Many pet owners are unaware of common internal conditions or diseases that could affect their pets. Our Stanwood vets will explain some of the common internal conditions that can affect your pets and when to see an internal medicine specialist.
What Does an Internal Medicine Specialist Do?
Internists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the internal systems of cats and dogs, including the liver, kidney, gastrointestinal tract, and lung/airway. They comprehend the complicated relationships of all of your pet's organs and body systems, as well as how to address a disease's underlying causes.
To obtain an accurate diagnosis, specialized diagnostic testing is often required. Ultrasound, CT scan, blood tests, biopsies, endoscopy, and other advanced diagnostic procedures will provide the most accurate image of what is going on in your pet.
Why Would My Pet Need to See an Internal Medicine Specialist?
Internal medicine is one of the most diverse and all-encompassing veterinary medical disciplines. When traditional medicines fail to adequately manage disease and baseline diagnostic testing fails to diagnose a sick pet, a veterinary internist can assist in getting to the source of the problem. Some ailments can be healed, but chronic diseases frequently necessitate life-long management to ensure that pets have a good quality of life.
Veterinary internists are educated to assess every aspect of a pet's history and clinical findings to recommend the best diagnoses and therapy based on the overall clinical picture.
Common Health Conditions:
Some pets have uncommon or difficult-to-manage diseases or complications that necessitate more extensive therapy and monitoring. Internal medicine professionals can advise you on the best treatment for your pet. They can collaborate with other professionals, such as veterinary neurologists and oncologists, to create the best strategy for your animal's health.
Some of the most common conditions an internal medicine specialist can help with include:
Infectious Diseases: Because of their contagious nature and frequently catastrophic effects, infectious diseases, such as parvo and canine influenza, should be treated aggressively. As a result, hospitals usually include an isolation unit with specially trained staff to prevent illness spread.
Endocrine Diseases: Diseases involving hormone production and management, such as diabetes, Cushing's disease, Addison's disease, and thyroid diseases, can be difficult to manage since hormone levels are influenced by a variety of external circumstances.
Blood & Bone-Marrow Diseases: Your pet's bone marrow creates all of its blood cell types, and a marrow-related disease can lead to serious disorders like chronic anemia or leukemia that necessitate specialized care.
GI Conditions: Pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and liver disease, for example, can trigger a slew of problems throughout the body that must be carefully managed.
Urinary Tract Disorders: If left untreated, several urinary diseases, such as bladder stones and proteinuria, might reoccur or cause persistent problems.
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Diseases: Cardiovascular conditions, such as heart failure and hypertension, frequently necessitate close monitoring and frequent evaluation with modern techniques, such as cardiac ultrasonography, to ensure appropriate function and avoid problems. Further, if asthma, pneumonia, and other respiratory disorders are not appropriately handled, they can interfere with your pet's crucial oxygen levels. If necessary, veterinary internal medicine specialists can provide continuous oxygen therapy or ventilator breathing control.
Kidney Disease: Kidney failure is a common condition that primarily affects elderly pets, although it can also impact puppies and kittens. Proper management can give a pet some extra months, and in some cases even years, they would not have had otherwise.
Periodontitis/Dental Disease: Periodontal diseases are mainly the result of infections and inflammation of the gums and bones that surround and support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed.
Skin Allergies: Skin allergies from environmental factors are the most common type of allergic reaction in pets. These allergies are usually seasonal and are caused by allergens such as dust, pollen, weeds, grasses, and mold. As a result, you may only notice your pet itching at certain times of the year.
Vomiting/Upset Stomach: Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs of an inflamed, irritated stomach and intestines, or gastrointestinal upset in dogs and puppies. Other signs that your dog has an upset stomach could include, licking lips or licking the air (a sign of nausea), gulping (as a way to combat acid reflux), loss of appetite, and lethargy
Diarrhea/ Intestinal Upset: Recurring bouts of diarrhea over a short period can be a sign of a very serious health issue, especially if your furry friend is very old, very young, or has a compromised immune system. Infections such as parvovirus are extremely serious, contagious, and life-threatening.
Diabetes: Diabetes is more common in older pets, but it can also occur in younger or pregnant pets. The disease is more manageable if it is detected early and managed with the help of your veterinarian. The good news is that with proper monitoring, treatment, diet, and exercise, diabetic pets can lead long and happy lives.