Internal Medicine FAQs

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. Schafgans is located within the Pet Emergency Clinic and Referral Center. She works closely with the emergency, surgical, radiology and dermatology specialties also located within the facility.

Weeknight and weekend emergency care is provided by the Pet Emergency Clinic.

What can I expect at my appointment?

Dr. Schafgans 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 while others will be scheduled for the following day. She will work closely with your veterinarian regarding findings and treatment plans.

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.

Fees

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 you pet. For your convenience, we accept cash, personal checks, credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and Discover) or Care Credit (please inquire at clinic for an application).

Preparing for your appointment

Your regular veterinarian should fax all of your pet’s records prior to your visit. Please bring all of your pet’s current medications as well as any relevant records or images (x-rays, ultrasound) that cannot be faxed. Note that internal medicine appointments are typically one to two hours in length so please plan accordingly.

Internal Medicine Office Hours

Monday – Friday: 8 am — 5 pm
509-326-7246

Appointments by referral only.