Veterinary Internal Medicine Services for Companion Animals
A veterinary internal medicine specialist diagnoses and treats diseases of the gastrointestinal, urogenital, endocrine, hematologic, cardiovascular, and pulmonary systems in a safe, compassionate manner.
If your pet has symptoms or an illness that cannot be diagnosed or treated by your family veterinarian, they may be referred to an internal medicine specialist for more advanced care.
At our Englewood veterinary hospital, we emphasize a comprehensive, team approach to our cases and work not only with your veterinarian but also with our other in-house specialists to ensure the best care for our patients.
Board-Certified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists
Board-certified internal medicine specialists have several years of advanced training in internal medicine beyond veterinary college. They have done both an internship and residency and have met specific criteria established by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). They are Diplomates of the ACVIM.
What to Expect at Your Pet's Appointment
Understanding what you can expect at your pet's internal medicine appointment will help to calm both you and your animal, making the process easier and less stressful.
- Bring Medications & Registration Form
Unless your pet is diabetic we recommend that pets coming in for their first appointment not be fed the morning of their appointment. Please do not withhold water.
Fasting will allow us to complete any laboratory work and/or diagnostic imaging that may be required at the same time of the appointment.
Please give all medications as directed by your family veterinarian prior to your pet’s visit. It is also helpful to bring your pet’s medications with you at the time of the appointment.
Please also fill out the Internal Medicine Form and bring it with you.
- Patient Intake Form
If this is your first visit with one of our specialists, we will ask you to fill out a Patient Intake form for your pet.
This form can be printed from our website and filled out prior to arrival. If you are unable to complete this form please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment time to allow time to complete the form.
- Review of Medical Records
Your family veterinarian will provide us with their records and radiographs of your pet so that we have a complete picture of your pet’s medical condition. Family veterinarians will most often send us these records by fax or email but you may be asked to bring radiographs with you for your pet’s visit.
Here are some commonly asked questions we've received from clients about appointments at VRCC Internal Medicine:
- When are appointments available?
To schedule an appointment with one of the VRCC Specialists, please call the Internal Medicine department directly at (303) 874-2055. Appointments are scheduled Monday through Friday from 10:00 am-3:30 pm.
Please expect to be here with your pet for at least one hour for your pet’s first visit with one of our specialists. Subsequent visits are approximately 30 minutes in duration.
- What if my pet requires overnight care?
If your pet needs to stay with us in the hospital, we will be happy to show you the accommodations once your pet gets settled. During your pet’s stay, we provide fresh, comfortable bedding, along with food and water as medically appropriate. We monitor temperature and provide blankets or fans to keep your pet comfortable.
We recommend against leaving any personal belongings with your pet during their stay, as it is possible these items may get misplaced.
If you wish to provide a specific diet for your pet during their stay, please bring it in a sealed, leak-proof container (no plastic baggies of any kind will be accepted), and make sure its contents are clearly labeled with: type of food, your pet’s name, and the date.
- What are your patient visiting hours and guidelines?
We understand that pets are like family. Being separated from your pet can be extremely difficult and visitation is encouraged whenever possible.
Please observe the following guidelines for visiting with your pet:
- Visiting hours are from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, and 11:00 pm - 2:00 am daily.
- We request that you call ahead and tell the technician taking care of your pet when they can expect you to arrive for a visit so that we can make sure all necessary treatments scheduled for your pet can be done prior, as to not have your visit interrupted.
- We request that you limit your visit to 15 minutes – consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to allow for extended visitation time.
- All necessary safety protocols must be followed in cases when your pet is being hospitalized in our isolation unit.
- In some situations, our Patient Care staff may request that you return to the lobby. We will reunite you with your pet as soon as possible.
- Although you will not be allowed to stay overnight with your pet, we welcome you to call and check in with our Patient Care staff at any time to learn the status of your pet.
- For privacy purposes, patient status for pets other than your own cannot be shared.
- How do I pick up my pet's prescription or food order?
Prescriptions may be refilled by speaking with one of our staff members or by simply leaving a message on our department voice mail at (303) 874-2055.
Please call for refills and food orders during our regular office hours Monday through Friday from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Since VRCC is a 24-hour hospital we do have staff available to help you pick up your prearranged prescription refill or food order after hours if required.
By law, prescriptions can only be made for one year. After a year another appointment must be made to refill your pet's medications.
