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Can a Veterinarian Learn to Treat a Small Animal?

Small Animal Neurology

Whether you are the parent of a current patient or the parent of a furry best friend that needs neurological care, you can trust that BrightCare Animal Neurology and Imaging is a veterinary neurological center dedicated to the veterinary profession and will work continually to learn, educate, and provide best practices for the good of our community.

Through our experience and research in veterinary neurology, we hope to give pet owners more insight into their pets. You’ll learn more about their physical and mental condition and information about how to help them live longer and healthier lives.

As your Oceanside small animal neurology experts, we want to discuss the importance of choosing the right small animal veterinarian. A veterinary hospital can help you and show you what you need to know about your furbaby’s veterinarian education and beyond.

What Is A Veterinarian?

According to Wikipedia, a veterinarian, also known as a veterinary surgeon or veterinary physician, is a medical professional who practices veterinary medicine by treating diseases, disorders, and injuries in non-human animals such as cats and dogs.

What Are The Types Of Veterinarians?

Although today we will focus on small animal veterinarians, many different types of veterinarians treat different types of animals. Let’s take a look at the types.

Companion Animal Or Small Animal Veterinarians

This is the most common type of veterinarian. In the veterinary profession, while you might think about hamsters or so when you wear the words small animals, we are actually talking about cats and dogs. Even Though a small animal veterinary hospital or clinic can treat pocket pets, they will mainly treat household cats and dogs.

These veterinarians are the equivalent of a General Practitioner and would be the equivalent of your family doctor. They’re qualified and trained to provide most types of care to pets, including medical and surgical services, diagnostics, and treatments.

Veterinary Specialists

Veterinary specialists are the Orthopedic Surgeons and Oncologists of veterinary medicine. Veterinarians can choose to specialize in any of over 20 recognized fields of study, including cardiology and dentistry, amongst others.

Exotic Animal Veterinarians

These veterinarians have received specialized instruction in caring for exotic animals, including pocket pets, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. Some exotic animal veterinarians treat pets while others treat animals at a zoo or other wildlife habitats.

Livestock and Large Animal Veterinarians

These veterinarians focus on the care of large animals and livestock such as horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats. They trained specifically to meet the needs of these types of farm animals.

Laboratory Veterinarians

There are many other veterinarians who work behind the scenes in fields such as infectious disease diagnosis, pathology, animal feed production, pharmacology research, and many more.

After learning the different types of veterinarian specialties, you may actually have even more questions than you did at the beginning. So, let’s take a look at the most common questions.

Do Small Animal Veterinarians Refer To The Animals They Treat as ‘Patients’?

Absolutely! We consider the animals or pets our patients. The owner of the patient is either referred to as “owner,” “the client,” or “parent.” However, in clinical paperwork, the terms “owner” and “patient” are almost always used.

Education and Training Requirements

Like with any other profession, to become a veterinarian, you need to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and obtain a professional license in your state.

Undergraduate Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree can improve your chances of gaining admittance to veterinary college. Commonly required courses include animal biology, microbiology, animal nutrition, zoology, and systemic physiology.

Veterinary College Admission

Entrance into veterinary college is highly competitive. Some veterinary schools require a certain number of hours volunteering or working under the supervision of a veterinarian before you can even apply.

Additional experience working with animals (such as a shelter or rescue group) can add to your resume. Additionally, depending on the vet school to which you apply, you must gain an acceptable score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT), or Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Veterinarian Degree

Earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree typically takes four years of study after undergraduate school. In the first years of vet school, your coursework will be either in a classroom lecture or laboratory sessions.

You can expect to take courses like infectious diseases, immunology, pharmacology, and parasitology. You’ll learn about different animal species and body systems and gain hands-on lab experience working with animals.

Licensing and Postgraduate Training

After earning a DVM degree, you’ll need to obtain a license by passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. Individual states may determine other licensing requirements.

Get in Touch With a Vet Neurologist

Now that you know the hard work it takes to become a veterinarian, it’s time that you choose the right Oceanside veterinary neurologist for your beloved furry and cuddly best friends. At BrightCare Animal Neurology and Imaging, our philosophy is that of dedicating and perfecting our lives to offer the very best there is in veterinary medicine. The compassionate and caring nature of our staff and of our doctors is the cornerstone of BrightCare Veterinary Group.

If you are looking for a veterinary practice where your pet will receive top-notch treatment as a member of our family, schedule an appointment with us. We look forward to welcoming you and your pet.

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