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Pacific Northwest Pet Emergency & Specialty Center (PACWVETS)

Critical Care

A photo of a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel hiding under a blanket

In an emergency, our Critical Care specialty service could save your pet’s life. You can count on our experienced team, led by board-certified criticalists, for the best in diagnostics and therapeutics. Our registered veterinary technicians will ensure quality care for your pet during this crucial time.

If your pet is critical, or suddenly develops an acute, life-threatening disease, he or she will need immediate care. Following initial emergency treatment, our team closely monitors your pet around the clock. Our doctors and technicians are never far away from patients requiring this level of care, and we will work hard for the best possible outcome.


  • Apheresis

  • Mechanical ventilation 

  • Respiratory failure management

  • Transfusion medicine

  • Septic patient management

  • Monitoring and correction of blood gas, electrolyte, and acute cardiovascular abnormalities

  • Nutritional Support

  • Trauma Management

  • Extracorporeal Therapy

Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE) is a modality similar to hemodialysis where blood is removed from the patient through a dialysis catheter, run through a machine for processing, then returned to the patient through a different port in the catheter. The machine separates the cellular component of the blood from the plasma and then returns the cells, mixed with donor plasma, to the patient.

TPE is used to rid the body of toxins or antibodies that are within the blood compartment. Examples of conditions that can be treated with TPE include ingestion of specific toxins (i.e. ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) or severe autoimmune diseases (IMHA, ITP, or myasthenia gravis).

Each treatment takes two to three hours, and patients are generally wide awake for the entire process. Depending on the case, a patient may need just one treatment (i.e. most toxin ingestions) or may need three or more treatments over the same number of days."

Renal Replacement Therapy (RRT) is used for acute kidney injury (NOT chronic kidney disease) secondary to Leptospirosis, toxicities, pyelonephritis, and some other toxicities. In extreme cases, it can also be used for congestive heart failures that aren't responding to medications, as it is used to pull off extra water. Generally, these patients will require a minimum of 3 treatments (except for CHF) and sometimes 6 or more.

Our Critical Care Team