Emergency Service | Critical Care

Ryan Hospital's busy Emergency Service

Penn Vet's Emergency Service and Intensive Care Unit at Ryan Hospital function as advanced trauma/emergency and intensive care treatment and diagnostic centers, akin to ​our counterparts in human hospitals.

​We are staffed by faculty and staff veterinarians who are board-certified in the field of emergency and critical care, specialty trained and certified technicians, as well as residents and interns seeking advanced training following graduation from veterinary school.

Our Emergency and Critical Care residency program attracts the most qualified applicants from around the world because of our state of the art facilities,  faculty expertise and large caseload.

The two areas operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to provide care for animals referred from outside veterinarians as well as those animals that become ill at any time of day whose owners seek emergency care. 

When We Say the "Highest Level of Patient Care"...

We really mean it. Here's why:


Are you a referring veterinarian?

If you are referring a patient to Ryan Hospital...

Ryan Hospital Emergencies

Call 215-746-​8387

24 hours/day, 365 days/year

Ryan Hospital (free parking)
3900 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Appointments: 215-746-8387

Get directions to Ryan Hospital...

ES: By the Numbers

Want to get a quick view of how our Emergency Service works?

Red Cross First-Aid App

Penn Vet's Dr. Deborah Mandell developed a First Aid App with the American Red Cross.

Be ready for any emergency. Download this app for  your iPhone or Android device directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.

As one of the most experienced and well-established emergency services in the world, the Emergency Service (ES) at Ryan Hospital offers an unsurpassed level of care that ensures patients have the best chance possible for survival and recovery.

We function as an advanced trauma and diagnostic center, similar to advanced human emergency centers, providing life saving care throughout the day and night, seven days a week, 365 days per year.

Ryan Hospital, emergency servicesClinical Expertise

Our world-renowned faculty and staff are pioneers in research on trauma, shock, and other emergency conditions and have written numerous articles and textbooks in the field of emergency and critical care medicine.  This cutting edge knowledge guarantees that the most up-to-date and advanced treatments are provided for our patients.

We have a permanent staff of five clinicians, all board-certified in veterinary emergency and critical care, who are responsible for the oversight and management of the patients treated in the emergency room.

Since we are a teaching hospital, your pet may also be cared for by a resident or intern, doctors who are receiving advanced training in the field of emergency and critical care medicine.  Fourth year veterinary students are another facet of your pet’s care-giving team.

Experienced support staff 

The emergency service technical staff consists of fourteen experienced certified veterinary technicians along with a staff of part-time certified technicians. Three of our technicians are specialty certified in the area of veterinary emergency and critical nursing.  Our technicians are an integral part of our emergency and critical care team.

Access to Other Specialists Ryan Hospital, emergency services

Emergency Service patients have access to the entire expertise of Penn Vet specialists.  Consultations about your pet’s medical condition  and hospital admission to the internal medicine, cardiology, orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, neurology, ophthalmology, oncology, radiation oncology, dentistry, anesthesia, pediatrics and medical genetics, radiology, and behavior departments can be arranged through ES.  Using a team approach to veterinary medicine, we work together to ensure that your pet receives the specialized medical care it needs.

Advanced therapy and monitoring capabilities

  • Diagnostic imaging modalities, including digital radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), MRI, and positron emission tomography (PET) scanning are available seven days a week (ultrasound, CT and MRI are available during the day, radiographs can be taken 24 hours per day)
  • State-of-the-art blood gas analyzer, blood coagulation analyzer, and blood typing and cross-matching capability allows for STAT blood testing
  • Full blood work, including complete blood count, serum chemistry panel, snap cPLI, snap fPLI
  • Non invasive monitoring including oscillometric or Doppler systemic blood pressure, pulse oximetry and EKG as well as invasive hemodynamic monitoring such as direct arterial blood pressure, central venous pressure, and pulmonary artery catheterization
  • FAST or Focal Assement with Sonography for Trauma- allows quick ultrasound evaluation of body cavities to look for the abnormal accumulation of free fluid
  • Emergency surgery and endoscopy
  • Blood transfusions utilizing the regions only in-house blood bank
  • Oxygen therapyMechanical ventilation and advanced life support through our critical care team



Dedicated to the Highest Standards in Care

The Intensive Care Unit at Penn Vet's Ryan Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to providing the highestRyan Hospital, intensive care unit, ICUquality care to critically ill small animal and special species patients. The unit is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, by a team of board-certified faculty and specialty-trained technicians who work closely with  residents, interns and students.

Board Certified Clinicians

Every member of the ICU faculty is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

We Specialize in Success

On average, there are four to six patients in the ICU each day, with an average stay of two to three days per patient. Each year, we see about 1,200 dogs and cats, and our special species caseload is growing.

All of our patients are considered high risk, and each one has been admitted to the ICU because of the presence of a life-threatening disease condition and/or because of special needs (such as advanced pain management or complex fluid or drug therapy).

Despite this challenging population, we have an overall discharge alive rate of approximately 75 percent.

