Careers with Horsepower: Equine Veterinary Assistant/Technician

equine veterinary, equine veterinary assistant, equine veterinary technician, Animal Health Technology, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, cvma, Veterinary Technician National Examination

equine veterinary, equine veterinary assistant, equine veterinary technician, Animal Health Technology, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, cvma, Veterinary Technician National Examination

By Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne

Do you dream of a career with horses? Here’s a brief look at the basic educational requirements to become an Equine Veterinarian Assistant/Technician.

Job Description

Equine veterinary assistants and veterinary technicians work alongside equine veterinarians as they diagnose and treat horses. There is a fair amount of overlap between the two positions, including providing hands-on assistance for the veterinarian, and performing lab work and basic administration duties, but a veterinary technician has additional training in animal nutrition, pharmacology, developing X-rays, and advanced clinical duties, and usually earns a higher salary.  

Education

Many colleges across Canada offer one year veterinary assistant certification programs. Graduates are able to immediately begin working in the field. 

Becoming a registered veterinary technician in Canada requires completion of a two-year college diploma in Animal Health Technology at a program accredited by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), followed by a six-week practicum to gain hands-on experience. Next, you must successfully complete the Veterinary Technician National Examination, after which graduates may register with the CVMA and their provincial regulating body. 

Other Requirements

If you wish to work as a veterinary assistant or technician for an equine veterinarian, a strong background in horse care, handling, and behaviour is essential. Good communication skills are also important as they will facilitate strong client relationships.

Main Article Photo: Pam MacKenzie

This article originally appeared in the Equine Consumers’ Guide 2013.

Careers and Education: 
Veterinary Assistant/Technician

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