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Marine Mammal Veterinary Medicine

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by DreamComeTrue09, 03.04.09.

  1. DreamComeTrue09

    DreamComeTrue09 Second time the charm?

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    Anyone out there also interested in marine mammal veterinary medicine? I really regret not exploring my passion for marine sciences during undergrad. Have any of you done any amazing internships in aquariums? I would be interested in shadowing the trainers and veterinarians. I have done some internet research and have found some amazing internships, however, housing is not provided, and that would be a huge money issue for myself. Also have any of you become SCUBA certified? What were your experiences with that? :)
  2. r00

    r00 UF CVM c/o 2017

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    I dont know anything about marine mammal vets, but I am NAUI Open Water SCUBA certified which means I am trained to go down to like 75 feet (although one dive we went to almost 90 with no problems)

    I absolutely love diving and I am very glad that I got certified... I just wish that I had the time and $$ to dive more often because at this point it has been ages since I have been diving which means I should probably take a refresher course before I go again...
  3. No Imagination

    No Imagination I

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    I know just how you feel.

    I got NAUI cert. right before a trip to Galapagos. Went down, don't know the dept, as I wasn't very comfortable, I just buddied up with someone and never left their side, followed their lead. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life (saw a school (that right term?) of Hammerheads!).

    Due to $$, time, and location, I haven't been back in the water since :(
  4. sumstorm

    sumstorm

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    I am a PADI rescue diver along with other certs (open water, advanced open water, nitrox, equipment specialist, etc). I have dived off Koh Tao, Thailand, in New Zealand on the Great Barrier and Nigaloo Reefs and in the Southern off of Australia, Belize, and Key Largo.

    In July we will dive in Bon Aire. SCUBA isn't a cheap hobby, but the best way to get involved is to check out dive shops, look for one that seems to have a large diving community surrounding it, then take an Open Water with them. Once you have that certification, offer to help out in anyway you can, schlepping gear for classes and such. I have my own high price gear now (anniversary gift from hubby) but I started off with reasonable (fit correctly, had inspected by skilled and certified equipment techs) equipment that I bought on the cheap from people who wanted something new or better. The basics of equipment are pretty similar, so well-maintained equipment is fine. It is still a pricey hobby...your equipment should be inspected and cleaned professionally once a year (lets not kid ourselves, your life depends on your equipment.)

    Another way to get dive training is to look for 4-5 start PADI dive centers in less affluent countries. I had better training in Koh Tao than my husband received in the states and the students I saw in Australia (just more thorough) though I am sure that is dependent on the provider.

    As far as marine mammal veterinary, the positions are incredibly few and far between, and much like upper level zoo work, you are waiting for someone to die to get a position (unfortunatly I am not kidding, it is a pretty common comment in the upper management of zoos.) I don't think there are more than two dozen marine mammal vets in the US, and several of those are general zoo vets. The other side of marine mammal veterinary medicine most people find very unappealing; necropsies of wild animals to determine death of the individual and health of pods. I worked with two vets who did this for NOAA (to learn how to do shipboard necropsies and tissue collections.) I can honestly say this is the least pleasant necropsies I have ever done, as the bodies generally aren't fresh or fully preserved, so the odor factor is high, the working area is generally a very large and smelly shed, and the animals are large and difficult to work with. Whales are worse than dolphins, since we generally performed necropsies after they bloated, which tends to get one covered in these fine, horrible smelling oils.

    Anyways, internships are possible but generally require you to cover costs. Also, training is very different, in my experience, than vet treatment of marine mammals. Trainers work with the animals far more than vets.....and vets need to rely on and trust marine mammal trainers.

    So, I think even the very best vets that dream of marine mammals may never get into the field. I could be wrong, it is just extremly limited, and a lot of it will involve being in the right place at the right time.

    I think there might me a zoo/marine vet position listed on AZA right now.
  5. kayakman28

    kayakman28

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    I am PADI certified and hive had the opportunity to dive many sites in the Caribbean (Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and many islands), Cozumel, Belize, and Egypt - just to name a few.

