Small animal internal medicine is the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the internal organs of dogs and cats. Some examples of internal organ systems included in the practice of internal medicine include the upper and lower respiratory tract, the liver, the kidneys, the endocrine organs, the hematological system, the immune system, the pancreas, the prostate, the reproductive system, and the urinary tract.

While internal medicine specialists typically treat their patients via medical management of disease processes with diet and medications, they also work collaboratively with surgeons to diagnose and treat illnesses requiring surgical intervention.

What is a board-certified internal medicine specialist?

Board-certified internal medicine specialists are veterinarians who have undergone additional years of more focused training in their area of specialty in the form of an academic or private practice residency program. There are specific areas of specialty further divided into small animal (dogs and cats), equine, and large animal veterinary internal medicine.

In addition to the added years of specialty training, board-certified internal medicine specialists must also pass two additional specialty board examinations and perform and publish peer-reviewed clinical research in their area of specialty. They must also continue the practice standards of their specific veterinary specialty college and stay up-to-date on the current veterinary scientific and clinical research. By doing so, they maintain their board-certification under the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM).  Additionally, as with all veterinarians, they must also adhere to all continuing education and other requirements determined by their state of practice to maintain their veterinary licensure.

What are some common conditions (diseases) diagnosed and treated by small animal internal medicine specialists?

  • Endocrine diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus, Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, and thyroid diseases.
  • Acute and chronic liver diseases.
  • Respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, rhinitis, and inflammatory conditions.
  • Infectious diseases such as tick-borne diseases, bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
  • Acute and chronic kidney diseases.
  • Gastrointestinal and digestive diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, food allergies, Lymphangiectasia, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, gastroenteritis, esophagitis, colitis, and gastrointestinal motility disorders.
  • Acute and chronic pancreatitis.
  • Immune-mediated/autoimmune disorders such as Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP), and Immune Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA).
  • Urinary tract diseases such as urinary stones (urolithiasis), cystitis, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), and acute and chronic infections of the urogenital tract.
  • While cancer is typically treated by a board-certified veterinary oncologist, often times the diagnostic evaluation to determine whether cancer is present is performed by an internal medicine specialist.
  • Internal medicine specialists can also help balance the care and management required for some geriatric patients.

What is endoscopy?

  • Endoscopy is the use of endoscopes to visualize and assess certain accessible areas of the body.
  • Endoscopy is also used to identify and remove foreign bodies from certain areas of the body.
  • Areas of the body accessible with an endoscope include the oral cavity (oropharyngoscopy), the throat/larynx (laryngoscopy), the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract (esophagoscopy, gastroduodenoscopy, ileoscopy, colonoscopy, proctoscopy), the upper and lower respiratory tract (rhinoscopy, nasopharyngoscopy, bronchoscopy), and the urinary/urogenital tract (vaginoscopy, cystoscopy).
  • Small animal internal medicine specialists receive extensive endoscopy training during their residency and endoscopy is utilized frequently in the practice of small animal internal medicine.

How do small animal internal medicine specialists work with other veterinarians?

  • Most of the patients that we see in the internal medicine department at MarQueen Veterinary Specialty Group are patients referred to us by a primary family practice veterinarian.
  • While self-referral is an option, we find that the best care is maintained through a collaborative relationship between your primary family practice veterinarian and the internal medicine specialist.
  • Small animal internal medicine specialists also work collaboratively with other board-certified veterinary specialists including surgeons, emergency and critical care specialists, oncologists, radiologists, cardiologists, neurologists, nutritionists, ophthalmologists, dermatologists, and pathologists.
  • At MarQueen Veterinary Specialty Group, our emergency veterinarians work closely and extensively with our specialists to determine the best diagnostic and treatment options for your pet. This collaborative approach helps to facilitate more efficient and thorough care resulting in better outcomes for your beloved dog or cat.

Emergency (ER) care Information

As a 24 hour vet hospital in Upland, MarQueen is equipped with 24 hour pet emergency veterinary care to provide after-hours care for the specialty patients of MarQueen Veterinary Specialty Group – internal medicine, oncology, surgery, radiology, cardiology, and rehabilitation for those surgical cases that require veterinary rehab such as mobility exercises, laser, and acupuncture.

Please feel free to call anytime if you have any questions or concerns about your dog or cat. MarQueen is here to provide 24-hour vet emergency care when your regular veterinarian is unavailable or feels your dog or cat would benefit from a visit to a veterinary specialist at MarQueen.