A board-certified veterinary internal medicine specialist, commonly called an internist, is a veterinarian who focuses on diagnosing and treating the body’s internal systems. In addition to completing undergraduate training and four years of veterinary school, a board-certified veterinary internist is similar to his/her human-medicine counterpart in that he/she has completed an internship and residency in the specialized field of internal medicine (an additional 3-5 years training). In addition to this extensive training, a board-certified veterinary internist must pass two rigorous examinations to achieve board certification from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Your veterinarian may refer you to an internist if a diagnosis is proving elusive or therapy is not proving effective; due to his or her expertise in internal medicine, the internist may be able to obtain a diagnosis or adjust treatment plans to get your animal back to health.
In some cases, when the diagnosis is known, an internist may confirm the diagnosis and treatment, providing peace of mind.
Endoscopy means looking inside and typically refers to looking inside the body for medical reasons using an endoscope, an instrument that allows the examination of the interior of a hollow organ or cavity of the body. Unlike most other medical imaging devices, endoscopes are inserted directly into the organ. An internist specializes in using an endoscope to visualize the inside of the nose, the gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, and intestines), the trachea and bronchus (breathing tubes), and the urethra and bladder.
An endoscope sometimes can be used to retrieve foreign objects from the stomach, thereby avoiding an invasive surgery.
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 appropriate care.
Once your veterinarian has sent a referral, we will contact you to set up an appointment. If you have not heard from us within 24 hours of your veterinarian sending a referral, please contact a client care representative at 604-514-8383.
If you need guidance, are unable to obtain a referral, or do not have a veterinarian, please contact a Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital client service representative at 604-514-8383.
Initial Internal Medicine appointments are available on Mondays and Wednesdays. Please contact the internal medicine service at 604-514-8383 if you have questions about an internal medicine appointment.
The initial consult fee is $300.00 plus tax. Once your pet has been examined and you have had a discussion with the Internal Medicine Specialist regarding diagnostic and treatment options, you will be presented with an itemized treatment plan for the options presented to you. You may accept or decline any option.
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 x-rays/radiographs that have been performed. It is acceptable for your family veterinarian to send digital x-rays/radiographs prior to your visit.
The initial consult may last up to 1 ½ hours. Diagnostic procedures, treatments and surgeries may sometimes be performed on the same day as your initial appointment or may sometimes be scheduled for a different day. If your pet will be undergoing a procedure, you will be leaving your pet with us for several hours or for the day. We are open 24-hours per day, so animals may be picked up in the evening if necessary.
Recheck appointments may last up to an hour (or more if any procedures are required). Some recheck appointments are done as drop-off appointments. Your pet will need to be dropped off before 8:30am and will be picked up in the evening.
Please do not feed your pet after midnight the night before your appointment; it is ok to give your pet water up until the appointment. Please call for instructions if your pet is diabetic, younger than 4 months, or less than 4kg (10 pounds).
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. Depending on your animal’s condition, diagnostic testing or treatments may include:
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. We are open 24-hours per day, so animals may be picked up in the evening if necessary.
Should you need emergency care prior to your scheduled appointment or anytime after your appointment, the Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital emergency service is open and fully staffed with veterinarians 24/7 to handle any emergency. You may call or bring your pet into the hospital at any time.
*All charges are at the discretion of the Internal Medicine specialist at the time of the appointment and will depend on the status of the patient at the time of examination.
**Recheck appointments are additional visits within 6 months of the previous appointment. If you are calling for a recheck appointment and we have not seen your pet in the last 6 months or your concerns are due to a new problem, you will be required to pay for an initial consult.
BBVSH works closely with your primary care veterinarian to ensure your pet receives the medical attention and care they need.
Dr. Kim Hooi is available full-time for internal medicine referrals and consultations to determine if a referral might be beneficial.
Internists perform advanced diagnostics and therapeutics for patients who are not easily diagnosed, that do not respond to standard treatments or have multiple disorders.
Our internists utilize endoscopic cameras to look inside your pet and find out what is wrong. Also at their disposal: CT scanner, MRI and C-ARM fluoroscope (enables real-time video images during interventions).
Our internist works closely with other on-site specialists in critical care, surgery, radiology, oncology, cardiology and neurology to provide timely, collaborative, seamless care.