CHAT The vaginal takeover of the veterinary industry

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
I just wanted to take a moment to rant about the expulsion of men from the veterinary industry. More and more, vet offices are staffed ENTIRELY by women. Even the doctors. And most all of them, staff and doctors, are under 30. I have zero faith in a 20-something vet, right out of school. I’m changing vets because of it.

I may have posted about this before, but needed to rant again.



Veteran Member
Understood, after a four year apprenticeship as a tradesman many young men are treated as trained and competent professionals. No so much with degreed professions, may still need a mentor especially for medical professions.

Nobody doubts a young person as a carpenter, mechanic, machinists, welder, etc. But an accountant, a doctor, a financial advisor...people still want them mentored.


Contributing Member
Men generally want higher paying jobs. Women tend to go into helping professions. If one were making a decision based on economics they would skip becoming a vet. They cost of school , both time and money, is so high that the resulting wage isn’t worth it.


TB Fanatic
Guys don't want to be vets BC it doesn't pay squat compared with being an M.D., dentist, or the like, and they're less vulnerable to "Oooohh the widdle kitties is SO cute!!!!" mental illness seen so much these days.


All the vets except for one where I go are female. I really don't have a problem with a new vet working with my dog. Being fresh out of school they are up to date on the latest techniques and protocols. As long as there are older and more experienced vets there for more challenging cases I don't see a problem. They all had to start out young and inexperienced at the beginning.


Disaster Cat
At least on this side of the water in Ireland and the UK (and I gather to some degree in Sweden), the problem is MONEY.

The days of James Harriot and the privacy practices are mostly gone even in the rural areas, the prominent places treat people like employees. In the old days (like when we moved here) most vets in the rural areas were still James Harriot's seeing sick cows and delivering stuck foals by day and working until 9 pm at their small animal clinics to treat farm dogs and occasional pet cats.

These days, many vets are in the same position as newer doctors, underpaid contracted staff with huge student loans to pay off (even in Ireland and the UK) with little or no attonomy in their jobs and with a future of staying years as low level staff or jr. partners.

The simple fact is that not only do most women prefer to be small animal vets (with exceptions, my friend in Sweden who dropped out because of some of this wanted to work with cows, she's a big girl) but they also are more likely to have partners or husbands also bringing home a good paycheck.

That, and while this is changing, even today I think a lot more women are willing to accept worse pay and uneven working conditions in order to have a career they really love, or think they will love. Like women who become human nurses, they are more likely to stay around even the conditions are bad because they feel they have a calling or a responsibility to patients. I am not saying the male nurses and male vets don't, it is just my personal opinion that men are a bit faster to drop a career that seems to be going nowhere or doesn't provide support and switch to something else.

These problems were starting back when I had a close friend in Colorado wha o was vet tech and decided not to go back to school to retrain as a vet 40 years ago. The handwriting was on the wall then, like doctors now, vets are becoming contract employees with little job security and with a lot of their older duties farmed out to others.

When my engineer housemate was out of work, she talked our local vet about retaining and he told her not to bother, there wasn't enough work, the pay was terrible and many younger vets ended up working part-time or not at all. He said it wasn't worth going into debt for and that he wouldn't do it under today's conditions.

A lot of women with families are happy to work part time (not all but some) which is probably another reason you see so many more ladies in the field, that and as a rule, they enjoy small animal practices which outside of agricultural areas is the main type of clinic these days.

That's the view from here (and elsewhere, I did have to talk to a lot of people writing the Barn Cat Book).


Disaster Cat
Guys don't want to be vets BC it doesn't pay squat compared with being an M.D., dentist, or the like, and they're less vulnerable to "Oooohh the widdle kitties is SO cute!!!!" mental illness seen so much these days.
Or as I kind of hint at in my article, for good reasons more men are attracted to large animal practices and many of those jobs these days are contracted out. They also involve living in rural areas where the work is, and they don't tend to pay enough to pay off the loans needed for the required eduation.

