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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Thank a Veterinarian!

Before you know it, the weather will turn cold and the holiday season will be in full swing. When we watch the ball drop in Times Square to welcome the New Year, we’ll also be welcoming World Veterinary Year. As 2011 draws near, take time to thank the veterinarians who make our world a safer and healthier place.

 brown cartoon dog
The next time you’re playing with your dog Jazz, think about the small animal veterinarian who keeps Jazz healthy and active. When you take Jazz to the animal hospital for his vaccines or because he has diarrhea from worms, remember to say, “Thank you!” to your veterinarian. Every day, veterinarians work hard to prevent and treat diseases in our pets. Some diseases, including some worm infections, can be passed from pets to people. By prescribing a dewormer for Jazz to get rid of his worms, your veterinarian is protecting your dog and you.

black and white cartoon cow 
The next time you drink a big glass of cold milk, think about the large animal veterinarian who keeps Buttercup healthy so she produces nutritious milk. When your class takes a field trip to the local dairy farm, remember to say, “Thank you!” to the farm’s veterinarian. Every day, veterinarians work hard to protect the health of dairy cows, pigs, and other animals that give us food. Some diseases in people, called foodborne diseases, are caused by eating or drinking food that contains harmful bacteria, viruses, or other toxins. By keeping Buttercup and the rest of the herd healthy, the farm’s veterinarian is protecting the dairy cows and the milk you drink.

We should also say, “Thank you!” to the many veterinarians who work in the federal government. These veterinarians may not be so easy to pick out. They usually don’t wear white lab coats or mucky coveralls with stethoscopes hanging around their necks. They usually don’t work in animal hospitals or on farms. Most federal veterinarians wear typical “going-to-the-office” clothes and work in office buildings. Every day, they work behind the scenes to protect our health and the health of our animals.

Federal veterinarians who work at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have many important jobs. They make sure the drugs we give our animals are safe and do what they’re supposed to do. They also keep the food we eat and the food we feed our animals safe.

When you give Jazz his dewormer, thank federal veterinarians for making sure the drug is safe and works. When you bake a cake for your mother’s birthday, also thank federal veterinarians for making sure the milk and eggs you use are safe.

So, let’s join together to thank veterinarians for all they do!

Learn more about federal veterinarians at work at FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.