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Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education

Website Update

Aquatic Veterinarian

Aquatic veterinary medicine is a specialized field in which practitioners may work with a large variety of aquatic animals or provide care for specific groups. They may care for fish of all kinds, or work with amphibians and aquatic reptiles, or seabirds including penguins. Others may focus on invertebrates such as crustaceans or molluscs. Still, others can work with marine mammals like seals, sea lions, porpoises, and whales. Aquatic veterinarians will assess sick or injured animals, recommend appropriate treatment, and perform procedures if necessary. They may also plan animal diets or provide information for appropriate animal care.  


High school coursework:

  • Science - biology and chemistry are highly important for any medical practitioner
  • Math - most pre-vet programs will require advanced math and statistics
  • English and speech - vets should have strong communication and reading comprehension skills


Classes you could take in college/at Cal Poly:

  • MSCI 324: Marine Mammals, Birds, and Reptiles
  • ASCI 310: Technical Veterinary Skills
  • Marine Mammal Health Enterprise


Ways to get experience:

  • Volunteer with shelters (or vet clinics)
    • Get comfortable working with and caring for animals. Animal sanctuaries and shelters often need all the help they can get with cleaning, feeding, and observing the health of the animals living there.

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