A veterinary internal medicine specialist, or internist, practices internal medicine, which broadly refers to treating conditions affecting the internal organs. We have extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases, both congenital and acquired. This includes diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, hepatobiliary system (liver and gall bladder), urinary system and respiratory tract. We also manage infections, autoimmune diseases and hormonal imbalances. Many internal medicine patients are treated for multiple chronic conditions, especially as they age, necessitating a complex treatment and monitoring plan. A veterinary internal medicine specialist has a broad, comprehensive knowledge of each condition, how they interact and how to balance therapy for all conditions while allowing the patient to maintain a good quality of life.
Internists use specialized equipment and techniques, including:
- Ultrasound of the abdomen, chest or other areas
- Endoscopy which involves using a rigid or flexible camera to evaluate and obtain samples of various organs, including nasal passages, lower airway, esophagus, stomach, small intestinal tract and colon. Endoscopy is also useful in removal of foreign material from the organs, often preventing the need for invasive and expensive surgical removal
- Bone marrow sampling, both aspirate and biopsy
- Temporary feeding tube placement in the esophagus or stomach to provide nutritional support and/ or a way to medicate ‘strong willed’ pets during treatment and recovery