Intensive Care Unit

Veterinary Intensive Care Unit in Toronto

Intensive Care Unit/Critical Care Medicine

Dawn Crandell, DVM, DVSc, DACVECC; Judy Brown DVM, MSc, DACVECC; Francesca Di Mauro DVM, DACVECC

Critical Care Services

  • Life-saving interventions, monitoring and therapy for the critically ill pet
  • Diagnosis, monitoring and management of shock and hypotension
  • Treatment of severe acute respiratory emergencies requiring:
    • Oxygen supplementation
    • High flow nasal oxygen therapy
    • Mechanical ventilation
  • Acute treatment of cardiac emergencies including congestive heart failure and arrhythmias
  • Stabilization of pets with severe trauma
  • Administration of blood products for pets with anemia or coagulopathies
  • Initial treatment and control of neurologic emergencies including seizures
  • Diagnosis and therapy for toxicities
  • Correction of severe electrolyte disturbances
  • Intensive management of acute kidney injury
  • Treatment of environmental emergencies including heat stroke and hypothermia
  • Use of cage-side ultrasound to ensure timely and accurate diagnosis of emergent patients

Intensive Care Unit 1

Common reasons for consultation

  • Diagnosis and management of unstable or critically ill pet of any cause
  • Sepsis
  • Shock
  • Respiratory emergencies
  • Cardiac emergencies
  • Life-threatening electrolyte disturbances
  • Coagulopathies
  • Acute anemia
  • Endocrine emergencies (Addison’s disease, diabetic ketoacidosis)
  • Neurological emergencies
  • Environmental emergencies (Heatstroke; Hypothermia)

Strengths of the Service

  • ‘The heart of the hospital’, providing essential support to patients from all services.
  • Overseen by three board-certified diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
  • Individuals with these credentials are required to undertake a rigorous 3-year residency program in emergency and critical care in addition to their standard veterinary training.
  • Staffed by two ICU-trained registered veterinary technicians 24 hours/day
    Ability to provide mechanical ventilation and high flow nasal oxygen with state-of-the-art equipment
  • Portable ultrasound unit to implement ‘FAST scans’ in diagnosis and management of critically ill pet
  • Close collaboration and transparent communication with our other specialty service clinicians ensures best quality patient care
  • Direct support to the emergency service
  • Clear and timely communication with pet owners and referring veterinarians
  • All team members trained in techniques to reduce patient stress and fear, alleviate pain and provide conscientious nursing care