    I own all of my own gear, so I can pretty much just jump in wherever and whenever (assuming I have a dive buddy). I absolutely love it...I am a certified Rescue Diver which means I have spent more money on "courses" than I would like to admit. The next level is Divemaster - which is $1000, so I am waiting a little for that.

    Right now I am a SCUBA Diver at the local aquarium. I get to dive in both of the main tanks (760,000 gallon "Ocean Realm" and 550,000 "Shark Realm") The Ocean Realm is home to many turtles, manta rays, shark rays, and a Great Hammerhead (along with a variety of other species!). The Shark Realm has 27 sharks of three main varieties - Sand Tiger, Brown, Nurse.

    I have dozens of stories I could tell about many of the dives and experiences at the aquarium. Bottom line - i HIGHLY recommend becoming certified and diving as much as you can!!!!

    To quote one of my favorite lines from The Little Mermaid: "Darling it's better down where it's wetter....take it from me!"
  6. Optimistic 13

    Optimistic 13

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    .
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  7. MonieBalonie

    MonieBalonie

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    I <3 aquatic animal health at UF! I’m only an undergrad there now, but I’m finishing up my honors thesis now through the Marine Mammal Health Program. There’s not really such as a thing as an exclusive marine mammal vet just because there isn’t the demand for such a position. If you are lucky enough to work as a vet in an aquarium (it’s possible!) then you will be responsible for more than just marine mammals anyway- fish, sea turtles, etc.

    UF offers a certificate for vet students in Aquatic Animal Health that covers these things, and also a residency program. There is only one resident spot and you need to have done something like an internship at an aquarium after getting your DVM. Oh! And the sensei here is the ex head vet from SeaWorld (ooh la la).

    Since these positions are few and far between its good to make as many connections and get as much experience as you can. I’m lucky enough to have a dolphin and whale hospital in my hometown so I try to help out there as much as possible. Last summer I got to help with pygmy killer whale exams :love:
  8. WildlifeSaver

    WildlifeSaver

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    You are lucky because the normal person does not have excess to SeaWorld volunteering. Months ago I was researching places where I could get into contact with orcas, but there is no where that I could find.

    Wait, only one residency spot in all vet schools?

    I think my best bet if I ever wanted a chance is to get a phD (in a science related to marine health or work or something else..) and a DVM. I think maybe if you research with scientist about the life of marine mammals like whales, your chances of getting that "x marine park vet/scientis" job are a lot higher or equal to backround around seaworld.. If your a expert and known highly in the feild, I bet you can def be involved with sea life places around the world and become more involved in the parks. That is just one of the ways to do it I think.
  9. MonieBalonie

    MonieBalonie

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    Yes, I love that Florida has plenty of aquariums to get involved in (I wasn't even at SeaWorld ha). But there are a bunch of research opportunities in the Northeast since so many whales go there to feed, you might want to check that out if it's not too far away?

    There is one spot at UF and it's only open every 2 years until that resident completes the program. I have no clue about other schools :)

    Extra degrees are a good idea. I know that a lot of vet med relating to marine mammal medicine gets published because so little is known about cetaceans. Our resident now is getting a masters while completing her residency
  10. WildlifeSaver

    WildlifeSaver

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    I am confused to what spot your talking about. What is the residency called?

    I know you do not have to do a marine certain residency to become associated with wild animals that are mammals even if it is a marine animal. Fish and whales=huge difference.
  11. MonieBalonie

    MonieBalonie

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    It's the Aquatic Animal Health residency, which covers the medical care of marine mammals, sea turtles, fishes and aquatic invertebrates.

    I know you don't need any specific residency to start a career in a general area, I was just telling the OP about 1 way to begin practicing with marine mammals.
  12. WildlifeSaver

    WildlifeSaver

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    You are right that is one way to do it! I was just confused about what you were talking about as far as having to have that to do it or not. Some prob specialize in fish and can do it right? So may ways, but wow just one spot and every two years? You prob need to be super amazing in vet school and have some back round in research or anything to get that..

