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What is a veterinary specialist?  
Questions and answers about veterinary specialists.

Just as in human medicine where physicians with advanced training and experience in defined areas of practice can become certified as a specialist, there are specialists in veterinary medicine. 

Kitten and cat health care questions and answers, articles, videos and images

 View a list of veterinary specialty organizations below

It is unethical for any veterinarian to refer to themselves as a specialist unless they have been certified by a board of examiners for their specialty.  That's where the term "Board Certified" originates.  The specialist is considered a Diplomate for earning a signed diploma of successful completion of required courses, which often takes years of study and in-practice experience.


Question:
    
The local vet told me I should take Pooches to the state vet school for the specialists to take a look at him.  He's got something wrong with his liver or adrenal glands or something and my local doc I've been going to for years says he doesn't have the advanced tests needed to find out what Pooches has got.  
     I never heard of a vet specialist.  I suppose it will cost me a fortune, too.  Are these specialists really needed? 
Answer:  veterinary specialist... what is
     You should be thankful your local veterinarian made the suggestion because some veterinarians never refer a case no matter how complicated or challenging.  The suggestion for your dog to be evaluated in a state-of-the-art facility with veterinarians who specialize in such areas as Radiology, Internal Medicine and Surgery gives the patient exposure to people who dedicated years and lots of money just to be better equipped to diagnose and treat animal disorders.
     Especially since your veterinarian has years of practice experience and believes his patient (your dog) may need advanced diagnostic tools to pinpoint the diagnosis correctly, you should really consider taking that step.
     Regarding the costs, you can always get an estimate for the original exam, the probable basic workup for the kind of problem, and approximate time your dog might need to be at the specialty service.  (Some specialists work in veterinary colleges, some in private group practices, some have their own single doctor practice.)  Once there and after the initial exam and review of  your dog's medical records the specialist will recommend prioritized tests or procedures and give you approximate costs; then you decide what direction to go.
     It's quite rare for a dog or cat owner to have an unsatisfying experience when visiting a specialist in veterinary medicine.
Doctor's Notes
     The percent of dogs with hip dysplasia diagnosed today seems to be much less than 40 years ago.  Intelligent and responsible breeding practices and improved methods of diagnosis of hip dysplasia have been at the heart of this encouraging evolution. 

Read more about hip dysplasia...
X-ray using the Penn_HIP procedure
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Cornell Veterinary School report

Temperament
Smart  breeding directs us to consider all of the dog's physical and mental makeup.  No matter how good the dog looks, if any dog has an unpredictable or aggressive temperament, breeding the dog may be a mistake with ramifications for future dogs and their human caregivers. 

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veterinary_specialists_emergency_medicine veterinary_specialists_internalmedicine veterinary_specialist_orthopedics veterinary_specialists_ultrasound
Veterinary Specialists in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care often are on the staff of 24 hour-a-day emergency clinics. Specialists in Veterinary Neurology attend to injured or sick dogs and cats with neurological problems. Dedicated veterinarians have years of advanced training before qualifying as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgery. Advanced diagnostic techniques and instrumentation, often not available in general practices, enable specialists to probe deeper into diagnostic mysteries.

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A List Of All Veterinary Specialty Organizations

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A List Of All Veterinary Specialty Organizations 
American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
Mr. Jeff Allen, Executive Director
618 Church St, Suite 220
Nashville, TN 37219
E-mail: Jallen@XMI-AMC.com
Web site: http://www.abvp.com
 

American Board of Veterinary Toxicology
Dr. Birgit Puschner, Secretary-Treasurer
CAHFS Toxicology Laboratory
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California
West Health Sciences Drive
Davis, CA 95616
E-mail: bpuschner@ucdavis.edu
Web site: http://www.abvt.org

American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine
Dr. Melvin W. Balk, Executive Director
96 Chester Street
Chester, NH 03036
E-mail: mwbaclam@gsinet.net
Web site: http://www.aclam.org

American College of Poultry Veterinarians
Dr. Sherrill Davison, Secretary/Treasurer
University of Pennsylvania
382 West Street Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
E-mail: acpv@vet.upenn.edu
Web site: http://www.acpv.info/

