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VeterinarianVeterinarians provide healthcare for pets, livestock, and zoo, sporting, and laboratory animals. Most perform clinical work in private practices. Of those, the majority work with small animals while a few work with large animals, including food animals, only.

To become a veterinarian one must earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) from an accredited college of veterinary medicine. There is keen competition for entry into this four year program.

On a typical day a veterinarian working with small animals, for example dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles, in clinical practice will:


  • diagnose animal health problems;

  • vaccinate against diseases, such as distemper and rabies;

  • medicate animals suffering from infections or illnesses;

  • treat and dress wounds;

  • set fractures;

  • perform surgery;

  • advise owners about animal feeding, behavior, and breeding;

  • euthanize animals when necessary;

  • On a typical day a veterinarian working with large animals, primarily horses and cows, will:

  • provide preventive care to maintain the health of food animals;

  • Veterinarians
  • test for and vaccinate against diseases;

  • consult with farm or ranch owners and managers on animal production, feeding, and housing issues;

  • treat and dress wounds, set fractures, and perform surgery;

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