Veterinary medicine involves diagnostics and treatment of diseases and injuries in animals. It also involves research into the causes of diseases and their prevention. Just like the field of specialisations among doctors who treat people, veterinary medicine too has specialisations such as internal medicine, orthopedics, dermatology, ophthalmology, anesthesia, radiology, etc.
Veterinarians as practitioners of this field are called usually work with domestic pets, livestock and farm animals. However, some of them also specialise in treatment of wild animals. Apart from providing medical treatment, veterinarians also advise animal owners about animal feeding, behavior, breeding, and dealing with parasites such as fleas and ticks. Veterinarians also play an important role in discovering diseases that can spread from animals or their produce.
To become a veterinarian on has to pursue a Bachelor of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry (B.V.Sc. & A.H.), a 5 year undergraduate course. The course covers different aspects of veterinary anatomy, physiology, medicine and surgery. Apart from these the course also covers animal nutrition, genetics, breeding, livestock production management and livestock production technology. In addition to the student has to successfully complete the tracking programmes, study circles and entrepreneurial training based on which an examination in core competence in veterinary skills needs to be taken. It also has an internship of 6 months.
To gain admission in a B.V.Sc. & A.H. course a student has to take the All India Pre-Veterinary Test (AIPVT) conducted by the Veterinary Council of India. In addition the student should have obtained 50% or more marks in the aggregate of English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Many colleges and universities offer the B.V.Sc. & A.H. course in India. Some of them are College of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry (Anand Agricultural University); Bombay Veterinary Science College, Mumbai; College of Veterinary Science, Hisar, Haryana; Ranchi College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Jharkhand; College of Veterinary Science, Hyderabad; College of Veterinary Science, Guwahati; Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana; Veterinary College Hebbal, Bangalore; College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Thrissur, Kerala; Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Puducherry.
Veterinarians have bright & rewarding career opportunities in veterinary hospitals, poultry farms, livestock farms, public health labs, zoological parks and wildlife sanctuaries. They can choose to work at government departments like Department of Wildlife, Animal Husbandry and Diary etc. They can also opt to join private sector in food processing industry, pharmaceutical firms, veterinary and medical research institutions or even run their private practice. B.V.Sc. & A.H. degree holders also can also join the Indian Forest Service by clearing the UPSC Exams for that service.
The remuneration of veterinarians is based on the kind of practice and the animals they are treating. Their starting pay scale ranges between Rs.10, 000 – Rs.15, 000 per month. With experience, a veterinarian can go into private practice and make Rs. 50 – 80, 000 every month.
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