Veterinary Specialists

Specialist & Referral Veterinary Services.

Our Specialist & Referral Veterinarians

Find out more about our dedicated veterinary specialists.  Just click below to read more.

Dr Gail Anderson (Specialist Surgeon)
Specialist Surgeon - BVSc (Hons) MSc PhD DACVS DECVS

What Is a Veterinary Specialist Surgeon?

Like most health care fields, the veterinary profession has become multi-tiered. Veterinarians may now specialise in various disciplines including:

  • surgery
  • internal medicine
  • radiology
  • anesthesiology
  • ophthalmology
  • dermatology
  • cardiology
  • oncology

Specialties are recognised by the American Board of Veterinary Specialities (ABVS). Learn more about specialty veterinary medicine at

If your animal develops a problem or injury requiring advanced care and procedures, your primary veterinarian or emergency room veterinarian may refer you to a veterinary specialist surgeon.

Advanced Training


A veterinary surgeon has undergone additional training after veterinary school in order to become a specialist. This training consists of a minimum of a one-year internship followed by a three-year residency program that meets guidelines established by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS).

During the residency there are specific training and caseload requirements that must be met. In addition to these requirements, applicants must perform research that is published in a scientific journal and then pass a rigorous three-day examination.

Specialists are called a “Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons” or a “board-certified surgeon.” In Australasia, specialists may have trained through the US system, the European system or the Australasian College of Veterinary Scientists and as such may have slightly different designations. These are Diplomate of the American College or Diplomate of the European College or Fellow of the Australasian College. Certificate holders in a clinical area are not able to register as specialists although they have done some extra training in that field but not to the same rigorous level that is required for specialist registration.


Your Animal’s Healthcare Team

All veterinarians may perform surgery as part of their regular veterinary practice. However, difficult cases are best managed by a specialist.

Board-certified surgeons work closely with the owner and the primary veterinarian before and after surgery in a team approach to ensure continuity of care for your animal.

Most ACVS Diplomates work at large hospital or referral centres; therefore, in addition to having advanced surgical training, they also have access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and support staff that may not be available to your primary veterinarian.

Following surgery and any postoperative follow-up care, the primary veterinarian resumes on-going care of the animal.

Veterinary specialist surgeons are dedicated to providing the very best in surgical care. They also act as a resource for your primary veterinarian by providing consultations on difficult or unusual cases. With their advanced training, these specialists offer expertise that ensures the best possible outcome for the animal and the client.

Animals deserve the very best care possible. Just as specialists treat humans for a variety of medical reasons, animals should be treated by veterinary specialists when advanced care is warranted.

Surgery often warrants that care. ACVS Board-Certified Veterinary Surgeons can provide that care.

Patient Case Study

Hobart Animal Hospital

Dr Gail Anderson and patient “Dexter”, well-grown up after his persistent right aortic arch surgical correction as an 8 week old pup. He presented unable to keep solid food down due to a congenital malformation of the blood vessels in his chest that constricted his oesophagus allowing only fluid to pass into his stomach. Dr Gail Anderson corrected this defect and he know is an excellent working Kelpie.



There Are a Variety of Reasons To Seek a Veterinary Specialist Surgeon

Expertise and Specialised Training

Primary veterinarians focus on the day-to-day needs of your animal. 

Veterinary surgeons spend years training specifically in surgical procedures. 

Specialists are more likely to see complicated cases on a regular basis.

Specialists help you determine the best treatment for your animal.

Advanced surgical experience of the specialist greatly reduces this risk.


Enhanced Care

Surgeons are more likely to have access to:

Specialty equipment

Radiology services via TELERAD

Nurses who understand the needs of animals undergoing surgery

24-hour monitoring of your pet

To find out more about specialist veterinary surgeons visit: or

Do you need more information?

We are open six days a week for consultation by appointment.  Please call our friendly staff to schedule your appointment. There is car parking with easy access to the hospital, however, if you do need assistance with getting into the hospital, please let us know. For Emergency after hours care – Contact AHVEC on 1300 302 912