First Regional Animal Hospital FIRST Regional
Animal Hospital


Chandler, AZ
(480) 732–0018
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What is a Criticalist (& how can Dr. Reniker help my pet?) Back to the Emergency page >>

A criticalist is a specially trained veterinarian dedicated to treating life–threatening conditions. The critical care specialist has performed at least 3 years of intensive training in emergency and critical care medicine and has passed a rigorous test to become a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC).

The ‘residency training’ period includes instruction in surgery, internal medicine, anesthesia, pain relief, neurology, cardiology, radiology, mechanical ventilation, dialysis, and emergency procedures like CPR. This intense program focuses on cutting edge techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of life–threatening diseases and for management during the critical time when your pet is recovering from severe illness or injury.


What does a criticalist do?
  • Provides primary case management, or supervision and guidance for the emergency doctors in the evaluation, specialized monitoring, and intensive treatment of your critically ill or injured pet.
  • Makes recommendations for, and administers advanced life support measures. Acts as your advocate in these endeavors.
  • Assists your decision–making process through coordination of the family veterinarian, the emergency doctor, and other specialty doctors’ consultations.
  • Identifies all available diagnostic and treatment options for your pet, and gains an accurate patient prognosis.

Critical Care Services Available at FIRST Regional Animal Hospital:
  • Consultation, diagnostic evaluation, & treatment of critically ill or injured patients
  • Pediatric and geriatric pet care
  • Advanced intravenous fluid and electrolyte treatments
  • Mechanical ventilation & supportive care
  • Cross–matching & blood transfusion medicine
  • Peritoneal and pleural dialysis for toxin removal or kidney failure
  • Total & partial parenteral (intravenous) nutrition for animals unable to eat
  • Feeding tube placement for enteral nutrition
  • Balanced analgesia for trauma patients
  • Advanced, telemetric monitoring of ECG, pulse oximetry, blood pressure, & capnography

How do I make an appointment for a consultation?
If your pet is admitted for hospitalization at FIRST Regional Animal Hospital by the Emergency Service, either you or your family doctor can request a consultation with Dr. Reniker from the Emergency Doctor responsible for initial treatment. If your pet is not currently hospitalized, your family veterinarian can give you a direct referral for evaluation and treatment by Dr. Reniker and the Critical Care Service. We know that in times of emergency, you don’t want to wait for an appointment. Your doctor’s office just needs to call to confirm Dr. Reniker’s availability.

Make sure that copies of all your pet’s medical records, including any blood work, x–rays, Specialist’s Reports or other information, are available for review. Dr. Reniker will need this information to get a complete picture of your pet’s problem.

Back to the Emergency page >>

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