As a pet owner, you probably have a regular veterinary clinic you use when your pet gets ill, or when it is time for vaccinations. The veterinarian there is licensed, certified, and has the medical history of your pet on file. In most situations this is all you will ever need. You are comfortable with the clinic, the vet, and the people who work there. This is a good thing unless the situation warrants a specialist. While your vet will probably refer you to a specialist if the situation is bad, there may be times when you should seek one out on your own. Here are just a few times you should do so.
Anytime you are involved in a legal issue that has to do with your pet, it is best to have a veterinary specialist look over your pet and the legal paperwork. This could mean you seek out a behavior specialist if you are being sued due to something the animal did, or perhaps a dermatologist if your pet has developed a rash or infection after a trip to the groomer.
If your vet tells you that your pet has cancer, heart problems, or requires major surgery, you may want to seek out a specialist. While your normal vet may be able to handle the situation, it is a good idea to at least get a second opinion, such as from http://www.1stPetVet.com. Explain to the specialist what your regular vet has said, and how he or she plans to proceed. If the specialist agrees, you can go back to your normal clinic feeling confident everything will be alright. If the specialist has other suggestions, you can have the two doctors work together, or choose which treatment plan you feel most comfortable with.
Sometimes, your veterinarian cannot seem to get a handle on a medical problem. If your pet has been seen three times in a short period of time, and the situation is not getting any better, it is time to seek out a specialist. You should speak with your regular vet to find out what type of specialist would be best, and ask if he or she has any recommendations.
Veterinarians do what they do because they have a love for animals. Do not feel you are "cheating" on your regular vet if you decide to seek out a specialist. In fact, it would be best if you discussed it with your regular vet and then had the two of them work together to provide the best possible care for your animal. After all, that is the goal of everyone involved.