How Do I Become a Veterinary Pharmacologist?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2019
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If you are looking to become a veterinary pharmacologist, expect to spend seven years in post-secondary education. You should study topics like biology in college with work experience an important part of becoming a desirable employee, especially with such a high level of competition. The job of veterinary pharmacologist involves creating drugs to treat sick animals as well as giving them the correct dose. This vocation is important to stop viruses spreading from animal to human.

You must have a serious interest in the well-being of animals in order to become a veterinary pharmacologist. This job involves finding and testing new drugs in order to treat diseases in different types of animals, including domestic pets and livestock. The effects of these drugs are noted with constant monitoring necessary in order to ensure the safety of the animals.

To become a veterinary pharmacologist, you need a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. This normally takes up to seven years, including undergraduate study. It is also important to have excellent mathematical skills and to study various sciences, particularly biology. As competition for admission to veterinary schools is serious, you will need to be dedicated from a young age. To become a veterinary pharmacologist, you must have exceptionally good scores in high school and carry this achievement throughout college.


Work experience is also important if you are looking to become a veterinary pharmacologist. This means you need to volunteer at a local animal shelter or veterinary office. Ideally, this should be done in high school. This experience may enable you to gain paid work when in college.

Post-secondary education for those looking to become a veterinary pharmacologists involves taking a veterinary medicine bachelor's degree program. After this, you may have to pursue a doctorate degree in pharmacology or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Employers generally expect candidates to have significant research training.

The role of veterinary pharmacologist has only been defined in the few decades prior to 2011 and is an amalgamation of a veterinarian and pharmacist. Prior to this, the veterinarian was in charge of diagnosis and therapy, while the pharmacist was responsible for dispensing requested medications. In 2011, you need to have the combined skills of a pharmacist and veterinarian in order to become a veterinary pharmacologist.

Your job will include adapting drugs to help injured and ill animals as well as prescribing and administering the dosage. This is vitally important, as many illnesses that affect humans come from animals. A veterinary pharmacologist is tasked with finding these illnesses that affect animals and curing them before they spread to the human population.


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