Veterinarians look after the health and well-being of animals. They diagnose, treat and help prevent disease and injury in animals. The main task of a veterinarian is to examine animals to detect and determine their health status.
Most vets concentrate on at least one field such as small animals, horses, or livestock. Many also focus on special interests within these fields, such as surgery, medicine and dentistry. A veterinarian must then be capable of providing treatment, advice, and/or prescriptions to treat whatever may be ailing the sick animal. If a veterinarian is unable to treat the animal himself or herself, then he or she must be able to refer the pet’s owner to a specialist who can treat the animal. In addition to treating the animals, vets must be able to professionally interact with the pet’s owner/s. They must be able to counsel the pet owners regarding the best form of treatment, as well as provide calm assistance during difficult times for a family whose pet is deceased.
The work of a veterinarian is both physically and mentally demanding. The work also requires the constant use of one’s mental abilities. A veterinarian usually works indoors in a veterinary hospital or clinic. Vets need to keep their skills up-to-date with the latest clinical and scientific developments through continuing education activities.
- Administer vaccinations and collect samples for testing for pathogens or diseases.
- Provide immediate treatment and care including diagnosis, prescriptions, and/or advice and behaviour changes.
- Examine animals to detect and determine health, injury, or illnesses.
- Counsel pet owners around treatment and diagnosis, and perform euthanization (ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering) when required.
Extensive education is required to become a veterinarian, including high school, college, and postgraduate training.
The pay scale of a veterinarian ranges between AUD$46,732 – AUD$95,036 and the median being AUD$65,285.