Researched by Jordan K.


Research Summary

Basic Definition

A Veterinarian is a doctor who helps animals. Vets tell people how to take care of sick pets and keep them healthy. Veterinarians treat sick, injured and abandoned animals.


 The French were the first to bring veterinary medicine to the U.S.A. The first veterinary school was opened in 1702 in Lyons, France.

Famous Vets

Leo Bustad talked to people about the bond between them and their pets and how it would make people feel better if they would help other people’s animals and to keep their pets healthy.
James Harriot was a famous writer who wrote books about the life of a veterinarian and got more and more people to start becoming veterinarians.


Veterinarians have to go to college for 2-4 years and then to veterinary school for 4 more years. They have to have good grades in school and a high score on a test they take in order to get into veterinary school.
School Subjects
Veterinary students go to college and these are some of the classes they take: health, chemistry, biology, physics and anatomy.


In 4 years vet students get a Bachelors degree, (but most schools don’t require that). About 2 years after that, they get the Masters degree. If they go to the right college they get a Doctorates degree in 2 more years after that.

Animal Diseases

Psittacosis, Rabies, Tuberculosis (Rabbit Fever), Zoonosis, Tularemia and Brucellosis (Parrot Fever) are serious diseases that vets might treat.

Animal Medicine

A vaccine is a medicine that can prevent a certain animal disease. Most animals need vaccines to protect their health.


When you first become a veterinarian, you earn about $35,800 per year.
As you get more experienced you start earning about $44,500 per year. A few years later you earn about $57,600 per year.

Types of Veterinarians

Large animal veterinarians take care of farm animals and big animals like that. Equine veterinarians take care of all types of horses. Zoo veterinarians take care animals that you would find in a zoo. Marine animal veterinarians take care of underwater animals. Dental veterinarians take care of animals’ teeth and gums. Cardiology veterinarians specialize in heart problems that animals have. Holistic veterinarians try to heal animals without using drugs or medicine. Exotic animal veterinarians take care of endangered species and some wild animals. Feline veterinarians look just at cats. Mixed animal veterinarians treat small animals like pets as well as large farm animals.

What They Do on the Job
Daily tasks

Veterinarians’ daily tasks are checking animals’ eyes, ears, pulse, and temperature. Vets examine the animals, and run tests on the animals. They diagnose illness and problems. Vets treat animals with medicine, surgery, stitches or setting a broken bone. The veterinarians give advice to the owners and they keep good records of the patient.

Tools They Use

An Ophthalmoscope is to check animals’ eyes.
Otoscopes let vets look into animals’ ears.
Thermometers take animals temperature.
Stethoscopes let vets listen to animals’ heart and lungs.
These tools help give an idea of the animals’ general health.
Scalpels are used during surgery to cut skin and muscle.
Clamps can stop the flow of blood while they are doing operations.
Veterinarians use special threads called sutures to sew up cuts.
X-rays are used to see the patients’ bones and check for fractures.
 Who I Interviewed And What I Learned
On Tuesday December 9th, 2003 Erin L. and I went to interview Dr. Joanna Cleasby. Dr. Cleasby is a Veterinarian and we interviewed her in her office. 
Her e-mail address is Dr. Cleasby is a mixed animal veterinarian. The reason she wanted to be this kind of vet is because she liked both large animals and small animals. She has been working as a vet for 3.5 years. What she likes about being a vet is she gets to see a variety of animals and she helps people take care of their pets.
When she first became a vet her salary was about$10,000-$20,000 a year, but now that she’s been working for 3 years her salary is about $40,000 a year. She said in order to become a veterinarian you have to get a Bachelor’s degree, then a Doctor of veterinary medicine or D.V.M. degree.
Washington State University is where she went to college. She said that some major advantages of being a vet are there are a lot of different animals to work with and a lot of new medicines for sick animals.
She sees between 30 and 70 animals a day. She has not seen any animals that are mistreated on purpose but some owners don’t know how to take care of their pets. Dr. Cleasby said her favorite animal to work with is the dog and her second favorite animal is the goat. She said her least favorite animal to work with is the horse because you can’t hold them down. No matter what you try to do, you can’t keep them from doing what they want to do.
We asked her if a zoo could hire her what would she say. So she told us that she would rather stay with her current job. We asked her what animals she would like to work with if she was a zoo vet. And she told us that if she were a zoo vet that she would like to work with marine animals and that she would not like to work with snakes.
In the past there was no such thing as “the first vet”. She said that it started with blacksmiths being around horses and knowing their sicknesses and sometimes how to cure the sickness. So it really just kind of happened. Some famous people in veterinarian history were James Harriot and Leo Bustad. They were famous people because they encouraged other people to become veterinarians.
She also told us some major advantages of being a vet. First you never get bored. The second advantage is there are a lot of animals that she liked.
We also asked her if there were any bad aspects and she said that unfortunately there were. The bad aspects of being a veterinarian are you can’t do anything to stop death, you have to get up early in the morning if there is a animal that needs you and its not always easy working with animals because they don’t always do what you want them to do. She said that good places to go to find more about veterinarians are WSVMA and AVMA.
“If you like animals and you want to be a veterinarian then it would be a great job for you!” She told us.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002-03 Edition, Veterinarians, on the Internet at

Cleasby, Joanna. Personal interview. December 9, 2003.

Cosgrove, Holli R. “Veterinarian.” Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance, 2000.

Cosgrove, Holli R. “Veterinarian.” The World Book Encyclopedia.  2000.

“Veterinarian.” Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe. 2001. CD-ROM. Microsoft Corp.


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