Internal Medicine 101

RegionalVet asks "What is Internal Medicine?"The Internal Medicine Department at Regional Vet provides exams, tests, and therapies for helping sick dogs and cats. We see patients with a variety of medical problems. Those include new illnesses, second opinions and referrals for advanced or complicated issues.

Our internal medicine service collects and matches many pieces of information from the patient’s history. These include clinical signs, lab results, imaging studies, and special testing. This work is like a jigsaw puzzle. We create a complete picture of a pet’s health issues.

Internal Medicine: Conditions and Illnesses

Some examples of symptoms your pet might show before visiting us include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or fever. Others include weight loss or obesity, lethargy or depression, coughing, sneezing, or respiratory distress. Such symptoms can point our internists in the right direction when they start diagnosing your pet’s illness.

  • Endocrine disease (e.g., diabetes, Cushing’s, Addisons, hyper or hypothyroidism)
  • Gastrointestinal disease (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Respiratory disease (e.g., kennel cough, pneumonia, upper respiratory disease, asthma)
  • Liver disease (e.g., yellowish skin, weight loss)
  • Renal disease (e.g., acute or chronic kidney failure)
  • Urinary disease (e.g., incontinence, inappropriate urination, infection)
  • Immune-mediated disease (e.g., anemia)
  • Infectious disease (e.g., canine influenza, toxoplasmosis)

Non-invasive

Internists do not do surgeries or other invasive procedures. They rely on technology, such as an ultrasound or X-ray machine, so that they do not have to physically cut into an animal. This makes it possible for them to be very thorough in doing their work without causing your pet more pain.

Regional’s internists may use other advanced equipment like:

  • Ultrasound allows many body organs and systems to be visualized, including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidney, pancreas and bladder.
  • Endoscopy allows the veterinarian to examine and collect biopsy specimens from the lungs, stomach, small intestine, colon and nose. In addition, foreign objects a pet has swallowed can frequently be retrieved by endoscopy, making surgery unnecessary.

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