Discover your career path

Veterinary Epidemiologist

Control the transfer of disease from animals to humans.

What does a Veterinary Epidemiologist do?

Just like people, animals get sick. The problem gets bigger when the diseases mutate, jump to people, and cause epidemics. A Veterinary Epidemiologist studies and stops these animal-borne illnesses. Apart from the focus on animals, the job of a Veterinary Epidemiologist is just like any other epidemiology job in that it involves investigating disease outbreaks and tracing their sources.

As a Veterinary Epidemiologist, your day might start with a phone call or a news article alerting you to a cluster of illness in one specific area or population. When you find something suspicious, you start to investigate. Your job is to find the one common factor among those who got sick, and then find a way to prevent the illness from happening again.

Since you’re focused on animal illnesses that jump to people, you might spend your days doing autopsies on animals, interviewing sick patients and their families, carrying out tests, or taking samples-anything you can do to find the link that explains the disease. Once you discover enough information to create a solid link between an illness and its cause, you look for a way to prevent its recurrence. Then you write up your findings in a report to educate Doctors, Lawmakers, and the general public.

You also handle health issues that people unintentionally create and pass on to animals. An example of this is the antibiotics given to animals to keep them healthy while they’re growing. You test to see the levels of antibiotics present in the animals, what type they are, and how high the levels before they can cause harm in the people who ingest them.