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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Melissa Céspedes

DVM
Melissa Céspedes Staff Photo
Staff Veterinarian
Emergency & Critical Care
Melissa Céspedes Staff Photo
Dr. Melissa Céspedes acquired her Bachelor of Arts degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Rice University in Houston, Texas and earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Céspedes went on to complete a small animal rotating internship at VCA Animal Referral and Emergency Center of Arizona.

Dr. Céspedes is part of our emergency and critical care department. She has a special interest in toxicities, traumatic wounds and heat stroke cases.

Dr. Céspedes is originally from the Los Angeles area and enjoys hiking, dance, yoga and travel. She is fluent in both Spanish and English. Dr. Céspedes is the proud Mom of a super cute Coonhound named Bella.
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Emergency & Critical Care

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care is a veterinary specialty that could save your pet's life!

If your pet should become injured, or suddenly develop an acute, life threatening disease, he or she will need prompt emergency care. In addition to needing initial emergency treatment, many days may be needed for the disease process to run its course before recovery occurs. During this time, close monitoring and life support measures in the intensive care unit (ICU) may be needed. A vigilant team lead by a veterinarian who is specialty trained in emergency and critical care will improve the quality of care your pet receives.

What is Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care?

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care is a veterinary specialty that could save your pet's life! If your pet should become injured or suddenly develop an acute, life threatening disease, he or she will need prompt emergency care. In addition to requiring initial emergency treatment, many days may be needed for the disease process to run its course before recovery occurs. During this time, close monitoring and life support measures in the intensive care unit (ICU) may be needed. A vigilant team lead by a veterinarian who is specialty trained in emergency and critical care will improve the quality of care your pet receives during this crucial time, improving his or her chance for a good outcome What is a specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care? Does this involve additional training beyond their veterinary training?

What is a specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care?

A specialist in emergency and critical care is a specially trained veterinarian who is dedicated to treating life-threatening conditions. Yes, they do have additional training! They must first be a graduate of a recognized veterinary school, then receive a minimum (or equivalent) of 3 additional years of intense training in emergency, surgery and critical care through completion of an American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC)-approved training program.

This intense program is referred to as a residency in emergency and critical care and focuses on the most up-to-date techniques for diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening disease processes in an emergency, and for the critical time while the animal is recovering. The emergency and critical care residency is supervised by mentors who have been through similar training programs and are themselves board-certified Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (DACVECC).

Once the veterinarian has completed these years of specialty residency training, the individual must then pass a tough board -certification examination given by the ACVECC. Upon successful completion of the training and passing of the examination, the veterinarian is a Diplomate of the ACVECC, is termed a specialist, and is board-certified in veterinary emergency and critical care.

Our Emergency & Critical Care Team

Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
Veterinary Specialist
Staff Veterinarian
Staff Veterinarian
VCA Veterinary Specialists of the Valley

22123 Ventura Blvd.

Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Main: 818-883-8387

Fax: 818-436-4660

Hospital Hours:

    Mon: 7:30 am - 12:00 am

    Tue-Thu: Open 24 hours

    Fri: 12:00 am - 8:00 pm

    Sat: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

    Sun: Closed

Other Hospital Hours:

Please call VCA Veterinary Specialists of the Valley at (818) 883-8387 to schedule an appointment for specialty services or if an emergency should arise.

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

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