Internal Medicine Services

Internal Medicine All the veterinarians at Steele Creek Animal Hospital are knowledgeable in diagnosing and treating complex internal medicine cases such as kidney, heart, respiratory, immune-mediated and endocrine diseases.

One of the frustrations of dealing with a sick pet is that you cannot simply ask him/her what is wrong. After performing a thorough examination, a series of diagnostic tests is often necessary in order to identify the medical condition. Therefore, Steele Creek Animal Hospital has invested in the latest advanced diagnostic technology; we make use of this medical technology to assist us in diagnosing and treating your sick pet.

The practice of Internal Medicine includes the diagnosis and management of a broad spectrum of medical disorders of the endocrine system, the urogenital system, the gastrointestinal system, the respiratory system and the hematologic system. It also includes otolaryngological (ear) and opthalmalogical (eye) care and treatment. Our devoted doctors regularly attend continuing education conferences to stay abreast of the new diagnostic testing protocols and new therapeutic plans for diseases in this diverse and dynamic area of medicine.

Some common internal medical conditions that we treat include:

Endocrine system

  • Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
  • Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's disease)
  • Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's disease)
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Diabetes Insipidus

Urogenital system

  • Feline lower urinary tract disease
  • Chronic and acute kidney disease and failure
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Urolithiasis (urinary bladder stones)
  • Congenital and hereditary conditions of the urinary system
  • Mastitis / mammary (breast) tumors
  • Pyometra
  • Prostate disease

Gastrointestinal system

  • Ingestion of foreign objects or toxic substances
  • Infections or parasitic diseases
  • Pancreatitis or pancreatic insufficiency
  • Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Liver disease, Hepatic Lipidosis
  • Gall bladder disorders
  • Anal sac disease

Respiratory system

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Feline viral disease complex (Herpes, Calicivirus)
  • Infectious Tracheobronchitis (kennel cough)
  • Airway obstructions (stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, tracheal collapse, laryngeal paralysis)
  • Pulmonary edema or congestion
  • Chest trauma

Hematologic / Immunologic systems

  • Anemia
  • Blood parasites
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Immune mediated disorders
  • Feline Leukemia
  • Lymphoid / Splenic disorders

Diagnostic plans for the above systems may include:

  • Blood and urine testing
  • Digital radiographs
  • Diagnostic ultrasound
  • Aspirates and biopsies
  • Bone marrow aspiration
  • Referral to Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist

Allergies and Dermatology

Skin disorders are extremely common medical concerns and may be the result of bacterial or fungal infections, parasites, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances or immune system disorders. Many skin conditions are manageable though not curable and thus require more frequent veterinary follow-ups. We realize this makes this group of diseases very frustrating for owner and pet. Our veterinarians will work closely with you to uncover the source of your pet's skin disease and help design a successful management program.

DermatologyOur diagnostic program may include:

  • Allergy testing
  • Elimination diet trials
  • Skin scrapings and Cytology
  • Bacterial and fungal cultures
  • Blood testing
  • Skin biopsy
  • Referral to a Veterinary Dermatologist

If left untreated, allergy-related conditions can become serious health concerns for your pet. Therefore, it is important to be able to identify the first signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions. These include:

  • Inflamed ears
  • Hotspots, especially those that recur
  • Scratching
  • Rubbing the eyes or mouth area
  • Flaking
  • Lesions on the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Red itchy bumps on the skin
  • Asthma-like wheezing or respiratory issues

These problems can indicate a serious dermatological or allergic reaction to allergens such as fleas, pollen, dust and various foods. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you bring your pet in to Steele Creek Animal Hospital for an evaluation. If left untreated, these problems can become severe medical concerns.

At Steele Creek Animal Hospital, we take the time to explain your pet's condition, how to prevent future occurrences and the proper method of treatment.

Oncology & Cancer Treatment

The word cancer strikes fear in all of us; however, with new advances in veterinary medicine many pets are living longer with a greatly improved quality of life.

Successful cancer treatment often lies in early detection. Early detection can be difficult as not all cancer presents itself as a lump on the skin. Many tumors develop inside the body. A thorough examination with diagnostic tests (x-rays, ultrasound) can often discover these tumors. If left undiagnosed, the disease may not be noticed until clinical symptoms develop and treatment becomes more complex and potentially less successful.

