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. 
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Arick Barsch

Arick Barsch
Co-Team Lead Emergency/Critical Care Technician
Emergency & Critical Care
Arick Barsch
Arick resides in Avon but grew up in New Britain. As a child he spent the summers in North Truro, Cape Cod Massachusetts at the family's summer home on the beach. To this day he still feels a deep connection with Cape Cod and a nostalgic feeling of all the great memories as a child, that he still continues to try to make it up there every year. Arick lives with his better half, a veterinary surgeon at an outside Specialty Hospital, and they have two children Ellie and Sawyer, a Golden Retriever named Remmington, Oliver a ShiPoo, Jack a Shih Tzu, Michonne and Rick who are both domestic shorthairs, a goldfish named Gobie, and a Russian Tortoise named Shelly. In his "free time" he loves teaching Sawyer how to fix things and bringing Ellie on turtle hunts.

Arick's passion is Reptiles and Amphibians with a Special Interest in Turtles and Tortoises. He has spent just about his entire life trekking through swamps and wetlands searching for snakes and turtles to record and photograph. He has been involved with many studies and research projects across the country and has co-authored various publications with regards to Road Mortality in Turtles and working with National Geographic, using their "Crittercam" to monitor Connecticut's indigenous turtle species.

Arick first became involved with Veterinary Medicine 17 years ago. He first worked in animal research as a Veterinary Technician and credentialed as a Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT) and continued to move towards private practice. Arick has a leadership background, and has completed Patterson Veterinary University's Management Courses, and has taken courses through AAHA's Veterinary Management Institute. Arick has a degree in Animal Science and Liberal Arts, and has obtained Fear Free Certification. As a Credentialed Veterinary Technician (CVT), he is currently working towards obtaining Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) credentials in Emergency and Critical Care. Arick loves the energy and fast paced environment of Emergency and Critical Care, and is passionate about providing every patient the Gold Standard of Care.
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Emergency & Critical Care

While your general practice veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems and handle many routine emergencies, certain situations 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 practice veterinarian on a referral basis, as well as with any other needed specialists, until the emergency is resolved.

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

How Can I Find A Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care for My Pet?

If your veterinarian does not handle after hours emergencies, then he or she probably already has a referral relationship in place with a local or regional emergency hospital. You can also look for emergency specialists in your area on the ACVECC website. You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when and where to refer you and your pet for emergency or critical care is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of care for his or her problem.

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 bruisingBlood in vomit, feces or urine
  • Severe vomiting, retching, or diarrhea
  • Swollen, hard or painful abdomen
  • Serious woundSuspected broken limb
  • Any injury to the eye
  • Loss of consciousness
  • SeizuresInability to move or sudden weakness
  • Unusual or erratic behaviorSigns of extreme pain
  • Straining to urinate (especially a male cat)
  • Labor that does not progress
  • Prolonged heat exposure, overheating or heat stroke 
  • Snake bite

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

Credentialed Veterinary Technician Supervisor
Emergency & Critical Care Department Head
VCA Veterinary Specialists of CT

993 North Main Street

West Hartford, CT 06117

Main: 860-236-3273

Fax: 860-236-3275

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Specialty Appointment Hours::

Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm Saturday & Sunday: ER only

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

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