A mobile veterinarian, or traveling veterinarian, provides an innovative way for pets to receive high quality veterinary healthcare in the comfort of their own homes.
Many companion and livestock animals experience extreme stress when they travel long distances. So it’s not unusual for a very anxious or sickly family pet to vomit, or lose bladder or bowel control on rides to and from the veterinarian’s clinic. Thus, they would need the services of a mobile vet who can see them in their natural environment, or inside a waiting mobile vet unit parked nearby. Mobile vet procedures can also be done in a separate room of the house with the opportunity for the owners to observe everything that is happening, or to check in once in a while.
Would you be interested in becoming a traveling vet? Read more to find out!If a situation arises that an owner’s participation would be needed, there would be no trouble reaching them at all. This makes it easier to evaluate the pet as the owners are involved as well.
A mobile veterinarian provides the same medical procedures and health care that a standing veterinarian provides—the difference is that they are able to see their clients in their natural environment.
Some of the services they provide include, but are not limited to:
• Physical exams
• Dental care
• In-home euthanasia
• Blood, urine, and stool testing
• Health certificates
Some mobile clinics contain a complete surgical suite with anesthesia equipment and monitoring systems which can be very valuable when treating emergencies or life threatening injuries.
Oftentimes, examining a pet in his own environment is more helpful and productive than attempting to diagnose a problem when the animal is stressed out during a visit to the vet clinic.
With the vet coming over to a client’s home, a pet can display the same behavior when at home where they are better relaxed. All of this is in attempt to bring the highest standards to veterinary medicine while keeping cost down.
To start a career as a mobile veterinarian, aspiring individuals must first apply and be accepted to an accredited veterinary school in order to complete their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. After about four years of classes and training, students will get to sit the national board examinations to qualify for a veterinary medicine license. Once they successfully pass the exams and acquire their medical license, they can choose to pursue private practice and have their mobile veterinary clinics set up, using a mode of transportation than can support the weight of all the essential veterinary equipment.
Every aspiring mobile veterinarian should have the following basic equipment with their mobile clinic:
• Digital scale
• Blood pressure monitor
• Traveling centrifuge
• Portable ultrasound machine
• Portable digital X-ray
Mobile veterinarians can also consider getting vehicles such as an RV or van which can go through rough roads. This is due to the fact that most of their clients are farmers or pet owners who live in rural areas where access to veterinary services is scarce.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2011 publication, the average salary is $82,040 for veterinarians who make house calls such as those who work in mobile veterinary medicine. Veterinarians in the 10th percentile of wage earners grossed $49,910 a year while those in the 25th percentile earned $64,390. On the other hand, veterinarians in the 75th and 90th percentiles took home $107,190 and $145,230 a year, respectively. Factors that contribute to the varying salaries of mobile veterinarians include the number of remote areas they serve and the number of animals they see each year.
As more and more people consider their pets as part of the family, demand for veterinary services should only go up. The BLS predicts an increase of 33 percent in employment of veterinarians until the year 2020, adding about 19,700 jobs to the field.
Mobile veterinarians are an advantage for families with several pets because each can have their checkups done at the same time. As a result, owners can avoid the cost of multiple vet appointments, or the stress in trying to handle several pets at once, traveling to and from the veterinary clinic.
When a beloved pet is ultimately facing death, many owners prefer to have them euthanized at home, surrounded by family members who can offer much needed support in such a difficult situation.
It is also worth noting that many of the procedures done in a veterinary clinic can be done by a mobile veterinarian. The advantage is that, assessing a pet’s behavior at home may better help with diagnosis, as there is less stress on pets who are easily anxious under unfamiliar environments such as a veterinarian’s clinic.
Becoming a mobile veterinarian is a great career for those who are compassionate and willing to travel. Being able to provide high quality medical care with the least stress on the patient is equally rewarding and definitely worth the journey.