Dr. House on _House_ tells us that everyone lies. I doubt that applies to animals. But also, they don’t talk.
Is it weird that we expect any well-trained veterinarian to be able to diagnose and treat a broad gamut of ailments across dozens (hundreds?) of different species? I noticed Jake exhibiting some mild muscle spasms on his back and near his right rear leg and Googled for it, coming up with this interesting clinical question about another cat exhibiting similar (but more advanced) symptoms, along with ten responses suggestion methods of diagnosis and treatment. Many of the things they discuss sound very familiar — tox screen, MRI, thyroid test, urinalysis, etc.
The lay person who occasionally watches medical TV shows has some basic understanding of the range of expertise and stored knowledge necessary to be a good doctor, not to mention the insane amount of specialization necessary in modern human health care. Does the same level of specialization exist in animal care? I really doubt it. And it is clear from the discussion at that link that treating an animal like a cat can be just as complicated as a human.
Then again, the amount of money we are willing to spend on animal care pales compared to human care, so maybe it doesn’t really matter — the cat may have some very complicated and specialized disease, but in the end its most likely just going to be euthanized anyway, I doubt in animal medicine there is any concept of “heroic measures.”
*Addendum:* Wikipedia tells us there is some degree of specialization.