Occasionally your veterinarian may recommend you see a veterinary surgeon. These veterinary specialists are considered an extension of your family veterinarian, not competitors. Pets are referred to veterinary specialists for the same reasons your family doctor would refer you to a surgeon-highly specialized skills. Veterinary specialists have extensive training through internships, residency programs, board certification examinations and requirements for continuing education. Their extensive education keeps them up to date with the latest research along with the latest veterinary medical and surgical advances.
Their experience and training make them an excellent source for getting a valuable second opinion.
- Specialists will have the needed equipment and staff necessary to help insure the best possible care and outcome in a complex case.
- Most specialty clinics provide 24 hour care for their patients. This is extremely important for pets who are geriatric or at high risk due to injury or illness.
- Veterinary surgical centers deliver specialized anesthesia for high risk patients along with comprehensive pain management plans.
- Your pet’s medical condition may require more than one veterinary specialist. Many specialty clinics also have board certified internists, neurologists, dentists, surgeons and other specialists available all in one location.
It is important to remember that some primary care veterinarians have considerable expertise in medicine and surgery. While their medical and surgical skills may be very good, they lack the special equipment and 5 years of additional training that a board-certified specialist offers. Veterinary specialists are an important part of your pet’s healthcare team. Like your family veterinarian, they want what’s best for your pet.