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pet emergency
Critical Care

Specialized Support and 24-Hour Monitoring for Critical Patients

Due to the serious nature of the trauma or illness, sometimes a dog or cat brought to Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies for a pet emergency or to see a veterinary specialist may require intensive care. Similar to a human ICU, Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies is equipped to provide 24/7/365 care for critically ill or injured pets or pets needing more specialized monitoring following a surgery or procedure.

A new veterinary critical care specialist, Dr. Andrew Linklater, will be joining our team in February! A veterinary critical care specialist (or veterinary criticalist) is a veterinary specialist who has completed extensive advanced training, education, and certification for treating pets with life-threatening conditions or traumatic injuries. At Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies, our board-certified veterinary criticalist partners with our ER doctors and veterinary specialists in internal medicinesurgerycardiology, oncology, and diagnostic imaging (and with primary care veterinarians) to provide comprehensive care for our sickest pet patients.


Some conditions that may require support in our specialized ICU include:


  • Emergency surgery intervention
  • Organ dysfunction (example liver or kidney), especially if multiple organs are involved
  • Advanced complications from pet diabetes (low blood sugar, infections or ketosis)
  • Heart disease (congestive failure, arrhythmias, low or high blood pressure, blood clots and pulmonary hypertension)
  • Endocrine or metabolic disorders (pancreatitis, adrenal gland disease, severe electrolyte abnormalities or complication from chronic health disease)
  • Brain or neurological traumas or disorders
  • Respiratory illness
  • Severe infections or sepsis
  • Cancer and complications from cancer treatment
  • Blood disorders, including anemia and coagulation disorders
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Trauma (bite wounds, trauma from wildlife or motor vehicles), lameness and limping, etc.

Specialized facilities and care available at our animal hospital to treat your critically ill pet:

  • Monitoring 24/7/365, including EKG, direct blood pressure, central venous pressure, and blood sugar monitoring
  • Multimodal pain management
  • Oxygen support
  • Blood product (red blood cell and plasma) transfusions
  • Chest tube placement and maintenance
  • Central/long line catheterization
  • Advanced fluid therapy and intravenous catheters
  • Urinary catheters and collection systems
  • Long and short-term feeding tube placement and maintenance

We can also help to confirm a diagnosis by providing a wide variety of diagnostics (tests) that your general practice veterinarian may not be able to perform:

  • Complete bloodwork (blood count, chemistry, electrolytes and coagulation panels)
  • Radiograph (x-rays) of limbs, abdomen and chest
  • Diagnostic ultrasound
  • Collection and diagnostics on masses, swellings, and fluids (internal and external) with rapid results
  • Infectious disease testing
  • Emergency surgery

How do I know if my pet needs Critical Care?

If you seek care for a pet at Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies, you can rest assured that we offer one of the most specialized and state-of-the-art veterinary hospitals in Castle Rock. After examination of your pet by an ER doctor or veterinary specialist in internal medicine, surgery, or cardiology, we may recommend that hospitalization in our critical care unit may provide the best possible outcome for your pet.  We will work with you, as well as your family vet, to determine the most appropriate care options.


Call 303.660.1027 for immediate emergency assistance 24/7/365 Or to book an appointment with A member of our team