James Zgoda Dr. James Zgoda, DVM      Dr. Jacqueline Chaffer Dr. Jacqueline Chaffer, Associate Veterinarian

What is a veterinarian (DVM)?
Veterinarians provide healthcare for the world's pets, livestock, zoo, sporting, and laboratory animals. Most perform clinical work in private practices. Of those, the majority work with small animals or companion animal while a few work with large animals, including food animals. Otterkill Animal Hospital is a small animal veterinary hospital. All of our veterinarians are New York State licensed and certified. They also all are members of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

What responsibilities do veterinarians have?

On a typical day a veterinarian working with small animals, for example dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles, in clinical practice will:

  • Diagnose animal health problems
  • Vaccinate against diseases, such as distemper and rabies
  • Medicate animals suffering from infections or illnesses
  • Treat and dress wounds
  • Set fractures
  • Perform surgery
  • Advise owners about animal feeding, behavior, and breeding
  • Euthanize animals when necessary

Veterinarian Oath

Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.

I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.

"The Veterinarian's Prayer"

Dear Lord, I ask that you guide my hands
And fill my heart with compassion & love,
as I tend to the animals that are brought before me.
When I am tired grant me the energy to persevere.
When I am unsure, grant me the wisdom to make the right choices.
When I am saddened grant me the ability to share my sorrow.
When I am running behind schedule grant me the patience to focus on what is in front of me.
When I am overwhelmed, grant me a quiet space to collect my thoughts.
Fill me with a thirst for knowledge, so that I may remain current in my thinking.
Help me to comfort and console all of those who experience some form of tragedy or loss.
And finally, Lord, allow me to extract the best from every day,
So that I may continue to greet each new dawn with enthusiasm and dedication
For this profession, to which I commit my life.