You have gone through the trouble of getting your bachelor's degree, your DVM degree, and your state licensing to become a livestock veterinarian, and now it's time to build a client base that will help you reach your career goals and drive you toward an income of more than $95,000 a year, which is the average salary livestock veterinarians can expect to make. Here are a few features to consider offering that are sure to attract new clients and keep them happy as time goes on.
One feature you can offer your clients that they'll find convenient throughout the years is house calls. When a client's large animal is ill and can't easily be transported, your heading to the home to diagnose the problem and possibly treat the animal will provide clients with some peace of mind and save them some time and energy on transportation efforts.
Clients will likely be willing to pay an extra fee for the service, and this can help increase your profits throughout the year. You can even charge after-hour fees when you are required to make house calls at night and during the weekends. It's important to include additional fees for these services in your contract so there aren't any unwanted surprises for your clients to face when you hand them their bills.
There is a good chance that you'll have clients with animals who need ultrasounds, whether the need is due to pregnancy complications or mysterious illnesses. Instead of having to refer clients to someone else for pig, sheep, or cattle ultrasounds, consider investing in an ultrasound machine for your own business. You'll find machines that can't be moved once installed in your facility, those that can be moved around the facility on carts, and those that are completely transportable and can be taken on house calls with you.
The initial cost may seem overwhelming, but with the help of grants and loans, you shouldn't have a problem getting a machine installed in your facility, and the machine should pay for itself within just a few years as your profits grow. You may be able to buy the use of another facility's ultrasound machine via a contract until you can afford a machine of your own.
When your clients can't take care of a farm animal for any reason, you'll need a few retreat kennels to board them in if you don't want those clients looking for other service options in the area. Whether an animal is sick, a client is going out of town, or an area of a client's farm needs to be evacuated for repairs, retreat kennels can come in handy to help fulfill care needs.
And when an animal is so ill that they need to stay near you as opposed to at their residence for case, you can keep them in a retreat kennel until they're ready to be discharged and sent home with their owners. Your kennels should be large enough for a horse to stand up and move around in, as this will ensure that everything from chickens and pigs to cows and sheep can be housed in them.
It's also a good idea to plan for birthing assistance both when making house calls and when working at your facility. You'll need equipment and supplies for both instances, which should include:
- Stainless-steel pails
- Disinfectant solution
- OB sleeves and lube
- Antibacterial solvent
Your ultrasound machine will come in handy during complicated births and birthing emergencies, so it should be considered part of your birthing kit too.
These service offerings are sure to appeal to potential clients as you start your business, and they'll keep the animals you care for happy and healthy throughout their lives.