Emergency and Critical Care

A specialist in emergency and critical care is a specially trained veterinarian who is dedicated to treating life-threatening conditions. They must first be a graduate veterinarian and then receive a minimum of 3 additional years of intense residency training in emergency, surgery and critical care with an American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC)-approved training program. Once the veterinarian has completed these years of specialty residency training, the individual must pass a board-certification examination. Upon successful completion of the training and passing of the examination, the veterinarian is a Diplomate of the ACVECC, is termed a “specialist”, and is board-certified in veterinary emergency and critical care.

Feline Urethral Obstruction ("Blocked Cat")

Urethral obstructions are life-threatening emergencies that can occur with our pets.  They commonly occur in male cats due to the urethra being narrower than in females.  Urethral obstructions can be caused by plugs (a mix of mucus, crystals and inflammatory cells), stones, blood clots, masses or congenital defects.  Environment and stress can also play a role in cats becoming obstructed as stressed cats can have a greater inflammatory response and increased urethral spasms.  Read more about Feline Urethral Obstruction ("Blocked Cat")

Pet Dentistry: Fractured Jaw

In veterinary practices, jaw fractures are a common phenomenon. Usually, they are caused by trauma such as being hit by a car, suffering an attack from another animal or even simply misjudging a stair height. Sometimes, jaw fractures are caused by complications in a tooth extraction procedure. Each jaw fracture is unique and consequently, may require a different treatment. X-rays can identify where the fracture(s) exist and what treatment would be appropriate. Read more about Pet Dentistry: Fractured Jaw

Rabies, a Public Health Issue

If you get Ebola, your odds for dying are 50-89%. The Plague and SARS both have mortality rates of 70%. Rabies, however, has an almost 100% mortality rate. Approximately 55,000 people worldwide die each year from rabies.

Rabies is a rhabdovirus, a negative strand RNA virus and has only five proteins. The virus is rod shaped, and enters the victim via exposure to the saliva of an infected animal. This virus only affects mammals, which includes humans. Read more about Rabies, a Public Health Issue

GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus)

Understanding GDV, also known as bloat, begins with understanding digestive system anatomy. The affected organs include the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, small intestines, and spleen. The esophagus is the tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach; it is a hollow dilation of the gastrointestinal tract where food is initially digested. The spleen is attached to the stomach by a series of blood vessels and the gastroplenic ligament. The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine as it leaves the stomach. 

Read more about GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus)

Acute Pancreatitis in Dogs

The pancreas is a V-shaped gland found within the abdomen along the area between the stomach and the first stretch of small intestine. The primary job of the pancreas is twofold - to produce insulin (the endocrine function), and to secrete inactive digestive enzymes and the chemical bicarbonate (the exocrine function).

Insulin, which is secreted into the blood in response to carbohydrate and protein ingestion, is one of the hormones implicated in diabetes, and is administered therapeutically to diabetics to ensure the body can process digested sugars. Read more about Acute Pancreatitis in Dogs

Brain Tumor in Cats and Dogs

Brain tumors are relatively common in older dogs and cats. Some tumors are "primary" brain tumors, meaning that they originate from the tissue in the brain cavity, and some are "secondary" brain tumors, or those that originate from outside the brain cavity but then invade the brain by extension (for example, from the nose) or via the blood (metastasis). Most brain tumors are diagnosed in dogs and cats older than 5 years and mainly in pets 9 years of age and older. Younger animals, though, can also be affected. Read more about Brain Tumor in Cats and Dogs


The lens of the eye and the cornea function to direct light to the retina, which is the sensitive nerve tissue layer located in the back of the eye. In a healthy eye, the lens is transparent or clear. A cataract is an opacity or cloudiness of the lens that causes light to scatter, interfering with the way light reaches the retina. Cataracts are a common, but not exclusive, cause of vision loss. Read more about Cataracts