Veterinary Hospitals have always been inundated with people who are interested in working in a Veterinary hospital. These people love animals, they are kind and gentle, some of these people may feel like they relate more to animals then humans and they do not understand why they cannot get a job working in a veterinary hospital.
Working in an animal hospital is a great career. It is one of the few careers that while getting paid you can give back to the community. On a daily basis you get to do something good. It is not the only profession that has this benefit. Policeman, fireman, ambulance drivers, nurses, military, etc all have these same traits. But if you are an animal lover well then you want to help animals. So veterinary medicine is your opportunity to help animals while earning a living.
The down side to working in an animal hospital is the restraints and stress that will be put on you by the owners of animals. You will very quickly discover that you care about the animals more than their owners do. You will deal with horrible owners who are committing crimes of animal abuse and neglect. These neglectful pet owners believe that they are good loving care takers of their pets. Some of this neglect will be financially motivated and some because they have a different definition of what being a pet owner is then you do. As you get more and more experienced in the animal hospital your definition of a good pet owner will change. You may even find yourself discouraging friends from getting pets because of concern for them making a good pet owner F95zone .
Here is the sad truth; most pet owners neglect their pets! They buy or adopt a dog or cat, they name them and they feed them daily and that is the end of the relationship with their pet. Their pet is not spayed or neutered; they do not get yearly vaccinations, physical exam, dental care, etc. Their dogs are not trained to come, sit stay, and heal. Most of the dogs have socialization issues because they never get socialized with people and other dogs. When it’s time to go to the vet the dogs are scared to death because they don’t know what a car ride is or how to properly walk on a leash.
Most people that come in off the street have no idea what goes on in an animal hospital. They think they will get to vaccinate animals, see a few spays and neuters maybe if they are lucky they will see a litter of puppies born. That is all true. It is also true that they will see dogs and cats that have been hit by cars, been in dog fights, poisoned, shot, rattlesnake bit and worse. You will see owners neglect all of those things and not bring them to the vet. The truth is you will work all day and sometimes night to try and save those lives and when you fail the owner will look at you and say “YOU KILLED MY PET!” When you succeed you will be lucky if you get a thank you from the owners.
When owners bring their pet in to the hospital the staff is thinking one thing, “How can I provide the best medicine for this pet” most of the time the owner is thinking, “How can I get out of here without spending too much money”. Well the two do not work together. Quality medicine is expensive and there is no way around that. To provide quality medicine the DVM almost always has to do expensive diagnostic tests. Without those tests the Dr is guessing. Many times he guesses right. When you’re dealing with a life and you could lose that life if you guess wrong that is a huge responsibility. That is the responsibility that a pet owner who will constantly try to put it on the DVM and veterinary staff.
I tell you all of this because it takes a VERY special person to work in an animal hospital. It takes a person who can deal with negativity all day long and still stay positive. It takes a person who can euthanize an animal one minute and walk in the exam room smiling two minutes later. You need to be immune to blood, body fluids and animal waste. It is just something to be cleaned up nothing more. You have to be able to remember the pets you saved even if no one else seems to notice.