James Herriot recalls in one of his books about his childhood days. During one of his school days, his teacher had asked the students what were their career ambitions in their lives. Every student said their own except only one said that he would like to become a vet. His teacher  immediately reacted to the boy and said:
“If you want to become a vet, you may not become rich; but you will have a life of interest and variety”
Yes, that happened to my life. But I have no regrets.
A vet has to study comparative Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and Therapeutics. Though animals and birds have the same systems like humans say for example Digestive, Respiratory, Urinary, Cardio vascular, Skeletal, Reproductive, integumentary system, every species is unique and the development of their  organs are different.
Some may see colors ( budgies) some may not(dog), some have acidic digestive system(dog) and some are of alkaline type(cow), some don’t have gall bladder (Horse, Deer, Rat and some birds) so there is no chance for bile stone, some have different right and left kidneys (horse), some have extra reproductive organs (lizards, snakes ,flying squirrel possesses two (hemi) penises, Marsupials have two oviducts, two uteri (duplex uterus), some may sweat and some are not (Dogs sweat through their pads and feet, Cats sweat through their paws, and Pigs, elephants, rabbits don't have sweat glands) and some brains are different from the other and react differently to the same medicine. 
A vet has to study a different ,and complex pharmaco dynamics than his medical counter part. Take an example of Morphine. A human doctor studies about the effects on human only and he knows it as a sedative-sleep inducing drug.. A vet has to study its effect on various  animals because it may be a sedative for some animals( dogs) or a non sedative for some (cat) as the cerebral cortex are different in their brain. He has to study also the bio availability of that drug in animal’s blood and the possibility of passing through milk and meat, which may affect a human.
It is not only that they differ in species, but even within the species they are different among breeds. A medicine safe for one breed of dog may not be safer for another breed of dog ,example, there is a a genetic syndrome in collies that can be deadly if not addressed. Some of our collies do not have the proper transport system in the brain to move chemicals back and forth between the brain tissue and the blood that supports the brain tissue. These collies are very susceptible to certain toxic drugs that enter the brain and cannot get back out. The dogs that do not have a proper transport system can become intoxicated, seizure and possibly die when exposed to certain drugs like Ivermectin, Imodium (an anti-diarrheal medication), drugs used for chemotherapy.  
Life is not that easy for a veterinarian. Occupational hazard is much more for him than a medical counterpart. He is prone for virulent infection that the animal suffers; he easily gets resistant to antibiotics & drugs due to the stronger strength of the chemicals being handled by him. And the most important risk is the bite and kick as animals are not always predictable.
One has to accept that the length of education will be very long and financially strenuous  and this branch of medicine needs passion, tolerance, commitments and dedication.
And , He can shine , if he is basically an animal lover!


T.M.Menon said...

I totally agree. But then in countries like India, for example, the State provides the poorest disease-control and treatment facilities for animals, even though we pride ourselves being the country with the largest cattle population etc.. and also pay veterinarians much less than to the medical professionals/TMMenon, Kerala, India

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