What are the Common Conditions Treated by Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists?

When we talk about care for our furry friends who are not feeling well, there’s a particular group of health professionals who come to mind. They are the Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists. They are like the superstars in the world of animal healthcare. They tackle complex health problems in our dear pets, providing advanced-level care. This article discusses all about these healthcare heroes and the common conditions they treat.

What are Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists?

When our dear pets get sick, the first person we often think of is a vet. But did you know there’s another type of professional in the pet healthcare world called a Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist? Let’s try to understand who these specialists are and how they help our furry family members.

  • Who they are: These are experts who have spent several more years learning and training in vet school. Their focus is on understanding and treating severe internal diseases in animals. Think of them as the animal world versions of your human doctors who take care of complicated diseases.
  • What they handle: They look into challenging pet health cases. These can be diseases like cancer, diabetes, immune system-related disorders, and kidney diseases, among others. So, when your fuzzy family member is really sick, they are the experts who step in.
  • Why we need them: Sometimes, our pets get really sick. When this happens, they need more than just a basic check-up or treatment. This is when we turn to these Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists. They use in-depth investigations and specialized techniques to help our pets.

Common Conditions Treated

When we think of the common conditions these specialists handle, we can break them into categories. The first group of conditions is diseases that affect the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a group of organs that produce hormones for the body.

  • Diabetes: This disease happens when the blood sugar level is too high. Just like in humans, it affects animals as well. It is managed through insulin shots and changing the pet’s diet.
  • Hyperthyroidism: This illness is when the body makes too much thyroid hormone. This mainly happens in older cats. Some signs include weight loss but with a good appetite, being hyperactive, and a fast heart rate.
  • Addison’s and Cushing’s disease: These are illnesses that affect the adrenal glands. These glands make hormones that the body needs to function properly. Pets with these diseases can show a wide range of symptoms. This means that these diseases often need a lot of tests for pets before they get diagnosed.

Moving on to the second category it involves diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. This is the system in our pet’s body that takes in food, breaks it down, and removes waste.

  • Chronic vomiting or diarrhea: This can be because of a disease like Inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies or intolerance, or an infection.
  • Ingestion of foreign bodies: Our pets, especially young dogs, sometimes swallow things they are not supposed to. This ends up needing specialist care.
  • Chronic pancreatitis: This condition is where the pancreas gets inflamed. It can lead to poor absorption of nutrition and weight loss. This can be seen in both cats and dogs.

The third category includes conditions that affect the pet’s kidneys and the urinary tract.

  • Chronic kidney disease: This disease happens when the kidney’s functions decline over time. It is a common problem in older cats and dogs. One may see signs like drinking and urinating a lot, weight loss, or feeling tired all the time.
  • Urinary incontinence: This is when pets have issues with controlling their bladder. Often, our furry friends will need help from the Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist for this problem.

When is a Pet Surgery Needed?

In cases where our furry friends have gotten really sick, sometimes medicines just do not get the job done. That is when the advice of a specialist is required. In some cases, our pet may need surgery. Let’s look at some examples of when these surgeries are needed.

  • Tumors: Sometimes, our pets may develop tumors in their bodies. These are abnormal growths of cells. When these tumors pose a threat to the pet’s health, they need to be removed.
  • Urinary tract obstructions: Pets can develop stones in their urinary tracts. Like kidney stones in humans, these can cause a lot of pain and trouble. If medicines do not get rid of these stones, sometimes surgery is required to remove them.
  • Damaged parts: Just like humans, pets can also get wounded. They can break their bones or damage their muscles. Sometimes, if the injury is really bad, surgery might be the only way to fix it.

During all this, there are places that take very good care of our pets. One such place is Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Charlotte. They have specialized facilities for pet surgeries and take care of your pet until it gets better.

Emergency Veterinary Care

Just like we have emergency rooms for humans, there are emergency vet clinics for our pets. These come in handy when regular vet care is not enough. Let’s look into instances where your pet may need emergency healthcare.

  • Severe trauma: Sometimes, our pets may get injured really badly. This could be a car accident or a serious fall. During these times, they will need immediate specialist healthcare.
  • Difficulty breathing: At times, our pets may develop breathing issues. These can get really severe, really fast. When this happens, it’s emergency time, and a vet specialist might need to step in.
  • Seizures: Pets, like humans, can also get seizures. A seizure is a sudden surge in electrical activity in the brain. If your pet gets a seizure, it needs emergency vet care.
  • Acute abdominal pain: Our pets cannot tell us when they are in pain. But we can see signs when something really hurts. For example, if they are continuously whining or cannot seem to find a comfortable position to lie down, they might need emergency healthcare.

During these times, the immediate services of a well-equipped place like an animal hospital in Charlotte, NC can make a significant difference in the well-being of your pet.

The Diagnostic Process and Treatment Plan

Given the seriousness of the diseases these specialists handle, they use high-tech tools that regular vet clinics don’t have. These help us understand what’s wrong with our pets. Once they figure out what’s wrong, treatment can be planned using different tools.

  • Blood and urine tests: The specialist may take a small amount of blood or urine from the pet to test it. These tests could show the presence of diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, and endocrine system disorders.
  • Ultrasounds and x-rays: These are pictures of the inside of the pet’s body. These pictures can help find things like tumors, obstructions, or changes in the size and shape of organs.
  • Endoscopy: During this procedure, the vet uses a tool that is like a long, flexible tube with a tiny camera on one end. This tool is inserted into the pet’s body and allows the vet to see things like the stomach or the colon.

Following diagnosis, the treatment process can vary depending on the type of disease. The treatment may include supportive treatments, surgeries, or medication for a long time.

  • Supportive Care: Some pets might be really sick. For these pets, supportive care, like giving them fluids directly into their veins, can help them feel better.
  • Dietary Changes: Sometimes, changing what our pets eat can help manage diseases. This is often seen in diseases like diabetes or pancreatitis.
  • Surgeries: In cases where the pet has tumors or has swallowed something they should not have, surgery might be the only way to make them better.
  • Long-term Medication: Some diseases can last a long time. This is the case with illnesses like hyperthyroidism. Pets with these diseases might need to take medicines for their entire life.

To End

In summary, the world of veterinary internal medicine is a complex one. These specialists deal with a range of diseases in our pets. Although we all hope that our four-legged family members never need to see these specialists, it is good to know that such help exists. 

Whether your pet has been diagnosed with a severe illness or you suspect something unusual, Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists are here to help. In the end, our pets’ well-being comes first, and we can all agree that they deserve the best health care there is.