, they all fall under this category despite the obscurity of the relationships between each animal. Although they are similar to horses in some ways, it is not suggested that they be given horse supplements. They are generally classified by characteristics including cloven hoofs and horns, which are often noted in males but sometimes less noticeably in females as well.

Reptiles are another group of animals that a vet can specialize in treating. Being cold-blooded they present unique challenges to veterinarians. Reptiles are grouped into a class called Reptilla, which defines them as “neither birds nor mammals”. They also have scales or scutes and lay eggs, as opposed to mammals, which give birth. Types of reptiles include turtles, tortoises, lizards and snakes. Originating about 320 million years ago, they are derived from another group of animals that vets have been exclusively trained to treat: amphibians. Like reptiles, amphibians are cold-blooded, but there are distinct differences between them. Amphibians go through several larval stages. First, they hatch and live in pools and have gills. They then develop into adult animals, which leave their nursery pools to live both on land and in water. They can actually use their skin for respiration and some, in fact, exclusively use this remarkable strategy instead of having lungs.

Poultry is also another area of expertise of many vets. The category of poultry is made up of domesticated birds, which are raised by humans and used for the eggs or meat. Galliformes, which include chickens, quails and turkeys require medical attention to make sure that their eggs and the meat they will provide will be safe for consumption. Waterfowl include domestic ducks and geese. Birds, which are considered to be game birds mainly, include pheasants.

Given even this small insight into other areas in which vets can specialize, it’s now easy to imagine many other areas in which vets can focus their attention. Vets do not only focus on dogs or cats and suggest dog supplements. Veterinary medicine covers a wide array of species from all over the globe. Due to this, vets needs to know a variety of animal systems and how they function, thus making them extremely knowledgeable and a true value to our society.