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Veterinary medicine plays a vital role in keeping pets healthy and happy. Sometimes, your pets may require specialized health management if the health condition is beyond the scope of your general veterinarian. Here, veterinary specialty comes into play.
Credit: Image from Pexels by Pranidchakan Boonrom
General veterinarians study and practice veterinary medicine and can treat a variety of common health issues. However, in many cases, your veterinarian may ask you to consult veterinary specialists if the health issue requires the attention of a specialist in that domain who is certified for that.
Who are Veterinary Specialists?
A veterinary specialist acquires advanced training from AVMA approved institutions or specialty organizations, in particular veterinary medicine and veterinary surgery streams. The American Veterinary Medical Association approves such specialty organizations or colleges. Currently, there are 22 such AVMA-approved veterinary specialty organizations across the country.
Initially, the candidates complete a four-year degree in veterinary medicine. Later, the candidates need to acquire additional training, work experience, submit their academic research, and complete a residency program to get board-certified. There are 40 different areas of specialization, divided into 22 veterinary specialty organizations.
The candidates undergo:
- Internship of one year
- Residency Program of two to three years
- Other veterinary specialty-specific criteria
For instance, to get board-certified as a veterinary surgeon, the vet needs to undergo training of 80 hours each under anesthesiologist, radiologist, pathologist, and internal medicine specialist.
Once they finish all the above items, the veterinary specialist becomes a board-certified veterinary practitioner. They undergo rigorous training and pass an exam to prove their knowledge and skills in a particular area of veterinary medicine.
When Do You Need To Take Your Pet To a Veterinary Specialist?
General veterinarians take good care of your furry friend, like a small animal, large animal, food animal, beef cattle, or an exotic companion. Most veterinarians treat a maximum of two species to ensure better care and treatments.
However, as veterinary medicine is vastly expanding and evolving, it may not be possible for the vet to specialize in everything.. Whenever your vet feels like your pet’s health or behavioral condition needs expert diagnosis and treatment, the vet may redirect you to a veterinary specialist.
Usually, it would be best to refer to your regular vet to see different types of veterinary specialists. It depends upon the problem area of your pet. Your regular vet examines your pet following any health issue. If the diagnosis shows some results that need advanced care, your regular vet will recommend a veterinary specialist.
Your regular vet knows your pet, its history, and routine issues. However, despite your vet’s continual efforts, sometimes, you may not see the requisite result. In such cases, it is your right to seek a second opinion, especially from veterinary specialists.
What are the Types of Veterinary Specialists and Their Role in Treating Your Pets?
As discussed earlier, veterinary specialists possess the expertise and extensive experience in a specific area of veterinary medicine. Responsible pet parents should know about some primary veterinary specialties. That will help you seek expert advice from the right person for your pets in case of any requirement of advanced treatment.
The following are some significant vet specialties:
These specialist veterinarians practice, research, and provide training in animal nutrition. Pet nutritionists specialize in pets and other animals’ diets and the effect of food on their health. Sometimes, your pets may need feeding with some special equipment and a pet nutritionist can help and guide and train as well.
Diet and nutrition, especially for pets, are crucial specialties. Pet nutritionists examine and prescribe dietary changes for multiple animals. They treat health issues like pet obesity and some behavioral issues to severe problems like kidney failure and heart disease.
They work collaboratively with your regular vets to understand a pet’s history. They examine the pet’s condition thoroughly and consider the breed, age, physical condition, and ongoing health issues. Accordingly, they prescribe a diet plan customized to every pet. You can also consult pet nutritionists to know about a balanced diet for your pet.
Go through this blog to know more about pet nutritionists’ role in keeping your pets healthy and the benefits of taking your pets to a pet nutritionist.
Vet Anesthesiologists are specialists in the process of designing the dosage of anesthesia for pets and administering it. Anesthesia may be essential in any veterinary surgery, for instance – the dental procedure that may cause pain or other surgeries.
Administering anesthesia is an integral part of a medical procedure. Vet anesthesiologists guide and supervise the process.
Vet anesthesiologists have a crucial role to play during veterinary surgery and other procedures. The anesthesiologists consider the age, breed, physical condition, history, and ongoing health issues in a pet to design the dosage and process to administer anesthesia.
The basic types of anesthesia for pets are- local and general anesthesia. This classification depends upon the purpose of the procedure. Usually, for dental cleanups, first aid and stitches, and some other methods, anesthesiologists numb a particular part of the pet’s body – this is local anesthesia. At the same time, general anesthesia affects the entire body of the pet.
Please read our blog about pet anesthesia to understand various aspects of anesthesia, its necessity, and best practices.
Animal Welfare Specialist
Animal Welfare Specialists ensure that the domestic pets, farm animals, wild animals in the zoo, and freely living wild animals get the best possible environment. These specialists deal with various types of animals and not just domestic pets. They contribute to keeping all kinds of animals healthy and happy.
