Veterinary Surgeon

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    Veterinary surgeons maintain the health and welfare of a wide range of animals, from personal pets to livestock, zoo specimens, or even injured wild animals.

    Vets working in general practice are responsible for the medical and surgical treatment of a range of animals, including domestic, zoo and farm animals. They also work to prevent disease in animals and the spread of disease.

     

    Employers of Veterinary Surgeons

    • Private veterinary practices and surgeries
    • Zoos
    • Government organizations
    • Pharmaceuticals manufacturers

     

    Duties

    • handling, examining and treating all species of animals, including domestic animals, farm livestock and horses;
    • meeting and consulting with the owners and carers of various animals, including zookeepers;
    • carrying out tests such as x-rays, blood samples and ultrasound scans;
    • giving advice to farmers on issues such as nutrition, breeding and herd health;
    • routinely visiting farms to check the health of livestock;
    • immunising animals against different types of disease;
    • euthanising old and terminally ill animals;
    • performing surgery, including managing anaesthesia;
    • working on out-of-hours emergency cases when on-call;
    • providing suitable paperwork for animals travelling abroad, as well as inserting identification microchips;
    • maintaining up-to-date records;
    • liaising with, and referring to, other professionals within the industry;
    • inspecting certain animal products to ensure they are safe for human consumption.

     

    Qualifications

    You can only become a veterinary surgeon if you have a degree in veterinary medicine/science.

     

    Skills

    • A love of animals
    • Empathy, patience and sensitivity
    • Rational objectivity
    • A thorough, methodical approach
    • Communication skills
    • Scientific ability
    • Calmness in pressurized or emotional situations

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