Our hospital offers a variety of services with our Board Certified Internal Medicine practitioner, Dr. Mosette Eibert.
Internal Medicine is the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis, management and nonsurgical treatment of disease affecting the lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen, intestinal tract, urinary tract, endocrine system and neuromuscular systems. Management of these conditions is typically done with diet, exercise and medications.
If your veterinarian feels your pet has a more advanced or specific problem, they may recommend referral to an Internal Medicine Specialist who has additional internship and residency training beyond veterinary school and has taken a set of examinations certifying them as a specialist within that field.
Following assessment of an organ and the surrounding structures, ultrasound imaging is used to guide needle placement into a selected tissue or cavity. A sample of tissue or fluid may be drawn through the needle as an aspirate to analyze the cells or other contents of the sample (cytology and microbiology). A larger needle may be used to retrieve a small piece of solid tissue for a core-biopsy to analyze the architecture of the tissue (histopathology). Ultrasound guidance is commonly used to remove fluid from the chest cavity (thoracocentesis) and abdominal cavity (abdominocentesis).
Advanced Anesthetic Monitoring
Our hospital offers comprehensive animal anesthesia monitoring. Prior to anesthesia, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet and may require them to have bloodwork in order to evaluate general organ health and suitability of anesthetic medications. While your pet is under anesthesia, he or she will be monitored in much the same way as a person undergoing anesthesia would be. This monitoring includes listening to your pet's heart and lungs, visually assessing your pet's reflexes, and using equipment to monitor your pet's blood pressure, level of blood oxygen, heart rate, heart rhythm, and temperature. After the procedure is completed, your pet will continue to have vital parameters monitored until he or she is fully recovered. Trained technicians act alongside veterinarians to ensure that your pet's procedure goes smoothly.
There are many conditions which require surgery to treat, and can be life-threatening or dangerous to wait for prolonged periods of time. Common examples include being hit by a car, internal bleeding, a rupture or hole in the intestines, eating foreign objects that have become stuck or obstructed, gall bladder disease, difficulty giving birth, or a wide variety of other illnesses. In these scenarios, we have veterinarians trained in surgery available 24 hours a day. If your pet needs emergency surgery, we are always prepared and equipped to provide this life-saving procedure.
Hip Dysplasia Diagnosis and Management
Hip dysplasia is a common developmental disorder of the hip joint that affects almost all breeds of dogs. Over time, dogs with hip dysplasia often develop secondary osteoarthritis. Symptoms associated with hip dysplasia range from none to severe pain and lameness of one or both hind legs and may occur during puppyhood or later in life.
Dogs suspected of having hip dysplasia are diagnosed as having the condition based on palpation of the hip joints during a physical examination and with radiographs. Treatment for the condition often depends on the severity of the clinical signs and may involve medical management (weight control, exercise moderation, anti-inflammatory/pain medications, and/or joint supplementation) or various surgical interventions.
Palliative Treatment of Cancer Pain
Palliation is medical care or treatment that is focused on reducing symptoms associated with a disease process rather than trying providing a cure for the disease. The goal with palliative care is prevent or relieve suffering as to improve the quality of life of your pet so you may have some quality time with them. There are many ways to perform palliative care and each plan will be developed based on your pet’s clinical signs and their stage of cancer.
Palliation may simply include pain medications, antibiotics or diet changes but can also include modalities such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Quality of life monitoring with regular examinations can also be helpful to ensure changes occurring with progression of the disease are matching with the pet’s treatment plan.
Staging is the process of testing that evaluates your pet's cancer with regard to tumor size and spread (if the cancer has metastasized or involves other parts of the body). From the information obtained with these tests, a numeric description is given with higher numbers indicating more advanced disease (i.e. stage V is more advanced than stage I). Knowing the stage of your pet's cancer is critical in selecting the proper treatment as well as in establishing their prognosis. The numeric stage is based on initial testing. Therefore, it will not change during the course of your pets therapy. The grade of a cancer is different then it's stage. Grading requires a tumor biopsy and microscopic description. Staging on the other hand utilizes testing such as radiographs, blood analysis, bone marrow analysis and others based on the known behavior of the tumor and changes found in your pet. The information obtained though testing reveals critical information regarding the cancer behavior and also allows your veterinarian to assess your pets overall health. Depending on the needs of your pet, these tests may occasionally be repeated to determine if a response to treatment has occurred.
Diagnosis and Medical Management of Liver Shunts
Portosystemic shunts can be diagnosed via several methods including:
Abdominal ultrasound is considered the least invasive. However, it only has approximately 70% sensitivity (ability to diagnose a portosystemic shunt when present). Abdominal CT scan and cranial mesenteric arteriograms require general anesthesia and are costly, but they provide the anatomy of the shunting vessel. Nuclear scintigraphy is considered the gold standard (best test available) test and it is non-invasive. Nonetheless, patients become radioactive for 12-24 hours. This may require an overnight stay in the hospital.
Medical management of liver shunts is done via controlling clinical signs. This is best attained by using a combination of diet, antibiotics and laxatives. Treatment is tailored to each individual patient.
Thoracic Ultrasonography / Thoracocentesis
Pets are sometimes presented with fluid in the space between their lungs and the chest wall due to some underlying condition. Ultrasound guidance is used to draw the fluid out with a syringe. This sterile procedure can often make the pet more comfortable while our veterinarians are evaluating the cause of the fluid. The fluid obtained via this procedure will be laboratory-tested as part of the process of discovering the underlying cause for the condition and arriving at a diagnosis and treatment protocol.