Critical Care

Critical Care Available 7 days/week


When your beloved pet is seriously unwell, the critical care team at PASE is here to provide exceptional care. Led by Drs. Erik Zager and Erica Matula, who are both diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, our critical care specialists and highly trained nursing staff are available seven days a week to support our emergency team and ensure the best possible care for all hospitalized patients.

At PASE, our critical care service is responsible for the well-being of our inpatients. The nature of critical care can vary in different specialty hospitals, making it sometimes challenging to comprehend its inner workings. In some hospitals, criticalists assist in managing all inpatients but do not primarily oversee cases. On the other hand, in other hospitals, they operate as an independent service, focusing solely on their own cases. However, at PASE, Drs. Erik Zager and Erica Matula do both!

Patients with severe illnesses who are hospitalized at PASE receive direct management from either Dr. Zager or Dr. Matula. Since our criticalists do not have scheduled appointments, they can dedicate their entire time to ensuring these patients have the best chance of recovery. Our critical care service handles a range of patients, including those with conditions such as Diabetic Ketoacidosis, polytrauma, septic abdomen (pre and post-surgery), parvovirus, severely azotemic or hyperkalemic urethral obstructions, respiratory distress, toxicities, heart failure, and many others.

Collaboration is a fundamental aspect of PASE, and this is particularly evident in our critical care service. Apart from consulting with other specialists for critical care patients, our critical care service also supports other services in managing their inpatients. Whether it involves pain management for a postoperative foreign body surgery patient or fluid adjustments for an internal medicine patient with kidney disease, our critical care service is always ready to assist. This ensures that any patient hospitalized at PASE receives comprehensive collaborative care from a team of specialists across multiple disciplines.


Dr. Erik Zager, DVM, DACVECC
Department Head of Critical Care
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