Internal Medicine

Our board-certified internists are experts in dealing with complex diseases of the endocrine, respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary and hematologic systems. Rhinoscopy, esophagoscopy, bronchoscopy, gastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, and cystoscopy are performed routinely by this talented team. Our internists are on-call for emergency endoscopic foreign body removal and work seamlessly with our ER and other specialty departments and your primary care veterinarian to ensure a comprehensive approach to patient care.

What is a board-certified veterinary internist?

A veterinary internist is a veterinarian who has successfully completed additional training, including a minimum of a 1-year internship followed by a 3-year residency in a program that meets the guidelines established by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). Board-certification requires completion of a rigorous examination.

What to Expect at your pet’s first internal medicine appointment

Our internal medicine service sees patients 7 days a week (with occasional exceptions, including holidays). It is helpful for our team to have access to your pet’s medical history in advance of your visit. Our staff will facilitate this once your primary care veterinarian arranges your pet’s referral and/or when you call to schedule your appointment.

When you arrive at our hospital, you will be asked to fill out an information sheet about your pet. Our front office staff will ask you and your pet to find a seat in our lobby and alert the internal medicine team of your arrival. One of our internal medicine nurses will then come and escort you to an examination room for a review of your pet’s medical history. The nurse will relay this information to the internist who will then meet with you, perform a physical examination on your pet, discuss your pet’s condition and provide diagnostic and treatment recommendations.

Additional diagnostics (eg, blood work, radiographs, ultrasound, CT) may be recommended to accurately diagnose your pet’s condition and optimize treatment recommendations. While not always needed, we ask that you be prepared to leave your pet with us for the day or in some cases, overnight or longer. We also ask that you take away your pet’s food the night before their visit (continued access to water is fine) in case sedation or general anesthesia are needed to perform any of these tests.

Following initial evaluation, our internists will work with you on developing the best treatment plan taking all factors into consideration. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with you and your primary care veterinarian to provide optimal care for your pet.

What will it cost?

The fee for a consultation appointment with the Internal medicine service is $160. There are additional costs for diagnostic tests, such as blood work, radiographs, ultrasound and CT among others. Treatment costs vary widely. After discussing diagnostic and treatment plan options, our internal medicine team will provide you with an estimate of associated costs. This initial estimate may change as test results become available and pending your pet’s response to treatment. We will keep you updated as charges accrue and discuss changes that may be needed to the initial estimate.

What to expect if my pet has an endoscopic procedure with the Internal medicine service

Prior to scheduled procedure:

  1. Do not feed your pet anything after 8 pm the night before the procedure.
  2. Please walk your dog in the morning and provide continued litter box access to your cat before coming to the hospital so that they can eliminate.
  3. When the nurse comes to meet you and admit your pet, please let us know of any medications your pet is receiving and when they were last given.
  4. Please confirm the number where we can best reach you with our front desk prior to leaving.

During an endoscopic procedure, your pet will be under anesthesia and closely monitored by our highly trained team. After the procedure, the internist will phone you with an update.

We understand it can be stressful to have your pet in the hospital and we value the human / animal bond you share. To accommodate this, we offer flexible visiting hours (NOTE: 6 am – 9 am and 6 pm – 9 pm are busy hours in our hospital and we strive to minimize visits during these times). We recommend visits be limited to 30 min or less in order to avoid disrupting ongoing treatments.

What to expect when my pet comes home after an endoscopic procedure

After your pet has recovered sufficiently to be discharged, an internal medicine team member will meet with you to go over home care instructions. These instructions may include medications to be given at home to aid in their recovery. These may include pain relieving medication, anti-inflammatory medication and/or antibiotics, among others. Please give all medications as directed. Please let the internal medicine team know if you are unfamiliar with or unable to give any of the medications.

Our Internal Medicine Team

Polly Peterson

DVM, DACVIM

Veterinary Specialist, Internal Medicine

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Sanjeev Gokhale

DVM, MS

Veterinarian, Practice Limited to Internal Medicine

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Nikki Gonzalez

DVM

Veterinarian, Practice Limited to Internal Medicine

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Sarah M Schmid

DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)

Veterinary Specialist, Internal Medicine

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