The Human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial relationship, and with many persons now becoming ‘pet parents’, we find the need to take care of our furry little friends as we would our own human child. A veterinarian is a specialised type of doctor, also known as a vet, a small- or large-animal doctor. This person is a highly trained professional who identifies and treats diseases, disorders and injuries in animals. A vet will also advise owners on the proper care of their pets and livestock.
WHAT THE WORK INVOLVES?
A typical day for a vet might involve:
• Medicating animals suffering from infections or illnesses.
• Treating and dressing wounds.
• Set fractures.
• Vaccinates against diseases, such as distemper and rabies.
• Euthanize animals when necessary.
• Advise owners about animal feedings, behaviour and breeding.
• Provide preventative care to maintain the health of livestock.
• Performs diagnostic tests, such as X- ray; EKG; ultrasound; blood, urine and faeces tests.
• Researching better ways to prevent and solve animal health problems.
• Perform surgeries.
As a vet, sometimes you are required to travel, as some of your patients may be on farms. Vets often work long and erratic hours, even nights and weekends.
As a vet, your work can be very rewarding, and, at the same time, be emotionally stressful, as you will have to deal with sick animals and anxious owners.
Vets provide a wide range of services in private practice, teaching, research, government service, public health, private industry and other areas.
WHO IS THIS CAREER FOR?
This job is just as much about the people as it is the animals. Being able to communicate effectively is very important, as you have to explain the information about the animal’s condition in a way that is easily understood. Being empathetic and detail-oriented is another great quality a vet needs to possess.
WHAT CAN I EARN?
As a vet, you may earn a median-level salary. Salaries may vary in different institutions, as vets work in research facilities or universities or a private practice.
HOW DO I QUALIFY?
A degree in veterinary medicine is required. This programme generally takes four years to complete, which includes lab and clinical components. You also need to be licensed and certified to be able to practice.
WHO OFFERS TRAINING IN JAMAICA?
• College of Agriculture, Science and Education
• The University of the West Indies
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