What is Veterinary Critical Care?

April 18, 2018

What is Veterinary Critical Care?

When it comes to 24-hour emergency veterinary care for your pet, you want the best possible. If your pet has a life-threatening illness or injury, a veterinary critical care team can help. Virginia Veterinary Centers has a highly-trained Criticalist with a compassionate medical team dedicated to providing life-saving treatments.

What is Critical Care?

Veterinary critical care, like in human medicine, is a specialized service focusing on medical care for patients that may have experienced a severe trauma, or emergency and need immediate intensive care. Often times these patients need around-the-clock monitoring, and advanced treatment options giving your pet the best chance at survival in any emergency situation. Virginia Veterinary Centers has the compassionate, skilled staff needed to treat potentially life-threatening conditions.

  • Traumatic injury
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Toxicity
  • Bite wounds
  • Smoke inhalation or burns
  • Blood transfusions or severe anemia

When Do Pets Need Critical Care?

Patients often need critical care because their injuries or condition is life-threatening. After receiving emergency care, they may need continued monitoring, pain management, and post-operative care under the supervision of a critical care team. Having trained board-certified specialists in this area of veterinary medicine allows advanced treatment options to be available for your pet. Patients experiencing traumatic injuries, bite wounds, severe burns or smoke inhalation, blood loss or anemia, difficulty breathing or shock needing stabilization would be urgent situations requiring critical care. In all cases, the veterinarian or specialist caring for your pet will let you know if critical care is needed and the best option for your pet.

Common Critical Care Services

A few common critical care services offered at Virginia Veterinary Centers include:

  • Arterial Blood Gas Test: This test measures the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.
  • CPR: Emergency procedure combining chest compressions with artificial ventilation to restore blood circulation and breathing.
  • Continuous Chest Drainage: Draining fluid or air from the chest.
  • Critically Ill Patient Post-Op Management: Includes frequent monitoring and a number of different treatments including anesthesia.
  • Hemodynamic Monitoring: The measuring of the blood pressure and volume status in the veins, heart, and arteries, as well as the measuring of how much oxygen is in the blood.
  • Long-term Mechanical Ventilation: A process that breathes for the patient if the respiratory system is failing.
  • Multimodal Analgesia: A method for controlling acute pain after a procedure.
  • Parenteral Nutrition: The feeding of a pet intravenously.
  • Peritoneal Dialysis: A method for cleaning the blood that uses the lining of the abdomen.
  • Polytrauma Management: Managing the symptoms and problems associated with having trauma to numerous parts of the body at one time.
  • Status Epilepticus Treatments: Treatment of acute seizures.
  • Transfusion Therapy: Receiving blood or plasma intravenously.
  • Vasopressor Therapy: Treatment for septic shock in pets.

While there are many different critical care treatments for a variety of injuries and illnesses, these are some of the most commonly performed treatments. The critical care team at Virginia Veterinary Centers in Richmond is equipped to care for patients in need of these treatments and more.

If your pet needs critical care near Fredericksburg or Richmond, Virginia, contact Virginia Veterinary Centers today. The Fredericksburg location can be reached at 540-372-3470, and the Richmond location can be reached at 804-353-9000.