North Carolina faces shortage of large-animal veterinarians

GERMANTOWN, NC — In rural areas across America, farmers are in dire need of large-animal veterinarians.

According to a study by Pawsome Advice, less than 10% of veterinary graduates take a rural job, and they expect a shortage of approximately 15,000 veterinarians overall by 2025.

What You Need To Know

  • Less than 10% of veterinary graduates take a rural job, according to a study by Pawsome Advice
  • A report shows an expected shortage of approximately 15,000 veterinarians overall by 2025
  • dr Candace Thrift, a veterinarian in Hyde County, says the pay for large-animal veterinarians is significantly less compared to small animal veterinarians

dr Candace Thrift is a large-animal veterinarian in Hyde County. She says a lot of factors play a part in this shortage.

“The job is hard, the hours are long, so I think we have to make a concerted effort to make this profession seem more desirable for the next generation — where we get an appropriate time off and the hours are manageable, you have time to spend with your families,” Thrift said.

Thrift also mentioned the pay for large-animal veterinarians is significantly less compared to small-animal veterinarians.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average large-animal veterinarians makes a little more than $53,000 a year, while small-animal veterinarians make an average of $83,000 a year.

Thrift added that in many cases, graduates are carrying six-figure loans and turning to small veterinary practice instead so they can pay those loans off.

Although there are areas where the industry can improve, Thrift said, “The biggest reward of this is knowing you helped an animal and saved its life when otherwise it maybe would not have made it.”