Internal medicine typically refers to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the GI system (mouth, throat, stomach, intestines), liver, pancreas, kidneys and bladder. Conditions that may affect these organs in cats and dogs include pancreatitis, kidney disease, urinary tract infections, inflammatory bowel disease and more. At House Paws, we recommend routine lab work to monitor the health of these organs and organ systems, especially with middle-aged and senior pets. Monitoring routine lab values gives us a better idea of how a pet is doing internally over time, as many conditions may not show physical symptoms right away. If changes on lab work are noted, simple lifestyle adjustments can be made to prevent the onset of disease or slow the progression of the ailment. Such adjustments may include modifications in diet or activity, adding in a new medication or supplement, or altering a current medication regimen.

Sometimes a pet gets sick and it’s difficult to understand why without knowing more about that pet’s internal health. In these cases, if routine lab tests cannot explain the pet’s change in health, we can run more specialized tests so that we can make an informed diagnosis and begin appropriate treatment. These tests may include additional blood work, radiographs of the abdomen or the heart, and sometimes an ultrasound or echocardiogram. Regardless of whether a pet is sick or in apparently good health, running tests and analyzing the results paints a more detailed picture of what is going on inside the pet. Having this information allows us to refocus the plan of care when necessary and give informed recommendations and diagnoses that are tailored to that pet’s current health status.