We are committed to caring for your pet – while maintaining the highest level of safety for our Associates and pet owners. We thank you for your continued patience and support. Learn more.
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Sheila McCullough

Sheila McCullough
Veterinary Specialist
Emergency & Critical Care
Sheila McCullough

At a Glance

Practicing Since:


Board Certified:

Emergency & Critical Care
Internal Medicine 

Specialties Include:

Transfusion Medicine

My Pets:

Newman - Dog

Dr. McCullough was previously on the staff at the University of Illinois where she was instrumental in creating the critical care unit. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1987 and was a general practitioner/emergency veterinarian for 9 years. She returned to the University of Illinois in 1995 and completed two residencies. Dr. McCullough has been boarded in internal medicine since 1998 and in emergency medicine and critical care since 2004. In addition to her critical care duties, Dr. McCullough is in charge of the internship program at VCA Aurora Animal Hospital. She is adjunct professor at the University of Illinois.

See our departments

Emergency & Critical Care

We ask your understanding as our Emergency and Critical Care Department is experiencing an unprecedented large caseload, which is resulting in excessive wait times. We are committed to keeping our emergency and critical care services open and to providing care to those most in need.

Pets with a life-threatening condition will receive priority care.

VCA Aurora Animal Hospital provides 24-hour emergency veterinary care, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Emergency veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistants are on staff 24 hours a day.

If you feel that your pet is having an emergency, please call us at 630-301-6100 or come in immediately. We are located at 2600 West Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL, 60506. 

How do I know it is an Emergency?

  •  Trauma
  • Suspect broken bone
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Collapse, extreme weakness or inability to stand or support weight
  • Heat stroke
  • Seizures (more than 2 minutes long or more than 2 in 24 hours)
  • Straining  to urinate, only able to produce a small amount of urine, or unable to urinate
  • Difficulty or pain when defecating
  • Bleeding from eyes, nose, mouth, or blood in vomit, urine or feces
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (especially if more than 24 hours)
  • Not eating or drinking for more than 24 hours

  • Pain (whining, panting, inability to get comfortable, arching back)
  • Distended and/or hard abdomen and/or retching or attempting to vomit
  • Ingestion of household chemicals
  • Ingestion of human or another pet's medications
  • Ingestion of a foreign object
  • Ingestion of chocolate, sugar free gum with xylitol, grapes, raisins, garlic, rodenticides, petroleum products, and/or antifreeze
  •  Pregnant animal with active contractions with no birth in 60 minutes or more than 4 hours between births 

What is an Emergency Center and Intensive Care Unit for pets? 
Our Emergency and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) mirrors what you would find at a human medical center. Our emergency center is where you would bring your pet when they need immediate care and cannot wait for an appointment with a primary care veterinarian. Depending on your pet's condition, your pet can be treated and discharged on the same day.  

Our ICU is where critically ill pets stay until they are stable to go home. Our ICU veterinary technicians have special training in taking care of our critically ill patients.

Our ICU receives patients from our other specialty services and transfers from surrounding primary care veterinary hospitals. The ICU is fully staffed with doctors and technicians 24/7/365.

Does my pet need an appointment for ER?
Your pet does not need an appointment. But that means many pets may need treatment at the same time. In that case, the most critical pets are treated first. We recommend that you call ahead so our staff may give you valuable advice in the time it takes you to get here, and so that we may be prepared for your arrival.

Our ER and Critical Care Department is experiencing an unprecedented large caseload, resulting in excessive wait times. Critical pets will be prioritized.

My primary care veterinarian is referring me over for diagnostic imaging (ultrasound/MRI/CT) 
We cannot guarantee that your pet will receive an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan with our Radiologist.

When you arrive with your pet
You will talk to a triage technician when you arrive. The triage technician has specialized training in veterinary emergency care. The technician will determine the severity of your pet's condition through a physical examination and questions they ask you. 

Depending on the severity of the injury or illness, the triage technician may advise they take your pet to our treatment area to see a doctor immediately. If your pet is stable and does not require immediate medical attention, you will be asked to wait so we can attend to the pets with the most life-threatening injuries or illnesses. 

There can be an extensive wait time, depending on the severity of emergencies that present to our hospital. Please know that we are working diligently to have your pet seen in a timely manner. If you feel that your pet's condition has changed while waiting, let the triage technician know.

Examination with our ER veterinarians 
Your pet  will receive a full physical examination by an Emergency Services Veterinarian. During this time, our triage technician may ask questions about your pet's current symptoms, health, and medications.

Shortly after discussing your pet's health with the triage technician, you will meet with your pet's emergency doctor. It may seem like you are answering several questions, but this information helps the ER doctor develop a unique treatment plan for your pet. 

Your ER doctor will discuss the treatment recommendations and answer any of your questions. If your doctor recommends diagnostic testing, overnight care, procedure, or medications, a technician will review a detailed treatment plan so that you can make an informed decision that is best for you and your pet. 
Update on your pet
Please do not hesitate to call 630.301.6100 any time, day or night. Please state that you would like to speak to the ICU technician that is taking care of your pet. If the ICU technician cannot answer the phone, we will take a message, and the technician will call you back as soon as possible.

Visitation Hours
Due to COVID-19, we are currently are not allowing clients to visit their pets.

What to expect on discharge day
You will be scheduled a discharge appointment time so that your pet can be discharged as efficiently as possible. When you arrive to pick up your pet, you will first check out with a client service representative at the front desk. You will then meet with an emergency care coordinator who will review all discharge instructions with you.  The emergency care coordinator will go over all prescribed medications, activity restrictions, expectations of the healing process, and follow up appointments. At any time, please address your concerns and or questions with the emergency care coordinator. We understand that this process can be somewhat overwhelming. At any point during your pet's recovery process, please call us with any questions or concerns; we are always available to help you and your 

Our Emergency & Critical Care Team

Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
VCA Aurora Animal Hospital

2600 West Galena Blvd.

Aurora, IL 60506

Main: 630-301-6100

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Emergency and Specialty Hours:

Emergency/Critical Care open 24/7.

Specialty Services available Monday-Friday, depending on department.

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

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