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Does my dog need a Veterinary Internist?


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By: Bari Spielman, DVM, Internal Medicine Department Chair

Lucky Caruso is a 10 year old Pomeranian who has been under the care of internal medicine for over 2 years.  We first met Lucky to help with regulation of his recently diagnosed diabetes mellitus. Lucky had developed cataracts and was in dire need of tight blood sugar control.  Lucky’s owners administer insulin under his skin twice daily.  We have found the dose that keeps Lucky’s blood sugars within a normal range.  Lucky also receives eye drops each day to decrease inflammation in his eyes not uncommonly seen with cataracts.

Over the years Lucky has developed a number of other medical issues.  He has overcome pancreatitis (an inflamed pancreas), pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and battles a collapsing trachea, not uncommon to his breed.  His 2 most recently diagnosed illnesses include pulmonary hypertension (increased pressure in the vessels of the lungs) and polycythemia (too many red blood cells).  

Lucky receives a number of medications each day including Viagra, which helps greatly with the pulmonary hypertension. Lucky also comes in every few weeks for a phlebotomy.  We remove a large amount of blood from his jugular vein, which brings his red count into a normal, healthy range. 

Lucky has a wonderful quality of life. He has a very caring and dedicated family who love him very much.  He lives with his father Fluffy, and son Gucci.

Lucky is a wonderful patient. He has always allowed us to do all testing, including his phlebotomies without sedation. He is a tough, trusting little dog who brightens our day.

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