Many vet schools are co-located with human medical schools and it is no secret that they are often harder to get into than medical school, have a more difficult training period and then make less money at the end of it.

There are always a few ladies like my friend in Sweden big enough and interested enough that they could inseminate cows and wrangle a mare in agony (with another person) during a difficult delivery.

But now the business in the US and in much of Europe is about pets, especially the part tha really makes money. Farmers don't have a lot of money and big corporations obviously want to pay as little as possible and can set their own prices to some degree.

It isn't just about widdle kitties though that is a reason some women and even a few men go into veterinary practice.


Faithful Steed
At the Tirrell barn, they have one resident vet who is "in charge" - a woman. The rest are women interns largely, although an occasional man squeaks through and will be a "veterinary intern", but this being but a step in his vet education.

It's usually left up to the clientele to arrange for "their vet" to come to the barn at a designated time - in essence the barn merely supplies "inspection areas" and any tools, help required for medical work. My oral surgery was done at Tirrell. Three hands AND the surgeon.

Owner has a man who is from Northwood, NH who will meet us at Tirrell - where he usually combines his trip with two or three other equine who may or may not be a "long term stay."



On TB every waking moment
Word on the Street is that the suicide rate amongst vets is higher than normal and the women lead. No comment as to why.

Lady I know spent $4,000 on her cat, another $1,600. Small animal practice is the way to go

Roomed with vet students way back when. Concluded they were on par with med students in difficulty of work.

Blue 5

Veteran Member
Our local vet's office is quite a large practice, since they care for cattle, horses, etc. They have 7 male docs and 1 female doc. I would think that this is not typical of most clinics around here. However, the front office is 100% female, and I would wager that you'd find that same front office situation at every single vet clinic around the county.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
I will never forget Budreau's Last Ride. He was 95 pounds and could no longer stand on his own. I took him to a specialist in San Antonio to see what could be done. A man came out and swept this big dog off my car seat as if he were dandelion fluff, and carried him close to his chest, into to clinic. Boo just put his big head down on this tech's shoulder and sighed.

I could not pick him up, but having a strong man there made it better.

My Vet team at home has both sexes and I could have no better care in all the world.


Senior Member
I'm a retired dentist. Class of 59, Marquette U. I had 145 fellow graduates ( all men ).
This years grads are about 50/50 (men/women )That has has been the trend for the last20 years.
GGK :ld:
I agree! I know lots of females that went into medicine or veterinary work. The few that gave up active careers were married to surgeons so money was definitely not an issue. In vet work, smaller animal vets are typically women while men generally take care of the larger animals. Brains have no gender but prejudices do.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
I understand what Dennis is ranting about: I went through several vets after the last two decent ones I had retired.

It's hard finding decent medical care of any kind these days, animal or human. Corporate medicine is the pits.

My Vet is within a couple of years of retirement. Finding another one who can walk in those shoes is not going to be easy.


Veteran Member
I’ve done ranching in my younger days…there’s a world of difference between the rigors and dangers of being a large animal vet vs small animal vet.

Even tough guys get the crap beat out of them doing pregnancy test on hundreds of cows, and working big herds.

Even surgeries get wild when a 1000 lbs horse wakes up in the middle of surgery and starts freaking out…

Broken Arrow

Heathen Pagan Witch
The vets I’ve delt with (small and large animal) in my current area are a 50/50 split. One husband/wife pair. He does the large animal and farm calls, she does small animals and surgery. They are my main vets and I adore them both. Th other vets are a single woman who does large and small animal. And a single male who does everything. My main vet when I was in Colorado was a woman.

I find the female vets to be the better ones actually. They listen better and are willing to discuss options, where the male (not all of them, but most that I had to deal with) are cut and dry and quite often miss the correct diagnosis


Veteran Member
The only male vets around here come from moderate or large scale cattle operations. I guess they're "keeping the bill in the family".

They do outside work too but out of their truck. No office.