American College of Theriogenologists
Dr. Charles Franz, Executive Director
PO Box 3065
Montgomery, AL 36109
E-mail: charles@franzmgt.com
Web site: http://www.theriogenology.org/

American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists
Dr. Lydia Donaldson, Executive Secretary
PO Box 1100
Middleburg, VA 20118
E-mail: ldonldsn@earthlink.net
Web site: http://www.acva.org/

American College of Veterinary Microbiologists
Dr. Chris Hayhow, Secretary-Treasurer
30705 W. 84th Circle
DeSoto, KS 66018
E-mail: chayhow@biomunecompany.com
Web site: http://www.acvm.us

American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver, Executive Director
Texas A&M University
Department of Small Animal Medicine & Surgery
4474 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4474
E-mail: mail@dacvb.org
Web site: http://www.dacvb.org/

American College of Veterinary Pathologists
Ms. Wendy Coe, Executive Director
ACVP Executive Offices
2810 Crossroads Drive, Suite 3800
Madison, WI 53718
E-mail: wcoe@acvp.org
Web site: http://www.acvp.org/

American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology
Dr. Albert Boeckh, Secretary-Treasurer
Merial Limited
Pharmaceutical R&D
3239 Satellite Blvd., Building 500 - #258
Duluth, GA 30096
E-mail: albert.boeckh@merial.com
Web site: http://www.acvcp.org

American College of Veterinary Dermatology
Ms. Alexis Borich, Executive Secretary
5610 Kearney Mesa Road, Suite B1
San Diego, CA 92111
E-mail: itchypet@aol.com
Web site: http://www.acvd.org

American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Dr. Armelle de Laforcade, Executive Secretary
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536
E-mail: Armelle.delaforcade@tufts.edu
Web site: www.acvecc.org

American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Ms. June Pooley, Executive Director
1997 Wadsworth, Suite A
Lakewood, CO 80214
E-mail: acvim@acvim.org
Web site: http://www.acvim.org

American College of Veterinary Nutrition
Dr. Wilbur Amand, Executive Director
6 North Pennell Road
Media, PA 19063-5520
E-mail: Wbamand@aol.com
Web site: www.acvn.org

American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
Ms. Stacee Daniel, Executive Director
PO Box 1311
Meridian, ID 83680
E-mail: office06@acvo.org
Web site: http://www.acvo.org

American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
Dr. Russell W. Currier
Executive Vice President
P.O. Box 22219
Clive, IA 50325
E-mail: evp@acvpm.org
Web site: http://www.acvpm.org

American College of Veterinary Radiology
Dr. Robert Pechman, Executive Director
5205 W. 4th Avenue
Stillwater, OK 74074
E-mail: Pechman@mail.vetmed.lsu.edu
Web site: http://www.acvr.org

American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Dr. Alan J. Lipowitz, Executive Secretary
Ann T. Loew, EdM, Executive Director
11 N. Washington St., Suite 720
Rockville, MD 20850
E-mail: acvs@acvs.org
Web site: http://www.acvs.org

American College of Zoological Medicine
Dr. Craig A. Harms, Secretary
North Carolina State University
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Clinical Sciences
Center for Marine Sciences and Technology
303 College Circle
Morehead City, NC 28557
E-mail: craig_harms@ncsu.edu
Web site: http://www.aczm.org/aczmmain.html

American Veterinary Dental College
Dr. Colin E. Harvey, Secretary
University of Pennsylvania
VHUP 3113
3900 Delancey Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6043
E-mail: ceh@vet.upenn.edu
Web site: http://www.AVDC.org

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American Veterinary 
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Pets and Parasites
 
veterinary_specialist_orthopedics
Specialists in Veterinary Orthopedics collaborate with Specialists in Veterinary Radiography in order to achieve optimal corrective therapies for their canine and feline patients

veterinary_specialists_dermatologySpecialists in Veterinary Dermatology are in big demand due to the sometimes daunting challenges of chronic dermatitis

veterinary_specialist_ultrasound
Some veterinarians have specialized training in radiology and related imaging technology such as use of ultrasound diagnostics

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