Veterinarians diagnose, treat and help to prevent disease and injury in animals. They advise on measures to prevent the occurrence or spread of diseases and on ways to improve the health and productivity of animals, and supervise safety standards on food supplies.
Duties & Tasks
Veterinarians may perform the following tasks:
- examine sick and injured animals and perform diagnostic tests
- examine tissue and samples from sick animals to identify the cause of disease
- treat animals by using drugs, surgical procedures and nursing care
- vaccinate animals to prevent disease
- certify viability of animals for breeding and performance
- give advice about animal health and care to owners and breeders
- euthanise animals in a humane fashion to end pain and suffering or to prevent the spread of disease
- advise on feeding and breeding strategies to achieve maximum production
- notify authorities of outbreaks of animal diseases and certify animals for exportation
- attend horse and greyhound tracks, animal-related sporting events, and dog and cat shows to monitor and/or advise on the condition of animals
- supervise the handling and health of livestock destined for export
- supervise quarantine for incoming livestock, genetic material and animal products
- assist in public education programmes, promoting the welfare of animals.
Veterinarians may work indoors or outdoors depending on the location of their employment. They usually work long and irregular hours, especially those in private practice who may be called upon to treat sick animals at any hour of the day or night.
- interested in the health and welfare of animals
- good analysing and problem-solving skills
- good communication skills
- aptitude for science
- an enquiring mind
- organisational and supervisory skills.