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Hospitals

Comprehensive Care + 24 Hour Emergency

Emergency and Critical Care

Equine
Black horse stands with catheters placed in juglular region

Meet Our Specialists

The Emergency and Critical Care Service at Cornell's Equine Hospital provides medical and surgical treatment to severely injured or ill animals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are the only veterinary emergency service in a 200-mile radius run by board-certified veterinary emergency and critical care specialists. We work closely with local veterinarians from across the region to make sure your animal gets the best care possible before, during and after hospitalization.

We offer the most advanced medical and surgical treatments to stabilize your animal and diagnose its condition, and we collaborate with a team of expert veterinary specialists in anesthesiology, cardiology, radiology, internal medicine, surgery, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, and dentistry to ensure your animal receives the most comprehensive care available.

Advanced Treatments and Techniques

  • Gastrointestinal surgery, including management of intestinal strangulation, displacement, impaction and other types of colic
  • Wound repair and management, including wounds involving synovial structures (i.e. joints, tendon sheaths, bursa) and tendons
  • Musculoskeletal problems including trauma, fractures, infection and laminitis
  • Fracture repair of all types including long bones, the skull and spine
  • Reproductive emergencies including dystocia, cesarean section, and fetotomy
  • Colitis, enteritis and other intestinal diseases
  • Pneumonia, pleuropneumonia and other thoracic or abdominal disease
  • Shock treatment secondary to severe disease, endotoxemia, hemorrhage and fluid loss
  • Management of foal diseases including sepsis, failure of passive transfer, wounds and colic
  • Ophthalmology emergencies such as corneal or eyelid laceration, corneal ulceration, glaucoma, uveitis, other trauma, and rupture
  • Cardiovascular problems including arrhythmias, heart murmurs, and heart failure
  • Management of toxin ingestion or exposure such as toxic plants

What to Expect During Your Emergency Visit

Your emergency visit to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals begins when you pull up to the circular driveway in front of the Equine Hospital. Please park your vehicle in the driveway. Frequently, a technician will be waiting for you at the front door. If not, pick up the yellow phone on the right side on the door to notify a technician that you have arrived.

An emergency veterinarian will check your animal immediately to make sure that it is stable. Then veterinary residents and students will move your animal into the building, weigh the animal and bring it to an examination room or stall to begin evaluation. At the same time, a technician and a student will ask you questions about the animal's medical history and current condition. Usually, our team of veterinarians and technicians begin working to stabilize your animal immediately. 

Once we make an initial diagnosis, our board-certified faculty veterinarian and resident will discuss the findings - including cost estimates and prognoses - and develop a plan for further diagnosis and treatment of your animal. 

Some patients will require emergency surgery, which typically lasts from two to six hours. If your animal requires surgery, you can wait in our surgical waiting room or provide us with a phone number where we can contact you with surgical updates. Once the surgery is completed, we will speak to you in person or call you with information about your animal's condition and prognosis.

For other patients, our emergency care specialists will stabilize the animal and then request a consultation from another specialty service.

Patients with serious conditions will be admitted to the hospital immediately. Patients with conditions that do not require hospitalization will be discharged after treatment with detailed written instructions and a summary of the exam findings.

Emergent Medical and Surgical Conditions

Horses

  • Colic
  • Fracture
  • Colitis
  • Wounds (including those involving joints and tendons)
  • Pleuropneumonia
  • Hemorrhage
  • Septic foals
  • Choke

Related Info

The American College of Veterinary Surgeons
A specialty organization that certifies veterinary surgeons and provides a source of referrals to pet owners.

American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
A specialty organization created to enhance animal and human health by advancing veterinary internal medicine through training, education, and discovery.

American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
A specialty organization that promotes the practice of veterinary emergency and critical care medicine, fosters training programs and encourages research in this important field.

The Horse
An online magazine that publishes news on equine health care.

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