Darrell Palm

DVM, MBA
D. Palm
Medical Director
Emergency & Critical Care
D. Palm

Dr. Palm graduated from Texas A&M University of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. He began his career in companion animal medicine full time at practices in LaPorte and Sugarland while working part-time at the Animal Emergency Hospital. Dr. Palm completed a Master's of Business Administration degree from University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1997, and began working full time for the emergency hospital. In his free time, Dr. Palm can be found ranching near LaGrange, where he raises Beefmaster Cattle. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and a lifetime member of Beefmaster Breeders United. He is also a lifetime of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and serves on the Veterinarian committee.

Emergency & Critical Care

What Is An Emergency and Critical Care Specialist?

A board certified specialist in emergency and critical care is a veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional training in treating life-threatening conditions.

An emergency and critical care specialist can help in the following kinds of cases, among others:

  • Traumatic injury (including fractures, bite wounds, burns, lacerations)
  • Respiratory emergencies (including cases in which the use of ventilators is needed) Animals in need of blood transfusions Animals that are in shock
  • Animals with life threatening neurologic disease, such as coma or severe seizures

While your general practitioner veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems and handle many routine emergencies, certain situations may require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in handling emergency and critical care for your pet. An emergency and critical care specialist typically works in tandem with your general practitioner veterinarian on a referral basis, as well as with any other needed specialists, until the emergency is resolved.

When Does My Pet Need Emergency Care?

Any of the following situations can be considered an emergency:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ingestion of a foreign object or unknown substance
  • Bleeding
  • Vomiting blood
  • Blood in the feces or urine
  • Swollen, hard abdomen that is painful to the touch
  • Serious wound
  • Suspected broken limb
  • Any injury to the eye
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Inability to move or sudden weakness
  • Unusual or erratic behavior
  • Signs of extreme pain, such as whining or shaking
  • Straining to urinate (especially a male cat)
  • Labor that does not progress
  • Signs of heatstroke

What Is Critical Care?

While an emergency is unfolding, or throughout recovery from a serious illness or accident, ongoing diagnostic and therapeutic care and constant monitoring of your pet's condition may be required. Many emergency and critical care facilities offer 24-hour supervision of critically ill pets and, just as in human hospitals, may have dedicated Intensive Care and Critical Care Units (ICU/CCU). Such facilities are equipped to provide oxygen therapy, cardiac monitoring, blood transfusions, and nutritional support. Such facilities also typically have advanced diagnostic capabilities onsite, such as ultrasound and echocardiography.

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

Many emergency hospitals work on a referral basis with general practitioners. In some cases, your pet will only be referred to the emergency service for after hours care. In other cases, your pet may be in the care of the emergency and critical care specialist for the duration of the emergency and recovery, but then referred back to your general practitioner veterinarian for follow up and routine care.

Did You Know?

There are more than 125 board-certified veterinary emergency and critical care specialists in the U.S. today and it is the fastest growing specialty in the profession.

Our Emergency & Critical Care Team

Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Veterinary Specialist
VCA Animal Emergency Hospital Southeast

10331 Gulf Freeway

Houston, TX 77034

Main: 713-941-8460

Fax: 713-941-8523

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Fri: 6:00 pm - 8:00 am

    Sat-Sun: Open 24 hours

Other Hospital Hours:

Open 24 hours on Holidays

Are you a Primary Care Veterinarian? We have dedicated resources for you.

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