A veterinarian is a medical specialist whose job is to support the health and well-being of animals and, surprisingly, people as well. Veterinarians diagnose and keep an eye on animal diseases and give the needed treatment to injured or sick animals. Vets also give advice to owners on how to take distinct care of their pets.
Veterinarians perform the following functions:
- Animal health issues diagnostics;
- Animal vaccination against various diseases;
- Wound treatment;
- Setting fractures;
- Sophisticated surgery according to the training;
- Advice about feeding, breeding, and behavior;
- Preventive care to support the health of livestock;
- Various diagnostic tests.
Sometimes being a vet is close to being a pediatrician since animals don’t talk, neither do small children; besides, animals’ clinical history is told by owners, while parents know the history of their child.
When examining an animal, apart from the clinical history, the vet uses his eyes, fingers and smell. Ears are also used in listening with a stethoscope. After the history and the examination, a vet holds some diagnostic tests if needed. Veterinarians have to be trained in laboratory medicine and parasitology.
General practice vets spend a lot of their working time in surgery. They are trained to do neutering operations, orthopedic procedures, dentistry and many other kinds of surgery. In that way, the job is similar to a human doctor’s one.
When there is a health issue, veterinarians perform diagnostics through laboratory tests and radiography and provide the treatment which may include emergency lifesaving procedures, birthing, surgery as well as giving advice about care and feeding.
Veterinarians also work in government agencies and inspect imported animals to prevent foreign diseases. Veterinarians who stick to research works try to find solutions to animal and human health issues. Veterinarians also take part in laboratory research held through the use of animals to deal with such problems as cancer or heart diseases.
Veterinarians teach at schools, colleges and universities as well. They also take part in basic and clinical research, prepare scientific publications and construct education programs for graduate veterinarians.
Another sphere of veterinarians’ employment is public health. They work with animal and human disease outbreaks, as well as estimate the safety of food factories, restaurants and cafes and water supplies. They also take part in various environmental health programs.
How to Become a Veterinarian in Texas
There is a range of opportunities for students in Texas who want to become a veterinarian. The main thing is that students have to obtain a doctorate in veterinary medicine, which is available only after getting a bachelor’s degree. Such programs usually require a high level of knowledge and skills for admission and include supervised work with animals and various internship programs.
If you want to become a veterinarian in Texas, you can choose one of the following educating organizations:
- Blinn College
This college offers a 2-year program to get a veterinary technology associate’s degree. The first year of studies is held by Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, while the second one offers clinical training in another campus of Texas A&M. This program will be perfect for those students who don’t need too much academic education and are ready to start working with animals as soon as possible.
- Cedar Valley College
There are two programs available in this college. One of them gives a certificate in veterinary assisting, while the other two-year one provides an associate’s degree and a lot of hands-on learning. After taking this program students can become a veterinary technician, but you should remember that the earned credits will not be taken into account if you apply for a bachelor’s degree studies. If you want to transfer your earned credits later, then you have to choose some other educational organization, where such practice is allowed.
- Lone Star College System
There are two programs for one year: for a veterinary technician certificate and for an associate’s degree. The credits got during the latter one can be transferred to many universities and colleges to a bachelor’s degree. This program will be ideally suitable for those who should start working sooner but would like to acquire a bachelor’s degree and continue education later.
- McLennan Community College
Like many other educational organizations, this college offers a certificate and an associate’s degree program in veterinary technology. In this college, both small and large animals are studied. Such practice will be very useful, so veterinary technicians graduating from this college will easily find a job since they are always needed. Actually, the demand for veterinary specialists is forecast to rise by 16% by 2026.
- Navarro College
The college can provide a pre-veterinarian associate’s degree program, which was developed to transfer the credits to a bachelor’s degree program. For this students should consult with the intended bachelor’s degree program. If you choose a suitable bachelor’s degree program, all of your received credits can be estimated.
- Palo Alto College
The college offers programs of veterinary assistant level II and veterinary technology associate’s degree. The latter program is designed to obtain small animal, equine and exotic animal treatment skills, while the first program focuses on raising already obtained skills in veterinary assistance.
