Vet Specialists give veterinarians the chance to work collaboratively to create a bespoke treatment plan to treat complex ailments, injuries and illnesses on their animal patients.
For the owners, it can be a stressful time when their animal needs to be referred to a specialist, which is why we at the BCVSp aims to help the public understand the options that are available to them when they need it.
As a veterinarian, a vet specialist may bring access to specific equipment necessary for complex therapies, surgeries or diagnostic procedures. For many animals, a multidisciplinary approach is required and more than one vet specialist may be consulted on different aspects of the animal’s problem. Other factors for referral may include specialist qualifications, experience, advanced skills, specific expertise and equipment, and access to multidisciplinary teams.
An animal owner will approach their primary care vet initially to discuss what specialist treatment or expertise might help their animal. The primary care vet will advise what area and what type of specialist(s) may be required in order to treat the condition.
Once an agreement has been made, a vet specialist(s) will be brought in to work in close collaboration with the primary care vet in order to give the best treatment possible.
Once treatment is complete full responsibility will return to the primary care vet.
The RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons obliges vets to facilitate a client’s request for a referral. Open communication and trusting relationships between the animal owner, the primary care vet and the vet specialist(s) involved are critical for the effective veterinary care for every animal patient.