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Emergency and Critical Care: When Your Pet Needs Care Immediately

Aug 08, 2018

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Any time your furry family member needs emergency medical attention it can be overwhelming – from worrying about the severity of the injury or illness to finding a reputable hospital that can provide outstanding care. Take comfort in knowing that when minutes count, you can count on The COVE any time day or night.

What sets us apart from other emergency veterinary hospitals is not only our highly trained and experienced team but that our services are overseen by a board-certified specialist in emergency and critical care, Dr. Jacqueline Nobles.

In fact, The COVE is one of the only 24/7 veterinary hospitals in the region with such a specialist at the helm.

A veterinary specialist in emergency and critical care is dedicated to treating life-threatening conditions. To become a specialist, significant training is required. A candidate must first be a graduate of a recognized veterinary school, then complete a one internship in a specific field, and must then complete a minimum of three additional years of intense training in emergency, surgery, and critical care through the completion of a training program approved by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC). This program is referred to as a “residency” in emergency and critical care and focuses on up-to-date techniques for diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening disease processes, both in an emergency and during the critical period while the animal is recovering. Upon completion, the doctor must also pass extraordinarily difficult exams and have an original research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal.

If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, please bring your pet in immediately:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Bite wounds
  • Change in body temperature (heatstroke/frostbite)
  • Choking
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite, distended or painful abdomen
  • Pale gums
  • Paralysis
  • Poison/toxic ingestion
  • Rapid breathing
  • Seizures
  • Trauma
  • Unconsciousness
  • Weakness or inability to stand

If you’re at all unsure about what to do when your pet shows signs or symptoms like these, please call your primary care veterinarian during regular business hours, or give us a call at 757-935-9111 anytime.

Our services include:

  • Emergency/critical care services and overnight patient monitoring when your primary care veterinarian’s practice is closed
  • Intensive care unit (ICU) with around-the-clock monitoring
  • Sophisticated, onsite diagnostic capabilities including laboratory testing, radiology, and electrocardiography (ECG)
  • Emergency surgery
  • Blood products and life-saving transfusions
  • Advanced respiratory treatment
  • Diagnostics including ultrasound, endoscopy, and bronchoscopy
  • Nutritional support
  • Advanced and personalized pain management

Additionally, team members Dr. Jeff T. Stallings, our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Merrilee T. Small, our board-certified cardiologist, and Dr. Colleen Fox, trained and experienced in advanced dentistry, support our Emergency Department throughout the day and on-call nights and weekends.

As a pet owner, the best thing to have in hand in an emergency is knowledge. Make sure to:

  • Have a first aid kit for your pet with you at all times (in the home and in the car)
  • Download the poison control app to know which household items are toxic
  • Purchase pet insurance to avoid financial surprises.
  • And keep our number (757-935-9111) within easy reach. Do not hesitate to call if you have a question, or to let us know that you are on your way over

We hope that your pet never experiences a medical emergency. However, you can trust in the experience and compassionate care of our dedicated team to care for your furry family member, day or night. 



Category: Pet Health Tips