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Arthrocentesis is the sampling of joint fluid. This is typically done in dogs and cats with lameness secondary to joint disease. Most causes of joint effusion (excessive fluid in joints) are immune-mediated polyarthritis (IMPA), joint infection, and tick borne diseases. The diagnosis of IMPA is based on the sampling of multiple joints. Findings include inflammation without evidence of bacterial infection on culture. Rarely fungal disease (e.g. blastomycosis) and cancer may be found in the joint. Treatment of septic arthritis (infected joint) is based on chronic aggressive antibiotic therapy. While treatment of IMPA is based on chronic immuneosuppressants to help prevent that body from continuing to attack the joints.

Internal Medicine

Welcome to VCA Valley Oak Veterinary Center's Internal Medicine Department. While having to see an internal medicine specialist can be stressful, we are here to make your visit and your pet's stay as comfortable as possible. Our Internal Medicine Department has specialized technology as well as the expertise to help diagnose and treat your pet, but our mission is also providing you and your pet with compassionate care and the best client service possible.

What Is A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist?

A board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist is a licensed veterinarian who has completed a one-year internship program followed by a three-year residency in internal medicine. Following successful completion of a comprehensive examination and acceptance of a publication in a peer-reviewed journal, the doctor becomes board certified and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 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

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 with intensive training and advanced diagnostics and therapies to help diagnose or treat a particularly complicated medical problem. Veterinary Specialists work in concert with primary care physicians to ensure the very best outcome for your pet.

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

INTERNAL MEDICINE CLIENT RESOURCE LIBRARY

Our Internal Medicine Department offers an array of resources that provide further information to help pet owners become informed about many diseases and health issues affecting pets. Please feel free to browse, view our videos and download any of the documents from our resource library below:

CANINE DIABETES (videos):


FELINE DIABETES (videos):

Our Internal Medicine Services

Abdominocentesis
Arthrocentesis
Bronchoalveolar Lavage BAL
Bronchoscopy

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