When you think of what your local veterinarian does you're probably reminded of the last time you or someone you know brought the family pet it for a checkup, but there also many animals other than good old “Fido” and “Whiskers” that need to be taken care of as well.
Nationally, fewer and fewer vets are choosing to do large animal work. This is partially because there are fewer animals to service and partially because the job can be pretty tough.
Being on call day and night and hours of driving everyday are a couple reasons some vets stick to companion animals, and of coarse working with large animals can be physically difficult as well.
Dr. Bakers says that in northern Illinois the number of dairy cows and hogs has gone down drastically, beef cattle have stayed about the same, but recreational horses are more and more common. It is enough to keep him in the business but the area that he covers is quite large.
On the plus side Dr. Baker says that he enjoys the outdoor work and it feels good to contribute to an agribusiness which helps feed the population.