    I think to become a trainer there for marine animals is very difficult too. I know alone less than ten are open to work with orcas.

    Maybe if you do EVERYTHING in your life to get a marine associated vet job can happen if you REALLY want it. It just sucks to know that some of us will try and will fail or delayed 20-30 years in the mean time building up ur resume for it..Maybe it is equl to being a rock star?!? lol

    Thanks!:)
  13. MarineVet

    MarineVet

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    Yes, I am interested in marine mammal vet med. I am a marine bio undergrad and I took one internship at The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience (St. Augustine, Florida), in Marineland. They do lots of neuroscience with lobsters, limulus, jellyfish, aplysia. Not so mammal, but they are planning to develop a Marine Animal Health Center in the future. I also met Dr. Francis Floyd from UFL, an marine mammal vet. She was amazing. She showed me the UFL vet school and also I had the opportunity to see how her grad student took some blood samples from sharks. Awesomeee!
  14. DreamComeTrue09

    DreamComeTrue09 Second time the charm?

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    Thankyou for sharing all your scuba stories. I can't wait to get started myself! Especially after reading all of the places sumstorm has gone scuba diving =)

    Sumstorm- Thankyou for all of the scuba information...very helpful! I did find a local PADI center...I wish I could take your advice and become scuba certified out of the states...but for financial reasons I can't. You are right that there are very,very,very few positions for marine vets! Positions are very limited and therefore very competitive.

    Kayakman28: Wow, amazing places to go diving! I was thinking after becoming certified to volunteer to clean out my local aquariums' tanks ..just to keep with it!

    Optimistic12: Thanks for the link! I'll check it out. Your story reminds me, at our local aquarium, I asked if I could shadow the vet that takes care of their animals, and the vet emailed me saying she goes in once a week for just 2 hrs at a time, so they weren't really set up for shadowing...and she was a small animal vet to.

    MoniBaloni: Wow, you are very lucky! Glad to hear your taking advantage of it! Yes, I keep hearing its all about connections! Well, you sure have a connection! That's awesome!

    Wildlifesaver: LOL, and you know what I think I'd still choose this over being a rockstar :laugh: I think the earlier you start building those connections, the greater your chances of landing a job. Since there are so few aquariums and marine vets, I was told all of the marine vets know each other ...A marine vet told me she landed her job through an internship...she built a great relationship with the vets there...and an aquarium called them asking if they recommended anyone to fill a position for a vet and she was recommended =)

    If anyone's interested I found a really awesome book today, "Guide to Marine Mammals of the World." National Audubon society.
    It was a great aid for one of my friends when she went whale watching.
  15. philomycus

    philomycus The Tree Rat

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    I was a PADI instructor for several years and have been alomst everywhere. SCUBA is awesome and you definitely should get into it if you have the funds and the time to dedicate to it.

    I think PADI's quality of instruction has gone down over time as a whole, not to stereotype any single instructor. The course is what you get out of of and the quality of your instructor.

    I have seen that when I dive internationally, they seem to prefer NAUI to PADI- it's like they trust you moe in the water. Has anyone else diving overseas seen this??
  16. sumstorm

    sumstorm

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    PADI and NAUI are the big names, but SSI is coming up fast with a strong reputation. I fully agree about course/instructor....though I find that true in nearly every course I ever take (college classes, seminars, etc.) In my experience, as long as you seem to know what your doing and you behave in a rash manner and you have the card, most places don't question it (kinda dangerous) and even places that state you must have dived within a year don't check 90% of the time, even the 'good' diver operations and 5star resorts and such.

    I have dived off of 4 continents without anyone ever asking to look at my log book. I have had snide 'little female' remarks at times.... since it is still heavily male dominated. Generally things like 'we'll have to go slower for HER' or to my husband 'and remember, since your wife is your partner, you need to protect her' to which he choked laughing so hard while pointing out that I have much more experience than he has, have dived in much worse conditions (and for research) and that I swim an hour every other day while the only time he gets in open water is to SCUBA on vacations.

