A racetrack vet is a veterinarian that specializes in racehorses and is often employed by large racetracks or stable owners to provide dedicated service to the animals at that facility. Like any veterinarian, this is a position which requires a great deal of schooling and certification.
What You Need
This is a position which benefits from strength of character, the ability to handle high stress situations and an intense knowledge of the equine animal inside and out. Being a horse doctor can be a tough job with plenty of ups and downs, not just dealing with sick animals, but distressed owners and racing trainers.
A great deal of required schooling and certification, the ability to work quickly under intense pressure and a strong bond with horses in general are traits of a successful racetrack vet.
Responsible for the overall health of the horses in their charge. This includes everything from routine exams and procedures to breeding to emergency injury services. The track vet will work closely with owners, trainers and management to ensure the horses are kept at optimum health level.
Establishing and following schedules for routine procedures
Overseeing feeding and supplement programs
Responding to emergency calls
Daily first aid duties such as stitches, cleaning wounds, etc.
Troubleshooting illness & injury symptoms
Treating and aiding in recovery of illnesses and injuries
Reproduction cycle, from breeding all the way to foalig & mare checkups
Advising correction for physical deformaties
Prescribing and administering medication
Pre-race inspections to determine the animals fitness for racing
This is a position which will always require education and proper certification. Vet degrees require undergrad work as well as passing admission tests and requirements to even enter a four year program at a veterinary medical school. After schooling is completed there is local licensing – vet licensing varies from country to country and state to state.
A few places to start if you are interested in a career as a horse doctor.
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World Equine Veterinary Association
Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians
American Association of Equine Practitioners
British Equine Veterinary Association
Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations
Equine Veterinarians Australia
South African Equine Veterinary Association
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