An Interview with... Dr. Donald E. Thrall - Veterinary Medicine
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An Interview with... Dr. Donald E. Thrall


Which animal health needs are currently unmet?

Thousands of pets endure pain each day—pain from disease but also from neglect and even abuse. Tremendous strides have been made in managing pain in animals being treated for disease, but reducing pain and suffering in neglected and abused pets remains a huge challenge.

What changes in veterinary medicine do you hope will occur in the next 100 years?

I think that developing affordable health insurance programs for pets will increase the availability of veterinary services to the general public. This could also contribute positively to animal welfare issues.

What is your sci-fi prediction for veterinary medicine?

With characterization of the canine genome, genetic testing and therapeutic approaches are not far behind. This will be extended to other species as well. As sophisticated techniques are introduced, the veterinarian's role will change from treating disease to preventing it. Many conventional tests, even some imaging procedures, will become obsolete as effort is focused on disease management at the molecular level.

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