A small animal veterinary internal medicine specialist is a veterinarian who has completed advanced training in internal medicine following graduation from their veterinary college. The umbrella of small animal internal medicine includes many subdisciplines, including gastrointestinal diseases, liver and pancreatic diseases, hormonal diseases, nose and lung diseases, blood disorders, immune-mediated diseases, and kidney disease.

Your family veterinarian is qualified to diagnose and treat many aspects of your pet's care, but sometimes your pet may need specialist care. Much like your family doctor may refer you to a human specialist for certain conditions, your family veterinarian may do the same when your pet is experiencing a complicated medical health issue.

Appointments with the Internal Medicine Department are made on a referral from your family veterinarian. Please note that pets referred to our Internal Medicine Department can only be treated for the medical condition for which they have been referred. All other unrelated treatment or procedures will be conducted by your family veterinarian.

Procedures that we routinely perform include:

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Arthrocentesis (collection of joint fluid)
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Blood, fecal and urine testing
  • Bone marrow sampling
  • Bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage (scoping of the lower airways)
  • Canine blood transfusions
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Cystoscopy for female pets (scoping of the bladder and lower urinary tract)
  • Esophagostomy feeding tube placement
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy with biopsies (scoping of the esophagus, stomach, upper small intestines and colon)
  • Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT)
  • Radiographs (xrays)
  • Rhinoscopy (scoping of the nose)

What to Expect:

During your appointment, we will ask you about how your pet has been doing at home. Your pet's recently performed laboratory and diagnostic imaging tests will be reviewed and a physical examination will be performed. Recommendations for further testing and treatment options will then be discussed.

On the day of your pet's initial internal medicine appointment:

  • Please do not feed your pet for 12 hours prior to your appointment. This is important as some blood tests require a 12 hour fast. Please do not restrict water. Your pet may have free access to fresh water up until their arrival to the hospital. If your pet is a puppy/kitten or a diabetic pet, please contact us for fasting instructions.
  • Please give any medications as previously directed by your family veterinarian.
  • Please bring a list of any medications, supplements, foods and treats that your pet is receiving.
  • If your pet experiences anxiety during veterinary visits, please ask your family veterinarian to prescribe calming medication (e.g. gabapentin, trazodone) for your pet to be given 2 hours before the internal medicine appointment.
What Do I Bring to my Referral Appointment?

Be sure to bring any relevant medical records or information to your first appointment. Ask your veterinarian for copies of any relevant medical tests, imaging studies, x-rays, or laboratory panels.

Remember, you also can do your part to maximize your pet's recovery by keeping your pet's traveling medical records organized and by strictly adhering to the recommendations of your veterinary team for the scheduling of follow up appointments, etc. At every appointment, be sure to write down any important recommendations, or ask the veterinarian or a staff member to write them down for you.

Our Internal Medicine Team

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