Ten rewarding veterinary experiences

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Veterinary medicine is still one of the most popular career choices for young students. Although there can be long hours and stressful emergencies to manage, this career path can be very rewarding. Here are 10 examples of veterinary medicine that I find particularly interesting and satisfying.

1. One of the most enjoyable parts of the job is definitely office visits with puppies and kittens. The whole office loves to take part in these wellness exams. There can be a lot to cover now that veterinary medicine places importance on preventive care. The staff enjoys parading the infant pets around the office, which is great for socialization. A true morale builder during these busy times.

2.  Working as a team is very rewarding. During the pandemic veterinary practices have become extremely busy. The whole profession has been faced with a demanding schedule. Tons of urgent care appointments have become the norm. Working as a team has proven to be a necessity and we are very proud of our employees. They have supported each other and at the end of the day the team has helped lots of animals and their owners.

3. Solving the puzzle of difficult medical cases is a worthwhile challenge. Sometimes it takes all of our diagnostic tools to solve a complicated case. It’s great to have a full laboratory on-site to get answers in a hurry.

4. Meeting interesting clients is always a benefit. People really open up and tell us stories when their pets are involved. There are some office visits where we eventually get around to discussing the animal’s medical issues at hand. If you’re not a people person then this profession is not for you.

5. Seeing weight loss success and complimenting the owners. Obesity is a big problem with our dogs and cats. Giving advice on how to accomplish weight loss and seeing the change at the next weigh-in is a fun little moment. Of course, it’s not a secret on how to get the weight off their companions (diet, exercise, less treats), but seeing the numbers go down and the smiles come up is always fun.

6. Fixing a problem with oral meds is always nice. Many diseases can be easily and inexpensively cured with oral medications such as urinary tract infections, kennel cough and thyroid issues. It’s great to take care of simple problems and alleviate pain and suffering with the medications that we keep on the shelf.

7. Diagnosis by x-ray gives instant gratification. Bladder stones, fractured bones and some gastric foreign bodies are easily demonstrated to the veterinarian as well as the owner. It’s often all there in black and white for everyone to see. Surgery to correct the problem is often the next step and nothing beats helping an animal by making an incision and tying a few knots.

8. The old saying that cats have nine lives is proven at the veterinary hospital every day. Felines are remarkably resilient and heal very quickly. Cats usually manage to stay out of trouble but when they are sick or injured, they often recover without complication. Spaying a cat is a real abdominal surgery but you would never know it from their normal behavior the next day.

9. Successful birthing experiences are excellent. This is especially true for the large animal practitioner. Nothing beats delivering a calf, foal or small ruminant and having a live birth with a healthy mom and baby. There is always the possibility of a c-section, which is exciting for our staff because it can be all hands-on-deck. Surgery is usually quite successful depending on the situation.

10. Because our patients can’t talk, veterinarians must rely on inquiring minds and keen powers of observation. We were taught the importance of a thorough physical exam as well as the need to obtain an accurate history. Our professors would stress this approach especially when working with large animals. Of course, a little practical experience over the years doesn’t hurt.