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Internal Medicine

internal medicineInternal medicine is the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of internal organ disease. This is a subtle and complex discipline requiring vast amounts of knowledge and experience, not to mention patience and an inquisitive mind.

Internal medical expertise underpins all that we do for hospitalised patients at Gordon Veterinary Hospital. Our two veterinary partners are Members of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in small animal (canine and feline) or feline medicine as follows:

  • David Loneragan (Feline Medicine)
  • Scott Lackenby (Canine & Feline Medicine)

Given that only 10% of veterinarians have any College qualification this is an exceptional line up of skills and experience and is put to use every day.

Accurate diagnosis is essential if effective treatments and a prognosis are to be given. This in turn relies on a series of diagnostic tests performed during a hospital stay or over a few visits. The tests are listed below and are generally non-invasive but some involve general anaesthesia or sedation.

  • Radiography
  • Ultrasonography
  • Endoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • Culture of organisms such as fungii or bacteria
  • Microscopy
  • Blood tests such as organ profiles, blood counts, coagulation profiles and blood gas analysis
  • Urine tests
  • Electronic tests such as blood pressure measurement, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels

The options for diagnosis and treatment and the costs of each option will be presented to you by the veterinarian and you can decide what best suits your pet and your family.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is common amongst our elderly (and not so elderly) patients just as it is with ourselves.The most common syndrome encountered is that of congestive heart failure which is in turn caused by a number of heart diseases. Pets can also have heart muscle and heart rhythm disturbances as well as congenital (birth defects). Heartworm disease is thankfully rare in our area because of the high rate of preventative medication, such as the Proheart annual injection.

Heart murmurs

Many dogs are diagnosed with a heart murmur, particularly small dog breeds as they get older. Usually when it is first diagnosed, a heart murmur is subclinical (not causing any clinical signs of disease). A heart murmur does not necessarily mean heart failure. Heart failure can be a consequence of a severe heart murmur but it usually develops slowly over a period of years. This is why an annual health check is so important so your vet can monitor the severity of the murmur each time.

Respiratory Disease

Sneezing, nasal discharge, coughing, wheezing or noisy breathing and difficulty breathing are all signs of disease of the respiratory system as well as some other systems. Many small dogs are born with obstructive diseases of their throat and nose which should be assessed to avoid life-long damage. Respiratory difficulty can be a sign of tick paralysis and many other problems – your pet should be kept cool and calm and checked immediately.

Chest Xrays

For any respiratory disease that does not respond to routine veterinary therapy, a chest radiograph (xray) is usually recommended to enable us to image the chest. Usually this is able to be performed under sedation (depending on the patient).
Click here to find out more about Diagnostic Imaging.

Gastrointestinal Disease

Diseases of the stomach and bowel are very common. Vomiting, Diarrhoea, straining to toilet or just being off food are the most common signs. Infections and parasites are a particular problem in dogs because they eat things that they shouldn’t and drink from dirty water. Pets are also prone to things getting stuck (bones, corn cobs and all sorts of strange things!), inflammation and cancer. Liver and pancreatic disease are also very common, in particular a condition called pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis in Dogs

This is inflammation of the pancreas organ (responsible for producing enzymes for digestion). When the pancreas becomes inflamed, these enzymes are activated within the pancreas rather than in the digestive tract, which can cause peritonitis (inflammation of the whole abdominal cavity). These animals have a sore, tense abdomen and in dogs, acute vomiting is often seen. Pancreatitis is a life threatening disease and animals with these symptoms need urgent veterinary attention and hospitalisation. In some cases, pancreatitis is the result of ingestion of something fatty (such as bacon) which the dog’s digestive tract simply cannot handle. It is for these reasons that we recommend that dogs stay on a fairly consistent diet designed for dogs, such as the Hills Science Diet.

Urinary & Reproductive Disease

Kidney failure is very common in older cats and is a chronic, life-threatening disease that causes a host of other problems such as high blood pressure, anaemia and changes in electrolytes (blood salts). Pets are also prone to cystitis which is just as painful as with ourselves and can in turn be due to infections, bladder stones and more. Problems in the ovaries, uterus and prostate also occur but less frequently because most pets are desexed.

