YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Animals need medical attention too, and that’s why there is a need for qualified veterinarians.
Dr. Doug Wiley has been a vet for 34 years, and he has learned a few things along the way. He said a good vet knows how to communicate with animals.
“I think it’s a misconception that they don’t talk to you. May sound weird, but they do,” he said. “Most animals will tell you what’s wrong. You just have to learn how to understand them. You watch a horse that’s limping; it’s telling you which leg hurts.”
Dr. Wiley primarily works with large animals, like horses, cows, pigs and llamas. There are also doctors who specialize in small animals, like dogs and cats.
Animals can be even feistier than people, Wiley said.
“Some of my patients, their goal is to kill me,” he said. “I deal with nasty horses, nice horses, but the people are what keeps me interested every day.”
It takes a lot of studying before you can work with animals. An undergrad degree, with a heavy emphasis on chemistry, biochemistry and science, is needed. Then, you would have to go through four years of veterinary medicine, so it’s roughly 8 years of college.
The education background needed to become a vet is similar to studying human medicine.
“I work on the animals, but the people have to call, follow instructions, interact with people,” Wiley said.
Vets can be on call and often use x-rays, ultrasound and blood testing. But, there is one big difference is diagnosing issues on a four-legged animal versus a two-legged person.
“You poke ’em until they bite you and then you poke ’em again because you want to make sure it’s real,” Wiley said.
For more information on how to become a veterinarian, and for available jobs in the area, go to OhioMeansJobs.com.