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University Veterinary School ???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I notice when reading thru the posts that it is often suggested that kitty be taken to a Veterinary University. What's the difference between going there and a regular vet? Do they take appts.? Do you need a referral? I've seen this mentioned alot and was just wondering how one would go about finding a Veterinary University and getting an appt.?
post #2 of 7
Here is a comprehensive listing of US Universities and Colleges offering Veterinary Science degrees:


I cannot speak for others but when I had a cat with severe chronic illness, my normal vet had to refer me to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College ... most of these schools do have a small animal hospital, but keep in mind that it will be a teaching hospital (which isn't always a negative thing) and the practitioners assigned to you and your animal may be a student.

The up side of a teaching hospital is that they may have access to bleeding-edge technology that may not yet be available to the general veterinary community. Additionally, studies and other research programs may offer treatments and procedures that are not at all available from any other facility.

If you are interested in looking into a Veterinary School Small Animal Hospital, my suggestion to you is to look through the list, find one in your area or nearby enough for comfort and visit their website. If it looks good to you or if you find you still have questions, then you can contact them directly.
post #3 of 7
I have talked to Uc Davis before. They know alot more then most Vets do. My Vet came from Uc Davis and they do stuff no other Vets do. i was going to get Yoshi a Kidney Transplant at Uc Davis but he didnt qualify.
post #4 of 7
Cleo was diagnosed with renal failure, when my vet did pre-op blood work for her spay surgery, at 6 months old. My vet is a graduate of Michigan State University, School of Veterinary Medicine. She referred us to MSU for an abdominal ultrasound, to try to figure out if there was some physical cause for her renal failure. MSU was the closest place, at the time, that had veterinary ultrasound capabilities. When Cleo was diagnosed with a heart murmur, she referred us to MSU for an echocardiogram. I feel very blessed to be within 2 hours of a great veterinary medicine program. I can't say enough good things about our treatment, and the care that the vet med students gave us, both times we were there. All of our treatments were done by the DVM, with the students watching and participating. However, all diagnoses were made by the doctor, and not by students.
post #5 of 7
Our big "go-to" if you have a serious pet problem is the University of Penn in Philadelphia... I think the big draw to University vets is that they tend to have more resources readily available, since they are teaching facilities... like I recently saw a news report where Penn is part of a kidney transplant experiment with cats.... kind of how the human system works: when a kitty starts to have renal failure, he's put on the list and a new kidney is hopefully found for him - from what I recall, it's in the early stages and still very expensive... but basically, they're the places to go when you've got a problem that can't simply be handled at your regular vet hospital (like MRIs and serious eye problems, risky/rare surgeries, etc)... so I wouldn't say you'd NEED to make your regular vet one at a University, but I like knowing there's one nearby if needed... I also think most are 24 hour, for your "OMG it's 3am and the cat is *insert crazy problem here*!!" moments...
post #6 of 7
I always equated it with like a human going to a teaching hospital for treatment. I have always gone to university hospitals for myself, so I never had any qualms about taking my pets to a teaching hospital for their treatment! I haven't had to do it with our cats, but back in the States, my family had done it with the dog. Great treatment, lots of advanced medical equipment/treatments and you are helping to train the vets of tomorrow (and, as others have said - the final word always comes from a vet, not the students).
post #7 of 7
At a hospital it is easy to get a second opinion if needed, as well as immediate access to specialists. My Persil would have died from treatment by the ordinary vet had I not taken her to a university vet hospital where she was immediately correctly diagnosed and operated on.
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