Critical Care for Vancouver Pets
When your companion becomes severely ill or injured, they require urgent veterinary attention to not only preserve their health, but their life.
Veterinary critical care is the constant and ongoing care provided to animals when their condition is serious, isn't stable and could require medical intervention in the blink of an eye.
At Columbia River Veterinary Specialists, our veterinarians are proud to be able to not only provide immediate emergency services to pets suffering from pressing and serious illness, but to monitor their condition and support their recovery through our critical care services, including:
- 24/7 monitoring for pets in critical condition
- Electronic patient monitoring equipment to track your companion's vitals
- Comfortable and sterile ICU where your pet can rest while treated and monitored
The Animal Critical Care Unit at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists
As part of our critical care services, the veterinarians at our Vancouver specialty and emergency hospital maintain a critical care unit (or ICU) for pets that require intensive treatments, therapies and monitoring until their condition stabilizes.
As part of our commitment to providing the best possible care to our patients, we ensure that they have a safe, sterile and carefully monitored environment to rest in while they are struggling with serious illnesses. We ensure that patients in our critical care unit have clean and comfortable kennels, have as much privacy as possible and all of the medical and friendly attention they need and deserve.
Critical Care Cases in Vancouver
An animal requires veterinary critical care services when they are experiencing a health issue that demands consistent monitoring, treatment and therapies over an extended period of time - whether that be hours, days or even weeks.
Any health condition that demands extended and complex treatments, drug therapies or 24/7 monitoring will likely fall under the purview of critical care. The following are some examples of health issues that may require critical care in our ICU:
- Respiratory failure
- Sepsis (extreme immune response to infection)
- Multi-trauma patients (severe physical injuries)
- Recovery from a major veterinary surgery
- Venomous snakebite
- Congestive heart disease
Veterinary Critical Care FAQs
The following are some of the most common questions our Vancouver veterinary team gets about the critical care services at our hospital.
- What is the difference between emergency and critical care?
While veterinary critical care and emergency services have some overlap — both deal with seriously ill or injured animals — there are some important differences between these two services.
Veterinary emergency services treat pets that are suffering from serious and acute illness or injury that requires intensive and immediate care.
In comparison, veterinary critical care services also deal with serious illness and injury, but do so in cases where animals require 24/7 monitoring, complex treatments and crate rest in a medical environment to help them recover.
So, while veterinary emergency services at our clinic may transfer our patients to critical care after initial triage and treatment, not all emergencies will require critical care. Likewise, in situations where a pet has undergone major planned surgery, they will require critical care to remain stable and begin their recovery without every having been a veterinary emergency case.
- Can I call the hospital to check up on my pet in critical care?
Yes, you absolutely can get in touch with us to check in on your pet's health and status while they are in critical care at our facility.
Rest assured, though, that if there is any problem or change in your pet's condition, we will contact you promptly for information or updates about your companion's health.
- When do your critical care services operate?
The critical care services at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists operate with on-site veterinary staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help provide treatment and attentive monitoring of your companion's health.
- How long will my pet have to remain in critical care?
A critical care unit at a veterinary hospital works somewhat similarly to a human hospital — while we may be able to provide an estimate of your pet's length of stay with us, factors may arise that impact that timeline.
We aren't able to predict if and when your pet's condition will change or a complication will occur, but rest assured we will communicate with you as much as possible about any changes in your companion's condition while in our care and what that means for the duration of their stay.
- Will you keep in touch with our primary care veterinarian?
Yes, we will keep your primary care veterinarian updated on your pet's conditions while they are undergoing critical care.
We will provide your primary care vet with your pet's medical history and files to ensure your pet receives seamless, integrated care when they return home and are seen by your vet for routine care and checkups.