Critical Care Services at Animal Hospitals: What You Need to Know

When pets are in distress, it can be a scary and stressful experience for both the animal and their human. That's where animal hospitals come in, providing critical care services to help beloved pets recover from illness or injury. One service that is becoming increasingly vital is critical care, including the use of an intensive care unit (ICU).

In this post, we are going to explore the ins and outs of critical care services at animal hospitals and why they are so important for your furry family member.

What is Critical Care at an Animal Hospital?

Critical care services at animal hospitals are specialized, around-the-clock medical care given to seriously ill or injured animals. Critical care units are often available at specialized veterinary hospitals or animal clinics. These units are similar to human intensive care units and are equipped with advanced medical technology to monitor and treat critically ill pets. Critical care services aim to stabilize the pet's health while providing them with everything they need for a full recovery.

When is Critical Care Needed?

Some situations that may require critical care services include the following.

  • Traumatic injuries such as a broken bone 
  • Severe infections such as sepsis or pneumonia
  • Neurological conditions such as seizures or traumatic brain injury
  • Respiratory distress (difficulty breathing)
  • Cardiovascular issues such as heart failure
  • Kidney or liver failure 

What Happens in an Animal Hospital ICU?

ICUs closely monitor and treat pets around the clock. The ICU is equipped with diagnostic equipment, such as an EKG and CT scanner, and monitoring equipment that can track the pet's vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. Additionally, the ICU is staffed with trained veterinary professionals on hand 24/7 to provide intensive care. These professionals may include board-certified veterinary specialists, critical care veterinarians, and nurses with additional training in emergency and critical care medicine.

The Role of the Pet Owner During Critical Care

As a pet owner, you are an important member of your pet's medical team. Your involvement and understanding of your pet's care are essential for successful outcomes. During critical care, the pet owner may need to make decisions about the pet's care and treatment options. Asking questions, expressing concerns, and providing important medical history can help your veterinarian provide the best care possible for your pet. You may also be allowed to visit your pet in the ICU to provide comfort and help with their recovery.

Contact a local animal hospital for more info.