What Veterinarians Do
Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals.
Duties of Veterinarians
Veterinarians typically do the following:
- Examine animals to diagnose their health problems
- Treat and dress wounds
- Perform surgery on animals
- Test for and vaccinate against diseases
- Operate medical equipment, such as x-ray machines
- Advise animal owners about general care, medical conditions, and treatments
- Prescribe medication
- Euthanize animals
Veterinarians treat the injuries and illnesses of pets and other animals with a variety of medical equipment, including surgical tools and x-ray and ultrasound machines. They provide treatment for animals that is similar to the services a physician provides to treat humans.
The following are examples of types of veterinarians:
Companion animal veterinarians treat pets and generally work in private clinics and hospitals. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 75 percent of veterinarians who work in private clinical practice treat pets. They most often care for cats and dogs, but also treat other pets, such as birds, ferrets, and rabbits. These veterinarians diagnose and provide treatment for animal health problems, consult with owners of animals about preventive healthcare, and carry out medical and surgical procedures, such as vaccinations, dental work, and setting fractures.
Equine veterinarians work with horses. In 2014, about 6 percent of private practice veterinarians diagnosed and treated horses.
Food animal veterinarians work with farm animals such as pigs, cattle, and sheep, which are raised to be food sources. In 2014, about 7 percent of private practice veterinarians treated food animals. They spend much of their time at farms and ranches treating illnesses and injuries and testing for and vaccinating against disease. They may advise owners or managers about feeding, housing, and general health practices.
Food safety and inspection veterinarians inspect and test livestock and animal products for major animal diseases, provide vaccines to treat animals, enhance animal welfare, conduct research to improve animal health, and enforce government food safety regulations. They design and administer animal and public health programs for the prevention and control of diseases transmissible among animals and between animals and people.
Research veterinarians work in laboratories, conducting clinical research on human and animal health problems. These veterinarians may perform tests on animals to identify the effects of drug therapies, or they may test new surgical techniques. They may also research how to prevent, control, and eliminate food- and animal-borne illnesses and diseases.
Some veterinarians become postsecondary teachers at colleges and universities.
How to Become a Veterinarian
Veterinarians must have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited veterinary college and a practicing license from KVB.
University of Nairobi provides this course.
One must have a very good foundation on sciences and generally score an A- in order to survive the storms.
Veterinarians must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) degree at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. There is currently 1 university which is accredited . A veterinary medicine program generally takes 5 years to complete and includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical components,it also includes a 1 year paid internship.
veterinary medicine programs, students take courses on animal anatomy and physiology and other units, as well as disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Most programs include 3 years of classroom, laboratory, and clinical work. Students typically spend the final year of the 5-year program doing clinical rotations in a veterinary medical center or hospital.
Agricultural and Food Scientists
Agricultural and food scientists research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of agricultural establishments and products.
Animal Care and Service Workers
Animal care and service workers provide care for animals. They feed, groom, bathe, and exercise pets and other nonfarm animals. Job tasks vary by position and place of work.
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.
Physicians and Surgeons
Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians examine patients; take medical histories; prescribe medications; and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates.
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers look after animals in laboratories, animal hospitals, and clinics. They care for the animals by performing routine tasks under the supervision of scientists, veterinarians, and veterinary technologists and technicians.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
Veterinary technologists and technicians perform medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to assist in diagnosing the injuries and illnesses of animals.
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems. They study the physical characteristics of animals, animal behaviors, and the impacts humans have on wildlife and natural habitats.