Veterinarians may be employed or contracted by veterinary clinics and hospitals, government agencies, educational institutions, wildlife management groups, zoos, aquariums, ranches, farming-related businesses, or pharmaceutical companies.
The following are examples of types of veterinarians:
Companion Animal Vets
These veterinarians diagnose and treat diseases or abnormal conditions in animals, most often cats and dogs. They are the most common type of veterinarian and provide inoculations; prescribe medication; set bones; dress wounds; perform surgery and dental work; offer euthanasia services, and advise clients on the general care of their animals.
These are veterinarians in clinical practice who have advanced training and expertise in particular animal species. Some examples are:
Avian Practice (birds).
Canine/Feline Practice (dogs and cats).
Equine Practice (horses).
Exotic Companion Mammal Practice (ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, and other small mammals often kept as pets).
Reptile and Amphibian Practice (snakes, lizards, salamanders, turtles, etc.).
Food Animal Veterinarians.
These are the veterinarians who work with farm animals raised to be food sources, most commonly cattle, pigs, chickens, and sheep. Food animal vets spend much of their time on farms and ranches and test for, treat, and vaccinate against disease. Their consultation with farmers includes topics such as housing, feeding, and general health.
Food safety and inspection Veterinarians.
The primary focus of these veterinarians is the inspection and testing of livestock and animal products. This involves vaccinating animals, conducting research to improve animal health, and examining slaughtering and processing plants. Food safety and inspection vets also participate in the administration of animal and public health programs designed to prevent and control program of diseases among animals and in between animals and people. In short, they work to enforce government policies concerning food safety.
These veterinarians contribute to human health as well as animal health by engaging in research to prevent and treat diseases in humans. They may conduct clinical research on health problems which afflict both humans and animals; investigate the effects of drug therapies; and test potential new surgical techniques.
What is a vet expert?
While most enter general practice, veterinarians, like medical doctors, may choose to complete additional training and specialize in a specific field of a veterinary union. Perhaps surprisingly, there are currently twenty-two sub-disciplines recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties.
The following provides a brief description of the focus of each specialty area:.
Anesthesia– Monitoring of pain associated with veterinary procedures.
Animal Welfare– Education, certification, and scientific investigation.
Behavior– Study of behavior in both healthy and sick animals.
Dentistry– Animals’ teeth.
Dermatology– Diseases and conditions of animals’ skin.
Emergency and Critical Care– ‘ER’ and intensive care.
Internal Medicine– Specialties including cardiology (heart and circulatory system), neurology (brain, spinal cord, and nervous system), and oncology (tumors and cancer).
Laboratory Animal Medicine– Research or practice specializing in laboratory animal species (rabbits, rats, mice, etc.).
Microbiology– Study of viruses and bacteria.
Nutrition– Animal diets and required nutrients.
Ophthalmology– Diseases and conditions of the eye.
Pathology– Examination of organs, tissues, and body fluids to diagnose illness.
Pharmacology– Study of effects of drugs on animals.
Preventative Medicine– Study of how diseases are spread and how they can be prevented.
Radiology– X-ray, ultrasound, CAT scan, MRI, and other imaging procedures to see ‘inside’ an animal’s body.
Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation– Returning animals to normal function after injury, illness, or surgery.
Surgery– Specialization in performing surgeries: orthopedics (bones, joints, ligaments of the body’s skeletal system); soft tissue surgery (internal organs, non-bone tissues).
Theriogenology– Animal reproduction.
Toxicology– Study of the effects of toxins/poisons and how to treat animals affected by them.
Animal Medicine– Zoo animals, free-living wildlife, aquatic species, and companion zoological animals.
How difficult is veterinarian school?
While the claim by some that veterinary school is harder than a medical school can be debated, there are factors which justify the argument. The patients of veterinarians possess very little means of communication, and in veterinary medicine, there exists a wider range of species. Because less money has been spent on veterinary research, there are fewer treatment protocols from which to choose. While this fact simplifies decisions around treatment, it also limits options and potentially reduces the likelihood of cure or rehabilitation. Whether or not vet school is more difficult than medical school is irrelevant. The truth is that, like all worthwhile careers, veterinary medicine is a challenging field which demands dedication and commitment.