Who We Are
Pets admitted to the Intensive Care Unit are treated by our world-renowned team to provide round-the-clock care. Our ICU is staffed by four full-time attending veterinarians who are board-certified specialists in emergency and critical care (Diplomates of ACVECC), 12 licensed veterinary technicians who specialize in intensive care nursing, many of whom have specialty certification (AVECCT), as well as residents training to become emergency and critical care specialists, and interns seeking advanced training after graduation from veterinary school.
Often working behind the scenes, the ICU staff ensures the best possible outcome for your critically ill pet by providing the most advanced care available.
What We Do
We care for the sickest patients in the hospital 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, admitting some 1,200 dogs and cats each year, and our special species caseload is growing. Our ICU can provide care for 8-12 patients at a time.
Many of our patients are referred to us by other veterinarians who realize that these animals may die unless they receive our specialized level of care, resources and expertise. Although these are all high-risk patients, we are proud of our >75% rate of survival to discharge.
Each of our patients is admitted to the ICU because of a life-threatening disease or condition and/or the need for advanced pain management or complex fluid or drug therapy.
Common disease processes treated in our ICU include severe heart disease, kidney failure, complicated diabetes, advanced neurologic disease and cancer. In addition, we provide specialized post-operative care for high-risk surgical and trauma patients.
- We have specialized equipment to care for our patients including state-of-the-art oxygen cages for patients that require oxygen supplementation, intravenous fluid pumps, syringe pumps, portable ultrasound, mechanical ventilators, and advanced hemodynamic monitoring capabilities including direct arterial blood pressure.
- The ICU also houses a blood gas analyzer to measure blood gases, electrolytes, lactate, acid-base, and hemoglobin concentration, as well as a colloid osmotic pressure monitor.
- We can provide long-term mechanical ventilatory support for patients unable to breathe on their own.
- We routinely provide postoperative care to patients that have undergone major surgical procedures such as renal transplant, thoracic surgery, interventional radiology procedures, and craniotomies (brain surgery).
Each patient’s care and well-being is assessed constantly by several members of the ICU team, We offer a very low ratio of patients to staff, with most doctors and technicians able to focus their efforts exclusively on one to three patients per day.
We often successfully manage patients with complex and multi-systems disease processes such as:
- Sepsis and systemic inflammatory response syndrome
- Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy
- Acute kidney injury
- Respiratory failure
- Heart disease and failure
- Brain and spinal cord disease
What We Provide
The ICU provides state-of-the-art critical care therapy and monitoring. In addition to monitoring changes in physical parameters, we routinely use advanced monitoring modalities such as:
- Pulse oximetry
- Arterial and venous blood gas analysis
- End-tidal capnography and measurement of lung mechanics
- Urinary output monitoring via closed urinary collection systems
- Cage side measurement of hematocrit, hemoglobin, electrolytes, lactate and colloid osmotic pressure
- Continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring
- Ultrasound for AFAST/TFAST (monitoring for fluid)
- Direct and indirect arterial blood pressure and central venous pressure monitoring
- Intraabdominal pressure monitoring
- Pulmonary artery catheter placement
We routinely employ advanced therapeutic and supportive modalities such as:
- Routine fluid and colloid therapy
- Advanced fluid therapy
- Blood product transfusion
- Oxygen supplementation
- Nutritional support including total parenteral nutrition
- Tracheostomy and chest tube management
- Post-surgical critical care
- Wound care
- Advanced pain management
- Anticoagulation treatment
- Mechanical ventilation
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation