William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Dr. Melissa Claus, left, resident in emergency medicine and Jonathan Quan work with a patient's bloodwork

Clinical Activities & Procedures

The Emergency Service is always open to receive patients with serious or life-threatening problems that require immediate attention. The emergency room is staffed by a team of board-certified specialists in emergency and critical care, staff veterinarians, residents, veterinary technicians (nurses), and veterinary students.

ER MedicineThe Emergency Service rapidly evaluates patients to determine the severity of their problem and provides stabilization, treatment, and diagnostic testing. The service team collaborates with other VMTH services such as cardiology, hemodialysis, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, and surgery to provide expert care as needed by each patient.

We are equipped to handle emergencies. Our clinicians and veterinary technicians (nurses) can rapidly obtain venous access to provide life saving fluid therapy and blood transfusions; administer oxygen by mask, nasal canula, or oxygen cage and provide therapy including pain control tailored to each patient's needs. The patient is continuously monitored and re-evaluated. Vital signs (temperature, pulse, respiration, level of consciousness, gum color and refill time) are taken as often as necessary and the frequency dictated by the patient's condition. Monitoring equipment includes pulse oximetry to determine oxygenation; electrocardiograph to assess the heart rate and rhythm; ultrasonic doppler or oscillometric blood pressure analyzers; and ultrasound to evaluate the chest or abdomen. The emergency service has the capabilities to measure blood gases, electrolytes, lactate, hemoglobin, colloid osmotic pressure, osmolality, activated clotting times and creatinine.

The Emergency and Critical Care Service staff work closely with each other to insure a smooth transition from the emergency room to the ICU.

Appointments or referrals are not needed for the emergency service. Please call ahead if possible.