Exotic Animal Vet

Jessica Forth, Period 10

What's the Difference?

Veterinarians are qualified to work with injured and sick animals just as Exotic Animal Vets. The difference between thee two however is that most regular veterinarians deal with domesticated animals such as dogs, felines, rodents, and even some small reptiles (domesticated). Exotic Vets work with animals that are wild and more often than not, are not able to be domesticated. Another difference between the two is of course the environment they work in. Normal vets tends to work in an office setting where people come to them. You won't find vets around Franklin Park traveling to a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica right? Exotic Vets sometimes have to travel longer distances and they have to go to the animals natural environment. Why? Because you just can't transport elephants to a clinic.
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Career Details

There are some things about being a Vet that will benefit you and somethings that will suck, but if it's truly something you love then you'll breeze through the minor downfalls.

Cons: Long hours, a lot of noise, chance of physical harm from a variety of sizes of animals, not very extraordinary pay depending on location, and maybe even emotional trauma. Be strong!

Working Hours: 60-80 hours a week, 6 days a week. When you first start in your practice. As you move up though or own your own business and have more staff your hours can become more flexible.

Duties/Responsibilities: Veterinarians administer vaccines, do health check-ups, clean teeth, fix broken bones, treat skin infections and perform surgeries. Another aspects of a veterinarian's career may involve inspecting the living spaces of animals on farms or ranches to ensure that they are free from possible sources of infection. Some veterinarians specialize in a particular disease or condition and may be consulted only in special cases.

Veterinarians have to give lethal injections to animals when they become old or terminally ill. Vets who own their own businesses may have to perform administrative duties, supervise veterinary techs and manage other staff members. Veterinarians should be comfortable with animals and people and be willing to undergo many years of schooling before entering this profession.

Working/Locations: Near zoos, cities, (One in North Lake)

Pay: 82,000-84,000 a year.

Education Required

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states veterinarians are required to hold a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree to practice medicine on animals or else it is considered illegal! This degree must come from a school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA); there are currently 28 AVMA accredited schools in the U.S. Most veterinary programs take four years to complete, and sometimes longer for masters degree (more money).

Coursework: animal anatomy, veterinary physiology, systematic pathology and veterinary technologies. Students are also required to complete supervised clinical hours where they treat and diagnose animal patients. Prior to being accepted into a DVM program, applicants must meet requirements, which can include completing undergraduate courses or earning a bachelor's degree.

Other Prerequisite Courses: include genetics, chemistry, biochemistry and statistics.

Also Needed: License to practice medicine.

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Skills Needed

Good people and animal skills will always be needed especially if you run your own vet business, ability to function and make decisions under pressure, good observational skills, ability to disassociate from some actions- ie euthanizations and surgery.

Job Growth/ Outlook

Occupation Growth

Moderate Openings per Year


Advancement Opportunities and Related Jobs

Related Job (that would interest me): Vet Technician

Advancement: Although it is not required, many veterinarians choose to become certified in an area of specialization, for example surgery or internal medicine. Requirements vary by specialty but may include experience in that area, passing an examination, spending additional time in school or completing a three to four year residency program.

In addition to formal training, to be an awesome veterinarian, one needs certain qualities he or she can't learn in school. Number one on this list is compassion, both toward the animals they treat and their owners. He or she also needs good decision-making skills to aid in choosing appropriate treatment methods. Good interpersonal skills are also a must as one spends time communicating with animal owners, staff members and colleagues. Manual dexterity and strong problem-solving skills are also important.