Whenever the pets we care for become ill or injured, a trip to our local vet is a priority, regardless of how difficult we may personally find it. Depending on the species of animal needing treatment, a specialist veterinarian may well be needed to provide medical aid.
While most pet-owners gravitate towards dogs and cats, US citizens welcome a huge variety of animals into their homes: reptiles, birds, and more. Small-animal vets are generally based in clinics or hospitals, whereas large-animal specialists travel to see patients at their home (whether this is a domestic setting, a farm, or a zoo).
Veterinary specialists focus on a particular clinical field, dedicated to treat specific species. In order to pursue a specialism, vets must have completed a one-year internship, or two years of practicing in a clinic, before being able to start a residency. Once qualified in a specialism, a vet can be consulted when a patient's condition demands a level of care exceeding that of a veterinarian working in a clinic or hospital.
There is a wide range of veterinary specialist areas, some of which you might not be aware of.
What Type of Vet Specialists are there?
The many veterinarian specialties cover numerous types of medicine, species, and treatment areas. These include obvious areas like cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, and chiropractic.
However, some of those you may not know about are:
Equine vets specialize in the care of horses, and are responsible for diagnosing conditions, performing operations, and undertaking any other medical treatments as needed.
Equine veterinarians work with ranchers, horse breeders, competitive horse-owners, and others to keep these magnificent animals in the best of health. This may include performing internal and external examinations, with the former demanding the use of endoscopes.
An equine endoscope is used to investigate the stomach, airways, esophagus, and bladder. Like endoscopes used in human-specific procedures, an equine endoscope provides the vet operating the tool with a clear image of the horse's internal system on a video screen or monitor.
Using vet scopes, an equine specialist can identify any potential or existing problems in a horse's airways or esophagus, diagnosing the source of medical complaints affecting their health.
Vets specializing in preventive medicine play a key part in the health of animals, focusing on the prevention of diseases and conditions. They will also help to promote good health in pets, giving carers the information they need to reduce the risk of their animals becoming ill.
Just as in human patients, trying to maintain a good level of health through proper nutrition and habits is very important.
Veterinarians specializing in toxicology focus on poisons affecting animals, particularly hazards to animals within their food and environment. This may relate to animals in domestic and wild settings, or both.
Veterinary toxicologists research these hazards in-depth, but not all dangers affect all species. As a result, vets may specialize in how toxins affect specific species or types, such as pets or working animals. Toxins cause damage in different ways, such as attacking the central nervous system, causing heart difficulties, and more.
This branch of veterinary medicine is based around the act of reproduction. The physiology of both genders' reproductive systems and associated areas (gynecology, andrology) is incredibly important to this, with vets required to develop an exceptional level of knowledge on animals' breeding habits.
As the name suggests, this involves studying parasites affecting animals, particularly relationships between the parasites themselves and the hosts. Specialists in these areas will look into parasites affecting domestic and wild animals, covering the parasites' origins and developmental process.
Veterinarians specializing in parasitology use various research methods to identify, diagnose, and treat parasites. Information gathered in this process will also allow them to further prevent cases in the future, and in situations where a parasite may be transmitted from an animal to a human, public health will be considered just as important.
Regardless of the specialist area a veterinarian chooses to focus on, the dedication and focus demanded for this career is considerable. As a nation of animal-lovers, we place a great deal of faith in vets, and are willing to pay high fees to ensure the secure treatment of our pets. By allowing veterinarians to undertake additional training into diverse areas of treatment, the industry makes sure that professionals are always on hand to care for animals with a huge variety of medical issues.
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