Board Certified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists and Critical Care Specialists

Just as your own primary care doctor might send you to a specialist to address an unusual or difficult problem, your family veterinarian may feel your pet requires a specialist to diagnose and treat certain conditions.

Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists and Critical Care Specialists have several years of advanced training in internal medicine and critical care beyond veterinary college. Board certified Internal Medicine Specialists and Critical Care Specialists have achieved the highest level of specialization in veterinary medicine that is possible. Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists and Critical Care Specialists have done both an internship and residency and have met certain criteria established by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) or the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC). They then become Diplomates of the ACVIM or ACVECC and can advertise themselves as Boarded Specialists.

Our Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialists and Critical Care Specialist have advanced experience in diseases of the gastrointestinal, urogenital, endocrine and hematologic systems, as well as providing care for patients requiring emergency and intensive critical care. Their expertise includes, but is not limited to abdominal ultrasound, bronchoscopy, endoscopy, laparoscopy, rhinoscopy and advanced hospital care. These services are all available here at VRCC.

We work closely with your family veterinarian to help provide complete veterinary care for your pet by giving second opinions on difficult cases, providing specialized hospitalization for critically ill patients and performing complex diagnostic procedures.

Practice History

Dr. Steve Wheeler opened the Internal Medicine practice in 1991 after leaving his teaching position at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Wheeler is one of three original founders of what is now known as VRCC. From the practice’s humble beginnings in a small, two-exam room hospital near Colorado Boulevard on Iliff Street, the Internal Medicine practice, along with an emergency and surgery practice, moved to our second location near Porter Hospital on Downing Street in 1992. The Downing Street hospital was a good home to us but was quickly outgrown with the addition of other specialty practices. In 1999, the Internal Medicine practice along with the other specialty practices in the building made the move to our current location.

Dr. Westfall joined the Internal Medicine team in 2001 after completing his training and board certification at Colorado State University. He became a partner in the practice in 2004. Dr. Ashton came to the Internal Medicine Department in 2011 after completing her training and board certification at Michigan Veterinary Specialists.

Recognizing the need for emergency services during the weekdays, Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Westfall opened a new division of their practice in 2007 by starting the Daytime Emergency service. Dr. Van Pelt joined our team to assist clients and veterinarians with emergencies and urgent cases when traditional emergency clinics are closed. The addition of this daytime emergency practice elevated VRCC to the level of a true 24 hour, 7 day a week emergency hospital.

The Internal Medicine and Daytime Emergency department continues to provide the most up to date diagnostic procedures, complex treatments and compassionate and experienced critical care for our patients. Utilizing digital radiography, ultrasound, endoscopy, CT, MRI, a fully equipped critical care unit and our experienced veterinary staff, we are able to provide to our patients and their families the best in veterinary specialty expertise in one hospital.

Veterinary Staff

The Internal Medicine department currently has four Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialists and one Board Certified Emergency and Critical Care Specialist. With over 50 years of combined experience in specialty internal medicine and critical care our Board Certified Specialists are looked to as leaders in their field.

Veterinary Technicians

Our veterinary technicians play an integral role in the diagnostics, treatment, and hospitalized care of our patients. All of our Internal Medicine technicians have an Associates of Animal Science degree and have passed the state or national certification exam to become certified veterinary technicians. We are very proud of our technicians as they are the most highly trained in their field. Our technicians provide compassionate and experienced care for your family member and understand the bond between you and your furry companion.

Veterinary Support Staff

It takes many people to help in the care of our customers and their family. From the person that assists you with your first phone call to our customer care staff that greets you and your pet on your visits, our staff is here to provide exceptional customer service. Making you feel comfortable in our hospital and confident that your pet is being cared for by the most highly skilled veterinary personnel in the area is the number one goal for our customer care team.