Large Animal Medicine

What animals do they work with?

  • Horses, cattle, llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, and swine
  • Species reflect both their interest and expertise

Where do they work?

  • Nearly any where! Many large animal veterinarians have their own truck stocked with all the supplies they need to do their job on-the-go
  • Travel to farms, ranches, stables, racetracks and/or work in a stationary clinic

What do they do?

  • Perform physical examinations
  • Diagnose disease and illness
  • Treat patients with surgical procedures and medications
  • Vaccinate animals against disease
  • Prevent spread of disease
  • Keep our food supply safe by making sure animals used for food products are healthy
Large Animal Practitioner

Large animal practitioners care for cattle, horses, and other large animals. Some even care for llamas and alpacas too!

Companion Animal

Companion animal veterinarians care for horses in addition to cats and dogs

Mixed Animal

Mixed animal veterinarians care for animals of all sizes.

Food Animal

Food animal veterinarians care for animals involved in our food supply like cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and poultry. Some may also care for fish too!


Some veterinarians choose to work exclusively with one type of animal, for example: equine veterinarian, bovine veterinarian, swine veterinarian, etc.


Large animal veterinarians may choose to further their education and become board-certified in one of the many different specialties recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Some of these specialties include pathology, internal medicine, surgery, nutrition, and more. To be considered, a veterinarian often completes a one-year internship before applying to a rigorous three-year residency program in their field of choice. Other veterinarians choose to forgo the internship and go out into the workforce right out of school, and then later down the road decide to apply for a residency program. The residency program offers additional specialized training and experience in a specific field. Veterinarians who specialize can work either in private practice or in a university setting. Upon completion of additional training and board exams, veterinarians can be board certified in various areas of practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). Learn more here.