Who is a Veterinary Internist?

A veterinary internist is a board-certified specialist in the diagnosis and management of a vast array of internal medical conditions and diseases, including diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, and lungs. An internist undergoes extensive training to acquire the specialized skills to diagnose and treat internal medicine diseases. This involves completing veterinary school to become a veterinarian (4 years), an internship program (minimum of 1 year), and an approved internal medicine residency training program (3 years). After this training, the veterinarian must then complete and pass multi-day examinations to become a board-certified veterinary internist. Our internist, Dr. Tara Chapman, is board-certified with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). .

Our Internal Medicine Specialist

Dr. Tara Chapman

Small Animal Internal Medicine Specialist

Learn More About Tara Chapman »

When Should Your Pet See Our Internist?

Dr. Chapman is willing to see your pet if your primary care veterinarian refers your pet with a complicated medical issue requiring a diagnosis, to start therapy, or to manage chronic conditions.


What Are Some of the Common Conditions Our Internist Treats?

  • Inflammatory bowel disease and other gastrointestinal diseases
  • Pancreatitis and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • Acute and chronic liver diseases
  • Acute and chronic kidney failure
  • Diabetes
  • Adrenal gland diseases such as Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism)
  • Infectious diseases
  • Upper and lower respiratory diseases, including nasal diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases such as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia


What Are Some of the Tests Our Internist Uses for the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Internal Medicine Conditions?

  • Blood work (e.g., complete blood count, serum biochemistry, endocrine panels, etc.)
  • Urinalysis and other urine tests
  • Abdominal and thoracic radiographs (x-rays)
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Abdominal ultrasonography
  • Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspirates and biopsies
  • Endoscopy of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary tracts
  • Bone marrow evaluation and joint taps
  • CT scans


What Should You Expect When Booking an Appointment with Our Internist at Capital City Specialty & Emergency Animal Hospital?

After your primary care veterinarian refers your pet, we will reach out to you as soon as possible to schedule your appointment. While Dr. Chapman sees patients from Monday to Wednesday, the internal medicine service is open from Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m

On the day of your appointment, you and your pet will be checked in at reception and brought to the internal medicine examination room. Dr. Chapman will review your pet’s medical records, recent history, and perform a thorough physical examination. If indicated, she may suggest additional tests to further evaluate your pet’s condition.

After this examination, Dr. Chapman will thoroughly discuss the examination findings with you and will make a treatment plan that best suits your pet, their condition, and your involvement. The entire process will take approximately 60 minutes. Dr. Chapman may recommend certain diagnostic tests and these may be able to be done on the same day.

If medications are required, a treatment plan and medications will be sent home with you with detailed instructions.

A thorough report will be sent to both you and your primary care veterinarian, including Dr. Chapman’s examination findings, diagnosis, treatments, follow-up recommendations, and a review of the conditions/diseases. This will ensure that we are all included as a team to provide continuity of care for your pet.

We strive to provide you and your pet with the highest level of care. We love what we do, we love our patients, and we treat them as if they were our own.