Veterinary Critical Care
Critical Care for Pets in Ventura
Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group (VMSG) provides critical care to pets experiencing serious illness or injury. Our highly trained team continually monitors your pet to respond to their rapidly changing condition.
Our Critical Care Services
When your beloved pet becomes severely ill or injured, they need urgent veterinary attention and lifesaving medical care.
These pets receive constant and ongoing intensive care from our highly trained staff. We monitor their condition and support their recovery with:
- Continuous and intensive monitoring for pets in critical condition
- Electronic patient monitoring equipment to track your companion's vitals
- Onsite access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options
Board-Certified Veterinary Criticalist
A board-certified veterinary criticalist has completed extensive specialized training in the field of emergency and critical care. During their residency program, the criticalist is exposed to a wide variety of complex emergency and critical cases.
Critical Care Cases in Ventura
An animal requires veterinary critical care services when they are seriously ill and experiencing a health issue that demands consistent monitoring, treatment and therapies over an extended period of time - whether that be hours, days or even weeks.
Any health condition that demands extended and complex treatments, drug therapies or intensive or continual monitoring will likely fall under the purview of critical care. The following are some examples of health issues that may require care in our ICU:
- Traumas (hit by car, dog fights, burns)
- Difficulty breathing (e.g.: oxygen support for congestive heart failure, airway disease)
- Metabolic disturbances (e.g.: organ failure, shock, diabetic ketoacidosis)
- Toxicities (e.g.: rattlesnake bites, poisoning)
- Not responding well to current treatments or post-anesthesia
FAQs About Veterinary Critical Care
The following are some of the most common questions our veterinary team receives about critical care services at our hospital in Ventura.
- Why would my pet need critical care?
Any pet that is seriously ill would benefit from this type of specialist care.
An animal may acquire or experience complications from an injury or illness due to physical trauma, poisoning, neurological conditions, or reactions to anesthesia or surgical treatment. Sometimes, patients with injuries can also go into shock or experience organ failure.
Patients requiring frequent blood pressure monitoring, oxygen support, heart monitoring, electrolyte/acid-base blood work monitoring, frequent blood sugar monitoring, intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, etc. are typically ones that may need a specialist.
- What is the difference between veterinary emergency and critical care?
There is some overlap between critical care and emergency services, as both deal with seriously ill or injured animals. However, there are some important differences between these two services.
Veterinary emergency services treat pets that are suffering from acute serious illness or injury requiring intensive and immediate care.
While veterinary critical care services also treat serious injury and illness, these veterinarians do so in cases where animals need complex treatments, intensive or continual monitoring and crate rest in a medical environment to help them recover.
So, though patients may be transferred to critical care after triage and treatment in emergency services, not all emergencies will require critical care.
Likewise, in circumstances where a pet has undergone major planned surgery, they will need critical care to remain stable and start their recovery without ever having been a veterinary emergency case.
- What can I expect from the treatment process in intensive care?
Your pet may be transferred from the emergency department, another specialty department at Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group (VMSG) or as a referral from your general practice veterinarian.
After your pet arrives, the criticalist will examine your dog or cat and discuss the most likely causes for your pet's issues before creating a diagnostic and intensive care plan. Your pet will be carefully monitored to allow them the best chance at a full recovery.
The critical care team will communicate extensively with you and the patient’s regular veterinarian to ensure seamless healthcare.
- Can I call the hospital to check up on my pet?
Yes, you absolutely can get in touch with us to check in on your pet's health and status while they are in critical care at our facility.
Rest assured, though, that if there is any problem or change in your pet's condition, we will contact you promptly for information or updates about your companion's health.
- When do your critical care services operate?
Our criticalist is available to receive new patients Tuesday through Friday and is supported by the Emergency Department for 7-day-a-week care. Our Emergency and Critical Care Team work together to provide treatment and attentive monitoring of your companion's health.
- How long will my pet have to remain in critical care?
A critical care unit at a veterinary hospital works somewhat similarly to a human hospital — while we may be able to provide an estimate of your pet's length of stay with us, factors may arise that impact that timeline.
We aren't able to predict if and when your pet's condition will change or a complication will occur, but rest assured we will communicate with you as much as possible about any changes in your companion's condition while in our care and what that means for the duration of their stay.
- Will you keep in touch with our primary care veterinarian?
Yes, we will keep your primary care veterinarian updated on your pet's conditions while they are undergoing critical care.
We will provide your primary care vet with your pet's medical history and files to ensure your pet receives seamless, integrated care when they return home and are seen by your vet for routine care and checkups.