The field of veterinary medicine has undergone drastic technological advances in the past decade, with dozens of new tools, drugs, and procedures being adopted in everyday practice. Breakthroughs in diagnostics alone have enabled veterinarians to more accurately identify and treat disease with far greater success than their colleagues a generation ago. The standard of care for animals has never been higher—let’s check out some of the biggest breakthroughs in veterinary medicine that have gotten us here.
Vaccines and Therapy Agents
Every new vaccine is a breakthrough because it has the power to minimize or eliminate the risks of certain disease. One of the biggest breakthroughs in the past years is the DNA-based canine melanoma vaccine for dogs diagnosed with an oral form of the cancer. Other vaccines in the field of veterinary medicine include rattlesnake vaccine (producing antibodies against the venom) in areas where the bite incidence is high, and the controversial dental vaccine (preventing periodontal disease) that’s not currently available for commercial use. Some of the newer drugs for the treatment of diseases include the cancer-fighting Palladia drug and Benadryl for the treatment of allergies in pets. Nutraceuticals are also worth mentioning for they way they harness beneficial compounds found in herbs and food to help dogs fight long-term arthritis.
Concentrated light’s amazing capabilities are being applied across a wide swath of veterinary medicine. Laser beams have proved themselves worthy in surgical procedures such as neuters and spays, ear surgeries and declaws, as well for therapeutic purposes including arthritis and pain relief, hot spots and ear infections, and wound healing. There are even laser devices on the market that pet owners can purchase for home laser therapy.
Rigorous training regimes in horses can unfortunately sometimes lead to the development of serious bone fractures and failures. Before the large defects become apparent on the bones, tiny cracks called micro-fractures can appear. And scientists have found a way to record the acoustic emissions from these tiny cracks. The technology is similar to one used by seismologists to record earthquakes! When a micro-fracture is discovered, proper rest and easier training regime are enough for the bones to heal thus eliminating the risk of more serious defects.
Why are your dog’s eyes different colors or why does he have pointy ears? Where do his parents come from? Now you can find a whole lot about your fluffy friend via DNA testing. It takes about 1-2 months to get the results, and identifies the paternal and maternal lines of the dog going back even to the great-grandparents. On the more important side, the test also includes a special feature to flag possible diseases due to genetic defects your dog may be prone to. You are just a swab away from discovering your dog’s deepest secrets.