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Veterinary Assistant


A veterinary assistant works alongside a veterinarian to assist in the medical treatment of sick or injured animals.



What responsibilities will I have?

  • Provide daily tactical support to assist veterinarians in health monitoring and diagnostics
  • Prepare surgery suites and equipment as well as the animal patient for surgery or examinations
  • Feed and weigh animals in assigned care
  • Handle and restrain animals to and from veterinary facilities
  • Perform animal teeth cleanings
  • Administer medications and collect samples such as blood and urine for testing
  • Ensure that livestock or animals in assigned care are fed, cleaned, groomed and exercised
  • Conduct laboratory work including microbiology, sample serum preparation and supply management
  • Maintain medical records of animals
  • Keep a sanitary and sterile environment in examination rooms, kennels, cages and/or pens
  • Clean and sterilize medical tools and equipment


What education and training is required?

An associate’s degree in animal science, veterinary medicine or veterinary technology is required to become a veterinary assistant or associate.


To pursue a career as a Veterinary Assistant:

The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, animal science, biology, chemistry, computer courses, and mathematics.


Where can I work?

Veterinary assistants work for animal health companies, livestock production companies, laboratories, clinics, and animal hospitals or animal shelters.


Future Job Market / Outlook

The future outlook for a veterinary assistant will be good over the next five years. 


Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations

  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • North American Veterinary Technician Association
  • American Association of Feline Veterinarians
  • World Small Animal Veterinary Association 
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