What Are the Different Types of Veterinary Career Opportunities?

Nick Mann

For individuals interested in interacting with and helping animals, a veterinary career is often an ideal choice. While most people are familiar with regular private practice veterinarians, many are unaware of the many other veterinary career opportunities that are also available. Some of these options include focusing on exotic and specialty animals, animal radiology, or animal dentistry. Other related career paths include becoming a veterinary assistant or veterinary technician.

Veterinarians may be responsible for treating horses.
Veterinarians may be responsible for treating horses.

Perhaps one of the more unique veterinary career opportunities is working with exotic and specialty animals. This type of veterinarian will deal with certain kinds of animals that a traditional veterinarian might not be able to treat. For example, he might help sick or injured reptiles like iguanas, snakes and lizards. A specialty practice means that the veterinarian only deals with a certain type of animal. An example would be making house calls and treating only horses, which a standard practice might be incapable of handling.

Veterinary technicians may take blood and urine samples from an animal to diagnose an illness.
Veterinary technicians may take blood and urine samples from an animal to diagnose an illness.

Another of the veterinary career opportunities is working in animal radiology. This job is similar to the traditional radiology done on humans and often implements x-ray technology to treat animals. In addition, animals that suffer from cancer would go to a veterinary radiologist in order to use radiation therapy.

Veterinarians may choose to work with exotic pets, such as iguanas.
Veterinarians may choose to work with exotic pets, such as iguanas.

Animal dentistry is a career option that deals with treating the mouth and teeth of animals. This type of veterinarian will perform general dentistry and mouth surgery on animals. Jaw fractures and cracked teeth are common problems that an animal dentist will treat. In addition, if an animal has oral cancer, it will come to an animal dentist for treatment.

A veterinary assistant is another related career option. Individuals in this field can work in a variety of locations with a diversity of animals. For example, a veterinary assistant might work in a zoo and help ensure that animals get a proper diet. Another possibility is working in a laboratory where research is performed on different animals. Although an assistant won't make as much as a normal veterinarian, it can still be fulfilling career.

Becoming a veterinary technician is an additional option within this field. This is another of the veterinary career opportunities that assists the regular veterinarian. Typically, a technician will work with animal blood and urine samples in order to pinpoint the nature of an illness. Other job duties include treating wounds, providing feeding tubes, giving injections and administering intravenous fluids. Basically, this career deals with a wide variety of animal treatments.

A person wishing to work in veterinary medicine should have a love for animals.
A person wishing to work in veterinary medicine should have a love for animals.

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