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Facts About Veterinarians

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Big animals vs small animals

James Herriot’s famous books about life as a vet in Yorkshire were very amusing and described fairly well the trials of a Veterinarian in a Mixed Animal Practice in days gone by. Much has changed since then. Nowadays, especially with the advances in medicine, and the increased funding veterinarians tend to specialize into domestic, small animal and farming or large animal practices.

Claude Bourgelat opened the first veterinary college in Lyon, France in 1761Claude Bourgelat opened the first veterinary college in Lyon, France.

Domestic animals

As part of modern life, many households have pets. Dogs and cats are common but these creatures can range from white mice, snakes, dragons and other reptiles, budgerigars parrots and even spiders. All creatures pick up ailments from time to time. Moreover, the household veterinarian has to treat all thus requires a vast knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and treatment of many different creatures. Not only that, but the Veterinarian has to interact with, calm down and explain what is happening to the pets owners. So, the skills required become quite extensive.

Farm animals

Vital to the economies of the farming communities is the care and health of the animals. Veterinarians serving this community tend to specialize in one or a few animals that they treat. This is especially true of beef and mutton farms where just about all the farm animals in the whole community will tend to the same or similar. Health, safety, and the rules regarding the health of animals that are entering the food chain themselves whose products, such as milk or eggs are being sold for human consumption.

Veterinarian doing a test on a dogVeterinarian doing a test on a dog.

When epidemics occur

The devastation to animals when epidemics like a “Foot and Mouth” outbreak can result in huge numbers of beasts being destroyed and cremated just because they are on a farm next to one where the outbreak has manifested. Similarly, where poultry health is strictly controlled as in intensive farming, disease spreads like wildfire. It is the Veterinarian’s responsibility to assure the authorities that the animals are in good condition.


Most countries have very strict laws requiring most domestic and farm animals to be vaccinated against common diseases. This is true of both domestic and farm animals.