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.
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
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) and MRI, 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 highest quality 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:
- Sepsis and systemic inflammatory response syndrome
- Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy
- Acute renal failure
- 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
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