Small Animal Veterinarian

Small animal veterinarians are responsible for maintaining the health of animals as well as the diagnosis and treatment of sickness, disease and injury in companion animals. They primarily work with dogs and cats with the option of specializing in exotic animals such as rabbits, caged birds and other small pets.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Provide clinical and surgical care and disease surveillance to small animals
  • Maintain the well-being of animals through general examinations and the administering of medications and vaccines
  • Complete various laboratory testing for diagnosis and ongoing maintenance of animals
  • Complete euthanasia procedures if needed and demonstrate compassion to both animals and owners
  • Perform reproductive surgeries like spay or neuter procedures
  • Give technical advice on products for small animals or pets
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of industry standards and equipment present in a small animal hospital
  • Advise on measures to prevent the occurrence or spread of diseases
  • Adhere to standard safety protocols and maintain a clean, sterile environment
  • Communicate and educate pet owners about disease, prevention, breeding and behavior

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education
  • animal science
  • veterinary science
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • computer skills
  • mathematics

Education/Training Required:

A doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) is required to become a small animal veterinarian. A veterinarian may also consider receiving special certifications for therapy, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, neurology or critical care.

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