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Veterinary Medicine

Maya Johnson

English III Honors Pd. 6

Mr. Alburger

February 23, 2017

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Maya Johnson

Mr. Alburger

English III Honors

23 February 2017

Veterinary Medicine

When humans get sick, they have doctors and similarly when animals get sick, they need

someone to come to their aid. Veterinarians play an important role in everyone's lives, especially

animals. In order to treat and protect animals, someone must have an intense level of

compassion and instinct. This job requires a lot of work and studying because the fate of

animals lives often lie in a veterinarians hands. When studying to become a veterinarian,

understanding the history, basics of veterinary medicine, educational requirements, the different

field opportunities given, specialization, and the challenges, prepares students for this important


Since 2,500 BC, veterinary medicine has made a huge impact on todays community

(Institute). The perceptions of animals overtime have varied from dangerous wild creatures,

sacred religious figures, amicus friends, food sources, and protection (Institute). With an

obvious reliance on animals, humans had to find a way to take care of them in times of hurt or

trouble (Institute). By 4,000 BC, people began to domesticate, and outline the basics of

veterinary medicine in China, Babylonia, and India (Institute). The first few veterinarians in

practice, started off by treating sick animals; Egyptians mainly focused on putting a stop to

disease and helping unhealthy livestock (Institute). Although the Egyptians tried their very

best to prevent disease among their animals, Babylonians found success when they discovered
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that quarantined animals helped to stop the spread of the sickness (Institute). India became the

first to establish a veterinary hospital. In some Indian religions, such as Hinduism, the cow

remains sacred and Hindus believe they have a religious duty to give the cows the best care

possible hence them building the first veterinary hospital (Institute). The Hindus constructed

government-run buildings for cows called, gozadas-old cow homes (Institute). The Greeks

made the most important advancement when they created scientific solutions and took very

important notes on their advancements in animal medicine and the anatomy of an animal

(Institute). The Greeks derived most of their treatments by combining human and animal

treatment (Institute). Hippocrates made the biggest discoveries by comparing human

physiology and animal science; he created a steady base for veterinary medicine and a lot of his

findings continue to impact veterinary medicine today (Institute). Published in 3000 BC,

Hippitrika became the first veterinary textbook. Hippocrates, Apsyrtus, and Vegetius remain the

most popular philosophers in veterinary medicine (Institute). During the Renaissance, studies

of animals and diseases carried and contracted by animals advanced with the invention of the

microscope (Institute). Until 1762, veterinary medicine continued to remain a non-occupation

in the eyes of many people (Institute). A cattle disease in France helped officiate the profession

when veterinary practitioners gathered to try and control the outbreak (Institute). The

practitioners mainly focused on stopping the illness from spreading to humans as well as to

other animals (Institute). The veterinarians did not turn to slaughtering for the perfect solution

(Institute). As a result of this outbreak, French leadership officiated the first veterinary college

in France; they used this to study ways to prevent diseases as well as the spread of disease with

the human relationship (Institute). A century later, Louis Pasteur proved animal diseases
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potential to pass to humans through consumption of meat and dairy products (Institute).

Established in 1863, the American Veterinary Medical Association initially focused on livestock

and disease, but now their reasoning has grown to all animals (Institute). By 1876, Cornell

University gave their first veterinary degree to Daniel E Salmon (Institute). During the early

1900s, twenty-two other colleges incorporated animal science; today University of Pennsylvania

has the only original veterinary school (Institute). When cars and other modes of transportation

began to surface, veterinary practitioners began to worry about their jobs, but little did they know

about the developing domestication era of animals (Institute). By the 1930s veterinary offices

popped up in cities as well as other areas (Institute). Since diseases appeared under control,

vets had time to discover more about the profession, such as specialization, better technique, and

treatment (Institute). Many of these discoveries and studies created the layout for the

veterinarians today (Institute). Without these prior discoveries, inventions, people, and disease,

the profession may have not remained as veterinary medicine known today.

