Our Critical Care Service excels in managing patients recovering from major surgery, illness, or trauma and those patients requiring positive pressure ventilation or other specialized care. Our critical care team includes three board-certified critical care specialists, Dr. Valerie Madden, Dr. Clare Hyatt and Dr. Laura Osborne, and resident Dr. James Lange. Your pet will get the best care possible. 

Our Emergency Service is staffed by a team of highly skilled veterinarians and technicians who are equipped and prepared to handle any pet emergency with skill, speed, and compassion. We have the ability to offer all levels of care in an emergency and are outfitted to care for even the most critical patients. One or more veterinarians and technicians are on-site at all times.

Our team will work closely with your family veterinarian to make sure your pet gets the best care possible before, during, and after hospitalization. Open communication with your family veterinarian during regular business hours, and the transfer of medical records and test results by fax or email, allows us to keep your veterinarian informed of your pet's progress.

Our dedicated intensive care unit (ICU) is equipped to provide oxygen therapy, cardiac monitoring, blood transfusions, mechanical ventilation and nutritional support. Our in-house laboratory, radiology and ultrasound capabilities enable us to get crucial diagnostic information very quickly. Our blood bank allows our canine and feline patients to have access to a safe blood supply.

Triage/Waiting Times:

No appointment is ever necessary to see the emergency service. We are here when your pet is ill.

Our hospital works on the same triage principle as human hospitals where the more seriously ill or injured patients will be seen before stable and healthy patients. If necessary, seriously ill or injured patients may be moved straight to our treatment room for immediate assessment by an emergency veterinarian. This allows us to provide your pet with life-saving medications and treatments in a timely and efficient manner.

Financial Policy:

We promise to stay transparent with our costs. All patients will be charged an emergency consultation fee. This fee covers the initial evaluation and assessment by a veterinarian to help make the best recommendations for you and your pet. We will provide detailed financial estimates for all treatment options so that you can decide on the best course of action for your family and pet.

Our fees ensure that we can provide the highest quality veterinary care with a modern, fully equipped medical facility, and provide a board-certified and specialty-trained team to care for your pet.

How Can I Avoid An Emergency Situation With My Pet?

It goes without saying that the best way to avoid an emergency is to prevent it in the first place. To reduce the chances that you will experience an emergency situation during the lifetime of your pet, consider the following tips:

  • Follow your veterinarian's advice regarding all relevant wellness care, including vaccinations, age appropriate health screenings, and parasite prevention.
  • Prevent traumatic injury by keeping pets under your control at all times. Keep cats indoors and dogs fenced. When pets venture outdoors, keep them leashed at all times. If you do allow them off leash, limit this privilege to large enclosed areas away from traffic, other potentially aggressive pets, and wildlife.
  • Invest the time in training your pet to obey simple commands, such as Come, Sit, Down, Stay, and No.
  • Never leave your pet alone or unattended in a car, even with the windows open.
  • Pet proof your home, removing all potential hazards from your pet's reach, much the same as you would do with an infant or toddler.
  • Supervise your pet as much as possible. Puppies and kittens, just like human babies, like to explore with their mouths. Supervising them during playtime can prevent their ingesting poisonous substances or choking hazards.
  • If your pet is coping with a chronic illness, carefully follow all of your veterinarian's recommendations regarding medication administration and check ups.
     
How Can I Plan For An Emergency?

Make sure you know ahead of time what your veterinarian's policy is regarding emergency care, both during regular practice hours and after hours. If your veterinarian does not have a referral relationship in place, then make sure you know the location of the closest emergency referral center for your area.

If your pet has an ongoing medical problem that could result in a sudden emergency, make sure you keep any pertinent medical records in a handy place so that you can quickly locate them and bring them with you to the emergency service or hospital in the event of a crisis.

Keep your veterinarian's phone number and any emergency phone numbers and directions next to your phone along with all other important emergency information for your family.
Know basic first aid tips for pets. Ask your veterinarian for these ahead of time during a routine wellness exam

How do I handle my injured pet?

Handle With Care

Pain, fear, and shock can make animals behave differently. When you are faced with a pet emergency, remember that even the most well trained and loving pet can behave differently when feeling ill or in pain. Also realize that even relatively small animals, such as cats or small dogs, are capable of inflicting serious bite and scratch wounds when they are disoriented and in pain. If this occurs, it is important not to take such actions personally, but to realize that it is an expression of the extreme pain or disorientation your pet may be experiencing at the time.

Approach all injured pets with caution. Despite your natural wish to comfort your ill or wounded pet, do not place your face or hands near his or her head until you can assess your pet's condition. If you feel you cannot safely manage the emergency situation, ask your veterinarian for advice on how to handle and transport your pet when you call to report the emergency. Sometimes wrapping small, injured pets in towels (taking care not to cause further injury or pain) or placing larger pets in crates or carriers for transport may be the safest option for both you and your pet.
 

What Additional Training Does An Emergency and Critical Care Specialist Have?

Veterinarians who want to become board certified in emergency and critical care medicine must seek additional training to become a specialist and earn this prestigious credentialing. Specialty status is granted by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC). A veterinarian who has received this specialty status will list the initials, 'DACVECC,' after his or her DVM degree. Or, the veterinarian may indicate that he or she is a 'Diplomate' of the ACVECC. The word 'Diplomate' typically means the specialist has achieved the following:
 

  • Obtained a veterinary degree (three to four years of college plus four years of veterinary school).
  • Completed a one-year internship at a referral private practice or veterinary teaching hospital.
  • Completed an additional three years of advanced training in emergency medicine, surgery, and critical care through a residency at a veterinary teaching hospital where the veterinarian will have trained with some of the best specialists in the field and obtained hands on experience. This training focuses on the most up to date techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of life threatening disease processes or injuries, not only for the duration of the emergency but throughout the critical care period right after.
  • Passed a rigorous examination.


After completing and passing all of these requirements, the veterinarian is then recognized by his or her peers as a board certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care. When your pet faces an emergency, years of additional training and education will be focused on helping him or her to recover from injury or illness and enjoy the highest quality of life possible.
 

What To Do In An Emergency?

Call your veterinarian rather than attempting to obtain advice online. Even if it is after hours, most veterinarians have recordings that explain how to get emergency help when they are closed.

If you’re unable to talk to someone at your family veterinarian, call your closest emergency hospital to explain your emergency and follow their instructions. Calling ahead allows the hospital to prepare for your arrival and ensure your pet receives the care they need. 

 


What Type of Equipment Do Emergency and Critical Care Specialists Use?

High Tech Help

Much of the same high tech equipment that human doctors use to help critically ill humans is also available to help save injured or seriously ill pets. Emergency and Critical Care specialists are more likely to have access to the following cutting edge equipment or capabilities to help your pet recover:

  • Supplemental oxygen delivered via oxygen cages or nasal tubes
  • Pulse oximeters
  • Blood gas monitoring
  • End tidal carbon dioxide measurement
  • Colloid oncotic pressure measurement
  • Continuous ECG monitoring and telemetry
  • Ultrasonography
  • Endoscopy
  • Blood pressure and central venous pressure measurements
  • Blood transfusions
  • Advanced imaging techniques, such as CT scans and MRI
     

Our Emergency & Critical Care Team

Associate Veterinarian
Associate Veterinarian
Veterinary Specialist
Veterinarian, ER Team Lead
Veterinary Specialist, Medical Director
Associate Veterinarian

Our Emergency & Critical Care Services

Critical Care Transport Service

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