Veterinary Specialization in The St. Louis Metroplex

By Dr. Doug Pernikoff, DVM


Long gone are the days when the local veterinarian provided dental and sometimes medical care to humans on the frontier, as well as their role in caring for horses and other livestock. Today veterinary medicine approaches the professional resource and technical sophistication of human medicine in many areas of the science.  In some cases, even a private practitioner, equivalent to a family practice doctor in the human field, may offer even more specialized technologies, like ultrasonography or digital radiography.

Fortunately, specialized veterinary expertise is broad and diverse in our local St. Charles, St. Louis and regional Illinois areas.    As stated, it is not uncommon for the average family pet veterinarian to develop special interests and expertise in areas like dental and orthodontic medicine (yes, dogs do get braces); reproductive biology; pocket pet medicine (guinea pigs, rats, gerbils, chinchillas and more);  or, exotics like snakes, monkeys, alpacas, llamas, fishes, and birds.


Further, there are veterinarians who have pursued internships, residencies and/or doctoral studies in various areas of applied medicine, surgery and research.   Many sit for board certification in their area of specialization, and the technologies and skill sets are amazing.  Who wins from all this professional commitment?  Of course, pet owners enjoy a sense of security knowing that their pets can have the very best care available outside of a veterinary teaching hospital that is simply not regionally available right here.

Our region sports not less than 6 after hours emergency clinic programs, some hosting board certified emergency clinicians.  There are two veterinary opthalmalogy services; one certified animal behavioralist; one dental specialist; 3+ collective specialty programs with multiple surgeons, veterinary oncologists, neurologists, internal medicine specialists and even a program dedicated to physical rehabilitation that rivals any human facility.

I encourage all pet owners to discuss veterinary specialization with their veterinarians, so they can be aware of possible referral opportunities, as needed, if needed.  Have a great summer!!


Fondly,  Dr. Doug Pernikoff,  Clarkson-Wilson Veterinary Clinic, Chesterfield, Missouri.   Home of Vet Pet Rescue.   dpernikoff@gmail.com.