Veterinarians’ foremost duty is to be an advocate for animals. When a swine veterinarian is called out to a farm for a problem, they must not only work with the pigs but also work closely with the people involved in order to take care of those animals in need. A major part of their job as a swine veterinarian is to identify and address issues that are affecting the pigs. Additionally, they are expected to come up with effective yet economic solutions for the farmer. Once the problem is identified and a plan is made, they will put that plan into action with the help of the farmers.
Naturally swine veterinarians are excellent problem solvers but once in a while, even the finest professionals face complications. Professional organizations for veterinarians bring together expertise from all over the world and allows for the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge. Some examples of veterinary organizations are the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians (CASV), which is comprised of the Association des Veterinaires en Industrie Animale (AVIA), the Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians (OASV) and the Western Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians (WCASV). Internationally renowned organizations include the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) and the International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS). Veterinarians are able to get together and present recent advancements in pig medicine, research, welfare and ethics while discussing issues and solutions to tough problems that they face in the barn.
It’s both gratifying and humbling to interact with hundreds of like-minded individuals at meetings, having left their families back home, gathered in one location to talk about this one thing they care deeply about: pigs. These meetings and annual conferences are wonderful opportunities for veterinarians. They learn about innovations in swine nutrition, housing, new ways to combat diseases and prepare for what new diseases might be looming on the horizon and come back refreshed with new ideas and resolutions to problems. As a future veterinarian, I’m looking forward to these continuing education opportunities in order to deliver the best service and help people and their animals as best I can.
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My supervising veterinarian from the Abilene Animal Hospital was one of more than 3,500 swine veterinarians from around the world who attended the recent the International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS) Congress in Dublin, Ireland.