Kidney failure

The symptoms of chronic renal failure (kidney failure) are generally excessive thirst and excessive urination with weight loss. If you suspect your pet may have kidney failure, there is a blood and a urine test that can be run to confirm this. Try to bring a urine sample with you but we can collect it for you if needed during the consultation. High blood pressure often occurs with kidney failure and can speed up the disease so your vet may recommend the blood pressure be checked. In most cases, kidney failure cannot be cured but improvements can be made to the quality of life through different medications, diets and lifestyle changes.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a common problem in older dogs, especially females, which can be controlled in almost all cases.

Hormonal Disease

Diabetes and Cushings disease (overactive adrenal glands) are reasonably common in dogs. Diabetes is also commonly seen in overweight cats. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid glands) is one of the most common old age problems found in cats.

Subtle early signs indicative of these problems include excessive thirst, frequent urination and weight loss. Similar to humans, we can control and in some cases reverse these conditions.

Diabetes

Diabetes is where there is an insulin deficiency (Type I) or an insulin resistance (Type II). The cause in dogs can be chronic pancreatitis in some cases, but for the majority of cases, diabetes occurs without an explanation. In cats, obesity (particularly in Burmese cats) has been shown to be a predisposing factor for developing Type II diabetes.

The symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, excessive urination and sometimes cataracts (in later stages). Weight loss is often a feature in dogs with diabetes, but not necessarily cats. If you notice any of these signs in your pet, come in for a consultation and we will be able to run a blood test to get an immediate diagnosis. Like in humans, the earlier treatment with insulin injections is commenced, the better the outcome.

Giving injections to your pet can be a source of worry for pet owners. In most cases, however, after a tutorial and some practice, injections become second nature. The needles used are so tiny that the pet usually doesn’t even notice he or she is getting it!

Thyroid disease

Thyroid disease is common in both cats and dogs. In older cats, we see hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) where the symptoms include excessive appetite but poor weight gain and occasionally blindness (secondary to a high blood pressure). Cats with hyperthyroidism can also be quite moody.

In dogs, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is common. Symptoms include lethargy, hair loss (or poor hair growth after being clipped) and obesity. Unfortunately, the thyroid level can be low in dogs that have another disease present which can confuse the diagnosis. In these cases, we will usually need to run more tests to clarify whether the thyroid disease is significant or just a consequence of another disease.

Cancer

See our section on Cancer Medicine.

