Vet Experiance? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Vet Experiance?

Hey hf.

Okay so I graduate highschool in 2 years and like 1 and a half months and I still have no clue what I want to be when I graduate. I want to do something with horses but running an equine business doesn't tend to pay the bills, or at least not many of them. So I was considering looking in to being a vet. It takes considerable more time but I think it'd be very fulfilling work. I'd be a large animal vet.

What I was wondering was would it be a good idea to see if I could get a job or something at a large animal vet clinic this summer? I want to see if I could handle the blood and all the other stuff first.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 12:04 AM
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I think it would be a very good idea. I thought I wanted to be a vet until I started watching some of those vet shows on Animal Planet and that changed my mind. Helping out at a vet clinic will give you a very good idea of what the job is like and there is always room for another good vet in the world to take care of crazy horse people's horses.

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post #3 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 12:21 AM
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Working at a vet clinic is what I recommend to anyone who wants to work with animals, either large or small. Sometimes working at a clinic is glorified on tv,even watching animal planet(which I love) shows alot of the bad things, but you still never see the really dirty parts, whether large or small. Cleaning cages, cleaning stalls is just a minor part, but nobody ever sees that. You don't see anyone cleaning up poop that is spread over a cage from an animal that doesn't have any manners and just poops and pees everywhere.Or one expresses its anal glands all over and you now stink like a dead skunk
Working with large animals is the same, they just make bigger messes.
But, working at a clinic also makes you take a realistic look at the world of animals, animals brought into you sick and hoping you can fix them Animals that have to be put down for illness or injury. The sad sad parts of working with animals. The patients where you are so angry at the owners because they just don't get it, don't get why their horse is all cut up because they didn't care about fences, or why their animal is really sick cause they have been doctoring it themselves with homemade remedies and now the cut is full of maggots and the animal is in pain. Or the idiots who let their dogs ride loose in the back of the truck, it falls out and the person behind them runs it over cause they can't stop fast enough. The horses that are brought in with broken legs or abcesses so bad their penis has to be amputated because "it was just a small abcess and I thought it would be okay."
However, you also get to see the good things, new born foals and calves. Injuries that you would think would never heal, a foal that goes to its new home, and somehow finds the one place in the metal corral that it can skin its face to the bone, comes in, gets stitches and is as good as new.
Working for a vet will take you along way into the animal world, you will either love it or hate it. Go for it and it might give you a start to a career.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 01:16 AM
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Great post wyominggrandma . I remember the days of volunteering at a vets office (small animal only though). A lot of it is tedium and routine. For small animal, anyway, a big part of the business was spaying, neutering, and teeth cleaning - after watching enough of that sort of thing, I realized it wasn't as exciting as I had imagined. I didn't even mind the cleaning cages part, but the cut that had maggots crawling out of it was almost too much for me. And the euthanasias were soooooo hard to watch .

OP - Good for you thinking ahead. I never managed to notice I wasn't suited to being a vet till a couple years into undergrad, and that was even after spending a year volunteering when I was in highschool - I'm just slow to change gears, I guess.

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post #5 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 07:53 AM
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I agree with everyone else, and if you can work at a practice with an experienced farm vet, so much the better. In my experience, the older farm vets provide a great blend of experience, medical knowledge, practicality, and common sense that is often missing from vets that never leave the office.
I hope it works for you...there is a tremendous shortage of large animal vets.

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post #6 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 04:42 PM
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Yes, try to work with a vet first. I had the amazing, and not-so-amazing, experience of working for an exclusively equine veterinarian for 3 years. I was hired to clean stalls and feed his racing TB's, but I got to help with ultrasounds, foal births, breeding mares, immunizations, wound care, and working around horses. Not all of it was fun and games, but I learned a ton. Including that I didn't want to be a veterinarian. I loved helping out though, and I am currently enrolled in college to become a veterinary technician.

Being able to shadow someone in the field you are interested in is the best way to decide if it is what you want to do for the rest of your life.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-07-2010, 05:47 PM
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Yes for sure try to get a summer job at a vet clinic. And if you are unable to find one, then ask around and see if you can sit in during a spay/neuter surgery and that will tell you if you can handle the smell of warm animal blood.


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post #8 of 11 Old 05-08-2010, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Last summer was my first experiance with real wounds. A mare at the barn I worked at cut her leg open, down to the bone, I got the glorious job of hosing it off. It didn't bother me so much in a "i need to puke way" but after a while I got crazy dizzy and almost passed out. It was the first time i'd seen a wound though so... Also my horse needed penecilin shots. I could not do it, maybe because stabbing my own horse with a needle was too much.

But yes, my mom says its a great idea and there is a very qualified vet 10 minutes from my house. There's actually 2-3 vets always on site or on call for everything from the little stuff to emergencies. They are amazingly qualified and it would be an amazing opportunity.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-08-2010, 01:12 PM
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Get a job or volunteer!!! I work at a small animal vet's office and I like it, but I don't love it. Around here it's very hard to get a job, or even get a spot volunteering at a large animal clinic. I would much rather work at a large animal clinic than the one I'm at. That being said, I don't think I wanna be a vet anymore. At least not a small animal vet. I see what the vet's do on a day to day basis and it's just not what I wanna do. Veterinary technicians do EVERYTHING at our clinic. The only things they can't do is surgery, fill precriptions, and diagnose (well, to the owners they can't say anything, but the have their opinions and the doctor often agrees) .

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post #10 of 11 Old 05-08-2010, 03:55 PM
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Absolutely work or volunteer with a vet! It is a lot of work, lot of school, and a LOT of debt! I was pre-vet in college and I was so amazed by how many pre-vet students there were who had NO vet experience. A large percentage of them were surprised to find out that it wasn't what they wanted to do once they started working with one! And there are ones who find out that they absolutely love it.
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