    Either way, love the sport. Just like everything else though, has its fair share of jerks and idiots, and unfortunatly they can ruin a dive, a trip, or a life.
  17. DoctaJer

    DoctaJer

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    am i aloud to get a pet sea lion? :)
  18. alonepear

    alonepear MissState CVM 2011

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    For anyone possibly interested in marine mammal/marine life medicine I highly recommend checking out Marvet (http://www.marvet.org/).

    I went on the trip last summer to Grand Cayman, and had an absolute blast. It was like a combination of a vacation in an exotic locale plus school, but only learning about really cool marine medicine. Plus you're with 15 other students who are all just as into marine medicine as you, and you meet some of the really well-known vets in the field.
  19. DreamComeTrue09

    DreamComeTrue09 Second time the charm?

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    Thanks Alonepear :)

    I'll have to keep that one in mind for the future. I wish they'd allow pre-vet students to join in on the fun.
  20. DreamComeTrue09

    DreamComeTrue09 Second time the charm?

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    Just bumping this up :) So, no-one else has done any amazing internships with marine mammals?
  21. TurtleLover

    TurtleLover LSU SVM c/o 2013!!

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    I too am extremely interested in working my way up to working with marine mammals and reptiles. I have loved marine biology all of my life (grew up in Miami, FL). I attended or was a camp counselor for marine bio camp for 7 years in middle and high school.

    I've done a week of bottlenose dolphin research in a marine science program at the University of Miami during one of my summers in high school.

    I've also worked in a lab running blood work and other lovely tests like giardias and chlamydias for the marine mammals and birds from the miami seaquarium.

    For the last two years, I've assisted with a long term marine turtle research project through my university, (UCF). It's been an amazing experience in which I did a lot from running beach surveys in the morning, counting and marking nests, doing night work on the nesting female turtles, and going out netting in the Indian River Lagoon catching juvenile and subadult marine turtles. And yes, I even learned to draw blood on these guys!

    I did apply for a job as husbandry assistant for marine mammals at sea world and got as far as completing the swim test and interview, but unfortunately was not hired.

    I definitely have a huge passion for this field and would love to pursue it further. Right now I have only been accepted to St. Matthews University in Grand Cayman, and they work with the Turtle Farm there, so I will definitely be involved in that if I actually attend that school.

    I was considering also applying to St. Georges in Grenada. They supposedly have a dual degree program with a MSc in Marine Mammal Medicine. Does anyone know anything about this?
  22. DreamComeTrue09

    DreamComeTrue09 Second time the charm?

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    Wow, Turtlelover, such amazing experiences :eek: Drawing blood on Turtles?? Wow, now that is something I would like to see!

    I was also interested in working at Sea World but didn't apply thinking I couldn't pass their swim test. I need some aggressive swimming classes. I wonder if you called and asked what you can do to improve your application, whether that will help you score a position in the future.

    Wow, I didn't know about that dual degree program at St. Georges. I was avoiding applying to any schools outside of the U.S. thinking that my chances of scoring an internship in the U.S. while in vet school, to explore interests in zoo medicine and marine vet medicine, would be even slimmer as an international applicant. Wow, I will have to look into that program St. George offers. If I find anything out I will let you know. I'll search their website and other internet resources. They always encourage questions, so I may just pick up the phone. :)
  23. Jeff SGU

    Jeff SGU New Member

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    St. George's does offer a dual degree program with Marine Medicine, as well as Wildlife Medicine and an MPH degree as well. Students who take part in these dual degrees, complete work over two of the summer breaks, and add one additional semester at the end. The programs change over time depending on the research projects that we are doing. Here is a blurb from our website that I think will give you a good idea of what it is like.

    Careers in Marine Medicine and Aquaculture programs have been offered for a number of years. However, there is an increased awareness of the growing importance of aquatic animal diseases of the need to improve aquaculture biosecurity around the world. Aquatic animal production. St. George’s University’s School of Veterinary Medicine is committed to preparing veterinary medical students for careers in aquaculture and marine medicine. Because of our location in the Caribbean, St. George’s is in a unique position to make a great contribution to marine medicine.

