New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

E&CC | Intensive Care Unit

Penn Vet's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Ryan Hospital is an advanced trauma/intensive care treatment and diagnostic center. The ICU provides care for the most critically ill small animal patients.

What We Do

We care for the sickest patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Many patients are referred to us by other veterinarians who realize that these animals need specialized care, resources, and expertise for their survival

Each patient is admitted to the ICU because of a life-threatening disease or condition, the need for advanced pain management, or complex fluid or drug therapy.

We commonly treat severe disease, cancer, kidney failure, complicated diabetes, advanced neurologic disease and cancer. Additionally, we provide specialized post-operative care for high-risk surgical and trauma patients.

Each patient’s care and well-being is assessed constantly by the ICU team, with a low ratio of patients to staff: most doctors and technicians only handle one to three patients per day.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many animals can the ICU treat at once?

    We can care for up to 12 animals at a time. Our ICU veterinary technicians provide care for between one and three patients at any given time.

  • How long does a patient typically stay in the ICU?

    The average stay for a patient in ICU is 2-3 days, though it can range from a few hours to several weeks.

  • Why might your pet need us?

    The ICU has expertise and equipment not available elsewhere in our hospital. Admission to the ICU may be considered if your pet needs:

    • Oxygen to help breathing
    • A constant intravenous infusion of pain medications
    • Intravenous nutrition
    • Special monitoring and constant intravenous infusion of medicines for treatment of low blood pressure 
    • Constant ECG monitoring of the heart
    • A ventilator to take over breathing
    • A tracheostomy or chest tube
    • Monitoring for seizures, following head injuries or any serious neurologic condition
    • Post-operative monitoring for high-risk surgical procedures
    • 24-hour monitoring and hour-to-hour adjustment of treatment protocol
  • Can I visit my pet in the ICU?

    Your primary clinician at Ryan Hospital will update you at least 1-2 times a day, and you can arrange a time to visit your pet with them—typically during normal business hours. Visits may be limited in length due to the critical nature of our patients and caseload in the room.

  • Will my primary care veterinarian be updated?

    We will call your primary care veterinarian the day your pet is transferred to the ICU and then provide regular updates throughout their stay. A copy of their discharge instructions will be sent to your veterinarian when your pet goes home.

  • Is there a veterinarian in the ICU all night long?

    There is a veterinarian in the hospital at all times. Our ICU veterinary technicians are always in the ICU. The ICU residents and faculty are in the ICU 7 days a week, and are on call to provide patient care 24 hours a day. Whenever there is a critical patient in the ICU, a doctor from our team is in ICU 24 hours a day.

What to Expect When You Arrive

Coming to the Emergency Service can be stressful for both you and your pet. Here are some guidelines that can help you prepare for your visit. 

Learn more about what to expect at your visit.

Meet the Intensive Care Unit Team

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 full-time attending veterinarians who are board-certified specialists in emergency and critical care (Diplomates of ACVECC), 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.


Deborah Silverstein, DVM, DACVECC
Section Chief and Professor, Emergency & Critical Care
Critical/Intensive Care

Kimberly Slensky, DVM, DACVECC
Assistant Professor, Clinical Emergency & Critical Care
Critical/Intensive Care

Lori S. Waddell, DVM, DACVECC
Professor, Clinical Emergency & Critical Care
Service Head, Intensive Care Unit

  • Residents and Interns

    Rachel Clarkin-Breslin, VMD
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    Joseph Frame, DVM
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    Selimah Harmon, DVM
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    Justin Hildebrand, DVM
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    Leanna Hoover, DVM
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    Justin Lam, DVM
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    Rachel Manchester, BVetMed
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    Lauren Minter, DVM
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    Brooke Newmans, DVM
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    Curtis Rheingold, DVM
    Resident, Emergency & Critical Care

    All Residents and Interns

  • Veterinary Nursing Staff 

    Amanda Arrowwood, CVT, VTS (ECC)

    Victoria Bonacci, CVT

    Leanne Deskewicz, CVT, Assistant Supervisor

    Savannah Dixon, CVT

    Holly Killian, CVT

    Allison Leigh, CVT

    Mary Piccillo, CVT

    Chantal Reme, CVT

    Taylor Sandy, CVT

    Matthew Strazza, CVT

    Bekah Verdieck, CVT 

    Nicole A. Wood, CVT 

    Cara Yanussi, CVT

    More about Nursing

Referring veterinarian?

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