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Emergency and Critical Care

Dr. Clare Hyatt, DVM, MS, DACVECC and Dr. Lindsey Nielsen, DVM, DACVECC recently joined VESCNM to provide 7-day a week critical care coverage for the Albuquerque facility, and constant access by phone or in person when needed in Santa Fe. These two doctors are excited to help the hospital improve their patient and client care, and constantly bring in some of the newest and best treatments for the critical dog and cat patients that need them.

  • Clare Hyatt

    DVM, MS, DACVECC (Diplomate American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care)

    Professional Interests
    Dr. Hyatt joined VESC February 6, 2017. She was awarded board certification as a Diplomate in emergency/critical care from the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) in 2016. Over the years she has had a hand in training over 40 interns and residents, as well as numerous technicians over the years. She has received additional training in many aspects of critical care medicine including continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), mechanical ventilation and cardiac output monitoring. Her interests include emergency ultrasound techniques, sepsis, post-operative care, mechanical ventilation, analgesia and pain management, among others.


    Residency in Small Animal Emergency/Critical Care, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

    Rotating Small Animal Internship VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, MD

    Small Animal emergency/critical care internship at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.

    Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University

    Master of Science Degree, Kansas State University

    Bachelor of Science,  Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas


    Off Duty

    Clare loves the outdoors and spend as much time as possible enjoying the rewards of nature.  She has two of the most handsome orange cats, Julius and Sherbert, who help keep her entertained on her days off.

  • Lindsey Nielsen

    DVM, DACVECC (Diplomate American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care)

    Professional Interests
    Dr. Nielsen joined VESC on March 1, 2017. She was awarded board certification as a Diplomate in emergency/critical care from the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) in 2013.  As a critical care specialist she has a particular interest in transfusion medicine, sepsis, cardiac emergencies, and acute pancreatitis. Dr. Nielsen hopes to provide advanced critical care to those patients in need a VESCNM, and to help clients make important decisions for their furry family members.

    Residency in Small Animal Critical Care, Angell Animal Medical Center, Boston, MA

    Rotating Small Animal Internship, Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center of Norwalk, CT

    Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University

    Bachelor of Science, University at Albany, NY

    Off Duty
    Lindsey is a lover of all things geek related, whether it be the latest zombie novel or Star Wars movie. She and her partner also enjoy spending quality time with their three cats, Willow, Buffy, and Tara, and two dogs, Walter and Daisy.

Emergency and Critical Care is indeed a specialty

Like other veterinary specialists, criticalists have to complete a three-year residency at an approved American College of Veterinary Critical Care (ACVECC) institution. Most residencies in critical care involve a large portion of time on the floor dealing with the sickest patients in the ICU under the guidance of a board certified criticalist, receiving anything that walks through the doors of the emergency room, as well as spending some portion of time with specialists from other fields such as surgery, internal medicine, anesthesia, ophthalmology, neurology and cardiology. During the three years of clinical experience the residents are continuously working towards the ultimate goal of publishing an article on a critical care topic as well as passing the grueling two day exam to obtain the status of board certified.

They are true jacks of all trades.

Criticalists have to be prepared for a whole range of patient conditions. Their qualifying exam includes numerous areas of knowledge, from heat stroke to trauma, to immune mediated disease and toxicology, and many more subjects. In the world of emergency this is important, since there’s no telling what patient condition might come through the door next. Some days are filled with vomiting, diarrhea and broken nails; others involve open chest trauma, kidney failure, and internal bleeding.

They collaborate with all of the other specialists.

Criticalists work very closely with all other specialists in the hospital, and often time help guide the ship of the hospital to ensure that the sickest patients are constantly getting the attention they need from all possible specialists. Criticalists often times take in any case as an emergency to help stabilize them, but ultimately might transfer them to another specialist once they are stable, or may constantly work with other specialists to optimize every patient’s care. Primary veterinarians often choose to refer a patient through the Emergency and Critical care service when a patient is likely to see more than one doctor, and the criticalist is likely the best doctor to help ensure that patient sees everyone it needs to.

They deal with the sickest of the sick.

No pet owner ever wants to hear their pet being called critical, but critical care specialists are there for that reason. The cases that need a criticalist can be complex, emotional, constantly in need of attention. Being a criticalist involves giving it your all no matter what the prognosis for that patient is. In fact, Dr. Lindsey Nielsen says it’s one of the most rewarding parts of her job, “Helping clients understand how critically ill their pet is and helping them make the best informed decision they can in that difficult situation.”

The secret of happiness is variety.

Many criticalists are drawn to the profession because they enjoy the variety of pace and cases they might see, constantly needing to be on your toes and ready for anything. Seeing so many varying emergencies keep things interesting for many criticalists: there is never a dull moment in the critical care unit!