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Veterinary Specializations

Just as is the case in human medicine, there are practicing specialists in the field of veterinary medicine.   A specialist is a veterinarian who has undertaken extra training (typically 3-4 years) to gain advanced competency in a very specific area of veterinary medicine.  Once the training is completed, comprehensive examinations and evaluation of proficiency are carried out by the specific specialty “colleges”.  Upon satisfactory completion of this intensive evaluation the veterinarian is granted their “board certification” in the specific specialty in which they trained.  

The specializations available to veterinarians are as broad as the roles of animals in our lives. After achieving a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, certain fields may stand out to you as a potential career path. Read the list of specializations below to discover if you’re inclined to a specific field of veterinary practice.


  • Animal welfare
  • Dental care
  • Laboratory animal medicine
  • Poultry care
  • Theriogenology
  • Anesthesia and analgesia
  • Behavioural study and conditioning
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Veterinary dermatology
  • Internal medicine
  • Veterinary microbiology
  • Nutrition
  • Veterinary ophthalmology
  • Pathology
  • Preventative medicine
  • Radiology
  • Sports medicine and rehabilitation
  • Surgery
  • Zoological medicine
  • Emergency and critical care


If you’re inclined to any of the specialties above, check out the American Medical Association list of American Board of Veterinary Specialties and see our list of accredited Canadian veterinary programs. Canada participates in the American specialty educational network.