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Our hospital utilizes pulse-oximetry on our patients and continuous end-tidal CO2 monitoring is available to monitor patients under anesthesia, on long-term mechanical ventilation, and also as a monitor during CPR.

Emergency & Critical Care

VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center, we're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a full staff of top veterinarians, technicians and client care specialists who are ready to handle any situation requiring immediate medical attention. Whether your regular veterinarian's office is closed or you have been referred to us, we are prepared to care for your pet and handle all emergencies -from the minor to most complex.

Our highly trained emergency and critical care teams operate out of a dedicated suite where they have access to state-of-the-art equipment and are aided by the support of the center's entire interdisciplinary team of specialists-all working in concert to deliver the best, most expeditious treatment possible. Because pet medical emergencies can be stressful and traumatic for owners as well as their pets, we provide prompt, attentive personal service with a clear line of communication to the primary care veterinary and pet owner.

VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center’s Emergency and Critical Care Specialists can help in the event of a medical crisis. When every second counts, we're here and ready to assist you and your pet. For immediate medical assistance or for information, please call our center at 916-362-3111.

Our Emergency and Critical Care units can assist with all of the following emergencies:

  • Traumatic injuries-fractures, bites, burns, lacerations
  • Automobile accidents
  • Wounds, bleeding
  • Known or suspected ingestion of a foreign object or unknown substance
  • Respiratory emergencies, choking, difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Difficulty urinating or defecating
  • Shock, loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness, staggering, tremors, inability to move, sudden weakness, unusual or erratic behavior
  • Signs of extreme pain, such as whining or shaking indicating a problem
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Straining to urinate (especially a male cat)
  • Toxin reactions, poison ingestion
  • Labor that does not progress and delivery problems
  • Blood in urine or feces or vomiting blood
  • Swollen, hard, painful abdomen
  • Any injury to the eye
  • Heatstroke

High-Tech Help: Our ICU’s Specialized Services and Equipment

Much of the same high-tech medical equipment that human doctors use to help critically ill humans is also available to help save injured or seriously ill pets. At VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center, our Emergency and Critical Care team has access to all of the following cutting edge equipment and capabilities to help your pet recover:

  • 24-hour care and monitoring by veterinarians and veterinary technicians
  • Blood transfusions
  • Complete diagnostic lab for immediate test results
  • Blood gas analyzer and monitoring
  • Emergency surgery
  • Advanced imaging techniques including digital radiography, ultrasonography, MRI and CT
  • Supplemental oxygen therapy
  • Pulse oximetry, end-title CO2 (carbon dioxide) measurement, blood pressure, and continuous EKG monitoring
  • Continuous rate confusion for IV fluids and meds
  • Advanced pain management
  • Video-endoscopy
  • Nutritional support

What is an Emergency and Critical Care Specialist?

A veterinarian whose sole focus is on emergency and critical care of pets and who has a background and experience in treating life-threatening conditions. While your 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 intensive training and experience in handling emergency and critical care of pets.

Our 3 Board Certified Emergency & Critical Care Specialists have completed advanced training and passed a very rigorous examination. These individuals lead our Emergency & Critical Care Department and provide input and support to all of our emergency veterinarians. An emergency and critical care veterinarian typically works in tandem with your veterinarian on a referral basis, as well as with any other needed specialists until the emergency is resolved.

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. Our Emergency and Critical Care facility here at VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center offers 24-hour supervision of critically ill pets and, just as in human hospitals, we have dedicated Intensive Care and Critical Care Units (ICU/CCU). Our facility is equipped to provide oxygen therapy, cardiac monitoring, blood transfusions, and nutritional support as well as advanced diagnostic on-site, such as ultrasound and echocardiography. We have a team of emergency and critical care doctors and technicians treating and monitoring critically ill pets around the clock, 365 days a year. In the event of an emergency, our emergency and critical care team is ready at all times to help your pet.

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 Services

Aggressive Analgesia
Cardiac Output Monitoring
Central Venous Pressure Monitoring
Continuous ECG Monitoring and Telemetry

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