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What qualifications should I look for in a vet?

What qualifications should I look for in a vet?

You love your pet and want to ensure that the veterinarian you choose to take care of them has the right qualifications to do so. But what qualifications should you be looking out for? Our South Lebanon vets explain.

Choosing the Right Vet

Selecting the right vet for your pet can be stressful. There are so many things to consider. Will you like them? Are the hospital hours lined up with your availability? But even beyond these important concerns, there are a range of certifications an individual veterinarian can hold. But what do these certifications mean? Here are a few of the most common. 

Mandatory U.S. Veterinary Qualifications

When looking for a vert, check to make sure that the veterinarian you're considering is actually licensed to practice in your state, and the United States. You may also want to ask about whether others at the clinic are licensed too, such as registered vet technicians. Visit your prospective vet's office and take a look around. If your don't see their certifications hanging in the reception area, just as them to see their licenses or to contact your state's board of veterinary medicine for more information. 

Here are the two certifications you are looking for:

DVM (VMD) - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - The first thing that you need to check is that your vet is qualified to practice in the U.S. When a person graduates from an American veterinary school they receive a DVM—Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (sometimes called a VMD degree). All vets practicing in the U.S. must have a DVM degree. A DVM degree means that the person you are considering is, in fact, a qualified veterinarian and is fully qualified to perform the duties of the profession.

State Veterinary Licensing - In order to practice veterinary medicine in some states, a vet may be required to pass a state-specific certification exam. These exams will often test a vet's knowledge of their state's regulations and laws governing the practice of veterinary medicine. In order to maintain a state license, vets need to obtain continuing education and may need to renew their licenses on a regular basis—generally every 3 years.

Additional Veterinary Qualifications

If your pet has health care requirements above and beyond standard veterinary care, you may want to look for a vet with qualifications that go beyond the standard DVM degree. Two such certifications are:

Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (DABVP) - Vets who are AVBP certified start with achieving a DVM degree and then moving on to accrue knowledge and expertise beyond what is required when practicing standard veterinary medicine. ABVP diplomates undergo a 3-year-long process of additional exams and certifications to become board-certified specialists as recognized by the AVMA—American Veterinary Medical Association. These vets have put in hard work and training in order to specialize in treating one or more recognized categories of animals. 

Fear Free Certification - If you have a pet that is high-strung or anxious you may want to take the extra time to locate a Fear-Free Certified vet in your area. Fear-Free certification can apply to an individual vet, another veterinary professional within the hospital, or even the hospital itself. Fear Free training teaches ways in which veterinary professionals can make pets more at ease in their office and during their examinations and treatment. 

Vets That May Require A Referral

Veterinary Specialists - A board-certified veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has completed additional training in a specific area of veterinary medicine and has passed an examination that evaluates their knowledge and skills in that specialty area. If your pet is unwell, your regular vet may refer you to a veterinary specialist. There are 41 distinct specialties within veterinary medicine ranging from behavior to ophthalmology and surgery to dentistry. You may be referred to a veterinary specialist if diagnosing or treating your pet's health issue requires specialized equipment and/or expertise that your primary care veterinarian does not have. Veterinary specialists take pride in working with your primary care veterinarian to provide your pet with the best care possible.

Little Miami Veterinary Services's veterinary professionals are dedicated to offering you and your pet the finest care in veterinary medicine. Contact us today to learn more about the qualifications of our vets and our range of services.

New Patients Welcome

At Little Miami Veterinary Services, we are always accepting new patients. Our vets are passionate about the health of South Lebanon companion animals. Contact us to book your pet's first appointment and join our veterinary family.

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Book Online (513) 494-9009