If you love horses and have a passion for medicine, you could become an equine vet tech. This job requires you to help horses recover from a variety of ailments by assisting a veterinarian. You will need a few years of specialized training to perform the many duties of a vet tech. However, you will be able to practice this trade in many veterinary settings.
In order to become an equine vet tech, you will need to take veterinary technician classes and specialize in equine studies. Veterinary technician training consists of a two-year associate's degree program from an accredited institution. In order to focus on horses, you must get that degree and complete a one- to two-year equine certification program that specifically teaches you about the health and life of horses. After this education is complete, you must take a vet tech exam and apply for certification.
Your primary duty as an equine vet tech will be to prepare horses for examinations and to assist the head veterinarian. Some common tasks include properly brushing a horse's teeth, dispensing medication to a horse, instructing owners about how to use medication and extracting blood for lab tests. Assisting the veterinarian can include soothing a horse during exams, handing equipment to the veterinarian, providing a second opinion and performing X-rays. Another big aspect of the job is discussing the horse's health with its owner by communicating the animal's problems in terms that can be understood by people who are not veterinarians.
In order to perform the duties of an equine vet tech, you will need to strengthen a few key skills. Your research skills will be important, because horses are unique animals about which doctors always are trying to learn more. Reading medical journals and studying the latest procedures in equine health will give you an ability to become the best tech possible. Most importantly, you must have a love of horses that pushes you not just to examine a sick animal but to take advantage of the opportunity to help it live a better life.
The career of an equine vet tech can follow several paths. The most common place to work is a veterinary office that either specializes in horses or at least focuses attention on larger animals. You also can find work at many horse farms with your training and expertise. In addition, horse-related sports facilities, such as horse racing and steeplechase courses, often hire vet techs and veterinarians to be on staff in case of injuries.