Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergencies & Referrals

2132 Amnicola Hwy Chattanooga, TN 37406

Phone : 423-698-4612

Fax : 423-622-8145

Emergency/ICU

ER-ICU 1The Emergency Medicine Department at RIVER is a full service ICU focused on providing evidence-based medicine at an advanced, critical care level. We utilize a number of employees with expansive knowledge, experience and licensure from our board certified emergency and critical care veterinarians to our licensed technicians. Our emergency department currently has 2 specialists boarded in emergency and critical care and 5 full time emergency veterinarians. We also have over 12 licensed technicians, several in licensing programs, and 1 pursuing their specialty license in emergency and critical care (ECC). We also host a rotating veterinary internship for 1 year following graduation from veterinary school. Our 5-6 interns rotate through the emergency department and team up with our senior emergency veterinarians and specialists to provide 24-hour care for your pets. Additionally we have a state of the art facility with MRI, CT, Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, Endoscopy, Fluoroscopy, digital radiography, full service in-house Antech laboratory and two surgical suites. Because we are also a specialty practice, we are able to draw upon the knowledge and experience of our boarded specialists in other departments if needed to bring your pet the best possible care. We work together as a team to put your pet's treatment and care first.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR EMERGENCY ROOM VISIT

Going to the emergency room for any reason is never fun, but we strive to make your experience as worry free as possible, catering each visit to the needs of your pet. Upon arrival your pet will be quickly evaluated to determine if they are stable or critical.


  • Stable patients will be placed in an examination room and receive a full physical examination with our veterinarian in the order of arrival.

  • Critical patients will be taken to the ICU for stabilization and immediate examination by a veterinarian. We may give pain medication if they are injured or place and IV catheter if needed. If your pet is extremely critical and has a life threatening condition, we may ask you to sign a critical care form which allows us to provide life saving measures immediately. Once stable, we will discuss the illness and treatment options with you and try to answer all your questions.


Once examined, our veterinarian will give you a recommendation for out-patient care or hospitalization.

  • Out-patient care means that your pet is healthy enough to receive medications or treatments in the hospital, but will then go home with you. You can follow up with your primary care veterinarian if needed.

  • Leaving your pet in the hospital can be very hard, especially if you have never left them anywhere overnight before. We completely understand this, and only recommend hospitalization when it is truly in the best interest of your pet. Hospitalized patients have an assigned veterinarian and nurse who remain dedicated to them 24 hours a day. Numerous support staff and at least 2 veterinarians are in the building at all times and patients in the ICU are always under direct supervision. Our ICU is one large room where all of your pets remain in direct view (in kennels). We have a large fenced in back yard where dogs are leash walked outside to use the bathroom and exercise.


We encourage visiting with your pet before leaving them in our care as well as periodically throughout their stay. You will receive phone updates on their progress and your primary care veterinarian will be notified when they are here via phone call as soon as they are open. As soon as your pet is stable and doing better, they will be discharged from the hospital.

We are here 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have, and provide follow up care with any concerns that may arise once your pet has been discharged from the hospital.

Click here for our ER Transfer Form.