May 22, 2024

If you’re a pet parent, you understand deeply the importance of your pet’s health. However, what happens when your pet falls ill and a regular check-up isn’t enough? That’s where internal medicine comes into the picture!

Understanding Veterinary Internal Medicine

There’s often a misunderstanding of what is covered under veterinary internal medicine. Much as in human medicine, veterinary internal medicine encompasses a broad range of specializations dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases within animals. Unraveling the world of Stockton veterinary internal medicine services, you’ll find niches ranging from neurology to gastroenterology, oncology to cardiology, and much more:

  • Neurology deals with disorders related to the nervous system.
  • Gastroenterology focuses on disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Oncology is concerned with the treatment of cancer in animals.
  • Cardiology handles problems related to the cardiovascular system.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Veterinary Internist

An internist’s expertise lies in diagnosing complex disorders, interpreting diagnostic tests, recommending treatment plans, and managing a pet’s overall health. As such, their roles and responsibilities include:

  1. Diagnosing complex health conditions.
  2. Evaluating and interpreting diagnostic tests.
  3. Advising on prevention and management of diseases.
  4. Conducting intensive therapies and procedures when needed.

Common Illnesses Treated by Veterinary Internists

The range of illnesses treated by veterinary internists is just as varied and complex as their specialties. Everything from infectious diseases to cardiac issues, gastrointestinal problems to immunological disorders can fall into the ambit of a veterinary internist.

Benefits of Veterinary Internal Medicine for Your Pet

Veterinary internal medicine has a wealth of benefits for your pet’s well-being. Taking an in-depth look, you’ll find that these benefits include:

Specialized Care

  • Expert Diagnosis: Internal medicine specialists have the skill set and knowledge to diagnose complex and less common conditions. They can pick up on subtle cues and infer from details that a general veterinarian could easily miss.
  • Bespoke Treatment Plans: Once your pet’s condition is diagnosed, a veterinary internist can curate an exclusive treatment plan tailor-made to suit your pet’s specific needs and health condition.

Comprehensive Services

  • Extensive Testing: Veterinary specialists can undertake extensive medical testing. This can include blood work, imaging (like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans), endoscopy, and other advanced diagnostic methods.
  • Intensive Treatments: If your pet requires intensive treatment, such as chemotherapy or cardiological services, an internal medicine specialist can provide these on-site, saving you the trouble of seeking additional specialists.

Long-term Health Management

  • Disease Management: Veterinary internists are instrumental in managing chronic diseases. Their expertise in long-term disease processes helps maintain the best possible quality of life for pets with chronic illnesses.
  • Preventive Care: Veterinary internal medicine isn’t just about treating existing conditions. A big part of an internist’s work is providing preventative care, including wellness examinations, dietary recommendations, vaccination schedules, and more.

Peace of Mind

  • Expert Care: Knowing your pet is in the hands of a trained specialist well-equipped to handle complex issues brings immense peace of mind. You can rest easy knowing they provide the best care for your pet’s needs.
  • Collaborative Care: Veterinary internists often collaborate with your regular vet to ensure your pet gets a holistic treatment plan. This team approach can greatly enhance your pet’s care and ensure all aspects of their health are considered.

When to Consult a Veterinary Internist

Understanding the signs that warrant a visit to a veterinary internist is crucial. These may include chronic symptoms, strange behaviors, unresolved illnesses, and referrals from general practitioner veterinarians.

Cat Wellness Exams

Preventative care is key to ensuring optimal health for your furry friend. This is why cat wellness exams are important. During these exams, veterinarians thoroughly check the cat’s health, looking for any signs of disease and taking necessary steps to nip them in the bud.

What to Expect During a Visit to a Veterinary Internist

The first visit to a veterinary internist usually involves an initial consultation followed by diagnostic tests, formulation of a treatment plan, and scheduling follow-up visits.

Geriatric Care for Pets

As pets age, their healthcare needs change. Hence, providing geriatric vet services at Bear Creek Veterinary Hospital is critical to ensure your older pets get comprehensive health care tailored to their needs.

The Path to Becoming a Veterinary Internist

Becoming a veterinary internist demands substantial education, rigorous training, a residency in a specific field of interest, and a successful completion of a certification examination.

Choosing a Veterinary Internist for Your Pet

Selecting a professional and skilled veterinary internist for your pet is critical. Here are the vital aspects you should consider when doing so:

Expertise and Qualifications

  • Certifications: Always check the certifications of the internist. They should be board-certified, which means they have the necessary training and have passed the exam in their respective specialty of internal medicine.
  • Subspecialty: In internal medicine, there are subspecialties like cardiology, oncology, etc. If your pet has a specific illness, you might want to consider an internist with a subspecialty in that area.

Rapport with Your Pet

  • Comfort: Observe how the internist interacts with your pet. Your pet should be comfortable and at ease during examinations and procedures.
  • Communication: The internist should be communicative and ready to answer all your questions about your pet’s health and treatment.

Access to Facilities and Equipment

  • Medical Equipment: The veterinary clinic should have advanced medical equipment for diagnostic testing and treatments.
  • Support Staff: The quality of support staff – like nurses or technicians – also plays a crucial role in your pet’s well-being during their visit.


  • Referral Policies: If your pet needs a specialist in another area of internal medicine, does the internist have a network of trusted specialists to refer you to?
  • Emergency Policies: What happens in case of an emergency? Does the clinic have an on-call doctor, or do they refer you to an emergency clinic?


Ensuring your pet’s health is a shared responsibility between you and your vet. When normal vet services are found insufficient, a veterinary internist comes in. Understanding and appreciating the nuances of veterinary internal medicine can better equip pet parents to make well-founded decisions about the health and well-being of their furry family members.