The Only Locally-Owned Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Minnesota

What is Internal Medicine? How can it help my pet?

Internal medicine specialized veterinarians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of pets across the spectrum from health to complex illness.  Internists in human medicine are sometimes referred to as a “doctor’s doctor,” because they are often called upon to act as consultants to other doctors to help solve puzzling diagnostic problems, and in veterinary medicine, the same dynamic applies.

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota (AERC of MN) provides emergency care 24/7, as well as referral care, which means that, just like in human medicine, pets can be seen by a specialist, like an internist, for complex medical problems.

Recently, Grace, a beautiful tortoise-shell cat, came to AERC of MN to see to Dr. Steve Shadwick, DACVIM, an Internist, for the removal of a nasopharyngeal polyp. Grace’s regular veterinary clinic is Lake Animal Hospital in White Bear Lake. Initially, Grace had what her owner thought was an ear infection in her left ear, but after two weeks of an antibiotic, it did not improve. During her check-up, the veterinarian at Lake Animal Hospital found a polyp (or an abnormal growth of tissue) in her left ear. When she was anesthetized to remove that polyp, they had trouble intubating her due to the presence of another polyp in her nose.

Grace was then referred to AERC to see Dr. Shadwick. “Grace had snorted since she was a young cat. She had a constant runny nose, which I had to wipe several times a day; the sound of the tissue being pulled from the box would send her running from the room. Occasionally, she even regurgitated when eating. She was on the thin side, and when she’d get sick, I couldn’t keep weight on her,” said Grace’s owner Heather.

“I had a great experience at AERC. Since her surgery there to remove the polyp in her nose, she no longer has a runny nose, breathes so much easier and doesn’t snort. She has so much more energy, and within three weeks of the procedure she’d put on nearly a pound, which is great. She’s playing like a kitten again, and I’m so happy that she doesn’t have to stop to catch her breath,” Heather added.

Heather went on to explain how AERC handled a miscommunication in regards to the procedure being performed on Grace, “Dr. Shadwick worked with me to lower the bill and provide me with a free recheck as compensation.”

During Grace’s recheck, Heather was also delighted to see that the technicians remembered Grace and were truly happy that she was better. “Gracie’s health means so much to me. I’m so happy that her life is tremendously improved that I don’t even mind that her now unending energy is completely exhausting. She is a little spitfire. She’s now even able to keep up with my other cat, her sister Calleigh, who is twice her size,” Heather said.

“I now feel confident that my Grace has a full life ahead of her. My commitment to both of my cats is paramount; I would do for them what any parent should do for their child. I’m glad that I was able to fulfill that commitment with the help of Dr. Shadwick at Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a furry being to make life worth living sometimes.”

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