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Research Guides

Information for Veterinary Professionals

Funding Statement

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN-276-2011-00007-C with the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library.

Consultant, Cornell University's diagnostic support tool

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Maurice E. White, DVM, began the Consultant database in 1982 to maintain information about diseases in veterinary medicine electronically. White worked with John Lewkowicz, director emeritus of the Veterinary Computing Service to develop a computer program to support the database. It was initially offered to practicing veterinarians via paid subscription. Consultant became freely available online in 1997.

Consultant is a continually updated and dynamic online resource. Consultant includes links to full-text journal articles, either freely available or as pay-per-view items from publisher's. White regularly reviews and selects published literature for inclusion; adds relevant journal article references and web links; removes older, less useful citations; and reviews and maintains the diagnoses descriptions and clinical signs content. New & Noteworthy (N & N), a feature introduced in 2010, is a list of articles from veterinary literature on new disorders or content of special interest.

The database currently contains about 7,000 diagnoses/causes; about 500 signs/symptoms; more than 18,000 literature references; and more than 3,000 web links.

It covers:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Cattle
  • Horses
  • Sheep
  • Goats
  • Swine
  • Birds and Poultry

Consultant Contact

Created and maintained by:

Maurice E. White, DVM


Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

College of Veterinary Medicine

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853-6401


Forward questions about medical content, references, and web links to Dr. White.


Do not use Consultant to make a diagnosis.

It is intended to support veterinarians' decision-making; it is not a substitute for clinical experience and judgement.

Veterinarians should use Consultant in conjunction with textbooks, journal articles, diagnostic tests, colleague consults, and experience.

Animal owners should always consult their veterinarians for diagnostic evaluation and treatment options.


To learn more about a diagnosis: Use Search by Diagnosis

1.   Select a species from the drop-down menu. All species is the default.

2.   Enter one or more letters or words of a diagnosis. See Keyword Searching Short-Cuts.

3.   Click Search.

Search Results
4.   Click any diagnosis to see its description, species affected, associated clinical signs, references, and links.

Consultant Diagnosis

To determine what diagnoses have certain symptom combinations: Use Search by Signs

1.   From the drop-down, select a species. The default is all species.

2.   Choose one or more clinical signs. To choose a sign, you have several options:


         a. Type one or more words or letters of the first sign. See Keyword Searching Short-Cuts.


         b. Click Search.

         c. Select the most relevant symptom phrases.

Signs circling

         d. Click Add to Signs.

         e. Repeat the process until you've selected the clinical signs you want to search. The more signs you add, the fewer possible diagnoses.

   By sign list.

         a. Click Sign List.

         b. Choose a body system from the drop-down.

Select a system, nervous

         c. Mark one or more signs.

         d. Click Add to Signs.

   As Strings

         a. Enter a string of complete words or fragments separated with semicolons. For example:


Keyword string, signs

         b. Choose additional signs from the lists if any related symptoms are displayed.


         a. Use one-by-one, by sign list, or as strings.

3.   Click Search for Diagnoses.

4. Click any diagnosis to see its description, species affected, associated clinical signs, references, and links.


Keyword Searching Shortcuts

cornea searches all words containing "cornea"; no truncation symbol is needed
    i searches any word beginning with one or more letters in the diagnosis title field
terrier searches for diseases of the breed