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Gordon Vet Hospital
4.8
Based on 119 reviews
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John Hannelly
John Hannelly
03:04 09 Nov 20
David and all the staff are wonderful, caring people who really look after your loved pets in a very professional manner.
Chris Chappel
Chris Chappel
00:54 31 Oct 20
Extremely happy with Imogen and the team. I had lost ALL faith in vets after going to GreenCross. Thankfully Gordon Vet Hospital surpassed all our hopes and expectations. Imogen was incredibly caring, clinically competent and finally solved the issue our cat had. The vet nurses and reception team seemed genuinely happy and were super friendly each time we’ve returned. Follow up care after the surgery for our cat was like night and day compared to what we’d been through at our old vet. Unlike at GreenCross where the final price always ended up being at the top of the quoted range, at Gordon Vet Hospital the quote was far more reasonable and the price ended up at the lower end of the estimate. Highly recommended this vet.
Lisa Elliott
Lisa Elliott
06:17 20 Oct 20
I can't rate Gordon Vet Hospital any higher. I took my 11yr old staffy in for surgery with the beautiful Imogene Ewen (amazing surgeon) and was managed by incredibly professional front office staff (Maddie). My dog, Coco was in the best of hands. The after care service is detailed and their love of animals is so very clear to all who enter. Exceptional service for the North Shore.
Jonathan Summers
Jonathan Summers
09:51 09 Oct 20
We love these guys. We have 3 cats and they are all well looked after.
jo kleoudis
jo kleoudis
22:08 04 Oct 20
Best vets and nursing staff. Great advice. Convenient and always easy to book.
Roopam Ghosh
Roopam Ghosh
10:49 25 Sep 20
Great service and very prompt with appointments. Lovely staff
Michelle Keir
Michelle Keir
08:30 01 Sep 20
Great service my dog loves going there! The staff are very caring and the vets very knowledgeable and do not over service.
Ayanthi Gooneratne
Ayanthi Gooneratne
06:22 24 Aug 20
The Vets are fantastic and so are the support staff. My dogs have been with Gorden Vets for over 10 years.
Steve Walker
Steve Walker
11:33 11 Aug 20
Helen was great. Took great care of our dog.
Eve Barratt
Eve Barratt
01:17 04 Aug 20
I took our little girl Coco for her very first vet visit yesterday. Dr Helen gave Coco a thoroughly check-up and provided me with useful information as the first time puppy owner. Coco is now enrolled in the puppy school and will return back for her 2nd vaccine in a couple of week!
Claire Turner
Claire Turner
05:21 19 Jul 20
Care & attention for your furry friends second to none.
Kimba
Kimba
02:50 09 Jul 20
Dr David and the team have provided real care, support and expertise for our furry family members over 25 years. They've also readily taken in injured wildlife. A great team of Vets and nurses - thanks for all you do!
Jayna Hirani
Jayna Hirani
03:43 09 Apr 20
Quality care and advice at every visit. The staff are friendly and informative and genuinely care about your pets. I am 100% confident that my cat and dog always receive the best pet healthcare and as pet parents that's all we want.
Marianne Broeng
Marianne Broeng
23:23 28 Jan 20
Gordon Vet has looked after my golden retriever since she was 9 weeks. Everyone has been amazing and caring with lots of experience. I have been able to ask any questions and always been welcome. Even one day when she stepped on a bee in the evening, they stayed open until we got there and helped her get it out. Thanks to all the staff :-)
Lizzie Wei
Lizzie Wei
00:56 18 Jan 20
We just moved to Gordon couple month ago and need to get my cat vaccinated. We found this hospital through google and I need to say they provide excellent service and very professional! The doctor really knows cat. Highly recommended!
Lara Bisley
Lara Bisley
08:15 27 Nov 19
Exceptional veterinary hospital. I have been taking my dog here for many years and although I now live in the Eastern Suburbs, I still drive across town to see the Vets at Gordon. The staff are highly skilled, compassionate, friendly and helpful. My 9 year old dog has had 2 knee operations (1 on each knee!) and the outcome of these surgeries far exceeded my expectations. I have been incredibly impressed with the care provided during all of our visits. I would highly recommend Gordon Vet Hospital.
Eugenie Goodyer
Eugenie Goodyer
23:22 21 Oct 19
Very friendly staff. Wonderful care for all our animals A++
Jennie Keogh
Jennie Keogh
06:36 21 Oct 19
Fantastic and friendly staff who you can tell really care about your pet. Their follow up service is also very reassuring. I also board my cat with Gordon Vet and I feel very comfortable to know he's in safe and caring hands. I'm so glad I found this clinic.
Newsha Amiri
Newsha Amiri
20:24 03 Oct 19
We took our dog there and Dr. David take care of his skin issues. he was so caring and professional.
Luxe Sydney Mum
Luxe Sydney Mum
06:37 02 Sep 19
Compassionate, caring and highly skilled veterinary surgeons who treat their patients and owners with respect. The nursing and administration staff are efficient and remember their patients by name which is a lovely touch. A lovely vet practice which despite our Golden Retriever Finn’s complex medical history, is always welcoming to him and he never displays any signs of anxiety when attending. Dr Helen is lovely and a firm favourite of ours!
Lihong Xing
Lihong Xing
05:00 05 Nov 18
Highly recommend Dr David, Scott, Helen, and Catherine, I've taken my cat to see all the doctors here.
Jeremy Tarbox
Jeremy Tarbox
22:55 10 Sep 18
We found a stray, agitated dog in front of our house last night. We phoned but got no help from the Council ranger who gave two options: tie him up in front yard overnight or "let him loose, he'll find his own way home" :( So we phoned Gordon Vet: they stayed open a few minutes so we could run him up and he could have a bed and dinner. Thank you Gordon Vet Hospital, hope he gets home soon!!! :)
Vishal Kapoor
Vishal Kapoor
01:52 04 Sep 18
Really amazing staff members. Their systems and processes are also very
Gerry Stevens
Gerry Stevens
11:01 14 Jul 18
Good competant vet. Did what I needed. Staff friendly. Cat's well.
Arezu A
Arezu A
03:20 15 Feb 18
Absolutely love the service here. I switched from other Vets to this Vet as the staff here are quite attentive and really care about your furry baby! I have basically seen most of the Dr's here and all of them so far have been fantastic, friendly and fun to speak with! Easy to locate and enough parking available! 5 Stars indeed!
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