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Leah Young (Ferguson)

Dr. Ferguson
Veterinary Specialist
Internal Medicine
Availability: Wednesday - Friday
Dr. Ferguson

Dr. Leah Ferguson was born and raised in Peace Dale, Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Animal Science in 2006. She then earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Purdue University in 2010, where she was awarded the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) award for proficiency in small animal medicine and surgery. Upon graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Ferguson completed a one-year rotating small animal internship at VCA South Shore Veterinary Hospital in Weymouth, MA. She then performed an additional one-year internship focused on emergency and critical care medicine at Massachusetts Veterinary Hospital in Woburn, MA. After her internships, Dr. Ferguson moved west to pursue a three-year residency in small animal internal medicine at Colorado State University. She completed her residency and obtained a Masters in July 2015. Dr. Ferguson has many professional interests, but is especially interested in immune-mediated disease, gastrointestinal disease, endocrinology, and urinary disease. Dr. Ferguson resides in University Heights with her husband, children, cats (Orion and Brigette), and her dog (Rosalita). She enjoys spending time with her family, eating ice cream and the ocean.

Internal Medicine

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:

  • Endocrinology
  • Cardiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology (study of the blood)
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Nephrology/Urology
  • Neurology
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Oncology

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.

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:

  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Immune Related Disorders
  • Kidney Dysfunction

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.

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved? 

In many cases, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care, especially if your pet is coping with multiple disease states or conditions. In other cases, your referral doctor will take over the majority of your pet's medical care. It depends on your pet's particular disease and health problem.


  • Arthrocentesis
  • Bone marrow (aspiration and biopsy)
  • Cerobrospinal fluid aspiration
  • CT scan
  • Cystoscopy
  • Cystolith retrieval
  • Digital radiography
  • Cystography
  • Endoscopy
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Rhinoscopy
  • Gastroduodenoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Foreign body retrieval
  • Esophageal
  • Gastric
  • Tracheal wash
  • Endotracheal
  • Transtracheal
  • Ultrasonography
  • Abdominal
  • Thoracic
  • Ultrasound-guided aspiration
  • Biopsy


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Endocrine disease
  • Esophagostomy tube placement
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Hepatic disease
  • Infectious disease
  • Percutaneous endoscopic
  • gastrostomy tube (PEG tube)
  • Renal disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Transfusion medicine

Did You Know?

There are approximately 1400 board certified veterinary internal medicine specialists in the United States, and the number is growing.

Our Internal Medicine Team

Credentialed Veterinary Technician
Credentialed Veterinary Technician
VCA Great Lakes Veterinary Specialists

4760 Richmond Road

Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

Main: 216-831-6789

Fax: 216-831-4653

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Are you a Primary Care Veterinarian? We have dedicated resources for you.

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