What is animal critical care?
Just like people, our pets sometimes need emergency care at a veterinary hospital if they've suffered trauma or severe injury. Some veterinary clinics provide animal critical care, which is similar to an emergency wing at a hospital.
Critical care is typically offered on a 24-hour basis in emergency animal hospitals. It can be very scary to go through an emergency with your pet, so we recommend owners keep a list of local pet hospitals that provide emergency and critical care services on hand.
Who can offer critical care to pets?
A veterinarian requires a particular qualification to perform veterinary critical care, as it's a specialized service. Veterinary critical care specialists at some hospitals can perform care for seriously ill or injured pets in an emergency state.
A qualified critical care veterinarian or specialist has the knowledge and tools to provide advanced care to pets. Depending on their condition, the specialist might take your pet in overnight and/or provide detailed after-care instructions for when you take your companion home.
Since critical animal care requires a specialization, not every veterinary hospital offers emergency or critical care services at all hours. This is why, if your pet is having a medical emergency, it's important to know what emergency and 24-hour animal hospitals are located near you. Even if you know of a 24-hour emergency animal hospital, always call ahead to check that a veterinarian is available to take your pet when you arrive.
What to Expect in the ICU
The animal intensive care unit (ICU) is a caring and compassionate environment for critically ill animals that provides advanced monitoring and treatment of injury and ailment.
While your pet is in critical care, the veterinary team may offer several services to your pet depending on their condition. Some of these services include:
- Arterial Blood Gas Test
- Multimodal Analgesia
- Continuous Chest Drainage
- Long-term Mechanical Ventilation
- Status Epilepticus Treatments
- Transfusion Therapy
- Vasopressor Therapy
- Parenteral Nutrition
- Peritoneal Dialysis
Please note that Queens Animal Hospital provides emergency and urgent veterinary care during our regular clinic hours. For critical care or after-hours emergency care, please see our referral hospital listed on our emergency page.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.