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Internal Medicine

Veterinary internists specialize in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the internal organs. Internists are highly trained to understand the complex interaction of all organ systems. Diseases of the internal organ systems often require specialized testing to obtain an accurate diagnosis. It is only then that an appropriate treatment plan can be created specifically for your pet.

Common diseases internists treat

  • Blood disorders
  • Cancer
  • Digestive/gastrointestinal tract disease
  • Hormonal/endocrine disorders
  • Immune mediated diseases
  • Infectious disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver and gallbladder disease
  • Respiratory (lung and airway) disease
  • Urinary and reproductive tract disease

VSEC internal medicineCommon diagnostic procedures

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Endoscopy and biopsy – gastrointestinal, respiratory, or urinary tract
  • Computed tomography (CT scan)
  • Specialized hormone (endocrine) function testing
  • Liver assessment, function testing, and biopsy
  • Minimally invasive biopsy – ultrasound-guided fine needle or tru-cut aspirates
  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
  • Immune function testing
  • Infectious disease and other blood borne disease testing

Common therapeutic treatments

  • Blood and plasma transfusions
  • Immunosuppressive therapy
  • Chemotherapy for many types of cancer
  • Anti-microbial and anti-parasitic therapy for infectious disease
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Feeding tube placement and nutrition support

A board-certified internal medicine specialist has completed several years of training after veterinary school including an internship, an internal medicine residency, and passed rigorous examinations administered through the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Only then can they be called a specialist. You will see them referred to as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

For more information on the training and credentials of emergency and critical care veterinarians, please visit the acvim.org website.