Archived News

Livestock Services Enhance Student Training

April 29, 2016

DVM students gain valuable experience training with livestock services at the hospital.

DVM students gain valuable experience training with livestock services at the hospital.

Whether veterinary students plan to enter a career in livestock medicine or not, fourth-year clinical rotations through the livestock services can prove to be a valuable resource. For those actively pursuing a livestock career path, the rotations are obviously absolute necessities, but there are many aspects of the rotations that will enhance the futures of students who may never encounter large animals again.

Basic technical skills and knowledge of livestock are impressed upon students in their third year for them to later utilize in fourth-year clinical rotations. Many of these skills—basic understanding of diseases, pathophysiology, efficient physical examinations, basic surgical skills—are transferrable to any species. For those geared toward livestock paths, the skills are expanded in the clinics.

Rotations through the Livestock Medicine Service allow students to participate in surgeries such as castrations, common abdominal surgeries, C-sections and leg fracture repairs. Many small animal track students want to rotate through livestock medicine to gain additional hands-on surgery experiences, giving them more practice suturing and more practice with tissue handling and manipulation – skills they will utilize when performing surgery on cats and dogs. This rotation also offers the students additional experience with CTs, MRIs, radiology, laparoscopy and endoscopy. 

In the Livestock Herd Health and Reproduction Service, it’s an opportunity for future livestock clinicians to hone their skills in some of the newest techniques being offered. Students become skilled in artificial insemination, embryo transfers and other advanced reproductive technologies, as well as gaining better understandings of basic herd health concepts like preventive medicine, vaccinations, disease outbreak investigations and interventions during a crisis, improving their critical thinking skills.

The school strives to give every student the best-rounded veterinary education possible. Livestock medicine plays a vital role in that process, always increasing and enhancing learning opportunities for both large and small animal-focused students.

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About the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis—a unit of the #1 world ranked School of Veterinary Medicine—provides state-of-the-art clinical care while serving as the primary clinical teaching experience for DVM students and post graduate veterinarian residents. The VMTH treats more than 51,000 animals a year, ranging from cats and dogs to horses, cows and exotic species. To learn more about the VMTH, please go to Timely news updates can be received on its Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages.

Media Contact:
Rob Warren
VMTH Communications & Marketing Officer