Horse Veterinarian Courses and Classes Overview

Programs for doctors of veterinary medicine who want to specialize in treating horses are available at the doctoral level, and they require several prerequisites. Take a look at the article below to get a better idea of what is required of students in horse veterinarian courses.

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Essential Information

Horse veterinarian courses are offered at the doctoral level in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) programs. Typically, veterinarians specialize in one area, such as pets or large animals. A specialization in horse treatment requires an in depth knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of horses to identify common health problems and provide medical care, when possible.

Students will learn how to diagnose and treat both minor and major conditions that affect horses, including colic, reproductive problems and sports injuries. DVM programs also require a clinical practicum, so potential horse veterinarians will have a chance to work with and treat horses under the supervision of experienced practitioners.

List of Horse Veterinarian Courses

The course descriptions below will provide more detail about course requirements for potential horse veterinarians.

Colic Management in Horses

Equine (horse) colic is one of the most common health conditions that first-year large animal veterinary students learn to treat. Veterinary students may take a number of horse veterinarian courses to learn how to diagnose and manage colic, an affliction of the colon that causes abdominal pain. Students in core horse veterinarian courses learn to recognize behavioral signs of colic and perform diagnostic procedures. Students in more advanced horse veterinarian courses prescribe and administer therapies to treat the condition.

Animal Nutrition

Providing proper nutrition to animals such as horses, cows, swine and other creatures is covered in this course. The curriculum emphasizes animals' basic dietary needs, such as fibers, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Students learn through lectures, labs and actual care of animals. Typically, this is a first-year large animal course that provides students an opportunity to both observe and gain experience working with the animals they plan to heal. Specific feeding tactics and methods for providing food to different animals are covered.

Reproductive Diseases in Horses

Vet students in their third and fourth years may take horse veterinarian classes in equine reproductive health. Students learn basic and advanced techniques used in breeding management through lectures and clinical training in horse veterinary medical centers. This horse veterinarian course trains students to test for estrus production, administer reproductive tract ultrasound exams, apply hormone treatments and take uterine cultures. Additional topics covered include artificial insemination, pharmacological aids, equine reproductive patterns and the economics of reproductive performance.

Equine Sports and Medical Rehabilitation

Horses ridden regularly for recreation or sport are vulnerable to limb injuries. Students in third- and fourth-year horse veterinarian classes spend significant time in lectures, labs and in large animal health clinics treating common sports-related horse injuries. This horse veterinarian course provides training in protocols for prevention and management of injuries, athletic conditioning and performance testing. Equine-track students pursue advanced topics in exercise physiology, rehabilitation and sports medicine through lab-intensive coursework and case studies.

Clinical Training

In the third and fourth years of their studies, horse veterinarian students complete clinical training, which provides the opportunity for them to work with horses under supervision in realistic settings. Much like clinical programs for doctors and nurses, horse veterinarian clinical training gives students the opportunity to decide where they want to provide care, such as on farms, in zoos, at race tracks, in the wild or in medical research labs. Students work with animals in each setting and practice identifying ailments, observing and participating in care, suggesting medications and completing follow-up exams.

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