Veterinarian - Term Overview

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Veterinarian is a medical science related to the evaluation, medication and precaution of some type of disease in animals. In addition to predicting and treating sick and injured animals, veterinarians prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans and advise owners on the assigned care of animals.

Veterinarians work to ensure a safe food supply by maintaining the welfare of agricultural animals and inspecting food processing industries. Veterinarians are also involved in the preservation of wildlife.

What is a vet

A vet is someone who gives animals medical treatment. They are animal doctors. There are many different types of vets; some work with small animals, large farm animals, or wild animals. Veterinarians learn to treat all animals, but sometimes they work with a specific type. (see epidemiology )

Other veterinarians specialize in a particular type of medicine; for example, veterinary dermatologists work with animals with skin problems. Finally, some veterinarians investigate animal or human diseases.

To become a veterinarian in North America, you need to go to college for at least 2-3 years and take several required classes, including many science classes. You then apply to veterinary school. If accepted, you will be in veterinary school for 4 years and then graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. (see optometrist )

In the United States and Canada, you must pass a test (called the NAVLE or North American Veterinary Licensing Exam) before you can practice as a veterinarian. In other countries like Australia, veterinary schools are 5 years long and take students who finished high school.

What a vet does

- Diagnose animal health problems
- Vaccine against diseases such as distemper and rabies
- Animal drugs suffering from infections or diseases
- Treat and dress wounds
- Establishes fractures
- Performs minor to complex surgeries, depending on training
- Advises owners on feeding, behavior, and animal husbandry
- Euthanize animals when necessary
- Provides preventive care to maintain livestock health
- Performs diagnostic tests such as X-ray, EKG, ultrasound, blood, urine, and stool.

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