A veterinarian's main focus should include taking care of animals and tending to the

owners needs to the best of his or her ability (Institute). A veterinary practitioner essentially

functions like a doctor for the animals, ultimately doing everything they can for the patient

(Hess). Veterinarians diagnose illnesses, treat them, set broken bones, fix up wounds, perform

surgery as well as prescribing, and giving medicine (Institute). Dr. Prior describes her main

goal as a veterinarian as, To help people give their pets a high quality of life, and to give them

the information they need to do that (Prior). Veterinarians take care of domesticated animals,

livestock, wild animals, zoo animals, and lab animals (Institute). A veterinarian will use

various instruments such as stethoscopes, testing equipment, radiography, as well as ultrasound

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(Institute). In some cases, veterinarians counsel owners on tough decisions, and educate others

for everyone's best interest (Institute). Also, a veterinarian may need to protect an animal. If a

veterinarian thinks an animal lives in a negligent or unfit home, one might insist upon

improvement or take away the animal (Billeschou). Some veterinarians work in labs in order to

tell us more about diseases, to prevent them from becoming a problem, or testing medications

and treatment in order to improve the quality of an animal's life (Billeschou). Veterinarians

connect with human sciences and make a huge contribution to the the study of malaria and

yellow fever (Billeschou). Some veterinarians create new techniques for surgery by running labs

and tests on animals (Institute). Some veterinarians work to try and perfect transplant

procedures, and create more advanced antibiotics and treatments (Institute). Veterinarians can

also become inspectors for food safety, testing livestock for E. coli, essentially protecting

humans from disease (Institute). Food inspectors enforce sanitation and ensure that the

treatment of livestock remains as humane as possible. If livestock owners do not meet sanitation

requirements, they can receive fines and consequences (Institute). The anticipation of demand

for veterinarians grows due to retirement, and switching out of the field (Institute). The pet

population remain constant, but look how many animals need care: 53 million dogs, 59 million

cats, 13 million birds, 55.6 million fish, 5.7 million rabbits and ferrets, 4.8 million rodents, 3.5

million reptiles, and 4 million pleasure horses (Institute). The need for veterinarians increased

because at this day and age, most people keep up to date with their animals health and want the

best for their beloved pets (Institute). When becoming a veterinarian, one should expect long,

chaotic days. Veterinarians come across many different cases and must take the risk of animals

biting, scratching, attacking, or kicking them (Veterinarians). Most veterinarians stay on call,
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meaning any minute of the day a vet would need to respond to a crisis (Veterinarians).

Whether working in actual office or not, a vet will have a crazy, loud day, dealing with many

different cases (Institute). Veterinarians overall have a steady, constant flow of earnings.

Salary has several factors such as specialization, experience, and where and how veterinarians

choose to practice (Institute). Veterinarians can make anywhere from $75,000 to $150,000 all

depending on those factors (Institute). Fresh out of veterinarian medical school, a graduate can

expect an annual pay of $45,000, and one going into the military usually starts at around $50,000

(Institute). Looking at statistics, the number of animals a veterinarian treats factors more into

the equation than the size of the animals (Institute). For example, a small animal practitioner

treats more common animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small animals so they will

have more clientele versus an equine practitioner, treating horses, an animal that not everyone

has in their backyard. The starting pay for an equine practitioner appears significantly lower at

$30,000, but an experienced equine veterinarian can make around $85,000 (Institute). With

more and more experience, a private practitioner on an average can make $75,000, whereas a

commercial practitioner can make around $110,000 (Institute). On average veterinarians can

earn $60,000 by working in the state, government, or agricultural field (Institute). All in all,

the amount of money all depends on location, experience, and specialization.

Some of the top veterinary schools in the United States include North Carolina State

University, Colorado State University, as well as Ohio State University. In college, future

veterinarians usually major in biology, animal science, biological sciences, clinical sciences,

zoology, or biomedical sciences. North Carolina State University (NCSU), located in Raleigh,

North Carolina, offers animal science, biological sciences, as well as their College of Veterinary
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Medicine (College). Residential students tuition averages around $25,252, and non-residential

students pay $42,770. NCSUs veterinary program remains in the top five of the greatest

teaching facilities (College). Their facility consists of traditional classroom teaching, a

laboratory, and a teaching hospital, providing top notch care to the patients, as well as teaching

and preparing students with new and advanced technologies and procedures (College).

Colorado State University offers animal science, biology, biomedical sciences, zoology, and

clinical sciences (Lucy). Colorado State University (CSU), located in Fort Collins, Colorado,

has an in-state tuition of $25,336 and out-of-state tuition of $42,630 (Lucy). They have the

Lucy Oncology Clinic, specializing in cancer treatment, teaching students procedures, and

performing clinical trials (Lucy). The Lucy Oncology Clinic plans to upgrade the hospital with

$20 million advancements (Lucy). Ohio State University (OSU), located in Columbus, Ohio

offers students majors in animal sciences, biology, biomedical science, and zoology (DVM).