    The development of a Marine Veterinary Medicine program utilizing the existing marine station at St. George’s is one of our initiatives. The overall vision reflects global concern for the marine ecosystem health and conservation. A Marine Veterinary Medicine program administered within the School of Veterinary Medicine in collaboration with WINDREF (Windward Islands Research Foundation), the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Medicine seeks to maximize site-specific opportunities linking the University’s established curriculum in veterinary medicine to its unique geographic positioning within the marine environment. Program efforts will include partnering with Grenadian citizens, government/ministry official and non-governmental conservation organizations such as Ocean Spirit, the Caribbean Stranding Network and the Nature Conservancy.

    The St. George’s University Marine Veterinary program will take advantage of our location in the Caribbean and will include the following opportunities for study: tropical fish medicine, coral reef ecology, marine mammal medicine, marine turtle medicine and conservation, environmental health and food safety and mariculture.
  24. peah

    peah

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    I mentioned my experience at Island Wildlife Natural Care Center before on another thread but it was really an amazing opportunity to learn hands on about rehabilitation of harbour seals as well as marine birds, songbirds, raptors and terrestrial mammals. I also had an experience at the New England Aquarium Medical center which was ok, but I was there during a really low patient load so it got slow. I did get the opportunity to interact with the rescue rehab area that delt mostly with sea turtles, and participate in some amazing necropsies of wild specimin.
  25. MarineVet

    MarineVet

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    Thanks for the link! I will definitely take a workshop of those in the near future. :D
  26. Mylez

    Mylez Member

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    How about Seward SeaLife center? You probably already missed the application deadline for this year, but they provide housing and a small living stipend...plus, you get to live in Alaska? I think they are one of the few places that do more of the oddball rehab cases like walruses.

    Also, there is a place on Vancouver island (www.sealrescue.com, I think?) that takes summer interns and provides something similar. Housing, living stipend, what have you.

    If you live near the coast, try and get involved in marine mammal stranding networks.
  27. DreamComeTrue09

    DreamComeTrue09 Second time the charm?

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    Thank you Jeffrey Bates for your informative post. I was unable to find all of that information on the website and almost picked up a phone prior to reading your post. Not many schools in the U.S. offer Marine Mammal programs, and veterinary students interested in marine life must apply for scarce internship opportunities in this field during summer breaks in efforts to get experience. This sounds like a great program.

    peah: The Island Wildlife Natural Care Center looks amazing. I also saw they offer housing on site. For any one else interested, the deadline for internship applications was March 1st. I will definitely consider applying next year.

    Thanks Mylez. Missed the application deadline for the Alaska Sealife Center, but if anyone else is interested there are still openings in stranding communications, communications, and fundraising research. www.alaskasealife.org
  28. hoping2be11

    hoping2be11

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    Hey so I am kind of digging up this thread, and adding a new twist to it because I cant find a good fish vet thread. But I also am very bad at using the search option :] Anyways I was wondering if people knew which vet schools have good programs that allow you to focus on fish medicine? Or is fish vet experience something that I commonly acquired after vet school? I really would like any information on fish vets, specifically aquaculture if someone somehow knows how people get into that industry :] Thanks!
  29. HelloNello

    HelloNello

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    .
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  30. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

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    Not sure if you're responding to hoping2be, but just thought I'd point out that fish does not equal marine mammal. By definition, marine mammals are mammals. They belong to different class of vertebrata (mammalia) than do fish (which can be in a multitude of classes, but most modern fishes belong to the superclass osteichthyes). Just an FYI :)

