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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

Day Time critical care specialist and Co-Medical Director of Emergency and Critical Care Services

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

Day Time critical care specialist and Co-Medical Director of Emergency and Critical Care Services

Professional Interests

Dr. Nielsen joined VESCNM in 2017. She loves to teach on the floor and work with multiple departments when the cases need it. Dr. Nielsen’s professional interests include sepsis, pancreatitis, respiratory emergencies, acute kidney injury, and cardiac emergencies.


Residency at Angell Animal Medical Center completed in July 2013

Rotating Small Animal Internship at the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Clinic of Norwalk, CT completed in June 2010

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in 2009

Bachelor of Science, SUNY Albany completed in 2005

Off Duty

Lindsey is a lover of science fiction and fantasy. You might catch her at a comic con, reading a book at home, writing for her geek blog, or working on her latest zombie novel on her time off. She also loves running and cooking vegan food.


Jenn Lepp, DVM

Emergency Veterinarian, overnight

Professional Interests
Dr. Lepp joined VESCNM in 2009. She enjoys the fast pace and unpredictable nature of emergency medicine. Dr. Lepp is very passionate about the care and protection of wildlife and hopes to one day open a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Rotating Small Animal Internship, New England Animal Medical Center
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University
Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship, Northwoods Wildlife Center
Bachelor of Science, Northland College

Off Duty
Jenn loves being outdoors. Hiking, kayaking, snowboarding and sledding are a few of her favorite activities. She enjoys spending time with her husband, niece and sons, as well as her two dogs, Remy and Rogue, and her two cats, Jack and Mau.


Brent Megarry, DVM

Emergency Veterinarian

Professional Interests

Dr. Megarry has been with VESCNM since 2003. He particularly enjoys treating trauma cases and emergency surgery.


Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota Bachelor of Science, University of Minnesota

Off Duty

Dr. Megarry spends his free time riding his horses, skiing, and traveling.

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!