Internal Medicine appointment FAQ


When are internal medicine appointments available?

Dr. Astrid Nielssen is currently accepting new patients during regular specialty hours (Monday through Friday 9:00am-5:00pm).

How do I make an appointment?

Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital strongly encourages animal owners to obtain a referral from their regular veterinarian whenever possible. This ensures the proper transfer of medical information, is beneficial to the animal and the specialty veterinarian, and will help your companion receive the best care possible.

A Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital client care representative can be reached at 604-514-8383.

What should I expect during a visit with a board-certified internist?

The internist will perform a complete and thorough physical examination of your animal, and based on these initial findings, additional tests will be discussed. Depending on your animal’s condition, diagnostic testing or treatments may include:

  • Advanced laboratory testing of various tissue and blood samples;
  • Diagnostic imaging – ultrasound, radiography (x-rays), CT scans, MRIs;
  • Biopsies of masses, internal organs, or bone marrow;
  • Endoscopy – bronchoscopy (lungs), cystoscopy (bladder & urethra); colonoscopy (colon & small bowel), gastroduodenoscopy (stomach & upper intestines), rhinoscopy (nasal cavity), laparoscopy (minimally invasive surgery for biopsies of internal organs);
  • Feeding tube placement;
  • Nutritional consults.

Does my pet need to be fasted for internal medicine appointments?

We recommend that you not feed your pet on the morning of the initial appointment. It is ok to give water. Please call for instructions if your pet is diabetic or younger than 4 months.

What should I expect during my initial internal medicine appointment?

Initial internal medicine appointments are scheduled for 1 ½ hours. When you arrive for your appointment, please check in with Reception. The receptionist will advise the internal medicine service that you have arrived.

An internal medicine assistant or technician will bring you into an exam room with your pet, complete a history form, and perform a check of your pet’s vital signs (such as heart rate, temperature, etc). The internist will then review the information and examine your pet. Once this is complete, the internist will go over the diagnosis (or any further testing that may be required to reach a diagnosis) and treatment options. Each option will be thoroughly explained so that you can make an informed choice for your pet.

A treatment plan will be prepared for you based on your pet’s specific needs. A treatment estimate will be explained and authorized by you prior to diagnostics or treatment.

We are often able to perform diagnostic procedures and treatments on the same day as your initial appointment, in which case you may be leaving your pet with us for several hours or for the day. Unless your pet requires surgery, it is unlikely that he or she will stay overnight. We are open 24-hours per day, so animals may be picked up in the evening if necessary.

What should I bring to my initial internal medicine appointment?

Please bring your pet and any current medications. Your family veterinarian should have provided records prior to your visit. However, it is a good idea to bring an extra copy of your pet’s records just in case. Please bring any radiographs that have been performed. It is acceptable for your family veterinarian to send digital radiographs prior to your visit.