Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association | 1121 Chatham Road Springfield, IL 62704

For Pet Owners

Veterinarians serve the needs of animals, people, and the environment.

Veterinarians usually treat companion and food animals in hospitals and clinics.

Those in large animal practice also work out of well-equipped trucks or cars, and may drive considerable distances to farms and ranches. They may work outdoors in all kinds of weather.

Doctors of Veterinary Medicine are medical professionals whose primary responsibility is protecting the health and welfare of animals and people.

Large animal Veterinarians diagnose and control animal diseases, treat sick and injured animals, prevent the transmission of animal diseases (“zoonoses”) to people, and advise owners on proper care of pets and livestock. They ensure a safe food supply by maintaining the health of food animals. Veterinarians are also involved in wildlife preservation and conservation and public health of the human population.

Today more than 2,500 veterinarians are professionally active in Illinois. They provide a wide variety of services in private clinical practice, teaching, research, government service, public health, military service, private industry, and other areas.

Veterinarians are members of an important health profession. Veterinary doctors use their scientific knowledge and skills to benefit society, through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.


The Value of Your Veterinarian

Are you concerned about what to feed your dog? Wondering what vaccines your cat really needs? Worried that your dog is gaining too much weight? Ask your Veterinarian! We are happy to talk to you about any concern, big or small, about your pets. No question is too silly and when in doubt contact your vet. Don’t rely on the internet or other so- called experts. They don’t have the extensive training, knowledge and experience that your vet has and they may not have your pet’s best interests at heart. Your veterinarian has received extensive training, including 2-4 years of undergraduate schooling followed by 4 years of veterinary schooling. Furthermore, there are veterinary specialists that have completed additional years of training in various specialties- including ophthalmology, dermatology, oncology, dentistry, surgery, and internal medicine. Veterinarians are licensed, regulated professionals who must regularly participate in continuing education in order to maintain their license. We are advocates for your pet and like you, want what is best for them! Only trust the care of your pet to a veterinarian.

Support Staff

Support staff help in every aspect of the clinic from cleaning cages and walking patients to running laboratory tests, taking radiographs, assisting in surgery and monitoring anesthesia. Certified veterinary technicians (CVT’s) play a large role in this care of your pet.

There are approximately 200 certified veterinary technicians that are members of the ISVMA. Certified veterinary technicians (CVT’s) in Illinois are required to have graduated from an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Boards.  CVT’s hold either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the field of veterinary technology.

ISVMA helps veterinary support staff through several regional continuing education events and a state-wide conference every year. Continuing education helps all staff members to stay on top of the latest in veterinary medicine, learn new information and also learn new skills through on-site labs that are held at many of these conferences.

The ISVMA supports all staff members in the clinic and that results in safer healthcare for your pet!

Why the Internet is Not the Best Resource for Your Pet’s Health

Typing into the search box on your phone, tablet, or computer may be tempting when trying to decide why animals are not “themselves,” but answering complex health and wellness problems are not easy. One could look up that movie title no one could remember, but unfortunately there are many important factors that play important roles in a pet’s health without one easily searchable answer to a problem.

The best tool to assess your pet’s health is a veterinarian, not a search box. No one knows a pet like their owner. Similarly, no one knows more about what is best for a pet’s health than your veterinarian. The observations and information clients provide are invaluable in assisting veterinarians. Combined with a thorough physical examination, the information from owners and a veterinarians’ medical training and experience can create a list of potential reasons for observed abnormalities. While some maladies are more common than others, many diseases result in similar symptoms. The veterinarian’s extensive medical background and experience knowing and treating pets, and understanding the disease patterns in the community will help determine the most likely causes for animals’ ailments and how to ensure the best plan for recovery. A thorough diagnostic plan, created working with a veterinarian, will be the best way to try and find out what is going on with your animals and the best way to help.

Veterinarians get “it,” since many veterinarians are owners too. When it comes time to decide what to do to help an animal, bypassing an expert and using the internet to make those decisions is like dialing on a phone without looking, and asking for advice from whoever picks up the phone. Individuals may claim to have experience with animals, but none of them will have the combination of years of scientific graduate study, training, and experience the way veterinarians do. The internet does not care about the pet or the outcome, where your veterinarian has devoted their life to helping animals and their owners. The best thing an owner could use the internet for to help their pets is “Find veterinarian.”

Why your veterinarian is important regarding your pets prescription

These days saving money is essential.  However, saving money may pose a risk to your pet if you are purchasing their medication from online pharmacies.  These pharmacies don’t know you or your pet.  As a valued client, your veterinarian knows which products are safe for your furry friend.

Some online pet pharmacies are legitimate, operating within the requirements of the law.  However, the FDA has found online pet pharmacies which dispense prescription drugs without a prescription, sell expired drugs, sell counterfeit medications and make false claims.

When you purchase your prescription through your veterinarian you are entering into a relationship with them and any questions can be answered by their knowledgeable staff.  In addition, if you pet has a side effect from the prescription, your veterinarian can discuss your pet’s case with the representative of that company.  Any required treatment and costs from that event may also be provided by the company. Quality control of the product is guaranteed through your veterinarian.  Furthermore, your veterinarian is able to provide promotional discounts only available through veterinarians from the drug company which makes your prescription charge equal to or less than the online pharmaceutical cost.