What do you consider the greatest threat to the profession?
Our profession is on the verge of fragmentation. Species specialties are starting to take the place of state and national
umbrella organizations, and busy practitioners often don't make the time to be active in professional associations. This brings
the risk of our becoming isolated and not seeing the broader issues that face our profession—issues that can only be resolved
by working together.
Which animal health needs are currently unmet?
First, the tragedy of the millions of healthy animals that are euthanized every year in our nation. Second, the tendency of
companion-animal practitioners to focus on disease or illness (fixing something) and to overlook the broader need for wellness
care and prevention. For example, providing proper nutrition has greater potential to improve pet health than almost anything
else we do in our practices, yet we easily overlook it.
What is your sci-fi prediction for veterinary medicine?
Gene therapy will prevent and eliminate diseases. Can you imagine manipulating the genetic makeup of large-breed dogs to prevent
hip dysplasia? Or identifying and eliminating the gene in boxers that makes them prone to cancers? And what is most amazing
is this has actually already started: an ingredient in Prescription Diet Canine j/d (Hill's Pet Nutrition) actually turns
off the gene that makes the enzyme that degrades canine cartilage. That's a wow!