MedVet opens a 24/7 emergency service pet hospital in Vancouver.

Cheasanee Hetherington / cheasanee@thereflector.com

Pet owners have another option for emergency veterinary services in the area.

MedVet, a 24/7 emergency and specialty pet hospital in Vancouver, offers a spacious facility that includes specialized treatment rooms with high-tech diagnostic machinery. The hospital opened on October 31, 2023.

The hospital specializes in all types of medical treatment and diagnosis, operating like an emergency room for humans, said hospital director Benjamin Blood.

The Vancouver facility, located at 2913 NE 72nd Drive, is Medveit’s first location in the Pacific Northwest. It includes 16 examination rooms, an intensive care unit, six operating rooms, a computed tomography (CT) machine and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. The facility has nine emergency room physicians, two neurologists, two internal medicine specialists, one surgeon and one anesthesiologist. A team of multi-specialty veterinary technicians also assists the doctors.

“We have the very latest in medicine, and the gold standard, (a) top, highly trained and qualified technician staff. We have amazing veterinarians, who can diagnose and guide cases, but their support team. Second to none,” Blood said.

A medwait visit, whether day or night, begins with triage, Blood said. Each case is reviewed, and those with the most critical condition are cared for first. Khun said the process is similar to emergency medicine for humans.

If a pet is seriously injured and unable to walk or is unsafe, it will be brought inside the hospital on a gurney. Emergency vets will evaluate the pet and begin immediate treatment to stabilize the pet’s condition. Then, the veterinarian will discuss treatment options with the owner.

Emergency Dr. Holly Dougherty said the hospital typically sees three to five pets an hour but has the capacity to handle more.

“There are times when we have an ER arrival and there are 10 to 15 cases,” Dougherty said.

In addition to medical emergencies, MedVet can also provide referrals for pets that require specialized treatment.

Cases involving specialized medicine, such as oncology, neurology and cardiology, may require expensive diagnostic machinery or long-term hospitalization. MedVet exists to collaborate with family veterinarians to provide these treatments through referrals, said senior marketing partner Lisa Bell.

Emergency medicine for pets is expensive, but Medvette veterinarians are willing to work on a budget, said emergency doctor Kristen Danielson.

far offDuring her time at the Vancouver facility, Danielson has seen dogs accidentally overdose on fentanyl. After the dogs stabilized from emergency care, their owners continued treatment with over-the-counter naloxone, also known as Narcan, as recommended by MedVet medical staff.

The owners said the dogs were fine during a follow-up call, Danielson said.

“We see people who are able to do anything and everything, and we see owners who have very different situations,” Danielson said. “Ideally, you can come up with something for them. You just have to be a little creative in how you use the budget and what other community resources you can point them to. There is not always perfect medicine, but we have to do the best we can with the situation we are given.

MedVet facilities in Vancouver still have to grow. Blood said the current plan is to expand with more features depending on the needs of the community.

“Our pets are our family, and so it’s a pleasure to be able to have an extension that can help your family through hardships,” Blood said.

Other area emergency veterinary services open 24 hours a day, seven days a week include Columbia River Veterinary Specialists and Pacific Northwest Pet ER & Specialty Center, both in Vancouver.

For more information, visit medvet.com/location/vancouver/, or call 360-839-2704.

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