Who is a Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Specialist?

A veterinary emergency and critical care specialist is a board-certified specialist in the diagnosis and management of emergency situations and critical illnesses in cats and dogs. An emergency and critical care specialist undergoes extensive training to acquire the specialized skills to diagnose and treat critical illnesses. This involves completing veterinary school to become a veterinarian (4 years), an internship program (minimum of 1 year), and an approved emergency and critical care residency training program (3 years). After this training, the veterinarian must then complete and pass multi-day examinations to become a board-certified veterinary emergency and critical care specialist. Our emergency and critical care specialist, Dr. Dara Gottlieb, is boarded with the American College of Veterinary Emergency Critical Care (ACVECC) and is therefore a Diplomate of the ACVECC. Dr. Gottlieb will work together with our emergency veterinarians and staff to provide comprehensive care for our emergency and critical care patients and our overnight patients recovering from various surgical and non-surgical procedures.

When Should Your Pet See Our Emergency and Critical Care Service?

Our emergency and critical care team is available to see your pet on a limited basis Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., based on patient volume and availability. Please contact Capital City Specialty & Emergency Animal Hospital prior to coming to the hospital to confirm we will be able to assist you and your pet. We are not currently available to see emergency patients overnights or on weekends.

Some of the More Common Changes or Conditions That Warrant Concern Are:

  • Acute illnesses
  • Trauma
  • Postoperative complications


What Are Some of the Common Conditions Our Emergency and Critical Care Service Treats?

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Addisonian crisis
  • Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia
  • Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia
  • Thromboembolic diseases and bleeding disorders
  • Shock
  • Unstable upper airway diseases and obstructions
  • Unstable pneumonia or respiratory issues
  • Unstable congestive heart failure
  • Pneumothorax
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)
  • Intestinal obstructions
  • Septic peritonitis
  • Acute kidney problems (e.g., anuria, oliguria, and marked azotemia)
  • Acute kidney failure


What Are Some of the Common Diagnostic and Surgical Procedures Our Emergency and Critical Care Service Performs?

  • Blood work (e.g., complete blood count, serum biochemistry, etc.)
  • Urinalysis
  • Ultrasounds (AFAST and TFAST)
  • Endoscopies
  • Radiographs (x-rays)
  • CT scans
  • Blood and plasma transfusions
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) corrections
  • Gastrotomies, enterotomies, and intestinal resection and anastomoses
  • Ventral cystotomies
  • Wound management with primary closure or open wound management


What Should You Expect When Booking an Appointment with Our Emergency and Critical Care Service at Capital City Specialty & Emergency Animal Hospital?

If your primary care veterinarian is referring your pet, we will reach out to you as soon as possible to schedule your appointment. If you are doing a self-referral for your pet or are concerned about an ongoing emergency, please call (613 244 7387) our team directly to inquire about our current hospital status. One of our team members will discuss options with you based on staffing and triage. There is currently a limited number of urgent care appointments available each week and we ask that you please check with Capital City Specialty & Emergency Animal Hospital regarding availability prior to coming to the hospital.

If your pet is experiencing an emergency, you and your pet will be checked in at reception and brought to an examination room. Your pet will be triaged by the emergency and critical care team to determine the urgency of their condition. The veterinarian will then discuss your pet’s history with you and do a comprehensive examination. If indicated, the veterinarian may suggest additional tests to further evaluate your pet’s condition and make additional recommendations. This process could take anywhere from several hours to days depending on the severity of the emergency and the course of treatment.

On an urgent care appointment, you will see a veterinarian and their team without first going through the triage process, and your appointment should be expected to last up to 60 minutes if no additional diagnostics or treatments are required. If medications are required, a treatment plan and medications will be sent home with you along with detailed instructions.

A thorough report will be sent to your family veterinarian, including examination findings, diagnosis, treatments, follow-up recommendations. This will ensure that we are all included as a team to provide continuity of care for your pet.

We strive to provide you and your pet with the highest level of care. We love what we do, we love our patients, and we treat them as if they were our own.