International Day of Veterinary Medicine
annually on December 9th
International Day of Veterinary Medicine recognizes the field of medicine that protects animals and the people who practice it. Besides celebrating veterinarians and veterinary scientists for keeping animals safe, it acknowledges the organizations that promote the development of veterinary medicine and inform pet owners about best practices with their pets.
Veterinary medicine, which is ever-changing, has saved countless pets from illness and accidents, and many strides in human and animal health have been made on account of it. Also known as veterinary science, it is a "medical specialty concerned with the prevention, control, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the health of domestic and wild animals and with the prevention of transmission of animal diseases to people."
There have been doctors for animals for as far back as records go, but the specialty of veterinary practice dates to about 2000 BCE in Egypt and Babylonia. The name for the specialty comes from the Latin term veterinarius, which means "pertaining to beast of burden." Today, veterinarians have roles in many institutions. They work in private and corporate clinical practice, government service, public health, military services, private industry, and academic programs. They are supported by veterinary technicians and veterinary nurses. Veterinary training largely consists of scientific study and clinical experience. The World Health Organization recognizes about 450 veterinary degree programs, with about a third of them being doctor's degrees.
How to Observe International Day of Veterinary Medicine
Show appreciation to veterinarians! Give them gifts or a thank-you card, or tell them what their work has meant to you and your pet. Make an appointment for your pets, to keep them healthy and to honor the work of veterinary practitioners and scientists. You could also study new innovations in veterinary medicine and share what you learn with those you know who have pets, or you could take steps to become a veterinarian.