The Bay’s Best

Critical Care for dogs and cats.

Critical care is our foundation. It is in our DNA. We are pioneering higher standards for dogs and cats. Because your pet deserves the best that the world has to offer.

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The Bay’s Best

Critical Care for dogs and cats.

Critical care is our foundation. It is in our DNA. We are pioneering higher standards for dogs and cats. Because your pet deserves the best that the world has to offer.

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Intro The Best Team We believe in gold-standard critical care for dogs and cats. That is why we employ multiple Board Certified Criticalists, who are specialists at the top of their field. That is why we have built a true Intensive Care Unit. That is why this is where your pet will get true world-class care. Because here, we save lives.

Our ICU is staffed with both elite veterinarians and veterinary technicians 24 hours a day. Your pet is monitored constantly, and their standard of care will be truly unmatched. We pay special attention to pain levels and use cutting edge pain control to keep your pet comfortable.
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In critical care situations, animals require support from advanced equipment and medications to keep the body functioning normally while they recover.

  • Continuous EKG monitoring
  • Oxygen therapy, with comfortable oxygen cages and nasal oxygen lines
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Capnography

  • In-house blood bank for the treatment of life-threatening blood loss or anemia
  • Mechanical ventilation using a therapeutic ventilator
  • 24-hour access to lab equipment and diagnostic imaging (digital X-rays, ultrasound, CT/MRI)

  • Advanced catheters, including arterial lines and sampling catheters
  • Rapid diagnosis of common toxins
  • Rapid in-house diagnostic testing, including blood gas and electrolytes monitoring
  • Arterial blood gases

In critical care situations, animals require support from advanced equipment and medications to keep the body functioning normally while they recover.

Our diagnostic and monitoring capabilities include:

  • Continuous EKG monitoring
  • Oxygen therapy, with comfortable oxygen cages and nasal oxygen lines
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Capnography
  • Rapid in-house diagnostic testing, including blood gas and electrolytes monitoring
  • In-house blood bank for the treatment of life-threatening blood loss or anemia
  • Mechanical ventilation using a therapeutic ventilator
  • 24-hour access to lab equipment and diagnostic imaging (digital X-rays, ultrasound, CT/MRI)
  • Arterial blood gases
  • Advanced catheters, including arterial lines and sampling catheters
  • Rapid diagnosis of common toxins

Slide We understand what it's like to love a pet like family. They touch our hearts and change our lives. And when they look into your eyes, they see a hero. We'll help you care for them like one. Communication & Visiting Hours The critical care specialists work closely with patients’ families and their family veterinarian, providing ongoing guidance and information to help owners make the best decisions for their beloved pets. We understand this is a stressful time and respond with kindness, compassion, and the very best veterinary medicine available.

The doctor in charge of the case will update you daily, usually in the morning. If your pet’s condition changes significantly, a veterinarian will call you immediately.

The duration of your pet’s critical care stay with us will vary, depending on the situation. During that time, you are encouraged to visit and to bring toys and other personal items in for your pet.

For more information about our advanced veterinary capabilities and help with setting up an appointment, to schedule a consultation via phone or for other assistance contact us.

Meet Our Critical Care Specialists
Dorrie Black

Dorrie Black

Dr. Dorrie Black, Board-Certified Emergency and Critical Care Specialist

Dr. Black is a fifth generation Californian, raised in Danville. After completing both her DVM and MPVM degrees at UC Davis and her small animal internship in San Diego, she went east to train in the field of veterinary emergency and critical care medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“I specialized in emergency and critical care medicine to be the best veterinarian I could be for critically ill dogs and cats. I love the variety and different things that we see every day. No one single day is ever the same. I love the collaboration with my fellow veterinarians at AIMSS and seeing my patients get better.”

Her special areas of interest include respiratory diseases, coagulation disorders, and antimicrobial therapy. Dr. Black is widely published and speaks frequently on topics in emergency and critical care.

Dr. Black is thrilled to be back home in Northern California. When she is not at the hospital, she enjoys the great outdoors, especially trail running and kayaking. Her furry companions, Chloe, Butter, and Freeway, are at her side during her many adventures.

Jill Williamson

Jill Williamson

Dr. Jill Williamson, Board-Certified Emergency and Critical Care Specialist, Medical Director of Emergency and Specialty Services, and AIMSS Founder

After graduating from veterinary school in Iowa, Dr. Williamson headed to the west coast and has been in California ever since. She practiced in emergency and specialty hospitals in Northern California prior to starting her ACVECC residency in 2002. Dr. Williamson completed her residency in Emergency and Critical Care at the Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of East County in La Mesa, California.

Dr. Williamson puts her advanced skills in critical care to work when a pet’s condition becomes life threatening. After making an initial assessment, she stabilizes the patient, and then provides continuous support and monitoring based on patient needs. Life-saving therapy may require IV fluids, blood or plasma transfusions, mechanical ventilation, oxygen support, surgery, nutritional delivery, and pain control. Dr. Williamson delivers cutting-edge expertise with compassion and love.

“Critical care is the core of medicine; it requires intimate knowledge of physiology. Although deeply challenging on intellectual and emotional levels, critical care can be amazingly rewarding.”

Dr. Williamson spends her free time riding both road and mountain bikes, exploring the culinary scene of Northern California, and hiking.