Internal medicine is the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the organs. Internal medicine is a broad subject with many conditions having similar symptoms (such as weight loss or increased thirst), making diagnosis challenging. Often several tests are required to obtain a diagnosis, and specialised equipment may be required.
Although all vets can assess and treat medical conditions, more complex problems are preferably managed by vets with a higher level of training. This may be a vet with a particular interest in medicine, a vet who has undertaken a certificate in internal medicine (often gaining Advanced Practitioner status), or a recognised specialist.
Conditions commonly seen by advanced internal medics include:
- Complex diabetic patients
- Chronic or acute vomiting or diarrhoea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blood problems such as anaemia
- Hormonal (endocrine) problems, such as thyroid disease or Cushing’s disease
- Unexplained fever
- Infectious diseases
- Respiratory disorders such as chronic cough or nasal discharge