For the Love of Vets

For the Love of Vets

What Does It Take To Be an Equine Veterinarian?

Erin Steeves

If you think you would like a veterinarian job, you may want to look into a specialty field. One field to consider—especially if you like and have experience with horses—is equine medicine. Horses can be high-maintenance animals that require a lot of specific care and handling. Plus, they are often interesting to work with. Continue reading to learn more about becoming an equine veterinarian and what they do in a typical day.

What Is an Equine Veterinarian?

An equine veterinarian works solely with the horse family. They specialize in horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules. Some veterinarians start as large animal veterinarians and move into equine medicine later. Others may go into medicine with becoming an equine veterinarian in mind.

What Education Does One Need to Be an Equine Veterinarian?

To become an equine veterinarian, you start with general education. You should have a 4-year degree before you go to veterinary school. Once there, you will learn about general animal medicine for all animals in a classroom setting. During the last part of your educational track, you will gain hands-on experience working with animals.

After completing your initial education, you may want to pursue additional hands-on experience. Also, consider pursuing an equine specialty like dentistry. Some states may have specific requirements before you can become a fully-licensed veterinarian. You may have to work under a licensed veterinarian for some years before getting your license.

Where Do Equine Veterinarians Work?

Equine veterinarians work in a variety of locations, and many are mobile veterinarians. They visit farms and stables and perform most of their exams and medication administration onsite. Others may work in an animal hospital where owners bring their horses for specialized care. A few may use their skills in the military or for a government entity to care for working horses.

What Is a Typical Day Like for an Equine Veterinarian?

A typical day depends on how your practice works. Equine veterinarians who work in hospitals often employ veterinary technicians for help. Technicians check on hospitalized animals and perform initial checks on new patients. If you are a mobile veterinarian, you will probably have a list of appointments and places to visit. You may spend your day going from property to property checking over horses, floating teeth, or giving vaccines.

Many equine veterinarians like the variety and flexibility of their chosen profession. However, it can be a rigorous and demanding job at times. If you want to work in equine medicine, ask your local equine veterinarian and talk to your veterinary school to work out the right career path for you.   


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For the Love of Vets

Did you know that when a veterinarian graduates from veterinary school, they must take an oath before they are allowed to practice? This is similar to the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take upon graduating from medical school. The new vets promise that they will work to relieve animal suffering and promote the overall health of pets. They also promise to uphold their profession with dignity. If you have ever taken your pet to the vet, you've probably seen a vet live this oath firsthand. You can be confident your pet is in good hands. Learn more about vets and the wonderful work they do in the articles curated here.