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Advanced Veterinary Emergency Care for Your Pet 24/7

VCA PetCare East provides immediate care for minor to major emergencies. You can count on VCA PetCare East to always be there for you and your pet. Our emergency and intensive care service is staffed by veterinarians and technicians with advanced training in emergency and critical care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so your pet is never alone.

If your pet should have a medical emergency, first contact your primary care veterinarian. If your veterinarian is not available or recommends a trip to VCA PetCare East, you should immediately bring your pet in. When possible, call before you come so that we can be prepared for your arrival. If you think your pet may be sick or injured and you’re not sure what to do, call VCA PetCare East at 707-579-3900 and speak to one of our experienced nurses. They will help assess the situation and determine whether your pet needs to be seen.

With experienced doctors, an in-house laboratory, high-tech imaging, well-equipped surgery suites, and extensive pharmacy, including blood transfusion products, your pet will receive the fastest and most effective care possible. Our emergency service uses technology and advanced skills to monitor, diagnose, and treat animals with acute or chronic illness or injury. While some patients can be treated and released the same day, others may be admitted for further stabilization. Patients with more serious or even life-threatening illnesses or injuries are admitted to our intensive care unit for close monitoring and definitive care. Our doctors discuss hospitalized patients twice daily, allowing each patient to benefit from the expertise of multiple doctors and to provide the best continuity of care possible.

If Referred from Another Veterinary Clinic

We believe in the team approach and that your family veterinarian is an integral part of that team. Your relationship with your family veterinarian is an important one and our goal is to act as an extension of their clinic to complement their care. They will be updated on your pet’s visit to the emergency service to enable them to continue to provide the best health care for your pet.

You are welcome to call for updates and to visit your pet while in our care. VCA PetCare East encourages visiting your pet while he or she in the hospital. Both pets and owners often find comfort when they are able to visit with one another.

  • Please call ahead of time and arrange a visitation with a doctor or nurse.
  • You may visit anytime except between the hours of 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Visits are limited to twice daily and we encourage coordinating multiple visitors to one time.
  • Visits are limited to between 15–30 minutes at the discretion of the nurse.

There may be times when patient visits must be brief, such as when the pet is in ICU or if the hospital is extremely busy.

How Can I Avoid An Emergency Situation With My Pet?

It goes without saying that the best way to avoid an emergency is to prevent it in the first place. To reduce the chances that you will experience an emergency situation during the lifetime of your pet, consider the following tips:

Follow your veterinarian's advice regarding all relevant wellness care, including vaccinations, age appropriate health screenings, and parasite prevention.

Prevent traumatic injury by keeping pets under your control at all times. Keep cats indoors and dogs fenced. When pets venture outdoors, keep them leashed at all times. If you do allow them off leash, limit this privilege to large enclosed areas away from traffic, other potentially aggressive pets, and wildlife.

Invest the time in training your pet to obey simple commands, such as Come, Sit, Down, Stay, and No.

Never leave your pet alone or unattended in a car, even with the windows open.

Pet proof your home, removing all potential hazards from your pet's reach, much the same as you would do with an infant or toddler.

Supervise your pet as much as possible. Puppies and kittens, just like human babies, like to explore with their mouths. Supervising them during playtime can prevent their ingesting poisonous substances or choking hazards.

If your pet is coping with a chronic illness, carefully follow all of your veterinarian's recommendations regarding medication administration and check ups.
 

How Can I Plan For An Emergency?

Make sure you know ahead of time what your veterinarian's policy is regarding emergency care, both during regular practice hours and after hours. If your veterinarian does not have a referral relationship in place, then make sure you know the location of the closest emergency referral center for your area.

If your pet has an ongoing medical problem that could result in a sudden emergency, make sure you keep any pertinent medical records in a handy place so that you can quickly locate them and bring them with you to the emergency service or hospital in the event of a crisis.

Keep your veterinarian's phone number and any emergency phone numbers and directions next to your phone along with all other important emergency information for your family.

