The first and foremost attribute required for a good veterinarian is genuine love and compassion for animals. A good vet must read the signs from the animal’s behaviour and diagnose the ailment. Vets must be able to handle emergencies and work in physically disagreeable conditions, or in rural areas where working hours may be long and irregular, and working conditions uncomfortable. Working with large animals requires physical stamina and quick body reflexes to tackle the animal’s moody behavior. A vet should have powers of observation and self reliance, adaptability, indifference to the occasionally disagreeable conditions of work. He needs to be extra sensitive and patient.
If you adore animals and get affected to see them in pain, this can be a passionate career option for you. If you like animals and science, you might want to be a veterinarian. Most veterinarians perform clinical work in private practice. More than half of these veterinarians predominately, or exclusively, treat small animals. Small animal practitioners usually care for companion animals, such as dogs and cats, but also treat birds, reptiles, rabbits, and other animals that can be kept as pets. Some veterinarians work in mixed animal practices where they see pigs, goats, sheep, and some non-domestic animals, in addition to companion animals. Veterinarians in clinical practice diagnose animal health problems, vaccinate against diseases such as distemper and rabies, medicate animals suffering from infections or illnesses, treat and dress wounds, set fractures, perform surgery and advise owners about animal feeding, behaviour and breeding.
A small number of private practice veterinarians work exclusively with large animals, focusing mostly on horses or cows but may also care for various kinds of food animals. These veterinarians usually drive to farms or ranches to provide veterinary services for herds or individual animals. Much of this work involves preventive care to maintain the health of the food animals. These veterinarians test for and vaccinate against diseases and consult with farm or ranch owners and managers on animal production, feeding, and housing issues.
Veterinarians can contribute to human as well as to animal health. A number of veterinarians work with physicians and scientists as they research ways to prevent and treat various human health problems. To practice as a veterinarian it is essential to have a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science (BVSc).
Bachelor’s in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry (BVSc and AH): A candidate should have passed the class 12 examination with science subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Selection: Admission to most veterinary colleges is on the basis of results obtained in the entrance examination conducted by the concerned universities.
Veterinary Council of India conducts an All India Common Entrance examination (AICEE) for admission to first year BVSc and AH degree course for filling up 15 per cent of the total number of seats of each veterinary college of all states.
This entrance exam is usually held in the month of May each year. For admission to Masters degree programme, an All India Entrance Examination is conducted by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Duration: The duration of the BVSc & AH varies from four-and-a-half years to five years, including the period of internship. The first four years of the training programme are devoted to imparting skills through theoretical and practical training in various disciplines, like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, livestock management and production, production technology, pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, genetics and breeding, gynaecology, surgery, medicine and animal husbandry extension, among others and the fifth year is devoted to hands-on training, of which six months is through internship. The internship includes three months’ training at the Teaching Veterinary Clinical Service Complex (TVCSC) under the supervision of a senior clinician and in field veterinary hospitals on a rotation basis.
The Postgraduate course in Veterinary Science (MVSc) is a two-year course and the candidate has the option to specialise in areas like medicine, surgery, anatomy, bacteriology, biochemistry, cardiology, dermatology, microbiology, molecular biology, anaesthesia, gynaecology, pathology, toxicology, virology and pharmacology. For jobs in the research and teaching areas, a postgraduate degree in veterinary science and animal husbandry is a minimum qualification, while a PhD is preferred.
Where to study
- Veterinary Council of India
- All India Institute Of Hygiene And Public Health, Kolkata
- Bombay Veterinary Science College, Mumbai
- College Of Veterinary And Animal Science, Bikaner.
(The writer is CEO, NGF College of Engineering & Technology, Palwal)