Treatment also depends on the type and location of the cancer. If possible, surgical removal of the tumor is recommended. Some types of cancer are responsive to chemotherapy, which include a variety of oral and injectable drugs. Dogs and cats tend to tolerate chemotherapy well but do at times develop side effects similar to humans.

Steele Creek Animal Hospital's veterinarians are knowledgeable in this discipline.

CardiologyCardiology

Our doctors are skilled in diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the heart and lungs. If one of our veterinarians suspects a problem, she will recommend the appropriate diagnostic plan to fully evaluate her concerns. Diagnostic testing may include:

  • Chest radiographs (X-rays)
  • Electrocardiogram (electrical evaluation of heart rhythm)
  • Blood pressure evaluation
  • Echocardiogram (ultrasound imaging of the heart)
  • 24 hour Holter or Event monitoring
  • Referral to a Veterinary Cardiologist

Common cardiac conditions include:

  • Heartworm disease
  • Degenerative Valve disease
  • Heart Failure
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Myocarditis/Endocarditis
  • Hypertension
  • Congenital heart defects

Heart disease may occur in any age pet. However, early diagnosis of heart disease often leads to improved quality of life and increased longevity.

Neurology

Neurology is the medical discipline that focuses on diseases and injuries of the nervous system including the brain and spinal cord.

Common conditions include:

  • Seizures
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Vestibular disease
  • Brain tumors or trauma
  • Meningitis/Encephalitis
  • Spinal fractures or tumors

Should your pet show symptoms of a neurological disorder, our doctors will complete a thorough physical examination including laboratory testing as indicated. If needed or desired, your pet will be referred to a Veterinary Neurologist for more advanced imaging, specialized diagnostics and neurosurgery.

Our Acupuncture and Physical Rehabilitation services provide integral support in recovery of many of our patients with neurologic impairment.

Ear CareEar Care

Your pet's ears are his organs of hearing and balance. The ear consists of three parts: outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Disorders in any part will affect your pet's ability to hear and thus his quality of life.

Otitis externa (disorder of the outer ear canals) is most common. Common causes include allergies, parasites, bacterial or yeast infections, and occasional foreign bodies. Early diagnosis and thorough treatment are important to the management of ear disease. Once resolved, good preventive care is the best "treatment". Your pet's Doctor and Veterinary Technician can show you how to properly clean your pet's ears. Chronic untreated otitis externa is not only uncomfortable but can also cause eventual occlusion of the ear canal due to swelling and thickening skin. This "end stage" occlusion can only be corrected with surgery.

Otitis media (middle ear disease) usually is caused by infection or a foreign object penetrating the tympanic membrane (ear drums). Facial nerve paralysis and Horner's syndrome may result from otitis media since the facial and sympathetic nerves traverse the middle ear. Otitis interna may occur as well. A head tilt, abnormal eye movements and difficulty rising and walking (loss of coordination) are symptoms.

Diagnostic procedures that are used to diagnose ear diseases:

  • Otoscopic exam
  • Ear cytology
  • Ear culture
  • Blood tests
  • Digital radiographs

Treatment may include:

  • Regular ear cleaning/flushing
  • Topical or oral medication
  • Therapeutic laser
  • Follow up examinations until resolved
  • Surgery

Eye Care

Because sight is so important to our pets, a thorough ophthalmic exam is part of each patient's Wellness examination. Our pets can develop many of the same eye problems that people do including cataracts, conjunctivitis, dry eyes, eye lid deformities and glaucoma. Since eye conditions can worsen rapidly, we suggest you have your pet's eyes examined immediately if you notice rubbing, squinting, redness, swelling or discharge; or if your pet appears to have difficulty seeing.

Eye CareDiagnostic procedures that may be used for eye assessment:

  • Thorough ophthalmoscopic exam
  • Fluorescein staining of cornea for scratches or ulcers
  • Schirmer Tear Tests to assess tear production
  • Culture / Cytology
  • Tonometry to measure intraocular pressures

Some eye conditions necessitate a surgical correction. Replacement of a prolapsed nictatans gland, excision of growths on eyelids or correction of entropions or ectropions (where eyelids do not fit properly against the eye) are the most common.

Should your pet need more specialized care, our Doctors will refer you and your pet to a Veterinary Ophthalmologist. Cataract surgery and diagnosis / treatment of ocular tumors are common reasons for referrals.

Referrals

Patients who need the expertise of a boarded specialist are offered referrals. Steele Creek Animal hospital has an excellent working relationship with specialists in oncology, ophthalmology, neurology, medicine and advanced surgery.