Know basic first aid tips for pets. Ask your veterinarian for these ahead of time during a routine wellness exam

How Do I Handle My Injured pet?

Handle With Care

Pain, fear, and shock can make animals behave differently. When you are faced with a pet emergency, remember that even the most well trained and loving pet can behave differently when feeling ill or in pain. Also realize that even relatively small animals, such as cats or small dogs, are capable of inflicting serious bite and scratch wounds when they are disoriented and in pain. If this occurs, it is important not to take such actions personally, but to realize that it is an expression of the extreme pain or disorientation your pet may be experiencing at the time.

Approach all injured pets with caution. Despite your natural wish to comfort your ill or wounded pet, do not place your face or hands near his or her head until you can assess your pet's condition. If you feel you cannot safely manage the emergency situation, ask your veterinarian for advice on how to handle and transport your pet when you call to report the emergency. Sometimes wrapping small, injured pets in towels (taking care not to cause further injury or pain) or placing larger pets in crates or carriers for transport may be the safest option for both you and your pet.
 

What Additional Training Does An Emergency and Critical Care Specialist Have?

Veterinarians who want to become board certified in emergency and critical care medicine must seek additional training to become a specialist and earn this prestigious credentialing. Specialty status is granted by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC). A veterinarian who has received this specialty status will list the initials, 'DACVECC,' after his or her DVM degree. Or, the veterinarian may indicate that he or she is a 'Diplomate' of the ACVECC. The word 'Diplomate' typically means the specialist has achieved the following:

  • Obtained a veterinary degree (three to four years of college plus four years of veterinary school).
  • Completed a one-year internship at a referral private practice or veterinary teaching hospital.
  • Completed an additional three years of advanced training in emergency medicine, surgery, and critical care through a residency at a veterinary teaching hospital where the veterinarian will have trained with some of the best specialists in the field and obtained hands on experience. This training focuses on the most up to date techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of life threatening disease processes or injuries, not only for the duration of the emergency but throughout the critical care period right after.
  • Passed a rigorous examination.

After completing and passing all of these requirements, the veterinarian is then recognized by his or her peers as a board certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care. When your pet faces an emergency, years of additional training and education will be focused on helping him or her to recover from injury or illness and enjoy the highest quality of life possible.

What To Do In An Emergency?

Call your veterinarian immediately. Even if it is after hours, most veterinarians have recordings that explain how to obtain emergency help for a pet when the practice is closed.

Call your veterinarian rather than attempting to obtain advice online. Do not leave a voicemail. In an emergency, your pet needs help immediately. Keep going until you get a live person on the other end of the phone who can connect you with a veterinarian or direct you to an emergency facility.

If you are away from home, consult the yellow pages of the local phone book for the closest veterinary emergency facility.
 

What Type of Equipment Do Emergency and Critical Care Specialists Use?

High Tech Help

Much of the same high tech equipment that human doctors use to help critically ill humans is also available to help save injured or seriously ill pets. Emergency and Critical Care specialists are more likely to have access to the following cutting edge equipment or capabilities to help your pet recover:

  • Supplemental oxygen delivered via oxygen cages or nasal tubes
  • Pulse oximeters
  • Blood gas monitoring
  • End tidal carbon dioxide measurement
  • Colloid oncotic pressure measurement
  • Continuous ECG monitoring and telemetry
  • Ultrasonography
  • Endoscopy
  • Blood pressure and central venous pressure measurements
  • Blood transfusions
  • Advanced imaging techniques, such as CT scans and MRI
     

Our Emergency & Critical Care Team

Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian

Our Emergency & Critical Care Services

Aggressive Analgesia
Cardiac Output Monitoring
Central Venous Pressure Monitoring
Continuous ECG Monitoring and Telemetry
Direct Blood Pressure Monitoring
Intermittant Hemodialysis
Nasal and Transtracheal Oxygen Therapy
Transfusion Therapy

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

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