ok, so I really want to become a vet for horses, but I don't know how to. I've researched uni courses, and have only found courses for vet med, not equestrian vet med, so I was wondering how to specialise after this?
Also, I am planning to do a BSC (Hons) in Equine sports therapy and rehab before I go to university, so they would be more likely to accept me with a degree, because I'm not expecting amazing a levels, and the competition is fierce. Also, would like to do something with horses before going to uni, like a gap year - so decided this would be better, because I would get a qualification at the same time. So anyway, does anyone know how to, or have become an equine vet?
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How to become an Equine Vet? watch
- Thread Starter
- 08-01-2017 12:47
Little Tail Chaser
Offline19ReputationRep:TSR Support Team
- TSR Support Team
- 08-01-2017 23:51
Equine vets, farm vets, smallies vets, exotics vets... and all the rest of them come from the same humble beginnings; a veterinary medicine degree. As you have found, there is no course that exists that will train you specifically in equine. All vets qualify able to treat every animal (bar humans )
Specialisation comes after, and to a certain extent during the course. All vet students at a specific university will do the same exams, but there is a certain amount of freedom provided in the form of placements. Students have to carry out a number of weeks of husbandry and clinical placements, and while some are compulsory (including compulsory equine ones), you do get some weeks to choose what you want to do. This can be something completely off the wall, or you can do more placements within a certain area; so in your case likely equine. When it comes to rotations (clinical placements done in the final year of the course), again some are compulsory but you do also get some choice, where you could express interest in equine. A lot of vets get their first jobs out of these placements. After graduation there are opportunities to do things like internships/residencies, advanced practitioner certificates etc if you want to be a certified equine specialist.
If you're dead set on being a vet, I would advise not doing another degree before applying for vet med. It won't increase your chances of getting in as graduate entry is still very competitive, and many universities will still look at your GCSE and A level grades when applying as a grad. To add insult to injury, postgrad fees can reach £21000 per year, and there are limited options for funding this and your living costs. If you're worried that your grades aren't up to scratch currently then fix them. Lots of vet students have taken a gap year, possibly including a third year in sixth form college. If you're doing A levels you want to be looking at at least AAA for the five year vet course. I'm guessing you're in year 12 or below right now? In which case, there's five months until your exams; plenty of time to work hard for the grades you need
Additional qualifications (I'm assuming like a one-year college course of some description) won't make up for A level grades below the requirements, but universities like to see that you've used a gap year wisely so it wouldn't be a bad idea. Just remember that before you apply you need to be getting work experience within a range of animal environments, not just equine. Small and large animal vets, dairy farms, lambing, pig units, poultry units, beef herds, kennels/catteries, animal rescue centres, abattoirs, laboratories, pet shops, dog groomers, zoos ect etc are all ideas of places you can go to. If you are horsey you can push the boat out a bit do do lots of different equine placements (riding school, stud yard, farrier, physio etc) but just bear in mind that work with your own horses (just making the assumption that you have one ) won't count.Last edited by Little Tail Chaser; 09-01-2017 at 00:01.