Specialist equine surgeons have undergone many years of additional study and training above and beyond that of a regular veterinarian, usually an additional 4 to 6 years. Only veterinarians that have successfully completed specialist training programs and a rigourous set of examinations can apply for registration with State veterinary boards as a specialist veterinary surgeon. Even veterinarians with many years experience in a particular field cannot claim specialist status until they have passed specialist examinations. There are very few specialist equine surgeons in Australia. In New South Wales Dr Kannegieter, who was first registered as a specialist equine surgeon in New South Wales in 1990, is the longest registered specialist who is still currently practising. Dr Willsallen is only the 16th registered and practising equine specialist surgeon in New South Wales. In Queensland Dr Kannegieter is one of only four registered and practising equine specialist surgeons.
Specialist surgeons can provide a very high level of care for your horse and given the unpredictable nature of equine surgery it is very important to choose the right surgeon for the case. Many owners unfortunately decide on which clinic to use by shopping around for the best price, which does not always guarantee that the best possible service is being provided and does not guarantee that a specialist trained surgeon will be undertaking the work. When people require surgery they do not ring different hospitals to find out where they can get the job done most cheaply but rather will try to ensure that the surgeon undertaking the job is the best qualified and most experienced to do the job.
We would strongly encourage owners to utilise the service of a specialist equine surgeon whenever possible and appropriate.
Kannegieter Equine Specialists is the only 100% specialised equine practice in Australia that is involved full-time with nothing but equine surgery. We can provide independent opinions on any cases and will work with your veterinarian to ensure the best outcome for your horse.