This Byte has been authored by

Emily Canie

So you want to be a large animal vet...

A dog asking,

Many people think that vets only care for house pets, but some veterinarians help take care of large animals, too.

It could be the right career for you!

Large Animal Vet — What's The Scoop?

Large animal veterinary medicine includes providing medical and surgical services for livestock (sheep, cattle, goats, swine, and poultry) and horses.

Their main goal is to keep livestock healthy.

Willy Wonka saying,

Not only do large animal vets provide medical and surgical services for all this livestock, they also offer preventive herd health management and also monitor the herd's area for disease outbreaks. A person cuddling with a cow

Other services often performed are inspecting production facilities, performing emergency surgery, administering vaccines, providing exams, and so much more!

Quiz

What kind of clients would bring their animals to large animal veterinarians? Select all that apply.

Did You Know?

Troy Baker GIF by RETRO REPLAY Many large animal vets work in private practice but...

  • 10% of Canadian veterinarians work for some level of government

  • 6% hold various occupations in the veterinary industry

  • 5% are in teaching and research

  • the remaining 4% work in other related fields

What Skills Are Important To Be A Large Animal Vet?

Successful large animal vets draw from a lot of skills every day. 

Some important qualities include:

  1. Compassion for animals and people — large animal vets must be able to show understanding towards their human clients so that they can best care for their animal clients

  2. Precision in moving your body — being nimble with your body movements is helpful in surgery

  3. Ability to swiftly make decisions — large animal vets are faced with decisions daily, many of which can be tough decisions such as putting an animal to sleep

A lamb on a field. The text reads,

A Look At The Job

Check out the video below of a large animal vet performing an ultrasound on a pregnant cow!

Wanna Know What It Takes To Become A Large Animal Vet?

Becoming a large animal vet looks very different depending on where you'd like to live and practice.

Let's take a look at how to become a large animal vet in Canada:

  1. In high school, take science courses that will set you up to attend university

    A high school at a desk student looking at a message on his palm that reads,

  2. Gain as much experience as possible working with animals (vet clinic, SPCA, pet sitting, etc.) A person walking several dogs.

  3. Apply and attend a Canadian university in the general sciences for at least 2 years (specific required courses depend on the university) A sheepdog reading a book.

  4. Apply and attend a veterinary college for 4 years A skeleton on a bench. The text reads,

  5. Graduate 6 years later as a large animal veterinarian! A woman saying,

Take Action

finding nemo fish GIF

Does it sound like large animal veterinary medicine could be a good path for you?

If so...

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