Veterinary Internal Medicine: Compassionate Comprehensive Care for Your Pet

The Internal Medicine department at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care for you and your pet. Our internists are board-certified in internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Some of the areas we specialize in include: gastrointestinal disease, renal (kidney) disease, hepatic (liver) disease, immune-mediated diseases, endocrinopathies, infectious diseases, hematologic (blood) disease, respiratory disease, and urinary tract disease. The expertise that our internists display in the field of endoscopy can sometimes eliminate the need for invasive surgery in cases of gastric foreign bodies or obtaining tissue samples for biopsy submission.

When follow-up care is indicated, we will work closely with your family veterinarian to continue to meet the needs of you and your pet. The goal of our dedicated staff is to provide heartfelt care and support to make your experience at our facility as stress-free as possible and enrich the bond between you and your pet.

Questions About Internal Medicine

How long will my appointment take?
Most internal medicine consultations average approximately 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours.
What is involved with an abdominal ultrasound? Will my pet need sedation?
Most animals do not require sedation or anesthesia for an ultrasound. All that is required is that your pet be able to lie relatively still on his/her side with minimal restraint. Their abdomen will be shaved and ultrasound gel will be used to allow the ultrasound waves to penetrate abdominal organs without interference. The gel is non-toxic and water-soluble so it will not stain or harm you or your pet, if ingested.
Why does my pet need an ultrasound when he/she has already had x-rays taken?
Ultrasound gives a real-time view, which enables us to visualize the internal architecture and vessels of organs as well as additional structures such as lymph nodes that cannot be seen on radiographs.
Will I receive the ultrasound results the same day as my consultation?
Yes. The doctor will review the results of the ultrasound upon completion.
My pet already had an ultrasound, why does he/she need another one?
Our doctors have specialized training and years of experience in ultrasonography that allows them to find subtle abnormalities. An ultrasound can be difficult to interpret because it is a real-time capture. This allows the internist to obtain various views of the abdominal organs. An ultrasound also captures dynamic changes that occur with blood flow and respirations. This is extremely important because even the subtlest movements of the ultrasound probe can alter an image, and allow room for misinterpretation.
Can I be present for my pet’s ultrasound?
It is in your pets best interest that you not be present during the ultrasound. Animals can pick up on their owner’s anxiety, making it difficult for them to remain still. It is also important for the internist to be able to concentrate while performing an ultrasound.
How should I prepare for my consultation?
To make the most of your consultation, you should bring: your pet, a completed referral form from your veterinarian which should include recent medical history, lab work, radiographs (x-rays), and a list of current medications. This information may be e-mailed or faxed to us prior to your scheduled appointment. Remember to obtain the radiographs from your regular veterinarian ahead of time.


Our Internal Medicine Expertise

  • Ultrasonography
  • Ultrasound-guided aspirates
  • Tru-cut biopsies
  • Endoscopy
    • Gastroduodenoscopy
    • Colonoscopy
    • Gastric foreign body retrieval
    • Rhinoscopy/nasal fungal treatment
    • Bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage
    • Cystoscopy
    • Esophageal dilation
  • Digital radiography
  • Urethral hydropropulsion
  • Gastrostomy tube placement
  • Intravenous pyelogram
  • Tracheal wash
  • Joint taps
  • Computed tomography
  • Bone marrow aspirate/biopsy
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Tour Our Internal Medicine Department

Department Hours

Our department hours are Monday through Saturday from 8am until 6pm.

Appointments are scheduled between 8:30am and 2:30pm.

Meet Our Veterinarians

Aunna C. Lippert Photo

Aunna C. Lippert, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine


Aunna C. Lippert, DVM, MS is board certified by both the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Subspecialty of Small Animal Internal Medicine. She received her D.V.M. degree from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1982, then spent a year in private practice in southern Ontario. After completing an internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Illinois, she spent five years in residency training at the Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Cheryl Rice Photo

Cheryl Rice, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine


Dr. Cheryl Rice, DVM is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Subspecialty of Internal Medicine. Dr. Rice is a native of Michigan and is a graduate of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She received numerous awards at the honors banquet at the completion of her senior year of veterinary school.

Timothy J. Becker Photo

Timothy J. Becker, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Internal Medicine & Cardiology)


Timothy J. Becker, DVM, diplomate ACVIM is a graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. After finishing his veterinary degree, he completed a one-year small animal rotating internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Becker then worked in general practice in Maine for 2 years before starting an internal medicine residency.