Critical Care

The Critical Care Service provides the highest level of intensive care to your critically ill pet as well as providing consistent and effective communication with you (as the pet owner) and your primary veterinarian.

Our ICU is led by a board-certified critical care specialist who is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care or DACVECC. Diplomates of the ACVECC have completed a 3-year residency in emergency and critical care, and have passed national qualifying examinations to become board-certified specialists in the field of veterinary emergency and critical care medicine.

Critical Care Specialists are trained and skilled in providing advanced therapies including, but not limited to these:

  • Trauma assessment and stabilization
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Surgical procedures
  • Fluid and colloid therapy
  • Blood and plasma transfusion therapy
  • Oxygen supplementation and respiratory support
  • Advanced pain management
  • Nutritional support
  • Wound care

Your pet may be admitted to the ICU directly from your primary veterinarian, transferred from our emergency doctors following emergency room evaluation and treatment, or transferred by other VRHOH doctors for consultation, intensive care, and critical monitoring.

Pets admitted to the ICU may include those with complex and multi-systemic diseases such as:

  • Acute renal failure
  • Sepsis (a potentially life-threatening complication of severe infection)
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (a massive, whole body clotting abnormality)
  • Trauma patients
  • Toxicities and venomous bites
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Electrolyte abnormalities
  • Pancreatitis
  • Respiratory failure
  • Cardiac problems such as congestive heart failure and severe cardiac rhythm disturbances
  • Neurological emergencies (e.g. seizure patients)
  • Recovery from major surgery for monitoring and advanced pain management

ICU Services Include the following:

  • 24-hour staffing by doctors and technicians
  • Placement and management of feeding tubes for nutritional support
  • Advanced vital sign monitoring to include continuous EGC, blood pressure, pulse oximetry (blood oxygen) and capnography (CO2)
  • Arterial and venous blood gas analysis
  • Advanced pain control
  • Blood typing, cross-matching, blood and plasma transfusions for anemia and bleeding disorders
  • Urinary output monitoring
  • Oxygen therapy and respiratory support for pets with respiratory distress
  • Full-service, in-house stat laboratory including blood gas analysis for critical care diagnostics and monitoring
  • Isolation Ward for pets with contagious diseases

If your pet is in our ICU, you can expect to be in close contact with our veterinarians, technicians and receptionists. Visitation is encouraged for most of our patients. We also keep in touch with your primary veterinarian about the status of your pet.

Our Critical Care Doctors