To people who have and care for them, pets are more than just animals. They are confidants, sources of unconditional love and support. Pets are family members, and this profound emotional bond between them and their owners underscores the importance of pet health and well-being.
“Fostering the human-animal bond and realizing how important animals are for us is what drives me going forward,” says Dr. Timothy Mann. “It’s a quest to do good medicine.” Dr. Mann owns and operates the Springfield Veterinary Hospital and Dental Clinic, a practice with a history spanning almost a hundred years.
Throughout his career, Dr. Mann’s been a firsthand witness to the major advancements in veterinary medicine. Technology has opened up new frontiers, setting a new standard of care that was unthinkable only a few decades ago.
The rise of technology in veterinary medicine mirrors advancements in human healthcare, with some technologies like MRI and ultrasound imaging transitioning from human clinics to vet offices. These tools have been game-changers, revolutionizing diagnostics and giving practitioners like Dr. Mann unprecedented insights into pet health.
“We can do much more with ultrasound technology and imaging than we could ever do in the past,” Dr. Mann says. “And the nice thing, too, is it’s in the hands of us at the local level. So we really can do more now than we could 20 years ago when I started.”
Increased treatment availability is one of the best consequences of technological advancements in veterinary medicine. A great example is stem cell treatments — Dr. Mann’s been doing them for the last twenty years. But they’re just now becoming more popular and available, so people are doing them more and more.
A notable contribution of technology in veterinary medicine is its emphasis on preventative care. By detecting diseases early, vets can intervene more effectively, improving outcomes and increasing pet longevity.
“Even blood tests and their availability matter greatly,” says Dr. Mann. “We do a lot more preventative care than we could do in the past. You can find problems before they become diseases and issues. So that we can help pets and make their lives longer.”
In Dr. Mann’s practice, integrating traditional treatments has been crucial in optimizing patient outcomes. Whether using stem cell therapy to speed up recovery or integrating herbal therapies into treatment plans, the goal remains to improve pet health and quality of life, ensuring they have happier and healthier years with their human companions.
“I like to think of this as complementary medicine, so I don’t think of it as holistic medicine in that sense. It’s all been very well studied and as valid as antibiotics,” Dr. Mann explains. “I have these additional modalities, such as herbal medicine and acupuncture, that may be more appropriate for the dog. Or for the owner if they’re doing it together. And it works incredibly well, and I feel like they are additional tools in my toolbox to use and help out.”
Technological advancements in research and understanding largely enabled the resurgence of interest in complementary medicine. Techniques previously viewed with skepticism are now gaining recognition for their effectiveness in treating a range of conditions. Technology and tradition are intertwined, creating a more holistic approach to pet care.
As we continue to harness technology in the service of our pets, the future of veterinary medicine looks promising. However, balancing this quest for innovation with affordability is paramount, ensuring that every pet, regardless of their owners’ financial status, receives the best care possible. With vets like Dr. Mann leading the charge, a future where technology and affordability coexist is within our reach.