NOT a profession I'd suggest for a young person today.


only one male vet in our clinic and he is the cancer specialist, the rest are all young females ....kicker on this whole thing is, after moving my new GP and Urologist are really young females....both dodged the good ol prostate check, until it had to be done prior to a blood test.
The looker of the two ended up getting the job...not sure if I won out on that or not.. :hmm:


Veteran Member
The majority of vets I've used have been women by default. There is only one male vet around here and he keeps getting in trouble for a variety of things.
But yeah, I'd be hesitant with young, just out of school vets.


Veteran Member
For the most part, women have taken over the average work place. I have been in the commercial cleaning business for over 35 years, and back then, there were maybe 3 women building managers. Now, out of all of my accounts, 1 building manager is male.
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Retired, practising Curmudgeon
Large animal practices have pretty much been a male-only domain and will likely stay so. Small-animal (companion critters) was where I noticed female vets taking over about 40-odd years ago. Companion animals, due to case volume and the relative ease of handling and the owners' emotions are way more profitable.

Sadly, its just business but one that has our hearts in a firm grasp. .....


Disaster Cat
I suspect there are several reasons for the growing suicide rate, especially among the women in the profession. Again, having talked to a lot of people, there is huge stress from having to deal with the results of animal abuse, sometimes extremely stupid or demanding owners, people having to put down pets for perfectly treatable conditions because they simply can't afford the bill or "owners" who want a pet put down because they are moving or some other really stupid excuse.

That along with the sadness and loss every time they can't save a patient, and while medical doctors experience the same thing with humans, Nightwolf told me that outside of certain specialties like Cancer treatment, brain surgeons or missionary/tropical medicine; most doctors don't deal with it nearly ever day the way vets in a busy practice do.

Nightwolf said, he knew after one rotation he could never be a cancer specialist, because it was so sad, especially working with so many children who often didn't make it. Again, vets get this every day and even a tough guy like James Harriot wrote about how hard it was, and how desperately he tried to save his own dying dog in exactly the same way some of his clients would hang on to hope for way-way too long (and accidently cause even more suffering).


Veteran Member
Men generally want higher paying jobs. Women tend to go into helping professions. If one were making a decision based on economics they would skip becoming a vet. They cost of school , both time and money, is so high that the resulting wage isn’t worth it.
Better'n thirty years ago, I took our Fox Terrier to a vet in a rural area. My daughter and her friend came along, and while in the exam/treatment room the little guy with us asked why vet visits are so expensive. I told him that while the Doctor was goin' to a school that cost him a lot of money to attend, I'd chosen to go to work and earn a livin'. For a long time I was
makin' money so I could take care of my family and animals, and the vet was now havin' to play catch up.
The Doc looked up and said thanks for lookin' at it that way. Nobody'd ever said it like that before and he greatly appreciated it. Especially in an area like that, those folks earn every bit and they have more overhead than a lot of businesses.


Senior Member
It seems to me this is just part of the "diversity and inclusion" agenda. Being a sports fan of baseball, football, hockey and golf; I have seen just in the last year, women been given positions of power high up in organizations.


Disaster Cat
It seems to me this is just part of the "diversity and inclusion" agenda. Being a sports fan of baseball, football, hockey and golf; I have seen just in the last year, women been given positions of power high up in organizations.
Personally, in this case, I don't think so - I think it is simply that more vet practices today in urban areas deal with small animals, and for several good reasons women tend to be attracted to that sort of practice.

As others have pointed out rare is the "Fine Strapping Lass" like my friend in Sweden or my housemate the weight lifter who could wrangle a cow as well as any man their size (and it usually takes at least two, especially for horses in labor).

Also, there is the simple economic fact that more women can afford to work part-time or for less pay than a lot of men can IF they have a partner or husband.

Finally, veterinary care has part has gone from mostly an agricultural job (which is traditionally done by men in Europe and the Americas, at least officially) to being seen as a "helping profession" that takes care of smaller pets.

There are specialties where I think the gender mix is more even, like vets who work primarily in zoos or in research labs, for a real employment study that would need to be looked at as well.

