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is my interest in becoming a exotic animal specialized veterinarian unrealistic? what are the advantages and disadvantages?

I am a Senior student at William J. Brennan High school looking for information on becoming a veterinarian. I specifically want to pursue becoming an Exotic Animal Vet and wouldn't mind traveling at the beginning of my career to do so but i would like to know my chances and what i must do to accomplish this. #veterinarian #veterinary #animals #veterinary-medicine #animal-health #exotic-animals #opportunities #job-outlook #relativity #advantages #disadvantages #scarcity #benefits #problems #solutions


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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hello Jordan!

Exotic animal medicine can be very exciting! One great advantage is that you may frequently see different and unusual things. Depending on the type of practice (zoo vs private practice - ie small exotic pets) you may be involved in species conservation efforts, or individual animal husbandry/welfare (not just caring for the animals, but helping to educate their owners/caretakers).

One potential disadvantage is that it can be a fairly small world, and there are a lot of people interested in the exotic field. If you work in the field before and during college/veterinary school, you may be able to make connections and build a resume (research, volunteer, job shadowing, etc) that could help with a job search later on.

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

Job shadowing - is there a program at a zoo or rehab centre/sanctuary near you or is there a veterinary practice that treats exotics?
Look for opportunities to participate in research projects while in college. There are many opportunities in behaviour or conservation research as well as medical/scientific research. Check out the areas of study of your college professors and find out if there are opportunities to work with them.

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cassandra’s Answer

Hello Jordan F :)
First I want to say that nothing you are ever passionate about is a waste of time. You can anything you put your mind too.
Typically, the definition of an "exotic" pet refers to any domestic pet other than a cat or dog. These veterinarians are in high demand as the number of domestic exotic pets steadily increases. This vet will treat animals like guinea pigs, mice, reptiles, prairie dogs, chinchillas, hedgehogs, and most birds. So a lot of the pros and cons will be the same as they would be for a standard vet. The only difference being your schooling and knowledge base will need to be greater because of the possible types of animals you will be receiving. Also, know which exotic animals are illegal to own.

cassandra recommends the following next steps:

Interview someone in the field you are interested in.
Reach out if you have more questions,

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