Ohio State University has an in-state tuition of $25,539 whereas out-of-state tuition of $44,731

(DVM). Ohio State University has the countrys biggest veterinary medicine program and

focuses on human and animal issues in order to try to better our world (DVM). After obtaining

a degree from a four year college, the application process for veterinary school begins. In order

to become a veterinarian, one must obtain a veterinary medicine degree (Eyeing). Once

applying to a veterinary school, plan for another two to eight years in order to secure the degree

(Eyeing). When applying to a veterinary school, keep in mind that the United States only has

twenty-seven veterinary medicine colleges (Eyeing). This creates a competitive admissions

process and the more that students that apply, the smaller the acceptance rate becomes; currently

one in three applicants gets accepted to veterinary school (Eyeing). Students wanting to
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become veterinarians often have problems with the cost of tuition for college, and then

veterinary medical college (Hess). Preparation at a younger age at high school could give a slight

advantage (Eyeing). Most veterinary medical colleges required 45 to 90 hours of

pre-veterinary credit hours and at least a 3.0 GPA (Eyeing). Applicants who score high on the

Veterinary Aptitude Test (VCAT), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or Medical College

Admission Test (MCAT) tend to have a prominent chance of getting into a school (Eyeing).

During veterinary medical college, most of the schooling consists of hands on experiences and

working in clinics at state universities (Eyeing). Different subjects covered during schooling

include anatomy, systemic physiology, pathology, pharmacology, microbiology, organic

chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physics, biochemistry, biology, animal biology, animal nutrition,

genetics, and vertebrate embryology (Eyeing). Once a student proves himself after the first

couple years infectious and noninfectious diseases, diagnostic and clinical pathology, obstetrics,

radiology, clinical medicine, anesthesiology, surgery, public health, preventive medicine,

toxicology, and clinical nutrition become a part of their course work (Eyeing). The last two

years of schooling, students will began to shadow and have more hands on experiences, such as

diagnosing, treating, and performing surgical procedures, working their way up to a vet

themselves. In the United States, every single state requires a practitioner to have a DVM degree

and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) as well as the Clinical

Competency Test (CCT) (Eyeing). The only exception to the DVM degree requirement exists

in federal and state government positions (Eyeing). In order to pass the NAVLE, the student

must have at least an 85% (Eyeing). A lot of hard work, studying, and dedication become
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necessary in order to go college, get accepted into veterinary medical school, and to pass the the

final exams to become a licensed veterinarian.

A veterinarian has some flexibility in their work setting, and the different environments

to work in such as private practice, zoos, farms, racetracks, hospitals, labs, and the military.

Veterinarians working at a private practice treat small animals, and pets in a clinical setting

(Veterinary Medicine). Private practices, much like a doctor's office, have the normal

examination room, treatment equipment, operation rooms, boarding, and overnight options so

animals can recover from surgical procedures or stay for observation (Institute). Veterinarians

that work at a zoo treat wild and exotic animals at a zoo. They ensure that zoo animals stay

healthy, happy, and can live in the best habitat possible (Veterinary Medicine). Zoo

veterinarians monitor each animal's tendencies, and take note so when an animal gets sick they

can identify the abnormalities (Institute). They also make sure that the animals stay in a

stress-free and appropriate habitat (Veterinary Medicine). Veterinarians working at a zoo

administer shots, well examinations, perform surgeries, and prevent illness and disease, requiring

them to further their license, adding on an extra two year (Veterinary Medicine). Not only do

the veterinarians care for the animals, but they also observe the animal in order to protect the

public and zoo staff, preventing viral illnesses from spreading, and most importantly fatal attacks

(Institute). Veterinarians also have the opportunity to work on a farm tend to livestock animals

and ensure that livestock receive appropriate care (Veterinary Medicine). They normally travel

from ranch to ranch, never really having an actual office on the farm, they work from mobile

units, as well as vans that have medicine, treatment equipment, and instruments to make sure the

animal remain in good health (Institute). Veterinarians that decide to work on a farm, have to
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push their education by at least two extra years in order to treat these large equine animals

(Veterinary Medicine). Veterinarians working on a racetrack treat horses to make sure horses

do not over do it, and to prevent injuries and discomfort (Veterinary Medicine). When working

a racetrack, a veterinarian will need to obtain a license for equine and large animals (Institute).

Animal hospitals, another field option, have a fast paced environment, requiring critical thinking,

and intelligent judgement calls (Institute). Much like a normal hospital, emergency situations

and quick decisions occur in order to identify problems and the most effective treatment. An

animal hospital has several different positions, such as veterinarian practitioners, internal

medicine, ophthalmologists, pathologists, surgeons, and oncologists (Veterinary Medicine).

