Who's a Veterinarian?
Do you find yourself petting and caring for stray cats and dogs you come across? Do you have a special connection with animals that makes you feel protective of them? Would you be interested in looking after their health? If you do, consider becoming a veterinarian!
More commonly known as vets, a veterinarian is a professional who serves as a doctor for animals. They are the ones you go to when your pets are feeling unwell. Vets provide medical care to animals through surgeries, physiotherapy and medicine. Most vets work with small clinics, emergency and speciality hospitals, universities, research facilities, NGOs, etc.
What will you do?
Understanding the cause of illness.
Just like humans, animals too require regular health checkups to monitor their health. This is where you come in. You will check animals for any signs of illness or diseases by using various diagnostic methods like an X-Ray, Sonography, Blood test, etc.
Example: If an animal is brought to you because of a limp in their walk, you will suggest an X-Ray to understand what is causing the limp.
Treating animals for various diseases.
Once the check-ups are completed and you’ve identified the cause of the disease or injury, you must offer the necessary treatment for them. You can prescribe medicines, administer vaccines and dress wounds, if required.
Example: If an animal is brought to you because they have a fever, you will try to understand the cause for it, and accordingly suggest treatments.
Many a time, the animal you are treating will require you to perform surgery on them for their well-being. This would involve checking their overall medical health, giving them an anaesthetic and then going ahead with the required surgery.
Example: If an injured animal is brought to you, you must determine its overall health – age, vitals, etc., and accordingly decide to go ahead with the procedure.
Inspecting their living space.
Animals could live in farms, human homes, parks, sanctuaries or even on the streets. You need to check these places to ensure they are safe and hygienic for the animal.
Example: If someone has a Husky (a breed of dog) who is feeling under the weather, you will check to ensure that the place has a cool temperature.
Promoting animal health.
You must advise animal caretakers on various sanitation and feeding measures, and also talk to them about the general medical care they should provide. From explaining the medical procedure to helping owners understand the cause of the diseases, you must do your best to help owners care for their animals.
Example: You would talk to pet owners about the various vaccines they can administer for their pets, food items they should and should not provide, etc.
Take the Mentoria career assessment test, to find out how well-suited you are as a Veterinarian.
Where will you work?
Most veterinarians work out of a clinic or a hospital. Here, you would be meeting with patients and performing surgeries. If you’re working in a hospital, you might have to work in shifts. And at times, you may end up working for long hours, in case of emergencies.
You could also work out of a laboratory where you would develop and test medicines and vaccines for animals. Here, you would conduct animal x-rays, blood tests, etc., and study different animals and their body functions.
Some veterinarians also choose to work with farm animals for which they may work out of farms regularly. Some also work with zoos or wildlife sanctuaries. Your work timings here, depend on the timings decided by the management.
How do you get there?
How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
Studying veterinary sciences in India is beneficial right now because there’s a huge demand for vets owing to a lot of NGOs, hospitals and clinics set up in villages as well as in cities.
The duration for a veterinary course in India is five years and involves nine semesters. It is compulsory for you to undergo a six-month internship course. A graduation course in veterinary science would cost you anywhere between INR 30,000- INR 1,00,00 per year depending on the university you opt for. Top colleges from where you can pursue veterinary science in India are: Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Birsa Agricultural University, Veterinary College and Research Institute, etc.
If you are pursuing veterinary sciences abroad, you can always look for job opportunities in the country that you are residing in. Studying abroad will give you a broader understanding of the field and also introduce you to newer treatments and animals indigenous to those areas.
Veterinary courses abroad could cost you anywhere between INR 5,00,000- INR 25,00,000 depending on the course and university you study in. Top colleges from where you can pursue a degree in veterinary science abroad are: Cornell University, University of Guelph, University of Edinburgh, etc. Many universities abroad consider fee payment per semester basis and not on a yearly basis. To practice abroad it is important that you acquire a license from the medical board of the country where you plan to work.
How much would you get paid?
The exact number will depend on where you’re working, your education, skill-set and internship experience. But we can give you a general idea.
What are your career options?
Companion animal vets generally work in private clinics and hospitals. You would work with companion animals (pets). You would carry out usual procedures like medicine and surgery, vaccinations, etc., and brief their owners about the health issues their pets/companions face.
Food animal vets usually work with animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep and others since they are raised to be food sources. You would have to ensure that the animals at the farms are not infected with any health problems or injuries. You would also vaccinate and conduct regular check-ups for them.
Here, vets are involved in developing state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. These equipment make it easier to test animal tissues and blood samples. It would be your job to ensure that these equipment deliver accurate, innovative, and timely services to the veterinary and animal health community.
As a dentist for animals, you would focus on providing healthy dental and oral care to a variety of animals. This involves conducting routine oral checkups and surgery procedures for animals. You will have to choose Dental studies as your specialisation when pursuing an MSc in Veterinary Sciences.
Veterinary dermatologists specialise in the diagnosis of skin, hair and nails problems among animals. You would have to identify external parasites, hormonal conditions, allergies, etc., that may impact the well-being of the animal.
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