The evaluation of cats presented to the service for second
opinion starts with collecting a detailed history of the present
and past medical problems, and a careful physical examination.
Recommendations are then made about appropriate diagnostic tests
and treatments and their costs.
Depending on the patient's presenting complaint, the diagnostic
examination may simply involve routine laboratory tests, blood
pressure measurement, and radiographic or ultrasound examinations.
Other procedures such as endoscopic evaluation of the
gastrointestinal or respiratory tracts, or advanced imaging
techniques such as CT or MRI scans, may be indicated for patients
with more complicated problems. Thyroid scans are performed
routinely as part of the evaluation of cats with hyperthyroidism,
in order to determine if the patients are suitable candidates for
radioactive iodine treatment.
The faculty and staff of the service take full advantage of the
professional expertise available in the many specialty services in
the hospital to ensure that their patients receive a comprehensive
evaluation. For example, consultations are sought regularly with
colleagues in the cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, oncology,
ophthalmology, neurology, and surgical services.
Cats with special needs (for example those requiring constant
monitoring, fluid and drug administration, and supplemental
nutrition) are housed in the intensive care unit, where
round-the-clock care is provided on-site. Specialists in
critical-care medicine are available to provide consultation for
cats in ICU with more serious and complicated problems. We
recognize that some of our patients have significant discomfort
associated with their medical conditions, and we use pain control
whenever necessary to improve their quality of life.
We provide daily progress reports by phone to the owners of our
patients. We encourage scheduled visits of hospitalized cats by
their owners, when appropriate, as we believe that this human
contact reduces stress and enhances recovery.
For more information about the advanced diagnostic and
therapeutic services offered at Texas A&M, please view the
information on the Internal Medicine pages.