Veterinarians working a lab could do one of two things, they can assure that the animals in the

laboratory for study receive the best care or have not been mistreated (Institute). Other tasks a

veterinarian in a laboratory can perform include studying diseases, and illness, learning how to

prevent them from spreading or worsening (Veterinary Medicine). Also they can develop more

efficient surgical procedures, and new methods for organ transplants (Veterinary Medicine). A

veterinarian could also work in the US Army (Institute). Many positions exist in the Army

such as a veterinary practitioner on a base, treating residentials pets, as well animals serving the

country (Institute). A veterinarian in the Army could also go onto the field, treating wounded

and hurt animals (Institute). Also a veterinarian in service has the opportunity to go to third

world countries, and help animals abroad, also they can educate on procedures, and help control

disease. In order to become a veterinarian in the US Army, one must enlist, go to basic training,

and then sign a four-year contract (Institute). A veterinarian has many opportunities besides

sitting in an office all day.

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A veterinarian has many different specializations and different paths to take such as

normal veterinarian practition, anesthesiology, laboratory animal medicine, equestrian, and

exotic companion mammal practice (Smither). A veterinarian practitioner treats small animals,

and pets, seeking relief, and comfort for both the animal and owner (Smither). A practitioner can

practice in almost any environment one would like to, specialization also increases salary

(Smither). An anesthesiologist administers anesthesia to an animal during the surgery and

monitors the animal to make sure the animal received the appropriate amount of anesthesia

(Smither). Anesthesiologists work in operating rooms, animal hospitals, and farms (Smither).

Specializing in laboratory animal medicine, has the veterinarian working in a laboratory, testing

medicines on rodents, trying to come up with newer and improved medicines (Smither). An

equine practitioner strictly focuses on horses and their health (Smither). The veterinarian works

on the go, at a stable, on a farm, or a racetrack. Equine practitioners administer shots, as well as

keep a close eye on their hooves, and joints, and focus on maintaining a healthy horse (Smither).

Finally, an exotic companion mammal practitioner focuses on exotic and wild animals such as

little animals like chinchillas, hedgehogs, kinkajous, and monkeys, all the way to large exotics

like tigers, lions, cheetahs, bears, and more (Smither). The exotic practitioner does routine

exams, surgeries, and vaccination, they can work at zoos, animal hospitals, and private practices

(Smither). The veterinarian world includes many different specializations and interests.

Overall, becoming a veterinarian presents as a challenging process, and becoming one

takes a lot of dedication and studying. A veterinarian fights for an animals lives just as a doctor

would do for a patient. Examining and detecting problems remains key to helping the animal out.

Sometimes the solution can be as simple as medication, but sometimes the illness can lead to
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death. When deciding the best major there many routes to take, and several top schools to go to.

Getting accepted into veterinary medical school essentially becomes the hardest part. Once

graduating from veterinary medical school the option of many different settings, and

specializations become available to spark anyones interest. Getting through all of these

challenges to become a veterinarian involves many challenging, but well worth the challenge in

the end.
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Works Cited

Billeschou Christiansen, Stine, et al. "Veterinarians' Role In Clients' Decision-Making Regarding

Seriously Ill Companion Animal Patients." Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 58.(2016):

1-14. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Jan. 2017.



"College of Veterinary Medicine." NCSU, 06 Aug. 2015. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.


"DVM." Ohio State University. N.p., 11 Dec. 2015. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.


"Eyeing Your Future In Veterinary Medicine." Firstline 12.11 (2016): 12-17. Business Source

Complete. Web. 2 Jan. 2017.



Hess, Laurie. "You Think You Want To Be A Veterinarian: What You Wish You Had Known

Then That You Know Now." Journal Of Avian Medicine & Surgery 26.2 (2012):

111-114. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Jan. 2017.



Institute for Career, Research. Careers In Veterinary Medicine. [Chicago, Ill.]: Institute for

Career Research, 2009. eBook High School Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 21 Dec.
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"Lucy Oncology Clinic." Colorado State University, 26 July 2016. Web. 11 Feb. 2017.


Prior, Ann. Personal interview. 20 Feb. 2017.

Smither, Suzanne. "Is The Growing Competition Among Specialists Good For The Profession?."

Veterinary Team Brief (2015): 31-33. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Jan. 2017.



"Veterinary Medicine." Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia(2016): 1p. 1. Funk &

Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 2 Jan. 2017.



Veterinarians." Occupational Outlook Handbook (2008): 1-4. Business Source Complete.

Web.2 Jan. 2017.