Emergency & Critical Care

The CityU Veterinary Medical Centre (CityU VMC) Emergency and Critical Care Service is 24-hour emergency care service. We have veterinarians onsite 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In addition to initial emergency treatment, close monitoring and life support measures in the intensive care unit (ICU) may be needed.  A vigilant team specially trained in emergency and critical care will provide quality care to your pet during this crucial time, improving his or her chance for a good outcome.

Appointments are not needed for emergencies, cases are seen based on their severity.

Our services include:

  • 24/7 Emergency Care Service
  • 24/7 Intensive Care Unit

What to Expect

Upon arriving at the CityU VMC Emergency Room, any animal that is ill or injured should be seen by an emergency doctor for immediate assessment. These doctors see emergencies based on the urgency of the patient’s condition, a process termed “Triage.”

Emergency evaluations often include assessment by on-site veterinarians and technicians, evaluating the respiratory, cardiovascular, neurologic and urinary systems. If there are any abnormalities noted, even at the initial visual examination, the patient is brought directly to the treatment area for a doctor to assess the patient.

Our staff will also obtain a brief history from the owner (signalment, reason for seeking medical attention/problem, concurrent medical conditions, drugs/exposure).

Specialist in Emergency & Critical Care

When should I bring my pet to the Emergency Room?

Below is a list of some common conditions in which a patient would benefit from Emergency and Critical Care Service:

  • Trauma (e.g., Dog bites, snake bites, hit by cars, high-rise syndrome or burns, stabbing, impalement injuries, etc.)
  • Animals having difficulty breathing (congestive heart failure, aspiration pneumonia, pulmonary thromboembolism, pulmonary hypertension)
  • Animals exposed to toxins or ingestion of poison (pesticides, rat bait, chocolate, xylitol, etc.)
  • Any patient which requires blood products or transfusion medicine (anemia, tick fever, blood loss)
  • Animals with signs of shock (e.g., such as an elevated or very slow heart rate, low blood pressure, pale gums, bleeding, collapse).
  • Patients with uncontrollable seizures or neurologic signs (e.g., coma, non-responsiveness, behavior changes, brain tumors or encephalitis etc.)
  • Any patient that is straining to urinate or having difficulty passing urine
  • Any patient with organ dysfunction or failure (e.g., liver injury/failure, kidney injury/failure, etc.)
  • A patient that has problems clotting its blood
  • A patient not recovering well from anesthesia, or one which has a complication from an anesthetic event or sedation
  • Heat stroke or consequences of heat stroke (e.g., lung or organ failure, DIC, etc.)
  • A patient with immune mediated disease (immune mediated thrombocytopenia or anemia)
  • Patients which require frequent and/or intensive monitoring and interventions (e.g., blood pressure monitoring, hearting rhythm monitoring, blood sugar, electrolyte or acid-base monitoring and adjustment, intravenous fluid

Why can’t I just make an appointment with my regular practitioner when my pet is injured or seriously ill?

Waiting to see a general practitioner for a consultation may not be in the best interest when you have an ill or injured pet, as these doctors typically see wellness visits on stable pets and adhere to a tight schedule, waiting to have your pet seen may mean a delay in life saving therapy. The challenge with veterinary medicine is our patients cannot talk, therefore we never truly know how sick the pet may be, until they are assessed.

How long will my pet’s appointment take?

ER doctors do not see routine, time-scheduled consultations and the service is not on a first come-first served basis - just like being seen at the A&E in a human hospital. Please check with our staff for the updated waiting time when needed.