01 Apr 5 Different Type Of Veterinarians That You’ll Meet
As a pet owner, your pet’s health remains a constant priority. This is where a good veterinarian comes into the picture. Veterinarians, or ‘vets’, are trained to treat animals when they are sick or injured. Just like your family doctor, it’s always wise to have a vet on call whenever your pet becomes unwell.
While there are many veterinarians who treat and operate on animals, there are different types of vets out there that you may also meet. In selecting the right vet for your pet, it all comes down to your pet’s needs and type of care the vet provides.
After finishing vet school, some choose to undergo a one or two-year internship where they experience a taste of each area of veterinary medicine. These specialties include those who deal with problems of the heart, eyes, cancer, behaviour, skin, surgery and other areas. Once the vet has decided on an area that interests them, they then undergo a formal ‘residency’ program where they work in that area for a minimum of 3 years, but residencies of 5+ years are more common. After this, they sit an exam become certified in that area and they restrict their practice to just that one small area.
Veterinary specialists can also specialise in certain animal groups such as dogs, horses, birds, or wildlife. To see a specialist, you’re family GP vet must issue a formal referral and hand over the case to them.
In cases where your pet is demonstrating behavioural issues like excessive barking, it’s a good idea to see an animal behaviourist. A rewards-based animal behaviourist or veterinary behaviourist specializes in animal behaviour. Think of this as a psychiatrist for your pet.
In cases where pets display unusual or chronic behaviour patterns, an animal behaviourist will determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan. This type of training is reward-based, where the pet is offered a treat in reward for good behaviour and is effective in solving ‘bad’ habits or issues stemming from fear and anxiety.
Veterinarians who conduct research often work in a faculty, teaching students veterinary principles or for government agencies where their work involves diagnosing and preventing health problems in animals.
Research veterinarians also require a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree (DVM) and extensive specialist training. Their work helps to document developments in veterinary research and can help to further improve animal health and preventative medicine as well as provide a better understanding of issues like human-animal disease transmission.
Veterinary Sports Medicine and Orthopedics
For pets displaying problems with walking or issues with arthritis, elbow dysplasia and general poor joint mobility, a vet orthopedic can help. These vets specialize in treating skeletal disorders in animals. There is vet orthopedics for cats and dogs, as well as equine orthopedics.
In the animal world, limping suggests walking is painful and may signal a problem with their bones or ligaments. A vet orthopedic can diagnose and treat lameness in dogs and other animals much like an orthopedic surgeon can help humans with skeletal and mobility issues.
Family GP vet
A family GP vet is your vet that you’ll have the most common interaction with. They are the ones that oversee all health problems from the moment your pet is born into this world to the moment it is time to leave this world.
They have gone through at least 5 years of full-time vet school and have experience in all the areas vet specialists have (sometimes more as they see it all).
It’s important that you shop around and find a family GP vet that you ‘click’ with as you will be developing trust with this person and over the years will have to make some challenging decisions together.
Because there are so many different types of veterinarians, finding the right vet for your pet depends on what your specific needs are. Consider if you’re looking for a highly-skilled vet to administer a health check-up for your dog, or if you require a specialist in the field of feline health for your pet cat.
If you are dealing with a pet that is displaying behavioural issues, then seeing an animal behaviourist can help rectify the problem. Regardless of the issue, making an appointment with a veterinarian to discuss your pet’s health will give you peace of mind and knowledge that your pet is in the right hands and care.
At Southern Cross Vet we are lucky to have some Sydney’s top veterinary specialists who provide a wide range of pet healthcare services as well as specialist pet surgery. You can view all our veterinarians here. If you have any questions or would like to book your pet in for check-up or appointment, please call the clinic on (02) 9389 7534 to organise a veterinary consultation.