5 Common Vet Specialty Fields

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A lot of people simply think there is only one type of veterinarian; this is very far from the truth. Similar to human medical practice, there are in fact a number of subsets and specialties of veterinary medicine, many of which require additional training and certification. If you are a dog owner who is interested in seeing a dog specialist for some of your pet’s specific medical or behavioral needs, read on for a brief rundown on some of the more common specialty fields. 


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1. Anesthesia

Unfortunately, some dogs have serious conditions that require surgery. When this occurs, you and your primary care vet may need to discuss the option of having a specialist attend to your dog’s anesthesia needs during the operation. A veterinary anesthesiologist will have received additional training in the field, and will be able to provide a high standard of care when your dog is undergoing his surgery.

2. Emergency and Critical Care

Emergency and critical care vets provide the animal equivalent to human ER physicians. They are trained in providing care for acute and/or life-threatening conditions, diseases, or injuries. These can include traumatic incidents like car accidents, or involve the ingestion of a dangerous food such as chocolate. If you have a dog that is constantly rummaging through your garbage cans, sniffing around under the kitchen sink, or darting out into traffic, you may find it beneficial to find am animal emergency hospital that provides specialty services.

3. Behavior

A dog’s behavior is often a cause for concern for the pet’s owner. These problems can involve a number of issues, such as aggression, anxiety, nervousness, and territoriality. Behavior specialists are involved in researching and developing various methods that pet owners can use to prevent and change unwanted negative behaviors. Often these specialists are dealing with a breakdown in communication between the owners and their pets that results in large part from the owners’ natural tendency to act as though their dogs’ thought processes are similar to that of a human. In many cases, repeated discussions with the owners and corrective behavioral therapy sessions with the dog can bring a lot of problems to positive resolutions. This is true even with cases involving long-term behavior issues.

4. Internal Medicine

Internal medicine is a specialty that has several subsets, including:

  • Cardiology: The study of heart-related diseases and conditions, as well as animals’ circulatory systems
  • Oncology: The study of cancer and tumors
  • Neurology: The study of conditions and diseases relating to the spinal cord, brain, and other aspects of an animal’s nervous system

5. Surgery

Surgical veterinary specialists are trained in performing operations. These can be divided into two subcategories:

  • Soft tissue surgeries, a field which focuses on non-bone body tissues and internal organs
  • Orthopedics, in which surgeons are focused more on joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other aspects of animals’ skeletal systems

Many pet owners feel that they want the best possible care for their animals because they are integral parts of their family, akin to children. For these people, utilizing vet specialists is a great way to ensure that they are providing their pets with high-quality medical care that can ensure their pets live long, happy lives.


This post is sponsored by Entirely Pets Pharmacy.