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Animal Owners


Frequently Asked Questions

What does ECVS stand for?

European College of Veterinary Surgeons. The ECVS diploma is the only specialist surgical qualification that is recognised across all of the European Union and affiliated countries.

What is an ECVS Specialist?

An ECVS Specialist is a vet who has qualified in his/her own country and then undertaken further training in a residency programme before passing the ECVS qualifying examination.

It takes at least 3 years of additional training to become a Veterinary Specialist and the standards set by the ECVS are extremely demanding.

In order to maintain European Specialist recognition, surgeons must keep up to date and have to recertify every 5 years.

Seeing a Specialist means your pet will receive the highest level of expertise for their condition.

What does “board certified” mean?

A board certified surgeon is a vet who has completed the requirements of the ECVS to become certified as a Specialist in veterinary surgery (an ECVS Diplomate). Only those who have passed all parts of the qualifying examination may use the term “board certified”.

How is a Specialist different from your usual vet?

Advances in medical knowledge mean it is not possible for a vet to be an expert in every field.

There are times when your pet's problem is best dealt with by a Specialist who has many years of training and experience in a particular area.

This is no different from human medicine – for example your usual doctor is the best person to treat your cold but wouldn’t be the best person to perform a hip replacement.

Can anyone make an appointment to see a Specialist?

Everyone has the right to a second opinion.

 If you would like to see a Specialist then all you need to do is to ask your usual vet to help you make an appointment. You may need to provide the necessary contact details.

Generally, your vet will contact the Specialist to provide a copy of your animal’s medical history.

How can I find an ECVS Specialist?

A list of current ECVS Specialists is available on the website here. You may search under “Country” and the “Speciality” you are interested in.

How can I make an appointment to see a Specialist?

The contact details of all current ECVS Specialists are available on this website (link).

How do I choose which Specialist to see?

Your pet’s usual vet should be able to advise you on this.

Alternatively you may choose any one of the Specialists on the ECVS website and ask your vet to make an appointment for you.

How much does it cost to see a Specialist?

The cost of an appointment with an ECVS Specialist is likely to be higher than one with your usual vet.

Normally the consultation with a Specialist will be longer than with your usual vet. The Specialist will talk to you about all the treatment options available, not just ones involving surgery.

The Specialist will be able to provide you with an estimate of costs before your appointment. If you have pet insurance, you should clarify the details of your cover before your appointment.

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