The Role of the feedlot veterinarian
The veterinary profession stands ready to provide service where the demand is, but it has been remarkably reluctant to promote demand or to educate prospective clients on their own responsibilities toward realization of the potential in veterinary medicine. There is nowhere a more significant potential client than the custom feedlot will be as soon as the various cattle feeders insist that it assume real responsibility for the health of its wards. The large feedlots owning their own cattle are pioneering the utilization of professional veterinary medicine and once their results become the goal of the industry, the demand for veterinarians will again rock the profession. With over half the industry’s multimillion dollar loss from death and chronic poor health following treatment directly attributable to laryngo-pharyngeal trauma, peritonitis, abscesses and foreign body pneumonia produced by inexpert techniques or grossly careless sanitation, there may even be a realization of the need for at least close professional supervision at the treatment chutes. A very real danger lies in the inadequacy of the profession to meet this challenge again, without deliberate anticipation and action.