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Sara Crespo-Szabo

DVM, DACVIM
Dr. Sara Crespo-Szabo
Veterinary Specialist
Internal Medicine
Dr. Sara Crespo-Szabo

Dr. Sara Crespo-Szabo earned her bachelor's degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz before going on to Michigan State University for her veterinary degree.

Dr. Crespo-Szabo went on to complete a small animal medicine and surgery internship at VCA Animal Specialty and Emergency Center. She then worked at a 24-hour veterinary hospital caring for emergency cases for three years before entering a specialty medicine internship in Maitland, Florida. Dr. Crespo-Szabo remained in Florida to complete a three-year internal medicine residency. In September 2021, Dr. Crespo-Szabo was awarded board-certification in small animal internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

In downtime, Dr. Crespo-Szabo enjoys hiking, spending time with her husband and trying out new restaurants. She shares her home with a 14-year-old calico cat named Reecie. Dr. Crespo-Szabo cares for a wide range of internal medicine cases and has a special interest in respiratory, urinary and nephrology conditions.

See our departments

Internal Medicine

What is a Veterinary Specialist? How are they different from my family veterinarian?

In addition to completing undergraduate training and four years of veterinary school, Board-certified Veterinary Specialists are similar to their human medical counterparts in that they have completed an internship and residency in their specialized field (an additional 3-5 years training).

In addition to this extensive training, a Board-certified Veterinary Specialist must pass rigorous examinations to achieve Board certification from the ACVIM. Specialists bring a greater understanding in the area of internal medicine, cardiology, oncology, or neurology, and have a greater knowledge of the unusual, the uncommon, or rare in small animals. In addition, a Specialist may have diagnostic equipment not generally used by your family veterinarian.

What is Internal Medicine?

The specialized area of veterinary medicine known as Internal Medicine is primarily dedicated to diseases of the internal systems of animals, but may on occasion involve the skin or eyes.

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, are coping with multiple disease states that can be very difficult to manage.

What Health Problems Does A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist Treat?
Why does my animal need to see a Board-certified Small Animal Internist?


Commonly called Internists, these Specialists focus on diagnosing and treating diseases of the internal systems. Where the diagnosis is known, an Internist may confirm the diagnosis and treatment, providing piece of mind. If a diagnosis is proving elusive or therapy is not proving effective, the Internist may be better able to find the diagnosis or adjust treatment plans to get your animal back to health. Examples of conditions for which your family veterinarian might refer your animal to an Internist are:

  • Anemia or other bleeding disorders
  • Chronic vomiting or diarrhea
  • Complicated pancreatic disease
  • Coughing & other breathing problems
  • Endocrine disease (adrenal tumors, complicated diabetes, thyroid disorders)
  • Infectious disease
  • Kidney or bladder disease
  • Liver inflammation
  • Unexplained weight loss


What should I expect during a visit with a Board-certified Small Animal Internist?

The Internist will perform a complete and thorough physical examination of your animal, and based on these initial findings, additional tests will be discussed. Depending on your animal's condition, diagnostic testing or treatments may include:

  • Advanced laboratory testing of various tissue and blood samples.
  • Diagnostic Imaging - ultrasound, radiography (x-rays), CT scans, MRIs
  • Biopsies of masses, internal organs, or bone marrow
  • Endoscopy - bronchoscopy (lungs), cystoscopy (bladder & urethra), colonoscopy (colon & small bowel), gastroduodenoscopy (stomach & upper intestines), rhinoscopy (nasal cavity), laparoscopy (minimally invasive surgery for biopsies of internal organs)
  • Feeding tube placement
  • Nutrition consultations

How Does a Veterinary Internist Diagnose My Pet's Problem?

A specialist in Internal Medicine has advanced training and specialized equipment to diagnose and treat complex medical problems.After careful review of your pet's medical records and discussion with your family veterinarian and you, your doctor will discuss with you the need for further diagnostic testing, if any. Our state of the art facility allows us to diagnose challenging medical problems through:

Ultrasound

  • Abdominal
  • Ultrasound guided fine needle aspirates
  • Ultrasound guided biopsies
  • Echocardiography


Endoscopy for gastrointestinal disorders and respiratory problems, including:

  • Gastroduodenoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Rhinoscopy
  • Cystoscopy
  • PEG tubes

Bone marrow aspirates for hematological assessment

Biopsy needles for less invasive biopsies of masses and some internal organs

Blood pressure determinations for detecting both hypertension and low pressures

CT scans of the abdomen and chest

What Happens After My Pet Has a Diagnosis?

After we have arrived at a diagnosis, we can discuss issues such as treatment, prognosis, quality of life and other issues. If your pet requires hospitalization, our 24 hour intensive care unit can provide round the clock doctor and nursing care, including:

  • Advanced life support
  • Surgical & non-surgical feeding tubes for nutritional support
  • Infusion pumps for constant infusions of vital medications,
  • Oxygen supplementation,
  • Blood gas monitoring as well as around the clock monitoring of other blood parameters and blood pressure

Our Internal Medicine Team

Veterinary Specialist
VCA Veterinary Specialists of the Valley

22123 Ventura Blvd.

Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Main: 818-883-8387

Fax: 818-436-4660

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Thu: 11:00 am - 2:00 am

    Fri-Sat: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

    Sun: Temporarily Closed

Other Hospital Hours:

Our Emergency Department hours are as follows ~

Mon - Thu: 11 am to 2 am
Fri - Sat: 11 am to 8 pm
Sun: Closed

Our Specialty Departments are open on the following days ~

Cardiology: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu
Internal Medicine: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu
Oncology: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu
Neurology: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu

Please call VCA Veterinary Specialists of the Valley at (818) 883-8387 to schedule an appointment for specialty services or if an emergency should arise.

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

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