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What Are The Types Of Vets?

November 1, 2021


There are important things you must consider as a pet lover, particularly when you adopt a pet such as a dog, cat pot-bellied pig, or lizard. You must take the veterinary care which is offered by a certified veterinarian seriously.

Since there are different types of veterinarians out there with different training and credentials, this article will offer details about some of them to help you know the appropriate one for your pets and livestock.  

What does a vet do?

A vet is a medical practitioner that specializes in the protection of the health of animals. Their primary duties include diagnosing and controlling animal diseases as well as providing professional treatments for sick animals. You can also approach vets for professional advice on how to take good care of your animals.

What are the types of vets?

There are different vets with different specialties, to fit different needs with regards to animals’ medical welfare.


1. Companion Animal Veterinarians

Companion animal veterinarians are professionals in the area of medicine that mostly treat pet dogs and cats. Their training qualifies them to offer different types of care to pets including diagnostics,  treatments, and medical & surgical services

They can often be found working in private clinics or pet hospitals to treat small animals from time to time. Companion animal vets can be considered as general practitioners for pets as they are just like the equivalent of family doctors for humans. They are characteristically less expensive and more accessible as they can be found in the neighborhood.

Companion Animal vets are more popular in Singapore where there is a higher population of small animals as pets, such as cats and dogs.


 2. Veterinary Specialists

Veterinary specialists have their specialty in many fields of veterinary medicine. They have the choice to specialize in specific fields of study by undergoing advanced training in post-veterinary school programs. The following are some of the different fields of study for veterinary specialists:

   • Cardiology: Diagnose and treat animals with heart conditions

   • Large animal internal medicine: Diagnose medical conditions of large animals like horses, cows, and goats

   • Neurology: Treat complex brain and spinal disorders, offer CAT scan and MRI scan.

   • Oncology: Treat animals with cancer and focus on what is better for animals, while taking into consideration the quality of life of the patient.  


   • Small animal internal medicine: Provide diagnostic and therapeutic care for dogs and cats with severe conditions.

 3.  Exotic Animal Veterinarians

Exotic animals are medical professionals who have a special interest in caring for exotic animals. They have to undergo special training to execute their duties effectively.

Exotic animals include pocket pets, reptiles, amphibians and birds.

There is a common misconception that exotic vets only work in zoos, and only with wildlife. As a matter of fact, some exotic vets treat small animals, which are common pets in Singapore.

There is a clear difference between exotic vets and specialists.  While exotic specialists focus on specific fields and types of animals, exotic vets focus on treating different issues of a wide range of exotic animals.

Besides, more information is available for specialists about the animal they are treating but there is limited information for exotic vets.


4. Livestock, Food, and Large Animal Veterinarians

Livestock, food, and large animal veterinarians specialize in farm animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats.  Some large animal vets work at veterinary hospitals for large animals. This field of veterinarians is less commonly found in Singapore, due to the limited demand.

  5.  Laboratory Veterinarians

Laboratory veterinarians are parts of the medical team working behind the scenes.  They might not be much visible to the public, but laboratory veterinarians are pretty essential for the well-being of all animals.

They focus on research to add to knowledge since little is known about some animals. Interestingly, there are even more to study about animals that we think we already know. Laboratory veterinarians work in fields that focus primarily on novel conditions, including;

   • Infectious disease diagnosis

   • Pathology

   • Pharmacology research, and many more.

Laboratory veterinarians stand to prove the point that rather than treating animals, it is also important to focus on understanding more about them. In short, even though they are not actively visible to the public to the general public,  their vitality for the well-being of all animals is highly commendable and beneficial.


It’s important that we always remember that the field of veterinary medicine is characteristically dynamic. And since there are overlapping specialties of vets, it is difficult to work within only a specific part of veterinary medicine. Nevertheless,  vets in general share the love for animals even though they are of different types with a different focus.

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