Veterinary Specialists

Finding a Veterinary Specialist

Most of the time, your vet will be able to successfully diagnose and treat your Westie for whatever

ails him or her. However, there may be times when the problem is rare/unusual/complex, and you

may need the services of a board certified veterinary specialist.


There are approximately 65,000 licensed veterinarians in the U.S. today, and about 10% of them

are board certified veterinary specialists in 20 different veterinary specialties. To become a board

certified specialist, the vet must usually complete several years of residency in their specialty and

pass a rigorous examination by the board certifying organization (like the American College of Veterinary Dermatologists, or the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, etc.).


There are 20 veterinary specialties, but we will be concerned here with only the major specialties affecting canines:








Emergency and Critical Care:


Internal Medicine:

Specialists here are divided into several sub-categories:

  • Cardiology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Small animal internal medicine



"Truman at the Lake" by Allison Platt.








Theriogenology deals with reproduction.


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