Veterinary surgeons - usually known as vets - work to safeguard the health and welfare of animals.
Vets working in general practice are responsible for the medical and surgical treatment of a range of animals, including domestic, zoo and farm animals. They also work to prevent disease in animals and the spread of disease.
There are mixed veterinary practices and those specialising in small animals, food-producing animals and equine work, amongst others. The specialism may depend on the practice's rural or urban location.
Vets combine their knowledge of animal physiology, nutrition and medicine with practical skills to diagnose illnesses, prescribe medicines and perform surgery. They also manage anaesthesia during procedures.
Vets are also employed in other sectors, such as education and research, government agencies including the army, animal charities and pharmaceutical companies.
Vets either work from a surgery or by visiting animals in their living environments, such as a farm or stables. Some vets carry out home visits.
Typical tasks include:
Vets who work as practice partners have the additional responsibility of managing practice finances, promoting the surgery to potential clients, and recruiting and managing vets, veterinary nurses and other relevant staff.
Vets working for government agencies may research diseases, test and manage infection outbreaks, investigate food safety issues and complete paperwork for pet passports.
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