This vet specialty ensures that animals are receiving better care and living as naturally as possible. This specific area of vet medicine deals with a variety of services, related to:
- The rescue of stray animals,
- Sheltering needy animals,
- Volunteering to encourage adoption of various species,
- Continual education for volunteers and trainers
- Expertise in healthcare for routine diagnosis and emergency care for multiple animals.
These veterinary practitioners dedicate their life to animal care and welfare. They may need to handle diverse patients for clinical analysis, prescribing medications, and other treatments. They are trained in various areas of vet medicine to treat multiple animals.
Most specialists work with animal welfare organizations, recognized animal shelters, and other nonprofits attempting to better the world for the human race and different kinds of animals.
As responsible pet owners, you try to provide the best food, healthcare, environment, and lots of love to your furry pals. However, sometimes, pets may develop some behavioral issues due to various reasons. The behavioral problem may indicate an underlying health issue, or it may be due to some psychological impact or change in the environment.
Pet Behaviorists are similar to psychiatrists but for pets. Your usual veterinarian may refer you to a pet behaviorist for a thorough diagnosis and treatment of your pet. Pet behaviorists are well-experienced in handling different behavioral issues among some specific species, like a cat and a dog.
These specialty veterinarians can diagnose connections between an abnormal behavior in a pet to its health, dietary deficiency, or any underlying medical problem. They try to analyze the issue first by asking questions to the pet owners, watching the pet’s videos, physical examination of the pet, and through some laboratory tests if needed. They may also assess the pet owners, the environment, and another pet companion to dig deeper into the cause of a behavioral issue.
Usually, Pet Behaviorists design a multidimensional line of treatment. The treatment may include prescription medicine, diet, lifestyle changes, pet training through positive reinforcement, and other techniques. Our blog about behavioral problems in dogs helps you understand this practice, its significance, and its advantages for pets and pet owners in detail.
Vet dermatologists get additional training from a recognized specialty organization or college. They specialize in diagnosis and treatment for allergies and other health issues related to various animals’ skin, ears, nails, and hooves. These veterinary specialists have extensive experience in treating problems like fur loss or patches on a cat’s coat to scars on a horse’s hooves and much more.
The specialized veterinarians study the effects of various factors on animals’ skin. They can diagnose the root cause of any allergic infection and treat it accordingly. The medicine veterinarians prescribe or the other techniques they adopt to cure a skin issue require expertise. They analyze the skin issue and design the drug to help an animal overcome it effectively.
Veterinary Dentists specialize in the dental and oral health of pets and other animals. The dental issues among pets may not be similar to human dental problems, like tooth decay or toothache. However, your pet needs a specialist well-versed in veterinary dentistry to diagnose and treat any dental issues.
Veterinary dentistry deals with issues like periodontal disease and many other problems. The technology in this area is advancing, and pet owners can take advantage of the latest treatments like dental implants in case of broken teeth and much more.
Veterinary dentists suggest a dental care routine, dietary changes with any supplements or treats for better dental health. They offer treatment for various dental issues using modern equipment and techniques.
Vet dentists play a significant role in keeping your pets healthy and happy.
How to Find Clinics offering Veterinary Specialties Near You?
Our platform should be your go-to option when it comes to finding a veterinarian or a vet specialty near you. Suppose you are a veterinarian or a vet specialty. In that case, we help you improve your reach among pet parents in your locality. Log on to our website and get a list of vet clinics in your city or metro area. Following any of these methods:
- Type in the city’s name in the given search box
- Click on the state you stay from the interactive map
- Click on the link for vet clinics in your city or metro area.
Any of the above methods will take you to the list of best-rated veterinarian clinics in your particular city or metro area. You can type in your 5-digit zip code or use the ‘Near Me’ page to find vets near you.
To find vet specialties near you, we are introducing a dedicated filter on the portal. You can select the desired specialty. A list of vet clinics offering that particular service will be available to you. You can go through the clinic profiles, get their contact information, and schedule an appointment for your pet instantly.
We are continuously improving our online vet discovery platform to help you find the best vets for your pets. We possess an extensive database of vet clinics from across the country. We hope to bridge the gap between pet owners like you, seeking medical attention for their pets, and professional and experienced veterinarians.
The Final Thoughts
The blog covers some of the most significant pet specialties pet owners should know. The blog covers the various aspects of veterinary specialists and their role in keeping your pets healthy. The blog will help pet parents understand the importance of consulting concerned specialties whenever needed.
Log on to our platform to find the best-rated professional veterinarians and veterinary specialists near you. We provide location-specific vet clinic lists. We also help you simplify your search for a vet and veterinary specialty to provide necessary medical attention for your pets as soon as possible.