Helping Solve Challenging Pet Problems
Just like humans, pets can develop illnesses requiring the specific expertise and knowledge of an internal medicine professional. The Internal Medicine department at VREC is committed to providing comprehensive care for your pet.
Our Internal Medicine department is qualified to diagnose and treat everything inside your pet’s body – vital organs, blood disorders, infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, endocrine diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, and more. Employing the use of minimally-invasive tools and techniques such as ultrasound and endoscopy, the Internal Medicine focuses on reducing a pet’s time in the hospital.
Our Internal Medicine department frequently sees cases that include:
- Issues involving anemia or other bleeding disorders
- Chronic vomiting or diarrhea
- Coughing or breathing problems
- Acquired heart diseases
- Endocrine diseases (adrenal tumors, diabetes, thyroid disorders)
- Infectious diseases
- Kidney or bladder diseases
- Liver diseases
- Unexplained weight loss
- We also diagnose and manage cancer and degenerative heart diseases
When follow-up care is indicated, we work closely with primary care veterinarians to continue to meet the needs of you and your pet. We strive to provide heartfelt care while supporting and enriching the bond between you and your pet.
Why would my pet need to see an internal medicine clinician?
An internist may routinely perform internal medicine procedures that are uncommon or unavailable to your primary veterinarian, such as:
- Advanced laboratory testing
- Ultrasound-guided aspirates
- Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy
- Feeding tube placement
- Tru-cut biopsies
- Digital radiography
- Tracheal wash
When Oliver began experiencing stomach issues, his owners trusted VREC to perform internal medicine tests and treatment plans to provide him the quality of life he deserves.
Endoscopy & Ultrasound
Our Internal Medicine department employs the use of endoscopy and ultrasounds, two effective tools used to examine a pet’s insides. An endoscope is a flexible or rigid tube that contain a camera, along with channels that allow instruments to be passed through. Endoscopy is the use of this specialized equipment to evaluate the interior of a hollow organ or cavity in a minimally-invasive manner. An endoscopy sometimes eliminates the need for invasive surgery during gastric foreign body emergencies. Endoscopy may also be used for obtaining tissue samples for biopsy testing.
Ultrasounds are a non-invasive imaging technique that allow the veterinarian to observe internal body structures by using harmless ultrasonic waves. Typically ultrasounds are performed to evaluate liver, gall bladder, small intestine, pancreas, colon, peritoneum, spleen, prostate/uterus, kidney, adrenal gland, or lymph node concerns. Ultrasounds are painless and infrequently require sedatives or anesthesia. If a pet’s condition warrants, an ultrasound-guided biopsy may be performed to obtain tissue for examination (note: biopsy tests may require sedation or anesthesia.) In many cases ultrasound and/or ultrasound guided biopsies eliminate the need for a major surgery and helps shorten a pet’s recovery time.
Internal Medicine FAQ
How long do consultations take?
Most internal medicine consultations average approximately 90 minutes to two hours. To make the most of your consultation, records from your veterinarian are highly preferred. This includes recent medical history, lab work, radiographs (x-rays), and a list of current medications. Our Client Service Representatives will contact your primary care vet prior to the appointment for this information.
What is involved in an abdominal ultrasound – and will my pet need sedation?
The only thing required of pets during an ultrasound is the ability to lie relatively still with minimal restraint. Prior to the procedure, the pet’s abdomen will be shaved and special ultrasound gel applied. The special gel allows the waves to penetrate abdominal organs without interference. It is non-toxic and water-soluble so it will not stain nor will it harm you or your pet if ingested.
Most animals do not require sedation or anesthesia for an ultrasound. It is in your pet’s best interest that owners not be present during the ultrasound. Animals can pick up on their owner’s anxiety, oftentimes making it difficult for them to remain still. It is also beneficial for the internist so they can concentrate on the procedure.
Why would a pet need an ultrasound if they had x-rays?
Unlike x-rays which give a static view, ultrasounds give a dynamic real-time view. This enables the internist to visualize the internal architecture and vessels of organs and their function. Certain structures, such as lymph nodes, can be seen on ultrasound but not on radiographs.
My pet already had an ultrasound. Why might they need another?
An ultrasound is a real-time capture that allows the internist to obtain various views of the abdominal organs. It captures dynamic changes that occur with blood flow and respiration, and the most subtle movements may alter an image. Our internist has special training and experience that helps detect small abnormalities that can make all the difference in a diagnosis.
When will I receive ultrasound results?
The doctor will review the results of the ultrasound upon completion. Your primary care veterinarian also receives our findings.