Profession general veterinarian
Veterinarians diagnose and treat sickness, disease and injury in all types of animals, and advise on preventative action.
Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.
- Investigative / Realistic
Tasks general veterinarian
- Examine animals to detect and determine the nature of diseases, disorders or injuries.
- Carry out diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, blood samples and ultrasound, and interpret the results.
- Treat sick or injured animals, e.g. by prescribing and administering medication, setting bones, dressing wounds, or administering anaesthetics and performing surgery.
- Perform routine medical tests and checks, and inoculate animals against various diseases such as rabies and distemper.
- Euthanize animals.
- Advise animal owners regarding sanitary measures, feeding and general care necessary to promote the health of animals.
- Educate the public, e.g. about diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.
- Train and supervise workers who handle and care for animals.
- Inspect hygiene and care standards in animal quarters, e.g. farms, zoos, kennels, riding stables, pet shops, cattle markets, animal shows and sporting events.
- Maintain records, and provide reports and certificates in compliance with current legislation.
- Manage practice finances, marketing and staff recruitment.
- Conduct research in animal health and related areas.
Related professions livestock
- Agricultural advisor
- Arable farm manager, field crop or vegetable
- Arable farmer manager, mixed crop
- Artificial inseminator
- Cattle breeder
- Cattle station helper
- Dairy producer
- Livestock breeder, all other
- Livestock dealer
- Livestock farm manager
- Livestock farm worker
- Livestock farmer
- Livestock machinery installer
- Livestock machinery mechanic
- Pig breeder
- Poultry producer
- Quality inspector cattle, meat, fish
- Subsistence livestock farmer
- Veterinarian inspector
- Veterinarian, all other
- Veterinary aid
- Veterinary technician
- Veterinary vaccinator
- Animal welfare legislation
The legal boundaries, codes of professional conduct, national and EU regulatory frameworks and legal procedures of working with animals and living organisms, ensuring their welfare and health.
- Zoonotic diseases
Zoonoses are infectious diseases of animals that can naturally be transmitted to humans. They consist of a wide range of diseases and range from endemic zoonoses such as brucellosis, anthrax, bovine tuberculosis, parasitic diseases (hydatid disease, echinococcosis, trichinellosis) and rabies to emerging zoonoses, such as highly pathogenic avian influenza, Nipah/Hendra disease and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.
- Anatomy of animals
The study of animal body parts, their structure and dynamic relationships, on a level as demanded by the specific occupation.
- Environmental enrichment for animals
Types, methods and use of enrichment for animals to allow the expression of natural behaviour, including the provision of environmental stimuli, feeding activities, puzzles, items for manipulation, social and training activities.
- Veterinary clinical sciences
Aetiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases and disorders. This includes veterinary areas such as propaedeutics, clinical and anatomic pathology, microbiology, parasitology, clinical medicine and surgery (including anaesthetics), preventive medicine, diagnostic imaging, animal reproduction and reproductive disorders, veterinary state medicine and public health, veterinary legislation and forensic medicine, and therapeutics.
- Fundamental veterinary sciences
Veterinary anatomy, histology, embryology, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology, pharmacy, toxicology, microbiology, immunology, epidemiology and professional ethics.
- Animal food products
The principles of traceability, hygiene and processes involved in the production, manufacture, storage and putting into circulation of animal feedstuffs, or foodstuffs of animal origin intended for human and/or animal consumption.
- Animal production science
Animal nutrition, agronomy, rural economics, animal husbandry, hygiene and bio-security, ethology, protection and herd health management.
- Physiology of animals
The study of the mechanical, physical, bioelectrical and biochemical functioning of animals, their organs and their cells.
- Signs of animal illness
Physical, behavioural and environmental signs of health and ill health in various animals.
- Conduct ante-mortem veterinary health inspection
Perform clinical assessment and certification of the health status of food animals prior to slaughter.
- Biosecurity related to animals
Awareness of hygiene and bio-security measures when working with animals, including causes, transmission and prevention of diseases and use of policies, materials and equipment.
- Animal welfare
Universally recognized animal welfare needs as applied to species, situation and occupation. These are: need for a suitable environment need for a suitable diet need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
- Safe work practices in a veterinary setting
Safe work practices in a veterinary setting in order to identify hazards and associated risks so as to prevent accidents or incidents. This includes injury from animals, zoonotic diseases, chemicals, equipment and working environment.
- Animal behaviour
The natural behavioural patterns of animals, i.e. how normal and abnormal behaviour might be expressed according to species, environment, human-animal interaction and occupation.
- Advise on animal welfare
Prepare and provide information to individuals or groups of people on how to promote the health and well-being of animals, and how risks to animal health and welfare may be reduced. Provide recommendations for corrective actions.
- Manage the use of vaccines
Prescribe, administer and manage the use of vaccines, immune stimulants and suppressors and anti-sera.
- Perform surgical procedures on animals
Apply operative manual and instrument specific techniques on an animal with the intention of modifying physiological status, and/or restoring normal organ or tissue function or structure.
- Manage animal biosecurity
Plan and use appropriate biosafety measures to prevent transmission of diseases and ensure effective overall biosecurity. Maintain and follow biosecurity procedures and infection control when working with animals, including recognising potential health issues and taking appropriate action, communicating site hygiene control measures and biosecurity procedures, as well as reporting to others.
- Provide animal training
Provide training in basic handling, habituation, and obedience to enable the completion of day-to-day tasks while minimising the risks to the animal, the handler, and others.'
