Veterinary services in most developing countries involve the public sector. This is due to the legacy of past dominant role of government. However, the role of private practitioners should not be monopolized.
In countries where private enterprises in veterinary materials are allowed, legislation is required to regulate their activities. In addition, it is important to update legislation to take account of technological and livestock sector changes. It is also important to establish a Veterinary Board with regulatory functions.
Some of these functions may be delegated to gazetted private practitioners under contract. Other functions should be performed by the voluntary sector.
Veterinary services are categorized into four main categories. These are preventive, clinical, diagnostic and surgical services.
Preventive services involve the use of drugs and vaccines to avoid outbreaks of diseases. Vaccines may also be provided by private practitioners. A government veterinarian may refer livestock owners to a qualified private practitioner.
A full service animal hospital provides a range of services, including routine surgery, diagnostic tests, laser surgeries, intensive care, dental work and overnight stays. These hospitals have more staff and equipment than a pet clinic. A pet clinic may not have a pharmacy as well-stocked as a hospital’s.
A pet clinic may also provide wellness exams and a range of services such as spaying and neutering. However, they may not have as many vet techs on shift as a full service animal hospital.