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Portosystemic shunts can be diagnosed via several methods including:

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Nuclear scintigraphy
  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Cranial mesenteric arteriograms

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.

Internal Medicine

Our internal medicine specialists frequently take care of dogs and cats with serious and complex illnesses that may require more advanced diagnostics and therapies.

Our internists have special training in the use of non-invasive and minimally invasive diagnostic techniques. Whether your pet needs a stay in the hospital or can be cared for at home, the internists will guide you through the most current treatments available to provide the best quality of life for your pet.

Our internists are able to provide you with specialized diagnostics and medical treatments involving:

  • Ultrasonography and digital radiography
  • Ultrasound guided aspirates and biopsies
  • Oncology (cancer) treatment
  • Endocrinology, hematology, and gastroenterology
  • Endoscopy and bronchoscopy

Appointments are made by referral from your family veterinarian. You may schedule an appointment by calling (707) 579-3900.

At VCA PetCare East, we feel that the relationship between pet owners and their family veterinarian is an important one. Our internists work closely with your referring family veterinarian to keep them up to date with your pet's progress while at VCA PetCare East, which enables them to continue their active role in providing lifelong care for your dog or cat.

Our Internal Medicine Services

Abdominocentesis
Arthrocentesis
Bronchoalveolar Lavage BAL
Bronchoscopy

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