- Certify the performance of veterinary procedures
Produce accurate descriptive certification of procedures carried out by a veterinarian.
- Provide anaesthetics to animals
Select, administer, and monitor anaesthetics in animals in preparation for surgery.'
- Assess animal nutrition
Assess the nutrition status of animals, diagnose dietary imbalances and prescribe correction.
- Perform gross post mortem examination on animals
Perform gross examination of the animal corpse for the purpose of diagnosing the aetiology and pathophysiology of disease or death of animals and for the safety and quality of animal products entering the food chain.
- Maintain veterinary clinical records
Create and maintain clinical records for animals according to national regulatory requirements.
- Supervise animal handling for veterinary activities
Supervise the handling and restraint of animals in connection with veterinary examination or other procedures.
- Manage licensed animal medications
Prescribe and/or administer all kinds of medications, including fluid replacement therapy by all routes. This includes assessment of the safety and efficacy of a single medicine, and of combinations of medicines, for use in the animal, while ensuring neither compromising the owner, nor public health.
- Manage animal welfare
Plan, manage and evaluate the application of the five universally recognised animal welfare needs as appropriate to species, situation and own occupation.
- Apply veterinary epidemiology
Analyse animal and zoonotic disease morbidity and mortality in a given population and relate findings to the norm. This includes collection and analysis of data and information for use in individual animals, groups or more widely as part of a network of disease surveillance. Implement intervention and control measures.
- Manage pain for veterinary patients
Select, administer and monitor analgesics in animals.
- Provide first aid to animals
Administer emergency treatment to prevent deterioration of the condition, suffering and pain until veterinary assistance can be sought. Basic emergency treatment needs to be done by non-veterinarians prior to first-aid provided by a veterinarian. Non-veterinarians providing emergency treatment are expected to seek treatment by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Manage animal hygiene
Plan and use appropriate hygiene measures to prevent transmission of diseases and ensure an effective overall hygiene. Maintain and follow hygiene procedures and regulations when working with animals, communicate site hygiene controls and protocols to others. Manage the safe disposal of waste according to destination and local regulations.
- Prescribe physical therapy to animals
Prescribe physical methods for therapy in animals, such as modification of exercise, massage, heat treatment, electrical and other wave based treatments.
- Conduct veterinary client consultation
Conduct structured and empathetic communication with clients in order to ascertain or provide relevant clinical information concerning health status, treatment options or other ongoing care of the veterinary patient.
- Issue certificates for animal products
Issue certificates related to animal health and welfare or to animal products, based on the necessary examination or testing, in accordance with the principles of certification agreed at European level.
- Monitor the welfare of animals
Monitor animals’ physical condition and behaviour and report any concerns or unexpected changes, including signs of health or ill-health, appearance, condition of the animals' accommodation, intake of food and water and environmental conditions.
- Advise on livestock disease control
Advise livestock owners of economic aspects of disease eradication. Advise consumers of public health implications of diseases transmissible from animals to humans.
- Perform laboratory testing on samples of animals
Conduct and interprete simple procedures in a veterinary practice laboratory on samples of an animal intended to detect, identify, or quantify disease agents, evaluate organ functions, or determine the nature of a disease.
- Provide sedation to animals
Select, administer and monitor sedatives dispensed to animals for a medical intervention.
- Develop an animal handling strategy
Develop plans and strategies to deal with the animal in order to achieve established goals and optimal results.'
- Practise veterinary professional codes of conduct
Adhere to veterinary professional codes of practice and legislation.
- Implant microchips in animals
Implant microchips under the skin of animals.'
- Inspect animal welfare management
Monitor animal health and welfare management and husbandry, and analyse risk factors in relation to animal health, disease and welfare status.
- Evaluate information in the field of veterinary nursing
Be able to read, understand and utilise the most current research available to justify decisions based on best practice.
- Handle veterinary emergencies
Handle unforeseen incidents concerning animals and circumstances which call for urgent action in an appropriate professional manner.
- Apply safe work practices in a veterinary setting
Apply safe work practices in a veterinary setting in order to identify hazards and associated risks so as to prevent accidents or incidents. This includes injury from animals, zoonotic diseases, chemicals, equipment and work environments.
- Control animal movement
Direct, control or restrain some or part of an animal's, or a group of animals', movement.
- Perform veterinary diagnosis
Identify and determine the physiological status of animals and the nature and cause of diseases in animals through evaluation of patient history, clinical examination, and the selection, taking and reviewing of confirmatory imaging, laboratory and other ancillary test data.
- Assess animal behaviour
Observe and evaluate the behaviour of animals in order to work with them safely and recognise deviations from normal behaviour that signal compromised health and welfare.'
- Perform euthanasia on animals
Kill painlessly an animal suffering from an incurable and painful disease.
- Collect samples from animals for diagnostic purposes
Obtain specimens of an animal's body fluids, secretions, excretion or other tissues, in order to facilitate the diagnosis of health and disease.
- Carry out veterinary professional communication to the public
Provide veterinary information and insight, in cooperation with public health officials, with regard to zoonotic and infectious diseases, as well as to general animal care and welfare.
- Safely interact with animals
Ensure a safe and humane interaction with the animal avoiding factors that will negatively affect their behaviours. This includes the use of humane training aids/equipment, as well as explaining their use to owners/keepers, to ensure they are used appropriately and the welfare of the animal is protected.