Anyone who has worked with animals or worked in a facility with animals knows that the general populace views you as "almost-as-good-as-a-veterinarian". In some cases, you are even better because, while you may not have studied for years in school, you are free. Friends will call you on the phone. Neighbors will swing by with a quick question. Random people will stop you in the grocery store.
Here are some questions you might get:
"My dog's got a limp. What do you think is causing it?"
"What is the best over-the-counter product for flea control? I want something that is completely effective, totally safe, and under $5/month."
"Can you come over tonight and look at my dog? I think she's dying." (That was a sad one.)
"Hey, I just noticed that my dog's tongue has a black spot on it. He seems to be acting fine. I don't know if that spot has always been there or if it just showed up. Should I be worried?"
"My cat is having trouble breathing, and she hasn't been able to walk since this morning. She looks really blue-colored, and I think she just went blind. I don't want to take her to the vet. Is there anything I can do for her at home?"
"Oh, yeah, by the way, any idea what might be causing (brace yourself if you are squeamish) the bloody green diarrhea in my dog?" (Yeah. That's exactly what you want to be asked in your favorite restaurant.)
"Is there any way that you could give my dog her vaccines? I can't get her out of her pen, and my vet is too scared to go in there..."
And, if you ask questions of some almost-vets, here are some answers you might get:
"Take it to your vet."
"Don't take it to THAT vet."
"Your dog ate what?!? Okay, give me a minute while I look it up in my toxicology book." (Dead silence for a moment) "Oh, um, well...the good news is that if your dog was going to react he would already be dead by now..."
[The above quotes are based on true stories.]