Our dedicated and seasoned internal medicine team is driven by passion, trust, and collaboration. From endocrinology to gastroenterology, cardiology, nephrology/urology, oncology, neurology, hematology, as well as respiratory and infectious disease, our internists represent multiple disciplines and work as a team to help you make the best long-term care decision for your pet.
We know that pets are part of your family and we are dedicated to improving their health and quality of life in every way we can. We help educate family members about their pets’ disease process and work with each VCA CVS specialist to make informed, collaborative decisions regarding treatment.
We want pet families to feel comfortable with their decisions when it comes to long-term care options. That’s why our internists give pet parents different ways to approach each situation financially and medically as well as provide options to help guide them through the difficult decision-making process. We blend decades of experience with a personal touch, resulting in trusted relationships with the pet parents.
In order to best diagnose and treat your pet, our team of internists has access to some of the most advanced diagnostic services in the country, including ultrasonography (abdominal), high definition endoscopy (upper and lower GI), bronchoscopy, rhinoscopy, cystoscopy and vaginoscopy, bone marrow aspirations, x-ray imaging, computed tomography and blood pressure evaluations. For fluoroscopy and laparoscopy needs, we will refer you to our sister hospitals in Carlsbad and Ontario. We have a special courier to transport your pet to those hospitals for treatment, if needed. These advanced technologies allow us to do less invasive procedures that have shorter recovery times, giving you and your pet more comfort. We know these can be scary and difficult times; our team of caring and talented specialists and technicians are here for you every step of the way.
What Is A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist?
A board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional training in understanding how your pet's internal body systems function and in diagnosing and treating the many serious diseases that can affect the health of those systems. An internal medicine specialist has advanced training in the following disciplines:
While your general practitioner veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems, certain diseases and conditions require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in internal medicine in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet.
*Within the discipline of veterinary internal medicine, there are also veterinarians who specialize further in Small Animal Medicine, Cardiology, Neurology, and Oncology. Our hospital has a board-certified oncologist and cardiologist (see Oncology and Cardiology department pages).
Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist?
Just as your own primary care physician may feel the need to refer you to the care of a specialist from time to time, your general practitioner veterinarian may feel your pet needs a specialist to help diagnose or treat a particularly complicated medical problem. While your general practitioner veterinarian can handle many aspects of your pet's care, just as in human medicine, there is sometimes a need for the attention of a specialist. You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet for more specialized diagnostic work or treatment is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her problem.
While in some cases, your veterinarian may be able to simply consult with a specialist about your pet's care, in other cases it is necessary to actually refer you and your pet to the specialist for more advanced diagnostics and treatment. Board certified veterinary internists may also have access to specialized diagnostic or treatment tools that a general practitioner veterinarian may not have.
What Health Problems Does A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist Treat?
Board certified internal medicine specialists are trained to treat the most serious diseases and health problems that affect pets. They are also especially prepared to care for pets that may be facing multiple health problems. Thanks to better health care, more and more pets are living longer lives. As a result, an increasing number of older pets, just like older people, are coping with multiple disease states that can be very difficult to manage. For example, a cat with diabetes may also be suffering from kidney failure, or a dog in heart failure may also be diagnosed with cancer. Internal medicine specialists are uniquely prepared to oversee the care of these complicated cases. In other situations, a younger animal may develop a problem that used to be considered untreatable but is now manageable and perhaps even curable.
Here are some common diseases that frequently lead general practitioner veterinarians and concerned pet owners to seek the expertise of a specialist:
Why Can't I See an Internal Medicine Specialist All the Time?
In some cases you can. In many practices, the general practitioner veterinarian at a practice is also a boarded internal medicine specialist. General practice veterinarians, however, are also highly educated medical professionals who must meet ongoing continuing education requirements throughout their professional careers in order to maintain their licensure. When a specialist is needed, he or she is only a phone call or a visit away.
Did You Know?
There are approximately 1400 board certified veterinary internal medicine specialists in the United States, and the number is growing.
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.