The University of Florida’s Pet Emergency Treatment Services clinic in Ocala has been certified as a Level 3 veterinary emergency and critical care facility by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society.
Only three facilities in the state are presently certified by the national group. The UF Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville became certified as a Level 1 facility earlier this year.
“The UF PETS facility in Ocala serves Marion County veterinarians and pet owners in that area by providing the expertise we have available at our main Gainesville facility but on a smaller scale,” said Dr. Carsten Bandt, chief of the hospital’s emergency and critical care service. “We received this certification because of our capabilities and high standards of emergency and critical care.”
The certification program is part of an effort by the group to raise awareness for emergency critical care services and to give the public a way to compare different emergency and critical facilities.
According to the society’s website, the Level 3 emergency and critical care facility is an acute care facility with the medical staff, personnel and training necessary to provide emergency and critical patient care. Facilities receiving the Level 3 designation are open to receive small animal emergency patients on nights, weekends, and holidays 365 days a year.
Emergency specialists at UF PETS manage everything from trauma and acute kidney disease to lacerations and exposure to toxins.
The service treated more than 4,200 small animal patients in 2014, according to Dana Zimmel, D.V.M., associate dean for clinical services at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine.
The facility opened in July 2012 and represents a unique national business model through which veterinarians in the Marion County area own the building in which the facility operates, while UF owns the business. The collaborative arrangement benefits veterinarians in the area by providing a facility where they can refer animal patients after normal business hours. Pet owners in the area benefit by having a high-quality emergency facility close to home.