    Also, in response to hoping2be: I'm not sure if any program (correct me if I'm wrong) will delve that much into fish medicine during vet school. Most people who go to veterinary school end up in small/large/equine vet med. There may be a section covered in a class about fishes (maybe an exotics class once in a while that includes fish in the definition of "exotics") , but you will mostly be learning about cats, dogs, horses, and cows in vet school. That being said, I used to work at an aquarium, and our vet was a rotating veterinarian that was employed by us, the state aquarium, and the marine mammal rescue. He focused mainly on the mammals and the reptiles, but did occasionally check out the fish if we were having trouble. I believe that our aquarists mostly took care of the fish. A lot of fish care is water quality maintenance. Good luck!
  31. Nechochwen

    Nechochwen LSU SVM c/o 2014

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    LSU offers four classes as electives that may be applicable

    Ornamental Fish Medicine

    Water Quality Analysis of Aquatic Systems

    Functional Anatomy of Aquatic Animals

    Diseases of Aquatic Animals

    Don't know if you can "specialize" in fish, but classes like these would at least prepare you.
  32. Wolphcats

    Wolphcats Dick Vet c/o 2014 GEP

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    I am both SCUBA certified and have had multiple internships/experiences with marine mammals.

    I received my NAUI open-water SCUBA certification when I was 17. I sadly can no longer dive (DAN highly recommends against it due to unrelated spontaneous collapsed lungs... unless of course I want to risk an air embolism :(). I miss it greatly! Get your certification now... don't miss the opportunity.

    As to the marine mammal internships: In undergrad I did the husbandry internship at a Dolphin and Whale Hospital in Florida. It was a lot of fun, but mostly waking up before the sun was up to prep food. Getting in the water with the dolphins was fun, but dangerous. For example, I was helping with an exam, when the dolphin suddenly decided it didn't want to held anymore. It slammed me, and the whole side that was holding it (about 5 big burly men), up against the tank wall. Strong.

    The next animal I helped with was a lot less dangerous, the manatee. I aided sensory and perception research at two facilities that housed manatees. At the first facility, my main job was to be a minor trainer and keep the non-testing manatee away from the manatee currently being tested. At the second facility, I was a major trainer helping train the behaviors needed for the perception testing. I buckets of fun, and learned a lot. I know I said they were a lot less dangerous, but they are still dangerous. My friend had her leg crushed (needing multiple major surgeries to correct) when a manatee decided it wanted to roll during a medical exam.

    My advice to anyone who wants to gain experiences with marine mammals before vet school is apply, apply, and keep applying if you don't get it right away. Marine mammal internships are very competitive. Apply all of them that you want to go to. Maybe apply for off-season internships (non-summer). For example, my experience with the dolphin and whale hospital occurred during the winter, and there were half the number of applicants. Also, check out your psychology department in your undergrad... especially if they have a coglab. Many cog psychologist love working with marine mammals, so you might be able become a research assistant.
  33. Wolphcats

    Wolphcats Dick Vet c/o 2014 GEP

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    I agree here, my MS was in aquarium science. Something like 90% of problems with fish are related to water quality. Usually a aquarist handles the fish problems... That being said, I watched a video with a fish surgery. If I remember it correctly, it was done at the New England Aquarium and they removed a tumor off a very expensive fish.
  34. Packen

    Packen Dick Vet c/o 2015

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    Although this does not really apply to the question about fish, it does relate back to marine medicine. I have "heard" from talking to a few reps (at vet conferences) that a few of the Caribbean schools offer great opportunities for students who want to specialize in marine medicine. SGU and SMU in particular. I actually did see the SGU post earlier.

    Does anyone have any experience with these schools or their programs? Is it something you can persue after graduation?

    What if you get accepted to a US school, would you go to a Caribbean school for their marine veterinary program?

    Just curious. Thanks.
  35. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    UPenn has an "AquaVet" program. You spend the summer in New England (I think Maine) doing some type of fish medicine. I am very short on details, perhaps after classes start I can learn more. I remember during interviews one of the students says it is worth a lot of credits so it must be pretty intensive.
  36. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013

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    AquaVet is done in conjunction with Cornell and Upenn and its offered over summers. The location is at Woods Hole in Massachusetts.

    I worked with one vet who actually did the Aquavet program then went on to work as a full time aquaculture veterinarian in Maine for a few years. I don't think she was overly thrilled with the work, and ended up back in a small animal practice.

