What is a Veterinary Specialist?
Just as in human medicine, veterinary specialists are doctors who have completed an additional 3-5 years of advanced education and clinical training in their specialty area. In addition to this extensive training, doctors must pass rigorous examinations to achieve board certification within their specialty.
When should I see a veterinary specialist?
There are times when your pet can benefit from a consultation with a veterinary specialist. In some cases your family veterinarian may recommend specialty care at a 24-hour referral hospital. The goal of a veterinary specialist is to work closely with your family veterinarian to achieve a diagnosis or adjust a treatment plan so that your pet can get back to health as quickly as possible.
The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine recommends pet owners request a referral when:
- Your pet’s disease is uncommon, complicated, or undiagnosed after standard pet testing.
- You would like a second opinion.
- The outcomes of the current treatments are not going well or as expected.
- Your pet has several disease processes that may benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach.
- The pet requires a sophisticated procedure that is offered by a specialty hospital.
- The pet can benefit from 24-hour monitoring provided by a referral hospital.