There are many places where gender IS being weaponized for various reasons but honestly this trend goes back to the 1970s, I think it says more about the change in the profession and the type of average client than some sort of agenda.


Veteran Member
A couple years ago when my great dane suddenly could no longer get up the local lady vet's office gave me a card for a mobile vet who was a guy to come put Spottie down. He arrived with his wife and a fancy mid sized truck with a really great setup, all stainless steel. His normal practice was goats, he said. My bill that day was $450, and no disposal of the corpse.
The local lady vet has a booming business that she owns and there is always quite a wait to see her. Sadly she does have some kind of nervous condition that causes her to miss work often. Seems like she just loves animals so much that it messes with her head when she sees them getting old and dying.
Spottie just loved that woman!

colonel holman

Veteran Member
There is a widespread and rapidly growing trend where all the “professions” are being forcefully sucked up into mega-corporate “socialism” whereby hedge fund investors are forming big corporations that buy up (for pennies on the dollar” all the small independent practices (MDs, DCs, PTs, Vets, dentists, even undertakers!) to be operated like McDonald’s chain franchises.

All the professionals coming out of school carry six-figure school loans and are debt slaves to these corps, driving them like rented mules to over-produce and charge fees 2x-3x-4x the traditional rates of just a decade ago. And they have nowhere else to go for work in their field.

You need 6 visits of physical therapy to learn how to take control of your back problem? They check your insurance, find the insurer allows 25 session of PT per year… and that is what you will be scheduled to receive, then called to renew the following year, with all those co-pays and per-visit deductibles. Same happens in all those other caring professions.

The professions are being driven into grossly overpriced mediocrity. All to gain consistently growing quarterly earnings for these mega-corps.

These grads with Dr degrees have seen salaries drop into the 60s-70s per year, while carrying 150-350k school debts they will never pay off before age 60


Veteran Member
The local farrier is training a very young woman to be his replacement.
My daughter is a farrier. She very good at it. She is also working on a Vet Tech Bachelors Degree. One goes well with the other. She takes her learning very seriously and finds that she loves it. She does prefer large animals but her externship lab time has to be with a small animal vet. She works on a ranch right now of 600 head of cattle.

When she was going to Farriers school she was stepped on by a draft horse, right on her knee after the horse knocked her down. She called me to let me know they were taking her to the ER. No broken bones but some pretty good bruising and swelling.

I got a text from one of her friends there asking me to please talk to her that she needs to take it easy. After she got back from the ER with leg swelled and wrapped she was back at the forge finishing her assignments on crutches. They finally talked her into taking a day two days later. She’s like me, if something hurts we keep pushing through it until it gets better then we take a break. Not sure why we are that way but we are. Stubbornness I guess.

Her instructor told me she was tougher than most of the boys that go through the school but she really had a gentle hand and patience with the horses. She was picked to shoe the mules because she could work with them instead of against them. She’s about a 100 lbs.

She was offered a job as a instructor at the school when she finished.

If she ever does become a full Vet she will be a great one because she cares deeply for each animal.
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Veteran Member
I had gone to two vet offices over the years run by a man. Both men were not very kind and gave little time to care for my animal. I found the lack of compassion disgusting.

So at present I have 3 vet offices I use as I have many animals.

2 offices are run by women. Not bad but not the greatest in service, they are kind but run me through their office like a meat factory. Today it's about getting as many bookings and giving just 10- 15 minutes of time and that is it. It's the cost of school and the cost of starting up the business.

I also go to are a larger vet hospital that has an older man. He is my age 60ish. He is rather rough around the edges so I prefer the female Doctors. But this Vet Hospital which is more expensive gives me unlimited time for my animal. I pay premium.

Overall I like the Premium Hospital best it is just that I have to drive a distance.
I prefer women they are far more compassionate.

You as a man probably can relate more with a male doctor. Though my husband has no issues though he agrees the Premium Hospital is better and he enjoys talking about the medical research with the doctors since he was in medical research.

So I think it depends on your comfort level.