Medical Services

When does my pet need a veterinary specialist?

When your family veterinarian believes your pet’s illness would be better treated by a specialist, you and your pet may be referred to BluePearl. Because specialists are more likely to diagnose and treat patients with uncommon and complex illnesses, they may have more experience and expertise in your pet’s condition and often have access to special technologies and equipment.

Many medical and surgical conditions are complicated. Specialists use proven and often innovative techniques, high-tech equipment, and the latest pharmaceuticals and therapies to diagnose and treat your pet’s specific condition.

What is a veterinary specialist?

Specialists must be certified by the board of their professional college, such as the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

To become a doctor of veterinary medicine, a veterinarian must

  • graduate from an accredited veterinary medical school, which typically takes 4 years.

To become a board-certified specialist, a doctor of veterinary medicine must then successfully

  • complete an approved internship program, which is at least an additional 1-year commitment;
  • complete a residency program, which is typically at least three years, during which they intensively study their chosen disciplines of veterinary medicine;
  • pass a rigorous examination process; and
  • be certified for membership in the appropriate veterinary specialty college.