Critical Care

The critical care team at VSES has the advanced training, experience, and expertise needed to treat the most complex diseases and injuries.
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Critical Care at Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services

A critical care specialist’s job often involves initially stabilizing emergency patients upon arrival to our hospital. When it is determined what further advanced care is necessary, the critical care doctor continues to work closely with our other hospital clinicians to ensure the best ongoing monitoring and care.

When to See a Criticalist

Once admitted to our hospital, our clinicians’ experienced team works seamlessly to assure comprehensive patient care and disease management. A criticalist can be involved with any patient in the hospital that becomes critical or needs assistance, such as with anesthesia or ICU monitoring, and takes primary responsibility when deemed necessary.

Patients requiring a criticalist may have severe respiratory disease, altered cardiovascular status (including severe hypertension [high blood pressure], hypotension [low blood pressure], or an abnormal heart rhythm. Patients with severe, acute organ failure may also require intervention by a criticalist.

VSES Critical Care Services
  • High Risk Anesthesia
  • Advanced Nutritional Therapy
  • Oxygen Therapy
  • Pain Management
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Transfusion Medicine

Meet Our Critical Care Team

Kathryn Benavides

Kathryn Benavides

DVM, Diplomate ACVECC

Dr. Kathryn Benavides rejoins the team at VSES. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in biochemistry at The Ohio State University, she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University. Dr. Benavides completed a small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at VSES before pursuing her Emergency and Critical Care residency at Tufts University. Dr. Benavides’ professional interests include emergency medicine include polytrauma, acute abdomen, and cardiac disease.

Dr. Benavides works closely with other specialists and our emergency veterinary team to provide the best compassionate care for our critical patients. In order to be certified, graduating from an accredited veterinary school is followed by a one-year internship and a three-year residency, during which they practice and study the latest critical care techniques. To earn the Diplomate status, rigorous board examinations must be passed after the residency is completed. To learn more go to https://www.acvecc.org/Animal-Owners/What-is-an-ACVECC-specialist

Kat Kicera

Kat Kicera

DVM, Diplomate ACVECC

Dr. Kat Kicera joins our team as the second board-certified criticalist. She recently relocated to the Rochester area from Florida. Dr. Kicera attended the University of Miami, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in creative writing and literature. She then completed her post-baccalaureate degree in pre-veterinary courses before earning her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida. Dr. Kicera completed a small animal rotating internship at Coral Springs Animal Hospital. She then completed an Emergency and Critical Care residency at the University of Florida.

Dr. Kicera’s professional interests include mechanical ventilation, shock, and sepsis.