Why Emergency Veterinary Medicine?
Veterinarians that work in an emergency veterinary hospital see a variety of patients. These patients include critically ill or badly injured animals who require immediate care; as well as, patients who require special medical attention but do not need immediate life saving care. Often, it is the responsibility of a veterinary technician to sort or “triage” these cases into two groups: patients who need to be taken to the hospital’s treatment area prior to the owner completing the check in process, and patients who are stable and can wait with their owners while they complete the check in process. The patients who are triaged to the back examining area can be further subdivided: patients who need immediate life saving care and patients who are stable, but are injured. These patients may be bleeding, require monitoring and/or bandaging.
The patients who do not need immediate treatment will be checked in by a veterinary technician who will make an initial assessment, take the weight, vitals (temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, mucous membrane color, hydration status), and a full patient history including the presenting complaint. From there, the vet technician will report the case to the attending emergency veterinarian, who will treat the patient. We see patients with a wide variety of complaints, including but not limited to, vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, lethargy, weakness, limping, pain, eye problems, and painful ear infections. After the doctor has evaluated the patient, each patient will receive its own specialized list of diagnostics (if needed) and treatment plan.
Treatment plans vary for each patient. Plans can be as simple as outpatient treatments (cleaning and bandaging wounds, injections of medications, topical therapies), a written prescription for oral medications, or instructions for at-home care. Courses of treatment can also be very complex. Some patients require multiple days of monitoring, hospital care with injectable IV medications, and a number of assorted treatments. Some patients even require around-the-clock nursing and critical care.
In an animal emergency hospital, checking in, triaging, bandaging, performing diagnostics, and treating patients often happens quickly and sometimes simultaneously. This requires a group of well trained, compassionate, and resilient veterinary staff members to provide an excellent standard of care while keeping everything organized, and ensure that each patient is getting the care it needs. The staff at AnimERge is well versed in the art of providing professional, personalized care to meet the needs of its patients and clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Article by Kasia Ruggiero, Spring 2016. For updates from our techs and vets, visit our Facebook page.