How to Find Top Veterinary Internal Medicine Practices & What to Expect During Your Visit

As a loving pet owner, ensuring the health and well-being of your furry companion is a top priority. That’s why it’s crucial to seek specialized care when your pet faces certain health challenges. Veterinary internal medicine practices provide the expertise necessary to diagnose and treat chronic illnesses in pets. But how do you find the best veterinary internists, and what should you expect during your visit? In this guide, we’ll explore all aspects of veterinary internal medicine, helping you make informed decisions for the benefit of your treasured companion.

Understanding Veterinary Internal Medicine Practices

Definition and scope of veterinary internists

Veterinary internal medicine focuses on diagnosing and treating complex health issues in pets. Veterinary internists are specialists who have undergone extensive training in treating chronic diseases and disorders related to the internal organs, such as the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and heart. They possess in-depth knowledge of various conditions, enabling them to provide comprehensive care for your pet.

Diagnostic testing for pets

In order to accurately diagnose your pet’s health issues, internal medicine specialists utilize a range of advanced diagnostic tools and techniques. These may include ultrasounds, radiographs, laboratory tests, and endoscopy, among others. By performing thorough examinations and evaluations, veterinary internists can pinpoint the root cause of your pet’s illness and devise an appropriate treatment plan.

Common Diagnostic Techniques Used by Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialists

Veterinary ultrasound and radiology

Veterinary ultrasound and radiology are non-invasive imaging techniques that allow veterinary internists to examine the internal structures of your pet’s body. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of organs and soft tissues, while radiographs (X-rays) capture images of bones and other dense structures. These imaging modalities play a critical role in the accurate diagnosis of various conditions.

Pet endoscopy

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows veterinary internists to examine the inside of your pet’s body using a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the tip. This tool can be guided through the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, or other areas. It’s useful for detecting abnormalities, obtaining tissue samples, or even treating certain conditions.

Blood and other laboratory tests

Blood tests, alongside urine and fecal tests, are essential for assessing your pet’s overall health and identifying potential problems. By analyzing these samples, veterinary internists can detect infections, hormonal imbalances, organ dysfunction, and other issues that may be affecting your pet’s wellbeing.

When to Seek a Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist

Chronic pet illnesses

If your pet suffers from a chronic illness that is not improving or requires specialized care, it may be time to seek the expertise of a veterinary internist. These specialists are equipped to handle complex cases, offering a higher level of care and treatment options tailored to your pet’s unique needs.

Gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders

Veterinary internal medicine specialists handle a variety of gastrointestinal and respiratory issues in pets. Common examples include inflammatory bowel disease, chronic coughing, and unexplained vomiting or diarrhea. If your pet battles with these issues, consider consulting an internist for a comprehensive evaluation and targeted treatment plan.

Hormonal imbalances

Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid conditions, can lead to hormonal imbalances in pets. A veterinary internist can accurately diagnose these issues, devise an appropriate treatment plan, and closely monitor your pet’s progress.

Immune system disorders

Pets with autoimmune diseases or immune-mediated conditions often require specialized care from a veterinary internist. These professionals possess the knowledge and experience necessary to manage and treat such disorders effectively, ensuring the best outcomes for your pet.

Blood disorders

If your pet is experiencing issues related to blood clotting, anemia, or other blood-related concerns, it’s essential to seek the guidance of a veterinary internist. These specialists can diagnose and treat a wide range of blood disorders, offering the best possible care for your furry friend.

Infectious diseases

Pets suffering from infectious diseases, such as tick-borne illnesses or fungal infections, may benefit from the expertise of an internal medicine specialist. These practitioners are adept at handling complex, long-term cases that require ongoing care and management. Know more about infectious diseases here.

How to Find Top Veterinary Internal Medicine Practices

Referrals from your primary veterinarian

Your primary care veterinarian is often the best source for referrals to specialists like veterinarian in Placentia, CA or elsewhere. They are familiar with your pet’s medical history and will likely be able to recommend a vet clinic that has experience dealing with your pet’s specific condition.

Online research (professional websites, reviews, or forums)

Online research can provide valuable insights into local veterinary internal medicine practices. Professional websites, reviews, and forums may contain useful information, helping you assess the quality of care provided. You may also discover patient testimonials, giving you an idea of what to expect at a particular practice.

Recommendations from friends, family, or pet groups

Personal recommendations from fellow pet owners can be a valuable source of information when searching for specialists. Friends, family, or members of pet groups can speak to their experiences with veterinary internal medicine practices, offering firsthand insights into the care provided.

Checking the credentials and experience of the veterinary internist

Before selecting a specialist, it’s essential to verify their credentials and experience. Look for board certification in veterinary internal medicine, as this assures they have completed rigorous training and meet high standards for specialized care.

What to Expect During Your Visit to a Veterinary Internal Medicine Practice

Physical examination and consultation with the veterinary internist

During your visit, the veterinary internist will conduct a thorough physical examination of your pet, assessing vital signs, palpating abdominal organs, and inspecting the skin, ears, eyes, and mouth. The specialist will also review your pet’s medical history and discuss your concerns.

Diagnostic tests (ultrasound, endoscopy, blood tests, etc.)

Depending on the issues your pet is facing, the veterinary internist may order additional diagnostic tests, such as blood work, ultrasounds, or endoscopy, to further evaluate their condition. The results of these tests will help the specialist determine the most appropriate course of action.

Discussion of possible diagnoses and treatment options

Once test results have been analyzed, the veterinary internist will discuss potential diagnoses and recommend suitable treatment options for pet surgeon procedures or other treatments. They will also address any questions or concerns you may have about your pet’s care.


Your pet’s health and well-being are of utmost importance, and finding the right veterinary internal medicine practice is essential for obtaining the best care possible. Armed with the knowledge provided in this guide, you’re well-equipped to find a skilled and experienced veterinary internist who can tackle your pet’s health challenges. Remember to trust your instincts and gather referrals, recommendations, and information about a practice before making your final decision. By working closely with a top veterinary internal medicine specialist and your primary veterinarian, you’ll ensure that your beloved companion receives the comprehensive care they deserve.