The American Veterinary Medical Assn. has granted the exotic companion mammal specialty provisional recognition.
The new specialty will focus on rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, mice and other small mammals commonly known as “pocket pets.” It also includes more unusual small pets such as hedgehogs and sugar gliders, but doesn’t include illegal pet species such as prairie dogs and Gambian giant pouched rats.
The new specialty is needed because of the increasing knowledge about small animals, and there are now enough specialists and potential diplomates to administer and govern the new practice area, said Larry Dee, DVM, the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties representative from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.
Applicants for the new specialty will be required to have six years' experience in the specialty, letters of reference and relevant education. They must have published articles in the field and must pass a two-day examination.
The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners will oversee the credentialing and testing of candidates.
The first examination is expected to be held in November 2009, and the first group of diplomates is expected to be certified in December 2009.
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