Veterinarians

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.

Veterinarians
EDUCATIONDoctor of Veterinary Medicine degree
WORK EXPERIENCENone
WORK ENVIRONMENT private clinics, hospitals.
STATE AREA DATAExplore resources for employment and wages by state and area for veterinarians. Similar Occupations
ICONIC PEOPLELester Crawford, Debbye Turner
COMPANIES
HIGHER STUDIES University of California, Davis,

Duties

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. 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 animal owners about preventive healthcare; and carry out medical and surgical procedures, such as vaccinations, dental work, and setting fractures.

Food animal veterinarians work with farm animals such as pigs, cattle, and sheep, which are raised to be food sources. They spend much of their time at farms and ranches treating illnesses and injuries and testing for and vaccinating against disease. They may advise farm 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.