Veterinary Science

Much like people, animals get sick too. That is why there is a field of animal science devoted to animal health called Veterinary Science. A veterinarian is a doctor who works with animals. They are also known as vets.

A veterinarian checks a horse's eye. Photo from the American Veterinary Medical AssociationThere are various kinds of veterinarians. Some vets only work with companion animals, such as dogs and cats. They are known as small animal vets.

There are also vets who work exclusively with livestock, such as cattle and horses. They are known as large animal vets. Large animal veterinarians often work with small animals too.

Vets work in animal clinics and/or animal hospitals. These clinics are very similar to doctors’ offices and human hospitals. People can visit with their animals for a check-up and sometimes animals stay overnight for treatments and surgeries.

A large number of vet clinics offer mobile veterinary care services for farmers. These services are used in emergencies or when it is impractical to take an animal to the vet’s office. For example, it is not practical to transport a cow to a vet’s office when the cow is giving birth. Instead, the vet will visit the farm and help the cow there.

Some livestock farms are so huge that they require a resident veterinarian to care for their animals. A resident veterinarian may live on site and care only for that farm’s animals, or a vet might live locally and only work with certain farms in that area.

Some veterinarians are specialized. This means they only work in one area of medicine. Some vets work for diagnostic laboratories. These vets use special equipment to perform biopsies. A biopsy is the surgical removal and examination of tissue obtained from a living animal. Tissues make up the body. Tissues make up everything, even the bones, muscles and blood.

Large and small animal veterinarians send in tissues to be tested and the diagnostic veterinarians determine whether or not that animal has a disease and sends the results back.

Another type of specialized veterinarian is an animal chiropractor. A chiropractor is a doctor who fixes problems with the nervous system by physically manipulating muscle tissue, joints and the spinal cord of an animal.

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