Treatment Range at Penn Vet Critical Care

The care and well-being of every patient is assessed and treatments fine-tuned constantly by several members of the ICU team. We offer a very low ratio of patients to staff, with most doctors and technicians able to focus their efforts exclusively on one or two patients on any given day. We routinely successfully manage patients with complex and multi-systems disease processes such as:Ryan Hospital, intensive care unit, ICU

  • Sepsis and systemic inflammatory response syndrome
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy
  • Trauma
  • Acute renal failure
  • Toxicities
  • Respiratory failure
  • Heart disease
  • Brain and spinal cord disease

What We Provide

The ICU provides state-of-the-art critical care therapy and monitoring. In addition to monitoring changes in physical parameters, we routinely use advanced monitoring modalities such as:

  • Direct and indirect arterial and central venous pressure monitoring
  • Pulmonary artery catheter placement
  • Arterial and venous blood gas analysis
  • Pulse oximetry
  • End-tidal capnography and measurement of lung mechanics
  • Urinary output monitoring via closed urinary collection systems
  • Cageside measurement of hematocrit, hemoglobin, electrolytes and colloid osmotic pressure

Treatment Modalities

We routinely employ advanced therapeutic and supportive modalities such as:

  • Routine fluid and colloid therapy
  • Oxygen supplementation
  • Tracheostomy and chest tube management
  • Advanced pain management
  • Positive pressure ventilation
  • Blood product transfusion
  • Nutritional support including total parenteral nutrition
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Wound care
  • Cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation


The Emergency Service and Intensive Care Unit function as advanced trauma/emergency and intensive care treatment and diagnostic centers, akin to their counterparts in human hospitals. We are staffed by faculty and staff veterinarians who are board-certified in the field of emergency and critical care, specialty trained and certified technicians, as well as residents and interns seeking advanced training following graduation from veterinary school. Our Emergency and Critical Care residency program attracts the most qualified applicants from around the world because of our state of the art facilities,  faculty expertise and large caseload.

Dr. Ken Drobatz, Penn Vet, Emergency Service
Kenneth J. Drobatz, DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC, MSCE
  • Professor
    Chief, Section of Emergency and Critical Care
  • Director of the Emergency Service
  • Emergency Care

Deborah Mandell, Penn Vet, Emergency & Critical Care Deborah C. Mandell, DVM, DACVECC
  • Adjunct Associate Professor and Staff Veterinarian, Emergency Service

  • Emergency Care

Cindy Otto, DVM-PhD, Penn VetCynthia M. Otto, DVM, PhD, DACVECC, DACVSMR

  • Associate Professor, Critical Care
  • Executive Director, Penn Vet Working Dog Center
  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Sports Medicine
Erica Reineke, VMD, Penn Vet, Emergency & Critical Care Erica L. Reineke, VMD, DACVECC
  • Assistant Professor, Emergency and Critical Care 
  • Emergency Care

Deborah Silverstein, Penn Vet, Emergency & Critical Care Deborah Silverstein, DVM, DACVECC
  • Associate Professor, Critical Care
  • Critical/Intensive Care

Vince Thawley, Penn Vet, Emergency & Critical CareVince Thawley, VMD, DACVECC
  •  Staff Veterinarian
  • Emergency Care
Lori Waddell, Penn Vet, Emergency & Critical Care Lori S. Waddell, DVM, DACVECC
  • Clinical Professor of Critical Care Medicine
  • Critical/Intensive Care


Ludivine Boiron, DVM, Penn Vet
Ludivine Boiron, DVM
  •  Resident
 Dr. Kim Chong, Penn Vet
Kim Chong, BVetMed
  • Resident
 Nicole Cilli, Penn Vet Nicole Cilli, DVM
  • Resident
 Rebecca Flores, emergency, critical care, Penn Vet Rebecca Flores, DVM 
  • Resident
 Anthony Gonzalez, emergency, critical care, Penn Vet Anthony Gonzalez, DVM
  • Resident
 Bridget Lyons, Penn Vet Bridget Lyons, VMD
  •  Resident
 Dr. Katie Mauro, Penn VetKatie Mauro, DVM
  •  Resident
 Jonathan Schaefer, Penn Vet Jonathan Schaefer, DVM
  •  Resident
Amanda Thomer, emergency, critical care, Penn Vet 
Amanda Thomer, VMD
  • Resident



Emergency Service Vet Tech Staff
Elisa Rogers, CVT, VTS (ECC), Penn VetElisa Rogers, CVT, VTS (ECC), Supervisor of ES Technicians
Jennifer Baris, CVT, Penn VetJennifer Baris, CVT
Patricia Condon, CVT, Penn VetPatricia Condon, CVT
Jeni Dohner, CVT, VTS (ECC) Penn VetJeni Dohner, CVS, VTS (ECC)
Hollie Funderberg, CVT, Penn VetHollie Funderberg, CVT
Marsha Hain, CVT, Penn Vet
Marsha Hain, CVT
Cara Morganstein, CVT. Penn Vet
Cara Morganstein, CVT
Colleen Rees, CVT, Penn Vet
Colleen Rees, CVT
Gina Scholz, CVT, Penn Vet
Gina Scholz, CVT
Tanya Seip, CVT, Penn Vet
Tanya Seip, CVT
Nicole Wood, CVT, Penn Vet
Nicole Wood, CVT


Intensive Care Unit Vet Tech Staff
 Amanda Arrowood, CVT, Penn VetAmanda Arrowwood, CVT, VTS (ECC)
Elana Benasutti, CVT, VTS (ECC)Elana Benasutti, CVT, VTS (ECC)
 Victoria Bonacci, CVT, Penn VetVictoria Bonacci, CVT
Tracy Darling, RVT, VTS, Penn Vet
Tracy Darling, RVT, VTS (SAIM)
Holly, Killian, CVT  Holly, Killian, CVT
 Denise Mulholland, CVT, Penn VetDenise Mulholland, CVT
 Mary Piccillo, CVT, Penn VetMary Piccillo, CVT
 Chantal Reme, CVT, Penn VetChantal Reme, CVT
 Lila Sierra, CVT VTS, Penn VetLila Sierra, CVT VTS (ECC), Assistant Supervisor
 Emily Savino, CVT, VTS, Penn VetEmily Savino, CVT VTS (ECC), Supervisor
JoAnne Winget, CVT
JoAnne Winget, CVT
 Brandon Beasley, Veterinary Asst., Penn VetBrandon Beardsley, Veterinary Assistant