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. Learn more about our COVID-19 response and guidelines.
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There is an outbreak of Canine Influenza in dogs which is very contagious. If your dog is coughing, sneezing, lethargic or has a runny nose, contact your veterinarian for further information. Vaccination is available and recommended.
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Supplemental oxygen can be administered by nasal or transtracheal methods. Our hospital can provide this to our critical patients when an oxygenated environment provided by our oxygen cages is not sufficient.

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Emergency & Critical Care

Thank you for visiting the Emergency/Critical Care department of VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. The E/CC department is staffed by 3 full time board certified critical care experts dedicated to providing the most current therapies available in veterinary medicine. By incorporating advanced techniques derived from the fields of veterinary and human medicine we are able to ensure that your patient is being treated in the best possible way. Our critical care department strives to provide compassionate care for all of the patients of WLA by having at least one of our specialists in attendance at all patient rounds. The E/CC service at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital works very closely with the surgery, internal medicine and cardiology services to help ensure optimal patient care.

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 injury (including fractures, bite wounds, burns, lacerations)
  • Respiratory emergencies (including cases in which the use of ventilators is needed)
  • Animals in need of blood transfusions
  • Animals that are in shock
  • Animals with life threatening neurologic disease, such as coma or severe seizures

While your general practitioner 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 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 practitioner veterinarian on a referral basis, as well as with any other needed specialists, until the emergency is resolved.

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 American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) website.

When Does My Pet Need Emergency Care?

Any of the following situations can be considered an emergency:

  • Trauma (falling from a height, hit by car, fights with other animals)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ingestion of a foreign object or unknown substance
  • Bleeding
  • Vomiting blood
  • Blood in the feces or urine
  • Swollen, hard abdomen that is painful to the touch
  • Serious wounds
  • 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, such as whining or shaking
  • Straining to urinate (especially a male cat)
  • Labor that does not progress
  • Signs of heatstroke

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. Many emergency 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.

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.

Did You Know?

There are more than 125 board-certified veterinary emergency and critical care specialists in the U.S. today and it is the fastest growing specialty in the profession.  

Our Emergency & Critical Care Services

Central Venous Pressure Monitoring
Continuous ECG Monitoring and Telemetry
Direct Blood Pressure Monitoring
Mechanical Ventilation

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