Small Animal Internal Medicine

For Referring Veterinarians


We would like to make referral to the Small Animal Internal Medicine service as easy as possible. Non-urgent appointments can be set up with our service either by you, or your client, calling Erin Patterson-Semler (509-335-0711). With client contact information, Erin can call the client to finalize details of the appointment. The Internal Medicine clinicians are quite willing to discuss your patients with you prior to referral as well. Our routine receiving days are Mondays and Wednesdays, with other days reserved for procedures (e.g. endoscopic examinations). Prior to the appointment, we are grateful for opportunities to review copies of the patient’s medical record, including diagnostic results (laboratory results, radiographic images or anything else that you think could be helpful to us). Material can be emailed to Erin ( or faxed to us (509-335-9434); radiographic images can be placed on our server ( or emailed to Erin, whichever is most convenient.

We are happy to take urgent referrals outside of regular appointment times. Whenever possible, we ask that you contact Erin Patterson-Semler or a medicine clinician prior to sending your patient to the VTH. Erin can help coordinate an arrival time that doesn’t conflict with other scheduled activities (e.g. rounds, diagnostic procedures) to minimize the wait your clients might otherwise experience.

On the day of your patient’s appointment, the patient and client will be met by a student, who will obtain a history and perform a physical examination. Once completed, the student will discuss the patient with the clinician assigned to the case, and the student and clinician will return to the exam room. The clinician will clarify historical points, repeat a physical examination, and discuss diagnostic and treatment options and associated costs. This part of the visit can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes (or sometimes more) depending on the complexity of the case. Depending on patient needs and support service schedules, diagnostic tests may be performed that day, or the next. Some cases require evaluation over a longer period of time. To optimize opportunities for diagnostic evaluation, we request that patients be fasted the morning of the appointment in case procedures require heavy sedation or general anesthesia.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions.
Washington State University