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Veterinarians take care of sick and injured animals. When an animal is sick, vets examine it to find out why. Vets give blood tests, x-rays, and other tests, looking for clues about an animal's illnesses. Then, vets decide what kind of medicine or treatment the animal needs. Like doctors, veterinarians can fix broken bones, perform surgery, and give medicine to animals.
Vets also prevent problems by giving vaccinations, check-ups, and cleaning teeth. They check for infections in the animals and give advice to the animals' owners. They teach owners how to feed and train their animals. Many vets also supervise veterinary technicians and assistants. Some vets specialize in certain kinds of care, such as dentistry.
Most vets treat small pets like dogs, cats, rabbits and gerbils. They work in animal clinics and hospitals. But some focus on large animals like sheep, cows, and horses. Large-animal vets usually drive to ranches and stables where their patients live. A few vets work in zoos and aquariums. They care for zebras, sharks, and other exotic creatures.
In addition to helping sick animals, vets can work as animal inspectors, checking to make sure that farm animals are healthy and that their living spaces are clean. Another option for vets is doing scientific research in laboratories. Vets work for clinics, hospitals, governments, research companies, universities, animal food companies, and zoos.
Many vets like their work because they can be with animals every day. But because some animals are scared or hurt, they sometimes try to bite, kick, or scratch their vets. Veterinarians study biology, chemistry, nutrition, and animal science in college. In veterinary college, students learn how to work with animals, do surgery, and do laboratory tests with microscopes and other equipment. Many people get experience by first volunteering at animal shelters. They may work with experienced vets during a 2-year internship.
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