Understanding the Different Veterinary Specializations

Understanding the Different Veterinary Specializations

Contrary to common belief, there are many more career options accessible in various settings for those in the veterinary field. There are 22 veterinary specializations recognized by the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA), including theriogenology, radiography, surgery, animal welfare, exotic animal veterinary medicine, and emergency and critical care.

These fields of expertise include the types of veterinarians and medical specialties that most people are familiar with, from human medicine and others specific to the veterinary field, such as animal welfare, poultry veterinary medicine, laboratory animal medicine, and theriogenology. Here are a few of the veterinary specialists with their corresponding expertise:

Companion Animal Veterinarians

In private practice, 75% of veterinarians deal primarily or only with companion animals, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). They tend to wounds, identify infections, do surgery, provide immunizations, and write medicine prescriptions.

These specialists are comparable to primary care physicians who work with people. Aside from caring for animals needing homes, they can practice shelter medicine, including euthanizing animals nearing their end. Visit Huntersville animal hospital if you’re looking for a trusted facility.

Exotic Pet Veterinarians

An exotic pet veterinarian examines the medical history of the animal, its nutrition, and any distinctive characteristics. They might also do a physical examination and laboratory tests. It is essential for veterinarians to regularly monitor these temperatures since some exotic species, including chinchillas, can be sensitive to temperature variations. Small mammals, reptiles, avians, aquatic pets, and more can all be treated by a veterinarian who has received special training in treating exotic animals. Visit pages like to learn more about avian and exotic pets.

Veterinary Surgeons

While general practice veterinarians can perform routine surgeries like spaying, neutering, and dental cleanings, many complex surgical procedures and planning need to be performed by a specialist. Veterinary surgeons have the resources and technology to carry out even the most complex treatments, and they can specialize in either small or large animals.

Internal Medicine Specialists

Veterinarians with diplomas from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine have received extensive training to manage rare or complex conditions. When a situation is complicated, or an animal needs a highly specialized procedure, pet owners are frequently referred to these specialists by their regular vets. Veterinarians that focus on internal medicine may also choose to specialize in the following:

  • Cardiology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Small animal internal medicine
  • Large animal internal medicine

Emergency & Critical Care Veterinarians

Animals require immediate medical support when they suffer injury or suddenly develop a health concern threatening their lives. For these kinds of high-stress circumstances, veterinary professionals in emergency and critical care are trained. They are prepared to respond quickly in emergencies and ensure the animal receives the necessary care immediately.

Key Takeaway

Specialists work with your primary care veterinarian to give your pet the most effective surgical and medical treatment possible. Specialists take extensive training in a topic and pass tests assessing their expertise. Most specialty organizations require that veterinary specialists complete four years of veterinary school, an additional year of internship, and two to three years of residency training before sitting for the final exams that allow them to become what is known as “board certified,” likewise referred to as a Diplomate.

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