Meet Terry, a large animal veterinarian. Believe it or not, Terry became a vet to serve people. Developing relationships with clients is the best part of his job. He also enjoys that every day is different and believes that caring for animals is a very rewarding career choice.
Terry knew he wanted to work with animals from a young age, so going to University straight out of high school was an obvious choice. After completing his first two years of a bachelor’s degree majoring in animal science – a prerequisite to entering veterinary school – he went on to complete the doctor in veterinary medicine program for a total of six years of school.
One of the unique things about pursuing an education in veterinary medicine is it provides the option of a related career in animal sciences such as an animal nutritionist or a pharmaceutical rep, which does not require as much schooling.
Working as a veterinarian with a focus on large animals can be challenging but comes with its rewards. As a veterinarian you have the opportunity to build relationships with families as you work with them on a long-term basis. Terry has his own clinic, is on call seven days a week, 365 days a year, and has the unique experience of being his own boss and managing his own schedule.
What does a typical day look like for Terry? There is not one. Although animal injury and illness can happen anytime, different seasons require different focuses from large animal veterinarians. Around January, Terry is busy calving purebreds, dealing with sick calves and attending to obstetrical emergencies. By March, he is conducting genetic and viability testing and aiding in horse breeding and commercial calving. During the summer, Terry deals mainly with animal injuries such as cuts and lameness. And in the fall, pregnancy checking is Terry’s major task. Because of the size and often remote locations of farms and ranches, anyone pursuing a career in this field can expect to be on the road often, discovering new places on a regular basis.
The agriculture industry is full of opportunity for young people wanting to go into animal science, and more specifically, to become veterinarians. Terry states there is growing demand for specialized people with a focus on large animals.