Nicholas Pietro Fiorentino Period 9

Working locations for a small animal vet, large, and mixed.

Small Animal practice

-Veterinarians with a small animal practice deal mainly with cats, dogs, rabbits and birds. These types of veterinarians work in offices and clinics where small animals are brought and treated.

Large Animal Practice

-This area involves livestock and horses. Large animal veterinarians may care for entire herds or single animals and treat a variety of diseases and conditions. Because of the obstacles involved with transportation, many veterinarians that work with large animals must travel to farms or ranches to treat these animals.

Mixed Practice and Alternative Careers

-Mixed practice would mean treating all types of animals. Other opportunities may be available with wildlife parks or zoos. These veterinarians must be proficient in dealing with animals in their natural environment and in captivity. Some veterinarians may even be responsible for the preservation of animals facing extinction.

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.

Average hours / Working sched.

Most veterinarians work 50 or more hours a week, but about a fifth work 40 hours a week. Although those in private practice may work nights and weekends, the increased number of emergency clinics has reduced the amount of time private practitioners must be on call. Large animal practitioners tend to work more irregular hours than do those in small animal practice, industry, or government. Veterinarians who are just starting a practice tend to work longer hours.


According to a survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association, average starting salaries of 2002 veterinary medical college graduates varied by type of practice as follows:
  • All private clinical practices $46,339
  • Large animals, exclusively 48,303
  • Small animals, exclusively 48,178
  • Small animals, predominantly 46,582
  • Large animals, predominantly 45,087
  • Mixed animals 43,948
  • Equine (horses) 34,273

Education required

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterinarians are required to hold a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree to legally practice medicine on animals. This degree must come from a school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Job Outlook

Employment of veterinarians is expected to increase as fast as verage for all occupations over the 2004-14 projection period. Despite this average growth, very good job opportunities are expected because the 28 schools of veterinary medicine, even at full capacity, result in a limited number of graduates each year.

Required Skills

First, they need to have a knowledge of animals, including anatomy and pathology.

Then the need to have an ethical compass to make the right decisions regarding euthanization and mercy killing.

Finally they must have patience to deal with owners who do not accept that not all of their pet's problems can be fixed.

Related jobs

Veterinarian Technician is a closely related job, they deal with the equipment used in the animal hospitals.