What is a Veterinary Pathologist?
In veterinary medicine, pathologists work as board certified specialists, similar to surgeons, radiologists, and ophthalmologists. The term “board certified veterinary pathologist” refers to becoming a Diplomate of the College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). To do this, pathologists complete an undergraduate degree, earn a four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, complete a rigorous residency program (2 to 4 years), and successfully pass extensive examinations.
Pathologists detect abnormalities. Some illnesses can be diagnosed with physical examinations or medical imaging. However, others are more complex and may require additional testing for an accurate diagnosis. That is where our pathologists and lab team play a critical role in successful treatment.
There are two types of pathology in veterinary medicine: clinical pathology and anatomic pathology. Clinical pathology involves interpretation of changes in bloodwork, as well as microscopic evaluation of whole cells on slides, or “cytology.” Anatomic pathology involves microscopic evaluation of whole tissue samples from live animals (biopsy) or post-mortem examination (necropsy) to determine the cause of disease or death of an animal.
WestVet is pleased to offer the services of Elizabeth Cienava, DVM, DACVP, Board Certified Clinical Pathologist, and Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologist (ACVP), and Katherine Gailbreath, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Board Certified Anatomic Pathologist, and Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologist (ACVP).
How can a Veterinary Pathologist Help my Pet?
Think of a veterinary pathologist as a scientist detective — someone seeking the cause of a mysterious diagnosis. Pathologists work in partnership with pet families, referring family veterinarians, and other specialists at WestVet, in discovering the correct diagnosis. They play a crucial role in developing treatment plans by providing owners necessary information to make the best decisions for their pet’s care.
WestVet Diagnostic Laboratory Services
We offer rapid processing of samples, personalized consultations with our board certified pathologists, and small animal, equine, ruminant, avian and exotic diagnostics.
• Blood Chemistry