Danika Dickerson

Danika Dickerson
Staff Veterinarian
Emergency & Critical Care
Danika Dickerson
Dr. Dickerson obtained her Degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota after completing her undergraduate studies at UC Davis. Dr. Dickerson always knew she wanted to be a veterinarian from the early age of five years old. She especially enjoys working in emergency, internal medicine, and anesthesia as well as exotic animal medicine.

Dr. Dickerson loves to laugh and enjoys stand-up comedy; dad jokes and dog memes are a favorite of hers. Her hobbies include sewing, crochet, music, reading, cooking, and hanging out at the beach. She is the pet-parent to two Shepherd mix dogs, 8-year-old Summer and 14-month-old Kallista (or Kalli).
See our departments

Emergency & Critical Care

A trip to the emergency room can be stressful and confusing for both pets and their families. Our compassionate team of specially trained emergency doctors and critical care specialists is dedicated to treating life-threatening conditions and providing the best possible outcome for your pet.


The 24/7 emergency service is supervised by a board-certified specialist in emergency and critical care and is staffed by a team of experienced doctors and technicians.

Our expert team uses some of the most sophisticated tools of the trade, including digital radiology, advanced ultrasound imaging, CT-scan, and MRI. This advanced technology, as well as the availability of board certified radiologists for expert opinions, allow us to move swiftly and efficiently. 

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 injuries of all kinds:

  • Respiratory emergencies
  • Poisonings
  • Animals in need of blood transfusions
  • Animals in shock
  • Coma or severe seizures
  • Diabetic Crises
  • Acute or severe illness


When Does My Pet Need Emergency Care?

Any of the following situations can be considered an emergency:

  • Difficulty breathing or severe coughing
  • Ingestion of a foreign object, drug, poison or unknown substance
  • Bleeding or unexplained bruising
  • Blood in vomit, feces or urine
  • Severe vomiting, retching, or diarrhea
  • Swollen, hard or painful abdomen
  • 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
  • Straining to urinate (especially a male cat)
  • Labor that does not progress
  • Prolonged heat exposure, overheating or heat stroke
  • Snake bite

If you are concerned about your pet at any time, please contact us. We are happy to counsel you on the best course of action.

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 are 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.

Our Emergency & Critical Care Team

Staff Veterinarian
Assistant Medical Director, Veterinary Specialist
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Veterinary Assistant
Credentialed Veterinary Technician Supervisor
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistant
Credentialed Veterinary Technician Manager
VCA California Veterinary Specialists - Carlsbad

2310 Faraday Ave.

Carlsbad, CA 92008

Main: 760-431-2273

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Other Hospital Hours:

Specialty services available by appointment

Emergency services offered 24 hours, 7 days a week.


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

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