Animals are living creatures that require extensive care whenever they have health problems similar to humans. A veterinarian is a professional expert on animal conditions. These are licensed individuals who diagnose the health condition of animals and perform medical procedures as necessary. Just like medical doctors, they have acquired substantial education on vital matters concerning animal health. These health professionals have a degree in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). For more information on the course program and career path, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine facts can be found at online-phd-degrees.com.
Veterinarians could also choose their field of expertise as veterinary medicine has a broad range. There are numerous specialties they could focus on and eventually become veterinary specialists. Similar to medical doctors, specializations in veterinary medicine are as follows: Anesthesia, Animal Welfare, Behavior, Dentistry, Dermatology, Emergency and Critical Care, Internal Medicine, Laboratory Animal Medicine, Microbiology, Nutrition, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Poultry Veterinarians, Preventive Medicine, Radiology, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Surgery, Theriogenology, Toxicology, Veterinary Practitioners, Zoological Medicine.
Veterinary specialists are veterinarians who have undergone training in a specific field of veterinary medicine. They are board-certified and fully-equipped with knowledge and skills in a chosen specialty. To specialize, they have to complete a year of post-graduate internship and a residency training of three years on the specific field for them to be eligible to take the board certification.
To learn more about what a veterinary specialist does, we could look into the specific specialties.
- Anesthesia – A specialist on animal anesthesiology is the one responsible for administering drugs that would inhibit animal nerves from feeling any pain from medical procedures. Trained veterinary anesthesiologists provide the correct dosage and choice of drug for pain management in animals.
- Animal Welfare – An animal welfare veterinary specialist is the one knowledgeable about what is convenient for animals. They are responsible for assessing the condition of an animal in an environment and recommend necessary adjustments for the animal’s improvement.
- Behavior – A veterinary behaviorist is a counterpart of a Clinical Psychologist in humans. These are specialists in assessing an animal’s condition and identifying whether the cause is medical or behavior-related. They are usually working in research and training facilities to promote a better understanding of animal conditions and behaviors. Furthermore, they recommend the appropriate treatment and management that are deemed necessary.
- Dentistry – Specialists in this field are responsible for the oral health and wellness of animals. They are capable of performing oral surgeries and preventive remedies necessary for your pets.
- Dermatology – Veterinary Dermatology specialists deal with skin conditions and other skin-related disorders. When your pet suffers from allergies, wart growths, and diseases concerning the skin, nails, ears, and fur, you should consult directly with a veterinary dermatology specialist.
- Emergency and Critical Care – Specialists in Emergency and critical care are veterinary technicians who can provide imperative interventions that could either be a surgical procedure or injury management.
- Internal Medicine – In this field, veterinarians have specialization in a specific branch like Cardiology, Neurology, and Oncology.
In cardiology, the veterinary specialist is knowledgeable on the diagnosis and treatment of animal ailments related to the heart and blood flow.
On the other hand, Veterinary Specialists in Neurology is concerned mainly with diseases that affect the nervous system as a whole. In neurology, a veterinary specialist focuses on matters concerning the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves of the animal patient.
For Oncology, veterinary specialists have extensive knowledge of animal cancers. Like human oncologists, these cancer experts are responsible for prescribing the proper course of treatment while maintaining the quality of the animal’s life. They evaluate the possible side effects of administered drugs since cancer drugs are usually powerful and may cause secondary problems. They also check for the possibility of cancer recurrence.
- Laboratory Animal Medicine – Veterinary specialists in this field, usually work in research facilities. Since scientific innovations and discoveries are made in this setting, animals are commonly used to test for different experimental activities. As this may sound unethical, veterinary specialists make it a point to provide the legally approved treatment to animals. They also manage the breeding of animals in laboratories.
- Microbiology – Veterinary Microbiology Specialists are experts on the diseases caused by viruses, fungi, bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms. Animals can be the definitive hosts of microorganisms causing infections. Animals must be seen by these specialists when the disease is caused by these pathogens. For the animals to get the proper treatment, the identification of the causative agent is important.
- Nutrition – Specialists in this field are the ones responsible for recommending the proper food intake of animals. Just like humans, animals too may suffer from nutritional deficiencies and may cause further problems with health.
- Ophthalmology – A veterinary ophthalmology specialist takes care of your pet’s eyes. Infections and other eye-related disorders are best diagnosed and treated by a veterinary ophthalmologist.
- Pathology – For complex animal disorder wherein there is a difficulty for a definitive diagnosis. A veterinary pathologist can help you figure out the disorder by doing laboratory procedures such as fluid and tissue biopsies. This specialist is trained to interpret the laboratory results of these examinations to arrive at a correct diagnosis.
- Pharmacology – Veterinarian specializing in pharmacology is capable of advising proper treatment courses. They have substantial knowledge of the dynamics and kinetics of a certain drug that is to be administered to animals.
- Poultry veterinarians – Specialists in this field are responsible for managing poultry animals like chicken, ducks, and turkey. They conduct regular inspections and provide vaccinations so that these animals will have protection against easily transmittable diseases.
- Preventive medicine – This is an important field concerning international health programs. In preventive medicine, the veterinary specialist is responsible for possible health risks from animals to humans. They are the ones who recommend precautionary measures for the prevention of animals from acquiring diseases.
- Radiology – Veterinary radiologists are experts on interpreting digital imaging of animals for the diagnosis of diseases. These specialists also perform magnetic resonance imaging, scans, ultrasound, and even invasive procedures like fine-needle aspiration and biopsies.
- Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation – Specialists in this field are concerned with matters of restoring the physical wellness of the animal after suffering from an injury.
- Surgery – In this field, a trained veterinary specialist performs operative procedures necessary for the treatment of the animal’s condition. A specific area in surgery is Orthopedics. A veterinary orthopedic surgeon is a specialist that corrects deformities in bones, ligaments, tendons, and other skeletal structures of animals.
- Theriogenology – This term is derived from Greek words “Therio,” which means an animal, and “genesis” which means creation. This branch of veterinary medicine deals with the sex reproductive system of animals. Veterinary specialists in Theriogenology are mainly concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the procreation of animals.
- Toxicology – Veterinary toxicologists are experts on identifying the causative agent of the animal’s disease. These agents are physical or chemical by nature and are commonly known as toxins. These toxins could induce health risks to animals. In this field, the specialist is capable of evaluating present toxins and knowledge on the dosage that causes severe effects on animals.
- Veterinary Practitioners – These are the veterinarians we go to whenever we need to consult for our pet’s condition. When our pet seems to have health problems, these are the professional animal doctors that could help us with the diagnosis and treatment. Not only domesticated animals, but veterinary practitioners could also provide health services to livestock animals.
- Zoological Medicine – Veterinary specialists in this field have completed proper training to work with wildlife, zoo animals, and marine life. They regularly inspect these animals and recommend proper treatment. In this way, animals, specifically those endangered species, are very well monitored.
These are different fields of specializations that a veterinary doctor could take. With these branches of expertise, it is easier to distinguish what type of veterinary specialist to consult whenever there are matters concerning animal health. In general, veterinary specialists are professionals who provide a medical intervention with specificity to the cause of the injury, disorder, or imbalance. They are the key people to maintain the well being of the animals. Because animals are precious creatures too, we have veterinary specialists to make sure that they are well taken care of.