Information About An Animal Vet

Veterinarians are the doctors of the animal world.

When a person gets sick, they seek medical treatment from a doctor. When an animal is sick, the person responsible for medical treatment is a veterinarian. Veterinarians go through years of rigorous training in order to provide the best possible care for all sorts of animals, from common pets like dogs and cats to exotic zoo animals and everything in between.

Identification

Veterinarians achieve a bachelor’s degree in a field relating to the veterinary world. Biology, chemistry, animal sciences and preveterinary medical programs are all possible choices for someone seeking to become a vet. Once a bachelor’s degree is obtained, veterinarians continue their education for 4 more years in a postgraduate veterinary medical program. Upon passing, veterinarians are required to take a national examination. Those who pass are allowed to practice medicine and earn the title Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, abbreviated as the credential DVM, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Function

Veterinarians provide comprehensive care to animals in a variety of settings. Private practices, animal hospitals, laboratories, zoos and animal shelters are just some of the areas where veterinarians work. Doctors of veterinary medicine are the people solely responsible for diagnosing and prognosing an animal’s health problems. They are also solely responsible for prescribing treatment, and, if necessary, performing surgery to correct those problems. Veterinarians work with a team of professionals consisting of other vets, veterinary technicians and technologists and vet assistants to care for their patients.

Benefits

Those who work as veterinarians find that there are a number of benefits to their job. The average salary of a veterinarian is quoted as $79,050 as of May 2008 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average salaries for veterinarians vary by the amount and type of training, tenure at a particular facility and the employing facility itself. The intangible benefits of being a veterinarian outweigh the monetary benefits, according to the “Veterinary Receptionist’s Handbook.” Knowing that they are helping animals and making a difference in the world is one such benefit. Working with animals and performing a job they love on a regular basis is another, similar benefit cited by practicing veterinarians.

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Hazards

Like any job, the veterinary field also has its downsides. Veterinarians often work long hours. Unless their job consists of field work with large animals or feral animals, veterinarians often work indoors. Noisy working conditions are a major problem, particularly if the veterinarian is employed by a shelter or zoo. Veterinarians are at risk of contracting zoonotic diseases, or infectious diseases that are passed from one species to another. When confronted by veterinarians, animals that are frightened, ill or suffering from behavioral issues may bite, kick, scratch or inflict other bodily harm.

Misconceptions

Veterinarians do not get to pick and choose the jobs they perform. Veterinarians may be exposed to conditions that challenge their own moral or ethical standpoints, such as owners refusing to spay or neuter their pets. Veterinarians also have the heartbreaking task of performing end-of-life care, including euthanasia and necropsy procedures, as well as consoling clients who have just lost animals.