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Kidney disease in cats
UK Veterinary Surgeons With Advanced Qualifications In Small Animal or Feline Medicine

The most appropriate person to oversee the care of your animal is always your usual veterinary surgeon. They will be familiar with your pet's medical history, and be best placed to monitor the results of treatment.

However, as in human medicine, some veterinary surgeons decide to specialise in a particular area of care, and gain additional qualifications in that field. Whilst there is no professional qualification specific to nephrology (the study of kidneys), vets that hold a Royal College Of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Diploma or Recognised Specialist status in Feline Medicine or Small Animal Medicine would by definition have had to display a deeper level of understanding in this field.

In some cases, your vet may decide to refer your pet to such a specialist for advanced treatment or a second opinion. There are three levels of specialism in this field, which are detailed below.


Feel free to discuss the option of a second opinion or a referral with your veterinary surgeon.

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Certificate Holder

This is the first level of qualification awarded by the RCVS. It shows that the holder is a competent clinician who has proved his/her experience & expertise in Small Animal or Feline Medicine by examination. Look for the letters CertSAM (Small Animal Medicine) after your vet's name.

RCVS Diploma Holder

This is the second level of qualification. It shows that the holder is a competent clinician who has proved their experience and expertise by examination. The letters DSAM or DSAM(Fel) after your vet's name denote this level of qualification.

RCVS Specialist In Feline Medicine

Diploma holders may apply to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to be included on a list of RCVS Specialists In Feline Medicine or Small Animal Medicine. In order to be considered, they must show that they have qualifications at least at Diploma level and make an active contribution to their speciality. A Specialist will have national and international acclaim and publish widely. A recognised Specialist must also be available for referral by other veterinary colleagues. They must re-apply every five years to maintain their name on the list.

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