However, a lot of veterinarians get associated with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) that deal with street and stray animals. Veterinarians that work with large animals work only with food animals such as cows, horses, etc.
Veterinarians have always been considered as a separate class of doctors and are one of the most respectable doctors in the field of medical sciences. Veterinarians are the ones who diagnose and treat all kinds of sickness, disease, and injury in animals. All kinds of surgeries and inoculations of animals against any kind of infectious disease are also part of the everyday routine of a veterinarian.
Any veterinarian in a private practice generally treats sick domestic animals. There are also large animal practitioners who are majorly concerned with the proper diagnosis and prevention of diseases in small and large stock. The main aim behind this sub field is to bring in considerable improvement in the production of meat, wool, milk, and other animal products that are derived from stock animals.
Many veterinarians, after completing an initial study in the field of animal medicine, prefer to pursue further studies to gain specialization in any of the aspects of the practice (an example could be horse practice or stock animal care). However, many private veterinarians especially from rural areas prefer to generalize their studies in order to gain knowledge about the treatment of both farm animals and per animals. Other areas of animal care specialization include dairy cattle, wildlife, exotic birds, and poultry, among others.
There are many universities and colleges that offer graduate-level and post-graduate-level study programs in veterinary sciences. After attaining a bachelor degree in veterinary sciences (B.V.Sc.), a student can enrol into a post-graduate master program in veterinary sciences (M.V.Sc.). In addition to this, a student who wants to specialize further can pursue doctorate degree programs in veterinary sciences (Ph.D.). The total study term, if a student takes this course, is generally five years for B.V.Sc., two years for M.V.Sc., and further three years for Ph.D. A list of some universities that offer these programs in India is as follows:
- Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University
- Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
- Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary Medicine
- Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fishery Sciences University
- Indian Veterinary Research Institute – Deemed University
For getting admission into any such university for a bachelor degree in veterinary sciences, a student must have cleared school (class 12) with biology, physics, and chemistry as core subjects along with any other elective subject. Many universities in India offer bachelor and master study programs in veterinary sciences, such as a Diploma program in Animal Husbandry, Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Veterinary Science.
Career prospects in the field of veterinary sciences are also very bright. Because the field is growing and diversifying at a very rapid scale, especially livestock and poultry, veterinarians are being highly paid now-a-days and have found entry into many walks of life. The Banking and the insurance sector requires veterinarians for passing loans for livestock and poultry farms. Other sectors such as government, agriculture, medical care, etc., all require veterinarians. Veterinarians that are employed by pharmaceutical companies are mainly involved in the development and research of many animal-based products that are used in animal care. They also take care of the registration of all these animal care products.
Veterinarians who work for the state government are employed in order to prevent and control any kind of disease outburst in animals that can threaten the livestock of the whole country. Such veterinarians are also involved in the agricultural education and the upliftment of the community as a whole. As in government departments, veterinarians have the privilege to choose the stream in which they want to work. This ranges from stud farms, poultry farms, sheep farms, piggery farms, and race clubs to government veterinary hospitals, clinics, and other animal husbandry departments.
To put it on a broader scale, veterinarians today are involved in a variety of jobs, ranging from vaccination of animals and information related to health and nutrition to the scientific breeding of animals with the use of many methods. One can also get into the defence services where veterinarians are needed to maintain the good living of horses and dogs. Thus, the scope for a veterinarian is very bright, both in urban and rural areas.
In terms of remuneration and compensation, a veterinarian can earn a lot based on the practice and the kind of animals one works with. If a veterinarian joins a government hospital or an animal husbandry department as a graduate as a junior veterinarian surgeon or doctor, one can expect a starting pay scale of Rs. 10000 to Rs. 15000 per month. In private practice, one can earn about Rs. 40 to Rs. 600 per patient, which also depends on the treatment method that the animal is required to be given.
Life as a veterinarian
To go deeper into the life of a typical veterinarian who works with small animals and pets, for example cats, birds, dogs, reptiles, etc., the life of a veterinarian includes:
- Diagnosing the health problems in the animal;
- Vaccinating the animal against the disease, such as rabies or distemper;
- Providing proper medication to animals suffering from diseases, illness, infection, or an allergy;
- Setting fractures and performing surgeries;
- Advising owners on animal care such as feeding, animal behaviour, breeding, etc.;
- Euthanizing animals, as needed.
Veterinarians who work with large animals and livestock play the following roles on a day-to-day basis:
- Providing care for the health and maintenance of food animals;
- Testing and vaccinating the animals against diseases;
- Setting fractures, treating and dressing wounds, and performing surgeries.
Whatever subclass under veterinary sciences one opts for, one aspect remains common to all subclasses. That is: a veterinary professional must have utter love for animals and substantial knowledge on their behaviour, nature, etc. to be successful in this field of medical sciences.