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As a zoo veterinarian, you will give medical care to the many types of creatures living in the nation’s zoos. Much of your time will be devoted to emergency situations, often to treat injuries received by the wild and sometimes unpredictable animals in your care. You will also diagnose sickness, give appropriate treatment and prescribe medication to help ailing animals regain health. You may also perform surgeries.

As a zoo veterinarian, you will also give preventative care to healthy animals. This includes administering vaccinations and doing routine physical exams on the zoo menagerie.

You will regularly confer with zookeepers and veterinary technicians, and will make recommendations on living arrangements for zoo animals. You may also lend a hand in planning new zoo exhibits. While treating exotic animals, you may come across unique medical situations that leave you undecided about the best treatment.

In those cases you might consult with veterinarians at other zoos and possibly even with doctors who treat humans.

What Is a Zoo Veterinarian?

What Education Should I Pursue? You must earn a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 45 college credits in pre-veterinary courses at the undergraduate level. This will allow you to enroll in an accredited veterinary medicine school and earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. According to the American College of Zoological Medicine ACZMafter graduation you should complete a year-long internship, probably in zoological medicine www.

You may then complete a zoological medicine residency of years in a training program under the auspices of the ACZM. As an alternative to the ACZM training program, you can work for a minimum of six years in zoological medicine. Will I Need a License? You must obtain a veterinary license in the state where you will practice medicine.

This attraction features animals

You may need to take additional exams when you seek your state license. What Salary Could I Earn? There are a few related careers on the human side of the medical field, including physicians, surgeons and medical scientists. All of these positions require a doctoral or professional degree. Physicians perform many of the same tasks as a veterinarian, but with human patients.