- Sul Ross State University
This university is the first one on our list which offers a bachelor’s degree of science in Animal Health Management. After finishing that program students have all the needed skills to enter Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. Therefore, this is the first educational organization in our review of the studies in which will put your way through to becoming a licensed veterinarian.
- Texas A&M University
The university provides a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine degree program, which is available after college. For three years students will get theoretical knowledge, while in the last fourth year they will have the whole 12-month rotating clinical internships.
- Weatherford College
The college obtains a veterinary assisting certificate program, which gives a lot of knowledge for clinical practice.
If you want to be a registered veterinary technician in this state, you have to complete a veterinary technician education and then successfully undergo Texas and the USA examinations.
In Texas, all veterinarians must be licensed by passing the special examination.
How to Become a Wildlife Veterinarian
If you want to qualify in this area, you will have to spend several years studying. First of all, most veterinarians study in college for four years and in veterinary school for another four years. Only after that, there is training in zoological medicine which last from 1 to 5 years. If you want to become a wildlife veterinarian, you should take into account the following steps.
First of all, you have to get academic education. Then you search or create options to be specifically trained. You should always remember that veterinarians have different paths, which is absolutely normal.
The most common veterinary degree is Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, others, not so popular, include Veterinary Medicine Doctorate, Professor of Veterinary Medicine, and Bachelor of Veterinary Science. But the widely implemented practice among veterinarians is to study for 4 years in college to get the Bachelor’s Degree in Arts or Science and then switch to 4-year veterinary school. There are introduced several programs combining 2 courses into 6- or 8-year programs.
If you have studied dogs, cats, horses, cows, and poultry, you know the basics of zoological medicine. But in order to have enough qualifications, it’s very important to study wild animals as well.
There are a lot of opportunities to get the needed experience even during high school when volunteering in zoos, animal rehabilitation centers, aquaria, or universities or even when taking part in field projects on endangered species conservation. During veterinary school studies, future veterinarians try to take part in workshops and summer training programs which give the opportunity to work with wild animals.
Some veterinarians after obtaining any veterinary degree, choose to continue post-doctoral training in zoological medicine, which takes 2 or 3 years and offers further academic studies as well as clinical experience and applied research. There aren’t many opportunities to go for post-doctoral training, which makes this field really narrow.
How to Become a Veterinarian in Florida
The way to become a veterinarian in Florida doesn’t differ much from the other states’ experience.
In order to become a specializing veterinarian, first of all, you have to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. It can be in any sphere, but it will be easier for you later if you choose a field close to veterinary.
The second step will be to get a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, which is only available after 4 years of college. The program usually takes 4 years as well. After that, you will be allowed to pass state and national exams in order to become licensed.
If this education is not enough in your chosen area, you can get a certificate in a specialty that allows you to work in a particular sphere.
In Florida, there are 8 accredited educational organizations that provide a range of programs with different degrees in veterinary medicine. Make sure that you choose the accredited college or university, otherwise, you won’t be licensed and won’t be able to practice your skills.
How Long to Become a Veterinarian
If we want to answer the question of how many years of school we need to become a veterinarian, let’s count together. In order to become a certified veterinarian, you have to complete 4 years of a bachelor’s degree program. After that, you enter any accredited veterinary school, where you study for another four years and then pass the licensing exams. To sum up, those students who plan to become a vet will spend 8 years on getting the basic needed education.
We should take into account that for some specializations it is not enough, or students want to practice in some specific area of veterinary medicine. To achieve that, they need to take post-graduate training which lasts from 1 to 5 years. In other words, we can answer how many years it can take to become a veterinarian – veterinary education may require up to 15 years of studies.
If it seems it too long for you and you want to work with animals as soon as possible, you can think of becoming a veterinarian assistant. We bet you would like to ask: “How long does it take in the USA to become a veterinarian assistant?” And the answer will be that it can take you up to 2 years depending on the level of qualification you would like to acquire. This choice will be for those who will be happy to start working with animals as soon as possible.
But remember that a good doctor or veterinarian is the person who studies for their whole lives, so we may say that veterinarians shouldn’t forget about ongoing education.