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Internal Medicine is for Pets, Too!

By Dani Charba, CVT |


An Internal Medicine Veterinarian is a board certified specialist that has an understanding of the internal body systems function and has advanced training in multiple areas. Clover Basin Animal Hospital is lucky enough to partner with MOVES Mobile Veterinary Specialists and we have worked very closely with Dr. Nolan and his technician Jenna on some unique cases, as well as with Dr. Monaghan.



Overview

While your general practice veterinarian may be able to diagnose or treat certain issues, some ailments may require input from a specialist to provide the proper care and treatment for your pet. Some of the areas that Internal Medicine Specialist have advanced training in are:

  • Endocrinology

  • Cardiology

  • Gastroenterology

  • Hematology (study of the blood)

  • Immunology

  • Infectious Diseases

  • Nephrology/Urology

  • Neurology

  • Respiratory Diseases

  • Oncology

While these are some of the areas that these specialists have training in they may also collaborate with specialists specific in these areas with difficult cases. (“Internal Medicine”)


Consultations

Dr. Nolan and his team offer consultations with owners to discuss their pet’s case prior to moving forward with any diagnostics. During this meeting you can talk to the doctor about symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plans based on the results of the diagnostics. These consultations are scheduled by your general practice veterinarian, as they can directly contact someone from MOVES to set up their soonest availability. MOVES is a specialty service that has the ability to travel to many clinics, including Clover Basin Animal Hospital. Some of the most common diseases that general veterinarians seek specialist help include:

  • Cancer

  • Heart Disease

  • Gastrointestinal Diseases

  • Diabetes Mellitus

  • Immune Related Disorders

  • Kidney Dysfunction

These consultations can be scheduled the same day as procedures or prior to procedure dates.


Services

MOVES offers a variety of services tailored towards specific cases for clients and their pets. Services include but are not limited to:

  • Ultrasound- This diagnostic tool is used to look at organs and structures such as the liver, kidneys, spleen, stomach, pancreas, bladder, and reproductive organs. For this procedure your pet may need to be shaved and will most likely be sedated. Your pet needs to be as still as possible for this procedure so sedation is very common for ultrasounds.

  • Abdominal (stomach)

  • Thoracic (Chest)

  • Urinary (Bladder)

  • Endoscopy-This diagnostic tool is used to look at the upper gastrointestinal tract for abnormalities. Biopsies (removal of pieces of tissue/cells) can be done at the same time to help further evaluate abnormalities. In this procedure a long flexible tube is placed down the esophagus and into the gastrointestinal tract to retrieve biopsies. For this procedure your pet will be placed under general anesthesia. (Spillmann)

  • Colonoscopy-This diagnostic tool is used to look at the lower gastrointestinal tract for abnormalities. Biopsies (removal of pieces of tissue/cells) can be done at the same time to help further evaluate abnormalities. In this procedure a long flexible tube is placed up the rectum and into the gastrointestinal tract to retrieve biopsies. For this procedure your pet will be placed under general anesthesia. This can be done at the same time as an endoscope procedure to evaluate the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. (Jergens)

  • Feeding tube placements- This is performed for short-term or long-term support and allows an animal to be fed a variety of diets. This is usually done under deep sedation or general anesthesia. (Bassert, 2014, p. 311)

  • Nasogastric Tubes (placed through the nasal passage and esophagus into the stomach; short term)

  • Esophagostomy Tubes (placed through an opening in the skin and directly through the esophagus into the stomach; long-term)

  • Bone Marrow Aspirates- This diagnostic tool is used to evaluate cells in the bone marrow for abnormalities. General anesthesia is required for this procedure. (Bassert, 2014, p. 573)

Aftercare

At the end of every consultation and procedure the client will receive a report from MOVES with a diagnosis and possible treatment options. Your general veterinarian and MOVES will continue to collaborate to create a tailored treatment plan that best suits your pets needs. After the procedure is done your general veterinarian will determine whether or not your pet needs to stay for overnight care at a specialty facility or if your pet can go home that day.


Wrap-up

While your general practice veterinarian can handle many aspects of your pet health, sometimes they require the help of a specialist. Internal Medicine Specialists are trained in many areas and can perform more advanced procedures and diagnostics with specialized tools. It is very important to CBAH that your pet receive the gold standard of care and working with specialists like MOVES helps us deliver that care.




Sources

“Internal Medicine”, VCA Animal Hospitals, https://vcahospitals.com/veterinary-specialists-of-northern-colorado/departments/internal-medicine. Accessed February 18, 2022.


Spillmann, T. DVM. “Endoscopy of the Gastrointestinal Tract: When is it Really Indicated”, Veterinary Information Network, Inc., https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?id=3860780&pid=11242& Accessed February 18, 2022.


Jergens, A. DVM. “Colonoscopy in the Dog and Cat”, Veterinary Information Network, Inc., https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?id=3846198&pid=11147&. Accessed February 19, 2022.


Bassert, J. M., & Thomas, J. A. (2014). Extraoral Examination. Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians (pp. 311; pp.573). essay, Elsevier.


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