Diseases of Swine Eleventh Edition, With changes in the structure of the swine industry, there have also been changes in the roles of swine veterinarians.
Diseases of Swine Eleventh Edition
Swine veterinarians today focus more on preventive medicine and improving overall herd health rather than responding after disease occurs, the latter common in traditional “fire engine” practices of 20+ years ago. Swine veterinarians now have a proactive role in anticipating problems and preventing disease with a concurrent responsibility to provide care to each pig.
This is a challenge as resources (money, labor, and time) are always limited. Consequently, swine veterinarians are highly motivated to be innovative. The use of modern technology, applied research, epidemiologic principles, bio-statistics, and improved diagnostic methods guides them through the diagnosis as well as the prioritization and allocation of resources to improve the health and welfare of pigs. The successful veterinarian is not only the one that solves a problem but also creates opportunities and promotes the financial success of their clients.
Before starting any evaluation of a farm, it is important to understand the objectives and goals of each individual involved in the farm operation. This is critical as ultimately the success of any intervention requires actions by the client or those working for the client. Better understanding of the client’s goals and constraints will ensure that recommendations on herd health are made in that context.
The context often requires swine veterinarians to innovate because recommendations will often vary between clients and may change for a particular client over time. For example, a client may be focused on improving average daily gain for a period but may transition to reducing cost of gain as their facts, business inputs, or understanding changes. The most important question for an owner or manager who is requesting veterinary services to answer is: “What is my goal?”
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