Our critical care department treats pets with critical illnesses or traumas. When most people consider critical care or an ICU, they likely think of life-threatening medical scenarios where a patient is given life support and monitored closely in a special unit. The same is true for our pet patients.
Our critical care specialists are veterinarians who undergo advanced training and are board certified in emergency and critical care medicine. Our specialists have undergone an additional 3 to 4 years of training in critical care specialty to become board certified.
While veterinary emergency and critical care are often closely intertwined, veterinary critical care (or intensive care) is a branch of veterinary specialty medicine that focuses on animals who are experiencing a serious medical situation that can potentially be helped. Our goal in treating our critical care patients is to use all avenues of treatment to give a patient the best chance of survival.
There are a few ways a patient might be admitted to our ICU. In the case of an emergency, such as pet poisoning or being struck by a car, it’s likely your pet will be brought into our emergency department and triage will take place. The goal of emergency services is to first stabilize your pet, and transfer patients who need critical care and advanced diagnostics to our critical care specialists who will create a customized treatment plan.
In many such cases, our pets who are not well enough to be released to their owners will then be moved to our ICU for ongoing observation, treatment, and around-the-clock care.
Some patients will also stay in our ICU for postoperative recovery if the surgery was complex or when treating a pet who is considered high risk for complications following a surgery (e.g., those with serious illnesses, senior pets, or very young pets).
In addition to providing advanced medical care, we prioritize communication and collaboration between our clients, primary care veterinarians, and our in-house specialty services to ensure that each patient has a treatment plan that is best for their individual health needs.
Some of the critical care conditions that we treat include but are not limited to the following:
Conditions Treated Include:
- Bleeding disorders
- Breathing difficulty
- Trauma including bite wounds, hit-by-cars, high-rise falls, head injuries, etc.
Services Provided Include:
- Advanced vitals monitoring
- Blood transfusions
- Central venous catheterization
- Chest tubes
- Intravenous fluid therapy and continuous rate infusions of medications
- Nutritional support and placement of feeding tubes
- Oxygen therapy
- Pain management
- Point of Care Ultrasound Evaluations
- Taps of the abdomen, chest, and around the heart (abdominocentesis, thoracocentesis, pericardiocentesis)