What is an Internal Medicine Specialist?
An internist is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (DACVIM) and has completed additional training including an internship and residency as well as passed rigorous examinations to become board certified.
Specialists in small animal internal medicine have additional training in the unusual and uncommon diseases in cats and dogs.
Dr. Whitney Nelson is board certified in Small Animal Internal Medicine (SAIM). She and her staff work closely with the other specialty referral services located inside the PECRC including Surgery, Radiology, Dermatology, and Clinical Pathology.
Weeknight and weekend care for Internal Medicine patients is provided by PECRC Emergency service clinicians.
When Should My Pet See an Internal Medicine Specialist?
Your pet should see an internal medicine specialist if his or her disease is uncommon or rare, a neutral second opinion is sought, or to obtain assistance in making or confirming a diagnosis in conjunction with your regular veterinarian. Pets with multiple or complicated disease processes, and/or those who require 24-hour hospital care may also benefit from assessment by internal medicine.
In addition, an internist can often offer more advanced diagnostic and therapeutic options for complicated conditions.
Common conditions evaluated by an internist include gastrointestinal disease, kidney disease, urinary issues, respiratory disease, endocrine disease, immune disease, disorders of the blood or bone marrow, medical neurologic disease, and some types of cancer.
Some of the procedures that are offered include endoscopy, colonoscopy, cystoscopy, rhinoscopy, bronchoscopy, bone marrow sampling, spinal fluid taps, joint fluid sampling, and chemotherapy.
What Can I Expect at My Appointment?
Dr. Nelson will discuss your pet’s history with you and examine your pet upon referral from your family veterinarian. Diagnostic procedures and options for therapy will be discussed in detail. Some diagnostic procedures can be scheduled for the same day. She will work closely with your veterinarian regarding findings and treatment plans.
You are encouraged to discuss any questions you may have about internal medicine fees with the staff. A written estimate will be provided. All charges are to be paid at the time of treatment or the discharge of your pet. For your convenience, we accept cash, personal checks, credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover), Care Credit (Care Credit accounts must be set up prior to your appointment) and we also now accept Scratchpay, an online payment plan (see more info at scratchpay.com).
Preparing for your appointment
We will call your regular veterinarian to have all records, labs, and images sent prior to your visit. Bring all of your pet’s medications with you. Special feeding or medication instructions will be given prior to your appointment, usually the night before you are scheduled. Initial exam/consultation will take 1 – 1 ½ hours. If imaging or a procedure is pursued, your pet will be here for several hours to most of the day.