Laboratory Veterinarian

Provide medical care to animals who are part of experiments.

What does a Laboratory Veterinarian do?

People often won’t sign up to participate in laboratory experiments. That doesn’t mean those experiments aren’t necessary, however. To keep the experiments going forward, animals are often used to stand in for humans. And as a Laboratory Veterinarian, you provide care for those animals in the laboratory.

Before an experiment begins, you’re asked as the Laboratory Veterinarian to provide input. Researchers may need to know what the animal typically eats, how much it typically weighs, and how it reacts. Deviations from these norms help determine if the experiment is working. Some researchers know how to handle the animals, but others may need a little training from a Laboratory Veterinarian, so they don’t harm the animals with their brutish care.

During the experiment, you monitor the animals. You may take their temperature and other vital signs, weigh them, and draw blood from them to check for abnormalities. Every measurement you take must be recorded for the researchers to analyze and argue about. Sometimes, you may find that an animal is very ill or suffering, and you may be asked to give it a shot to end its life.

Throughout your work, you ensure that the therapies and treatments you give don’t impact the experiment. Small adjustments can have big consequences, and you take care to help the animals feel well without providing dramatic care that could skew the results.

In some laboratories, you’re also responsible for breeding laboratory animals so the laboratory staff doesn’t have to keep zipping to the supply store for new stocks. You choose healthy animals to breed, and you coo at the babies as they grow.