- When should I book my checkup/recheck appointment?
After one year, a recheck appointment must be scheduled to continue the doctor/patient relationship with our internal medicine specialist, or with your primary care veterinarian who can then refill your medications if they feel comfortable doing so.
Internal Medicine Services
Our internal medicine specialists at VRCC offer a range of services that can be tailored to your pet's needs.
From resolving reproductive issues to diagnosing and treating problems in a pet's endocrine system, we are prepared to offer your pet the care he or she requires. Our services include:
- Immune Mediated Disease
The immune system is supposed to identify and eliminate threats to the body such as pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites).
However, when the immune system malfunctions and starts to attack the body, this is called and immune-mediated disease (or auto-immune disease). We can see numerous body systems affected including blood, joints, skin, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system.
Our goal for patients with auto- immune disease is to determine the type of autoimmune disease and formulate an appropriate therapeutic plan using immunosuppressive medications.
- Respiratory Medicine
The respiratory tract is divided into the upper tract (nose, mouth, larynx, and trachea) and the lower tract (bronchi and lower airways). A physical exam and clinical signs help us localize disease to one of these two areas.
We are able to image the upper respiratory tract using advanced imaging (CT scan) and using a camera (rhinoscopy) to directly visualize the inside of the nasal passage. We can also perform camera evaluation of the lower airways (bronchoscopy).
Common respiratory diseases that we diagnose and treat include chronic rhinitis, fungal rhinitis (fungal infections in the nose), chronic bronchitis, feline asthma, tracheal collapse, and pneumonia.
Gastroenterology includes diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestines, and colon. This also includes diseases of the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas.
We are able to diagnose and treat multiple disease processes including inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, stomach ulcers, certain types of cancers. We commonly perform abdominal ultrasound to help visualize the organs in the gastrointestinal tract.
We can also use a small, flexible scope camera to directly evaluate the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and a portion of the small intestines. Using this camera, we can obtain biopsies of the GI tract and even remove foreign objects.
Nephrology is the study of the kidneys. We are trained to diagnosis and treat chronic kidney disease as well as acute kidney injuries. Urology is the study of the lower urinary tract which includes the bladder and urethra.
Ultrasound and radiographs are frequently utilized to evaluate the bladder for disease such as bladder stones, bladder tumors, bladder polyps, or congenital abnormalities. We are also able to directly visualize the urethra and bladder using a camera (cystoscopy) in most of our patients.
The endocrine system is in control of maintaining the balance of hormones in the body. This system includes the adrenal glands, thyroid glands, parathyroid glands, pancreas, pituitary gland, and the hypothalamus.
Common endocrine disease that we diagnose and treat include diabetes mellitus, hyper- and hypo-thyroidism, hyper- and hypo-parathyroidism, diabetes insipidus, hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) and hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease).
Hematology is the study of the blood. This includes red blood cells, platelets, and the various types of white blood cells. This also includes the body’s ability to form blood clots.
Auto- immune diseases can affect the blood causing severe anemia or a very low platelet count.
We can also see toxins or systemic disease (such as liver disease) lead to abnormal clotting. If needed, we are able to administer transfusion of red blood cells as well as clotting factors to our patients.
- Infectious Disease
There are numerous infectious diseases including that can affect both dogs and cats. Some are very species specific, but some can affect humans as well.
Based on your pet’s clinical signs and exposure risks, we can determine appropriate infectious disease testing and make treatment recommendations.
Diagnostics & Tools
We have a comprehensive range of diagnostic tests and tools at our disposal to allow us to offer an accurate diagnosis. These include:
With digital radiography, there is no time lost on developing film, and images are ready for evaluation within seconds of taking the radiograph. Digital radiography allows us to e-mail your pet's images or make copies on a computer disc.
Endoscopy allows our Internal Medicine Specialists to visualize the internal organs of patients by using a scope that projects the live image onto a monitor. We can visualize the patient’s internal organs, in real-time.
Antech Diagnostics is our hospital's national pet laboratory. This means that our doctors can get accurate test results, provided by a professional laboratory. The lab's analyzers are maintained and calibrated daily.
Ultrasound is safe, comfortable, and very rarely requires sedation or anesthesia. This non-invasive diagnostic tool helps us to diagnose abnormalities such as a tumor in the liver or spleen. It also allows us to gather fluid samples or tissues for analysis.