You want the best for your pet, especially when it comes to their health. For this reason, it is important to know when it is time to seek out the care of a veterinary specialist.
1. Your Pet Has a Very Specific Issue
Certain specific issues can often be better handled by a veterinary doctor that specializes in the specific complaint. For example, cancer may be best handled by a veterinary oncologist, while extensive dental problems may require the help of a vet that specializes in vet dentistry. There are specialists available to help with health issues, ranging from vision to specific organ diseases, as well as specialists that can work with your pet's behavioral or mental issues.
2. Your Current Vet Is Having Little Success
Most general vets are very skilled at handling a wide range of health and behavioral issues with the types of animals that they work with. Yet, if their treatment attempts are being met with little success, it may be time to schedule a visit with a specialist to manage the issue you are dealing with. Specialists have additional training and tools that allow them to look more fully into your pet's health or condition. They may be able to offer treatments or insights beyond those of your regular vet.
3. You Need a Second Opinion
Sometimes you simply need a second opinion on what is ailing your pet. This is especially the case if your vet is recommending a drastic treatment, such as a dangerous surgery, or allowing the condition to progress naturally to an unwanted ending. A second opinion can help provide peace of mind that you are making the right decision, or it may even provide you with more alternatives that will better serve your pet's health. Often, your general vet will let you know when it is a good idea to seek out a second opinion, but you can also do so without their recommendation if you desire.
4. Your Pet Is a Nontraditional Species
Vets are usually equipped to know how to care for large animals, such as horses and livestock, or small animals, like cats and dogs. Other vets may also specialize in the treatment of birds, reptiles, rodents, and rabbits, or "exotic" pets like ferrets. If you have a pet that isn't a cat or dog, then it may be a better option to seek out a vet that specializes in the species of your pet. They will have both the equipment and training to provide more detailed treatment.
Contact a veterinarian specialist for more information.