There are many levels and types of veterinary care that animals can receive depending on their needs. So, if you’re considering a veterinary care career, your options can span much farther than those within the veterinary clinic.
The veterinary clinic is in no doubt the main hub for animal health provision. However, just like humans, animal health needs can be enduring and complex. Which creates a need for skilled professionals across a broad spectrum of animal care related services.
Should animals require urgent medical attention, they can be treated by animal health professionals in critical care and emergency services. Much like human hospitals and emergency units. In the same vein, animals with enduring health conditions can be referred for ongoing treatment with speciality care professionals.
So, no matter if you’re interested in the surgical operations that keep animals in good health, or something more niche, there’s a career path to suit. Meaning veterinary care not only ticks the box of working with animals but it also enables you to explore additional interests.
Find out more about the different veterinary care related careers you can pursue below. Plus, the courses you can take to get started.
As a veterinarian in a typical veterinary clinic, your duties are generally around the provision of regular wellness care. This typically involves administering treatments and performing procedures that are preventative, as opposed to curative. For instance, warding off disease and illness with medicines, educating owners on nutrition, plus diagnosing and treating other identified issues. All of which aim to increase an animal’s quality of life and decrease its likelihood of illness.
However, that’s not to say you won’t have your fair share of health emergencies to deal with. In these instances, you will treat animals to the best of your ability within the veterinary clinic. Should they require more intense care and treatment, you would refer them to the appropriate emergency services.
If you’re more inclined to work with exotic and unusual animal species, you can invest additional time to train as a zoological veterinarian. With advanced studies and qualifications, you could medically treat any species, from turtles to tigers and everything in between.
Your duties will involve providing animals with preventative medical care, as well as treating any illnesses or injuries they sustain. The animals in your care will be vastly different in size, anatomy and species-particular health challenges. Requiring you to be adept at using an array of equipment like imaging devices and surgical tools. And be confident administering medications to all manner of species.
Emergency Care or Critical Care Veterinarian
In many cases, when emergency situations arise, animals are transported to facilities that can provide higher levels of intensive care. As a veterinarian in an emergency hospital, you’ll triage animals upon arrival. Medically stabilising them so you can examine, diagnose and treat them accordingly. The emergencies you will treat can include anything from injury to toxicity, pancreatitis or bloat, among many other conditions. As the procedures you will perform are more advanced, emergency facilities have the advanced technological equipment to handle any type of emergency.
Once the emergency treatments or surgeries have been completed, animals needing round-the-clock care will be transferred to an ICU. Which is where they can receive ongoing intensive care.
As a veterinarian in a critical care setting, you will monitor animals closely while they heal. Providing any additional diagnostic testing and vital checks that are required and administering any necessary medications or IV therapy. You will also perform any follow-up surgery that is required for them to recover.
Small Animal Hydrotherapist
There are many niche areas of animal care that are connected to veterinary care. One of which is small animal hydrotherapy. This specialist area of animal care utilises hydrotherapy techniques to help animals recover from injuries or chronic conditions.
Hydrotherapy is now used to treat anything from neurological and orthopaedic issues to rehabilitation post-surgery and degenerative locomotive disorders. It is also a great option for low-impact exercise.
As a small animal hydrotherapist, your patients will typically be referred to you by veterinarians. So you’ll be working with animals who have pre-diagnosed conditions. Your focus will then be on helping them perform water-based exercises that will lead to improvements over time.
If you’re more interested in investigating the mobility problems of animals yourself, you could work as a veterinary physiotherapist. In this role, you will visit injured animals or those with mobility problems as a result of certain conditions or surgery. You’ll assess their condition and their needs and plan exercise and therapy programmes that will help them make improvements.
With your help and intervention, animals can benefit from reduced pain and discomfort. You can also reduce the likelihood of recurring injuries by helping the animal become stronger and healthier over time.
Like hydrotherapy, the tasks involved are primarily physical as you have to help animals perform certain exercises. The patients typically referred for physiotherapy are horses and dogs. So you must be strong to work with the larger of these breeds effectively.
Another niche area of veterinary related animal care is assuming the role of a veterinary chiropractor. It’s a job that specifically requires you to diagnose and treat mechanical disorders of the spine and musculoskeletal system. However, without the use of medicines or surgery.
As a veterinary chiropractor, you’ll perform adjustments to animal joints and vertebrae. Which will help to alleviate pain, restore balance, improve their function and performance. You may be called on to treat anything from pets to zoo animals, livestock or even racehorses.
This field combines human chiropractic practice with veterinary science. Providing an additional option for animals to receive treatment for their mobility conditions.
Start with a Veterinary Course
With so many veterinary care related careers, there really is something to suit all interests. You can also begin to pursue any of these career paths through online study.
Certain veterinary related careers don’t require degree level study. So, to become a small animal hydrotherapist, for instance, you can complete certain targeted online qualifications to get qualified. These blend the essential components of theoretical study and hands-on training to give you the skills and practical ability you need.
Aspiring animal chiropractors or physiotherapists would benefit from studying courses in human anatomy and physiology. As they allow you to explore these avenues of healthcare ahead of time. Plus, these career paths often require you to become qualified in human care before training in either area to treat animals.
Finally, prior to studying veterinary care related courses at university, you can learn about the sector through veterinary support courses. So, you can understand what to expect from veterinary clinic roles ahead of time. And make sure you’re aligning yourself with the one most suited to you.
Stonebridge Associated Colleges is one of the leading UK distance learning providers. With many online courses to help you reach your career goals.
Our courses can all be studied online, from the comfort of your own home. And where practical elements are included, these can often be booked in for a time that suits you. Further adding to the flexible nature of our education provision.
Find out more about starting a veterinary care related career today by viewing our animal course faculty below.