7 Different Types of Vets Explained

Different Types of Vets
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Are you a pet owner? You want to choose the type of veterinarian who will provide you with the best treatment for your pet.

Or you want to learn more about the veterinary professions that might be a good fit for you. In this article, we shall discuss the different types of vets you should know about. 

What kind of vet does your pet need? There are several types of vets out there. Some specialize in specific areas, such as surgery or internal medicine.

Others focus on particular breeds of dogs or cats. Choosing the correct type of vet is essential to getting the best care possible for your pet.

What Is a Vet?

The word vet is short for a veterinarian. A vet is simply an animal doctor. They examine, diagnose and treat different kinds of animals.

As doctors treat patients in the hospital, vets are similarly equipped with modern surgical equipment knowledge. Above all, they help preserve and improve animals’ lives.

Different Types of Vets

Below are seven different categories of veterinarians:

1. Companion Animal Vets

Even though they make up a small portion of the profession, companion animal vets possess the most significant group. Their work is similar to that of a family doctor or physician who treats humans.

The regular jobs of these vets include delivering immunizations, diagnosing illnesses, and prescribing treatments for wounds.

They are typically more affordable and available as you can find them in your neighborhood.

You can also see them at pet clinics or private hospitals around you. Lastly, they’re more popular than the other different types of vets.

2. Exotic Animal Vets

These vets undergo special training to care for exotic animals. Exotic animals include reptiles, pocket pets, amphibians, and birds.

However, the belief that exotic animal vets work only at the zoo or with wildlife animals is not true. Some of them treat common pets too.

But there is a difference between exotic vets and exotic specialists, as the two are often mistaken for each other.

Exotic vets deal with the treatment of different illnesses of various types of exotic animals.

Meanwhile, exotic specialists deal with a particular type and field of animals. An exotic animal vet can become an exotic specialist by taking additional training.

3. Vet Specialists

Vet specialists can choose to study from a specific field out of the many options available in vet medicine.

However, they must undergo advanced training in post-veterinary school programs to get their certificate.

There are over 20 fields of study in vet medicine. Some of them are:

  • Dermatology: These vets specialize in treating skin issues in different kinds of animals. Since the skin is the largest organ in the human and animal body, we should give it special attention.
  • Dentistry: They specialize in anything related to the oral cavity or teeth. This includes its diagnosis and treatments.
  • Cardiology: They treat animals with heart conditions.
  • Neurology: These vets offer MRI and CT scans and treat brain and spinal disorders.
  • Behavior: Vet behaviorists specialize in studying animal behaviors. They go through their patient’s (animal) medical history to notice issues and help find a treatment plan.
  • Nutrition: Nutrition is quite essential for animals. Vet nutrition specializes in the nutritional needs and formulation of diets for these animals. They primarily work at pet food companies.
  • Theriogenology: These types of vet specialists specialize in all parts of animal reproductive health. They usually involve artificial insemination, surgical procedures, and pregnancy checks.
  • Toxicology: Vet toxicologists handle animals exposed to toxins and poisons as they advise on how to treat them.
  • Lab Animal Medicine: Lab animal vets are vital in research work. They ensure that species are treated ethically.
  • Microbiology: Vet microbiologists are disease experts. They play a significant role in public health because, as we all know, some animal diseases affect humans too. This field can further be divided into mycology, immunology, parasitology, and virology.

Veterinary specialists can advise other vets if they need knowledge of specific equipment.

4. Food, Livestock, and Animal Vets

These people are usually not familiar with all the different types of vets. They specialize in caring for farm animals and livestock such as pigs, sheep, horses, cattle, and goats.

Also, they ensure the welfare of these animals and prevent them from getting diseases. These vets work in a large vet hospital, but you often find them traveling to check up on their patients.

5. Laboratory Vets

These vets are not as visible as the other different types of vets, but they’re essential for animals’ well-being.

They study to understand more about animals because not everyone knows all about different animals. Lab vets work in fields such as pharmacology research, pathology, etc.

6. Food, Safety, and Inspection Vets

These types of vets ensure that livestock and animal products meet sanitation standards. They also look at the safety of animal medications.

Sometimes, they quarantine infected animals to prevent other animals or humans from contracting the illness.

7. Research Vets

Research vets need to have scientific knowledge. You can find them working at biomedical research organizations, government organizations, or educational institutions.

Those who work with pharmaceutical firms develop and test drugs. At the same time, those that work at institutions teach vet students.

How Much Does a Vet Earn?

The average salary for a vet varies, but the specialty with the highest pay is Opthalmology.

They have an annual income of $199k, as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reported.

Since there are different types of vets, let’s have a look at the earnings of some of them. Lab animals and pathologists also have an average salary ranging from $157k to $169k.

Vet Radiologists are considered the lowest paid, with an average salary of $121k. Well, that’s quite admirable if you ask me.

To work in this specialty, you need to have a certification. This requires two to three more years of study after vet school at vet colleges.

After this, you take an intensive exam and move forward to the next step. You then have to complete a residency under the supervision of a certified board specialist in the field.


With the different types of vets listed above, you should be able to choose your perfect choice. Also, if you’re looking for a career path, you can start working towards it now.

The role of vets in our life cannot be overemphasized, as they bring a sense of relief to us and our pets. Thank you, vets!.

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