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Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Vet's Life, Part 3

And here's the last of Lani's questions on what life as a veterinarian is like.

What are some of the negative aspects of it?
Well, it's pretty rough to have the skills and ability to help a pet, but the clients can't afford it or won't do the treatment. There are lots of clients who willingly don't give their pets the care that they really need, and spend money on grooming rather than heartworm prevention. It's not fun to have to deal with aggressive pets. There is a lot of mental stress because your skills and knowledge are often the difference between life and death for a pet. Managing a business can be difficult, since you have to handle finances rather than medicine, something you don't really get training in.

What are the type of animals you typically see other than cats and dogs?
Most small animal practitioners see only dogs and cats, and it's uncommon to find many vets who do a lot of work on other species. However, I have an interest in them, so I've gotten to see many kinds. Here's a quick list: macaws, cockatoos, parakeets, cockatiels, finches, several species of turtles, several kinds of snakes, geckos, bearded dragons, uromastyx, water dragons, iguanas, anoles, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, gerbils, and sugar gliders. I may have missed a few in there, but that pretty much covers it. The main lesson is that pretty much the only species you can't treat is humans. Every other kind of animal is a potential patient if you would like it.

Lani, I hope this gives you a better idea of what it's like to be a vet and helps you make your decision. Good luck, and thanks for the questions.