    I've also been told that AVC has some aquaculture opportunities by a recent grad from there.

    And here is a page that seems pretty useful that I just found: http://cvmstudent.cvm.msu.edu/ac/aquarium.htm#Aquatic Health
  37. elefante7

    elefante7 UW Madison SVM c/o 2013!

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    Has anyone ever heard of this one?

    http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/ame/seavet/

    It is called seavet and it looks similar to programs like aquavet and marvet, but I've never heard anyone talk about it.

    It looks really cool, but if anyone has first hand knowledge, I'd love to hear it.
  38. mhlaur

    mhlaur AVC c/o 2014!

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    Atlantic Veterinary College in PEI, Canada is known as the fish vet school and has a centre for aquatic health sciences. They even have a new lobster health centre. They take about 18 US students each year, though it's expensive at $50K per year.
  39. mhlaur

    mhlaur AVC c/o 2014!

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    For those looking to become marine mammal vets, Marine Life Center in Cape Cod, Mass is looking for an animal care technician. Deadline Aug 30. See www.nmlc.org
  40. Froming

    Froming

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    :)I‘m now having my veterinary medicine course in China,and when I finished my undergraduate course,I want to go abroad to further my study.So I want some recommendations of some university whose marine mammal veterinary medicine is great.Thank you.
  41. Cypress

    Cypress

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  42. cnb23

    cnb23 c/o 2017 Hopeful

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    I've always had an interest in marine mammals also.
    Probably applying for an internship this summer at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, MS to hopefully get to check things out.
    http://www.imms.org/
  43. annemal22

    annemal22

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    I have done alot of marine mammal work. I did an amazing internship at the New England Aquarium in their rescue and rehabilitation department. Worked with seals, sea turtles, went out on stranding calls, went to releases, and we did necropsies on everything! I pursued a MS degree from UF in their Aquatic Animal Health program and worked with manatees! Best time of my life. . . I will say that when I was done I got out of the field due to the shortage of jobs. . .but it did bring me to my current job and pathology interest for vet school. Overall great experiences!
    UF has great faculty for Aquatic animal health. The ex-head vet for Sea World is the director of the program now, and when I was down there I went to SOOO many aquariums/aquatic animal health places, and field work with dolphins/manatees. They have all the connections there! If you are interested in pursueing any degrees with focus on aquatic animals/marine mammals then UF is the place to go!!
  44. Chinola

    Chinola UF 2015!

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    I'm going to agree with that! UF CVM has an aquatic medicine certificate program. This allows you to take extra classes and have extra experiences that are related to aquatic animal medicine. UF has 3 other certificate programs and they're a nice thing that allows it to be recognized upon graduation that you have extra experience in that particular field. From what they've told us it gives you a little leg up when applying to an aquarium for example, to say that you have this certificate.

    For completeness, the other certificates are shelter med, international med and food animal.
  45. LTran562

    LTran562

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    To the OP:
    Sorry I didn't read the whole thread, but I saw that you were interested in pursuing a career in marine mammal care? Can I ask where you live? I did a summer internship last year in San Pedro at a place called the Marine Mammal Care Center, and they cater to injured and abused seals and sea lions. It was a great internship and it really gives you an insight to the field. You get to do everything from assist feeding to observing necropsies and everything far and in between. They put you on a 10 week program where every week you will be qualified to learn a new trade in the field. You must qualify for the internship, so this involves a resume, a letter of recommendation, and a transcript. If you're very passionate about it, then this will be perfect for you. I loved every minute of my time there, and when you get to release the animals back into the wild it makes the whole experience that much more humbling. If you have any questions feel free to email me and I can help you out with it.

    If you are not from California or around the area, I am good friends with a few of the previous interns that were from Ohio and Michigan. They found temporary housing with families that offer their services to the MMCC and help interns with a place to stay. One was a current 2nd year vet student, and the other was an undergrad student who wanted some insight in the field. Both loved the program!

    http://www.marinemammalcare.org/

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