Critical Care

The specialty of Emergency and Critical Care is designed to care for the sickest patients whose illnesses are dynamic and generally require hospitalization for intensive treatment with close monitoring. We are a team oriented specialty and work in close collaboration with you, your family veterinarian, and the other specialists here at Vista Veterinary Specialists to provide the most comprehensive care for your pet. Our primary goal is to help your pet feel better with as little stress and discomfort as possible while providing you with all of the information regarding their illness and available treatment options.

To become an Emergency and Critical Care Specialist, a veterinarian must complete a one-year general internship followed by a three-year residency in Emergency and Critical Care. Board certification is then obtained by passing a rigorous multiday exam as well as publication in a peer reviewed scientific journal. Illnesses treated by the Critical Care team are numerous and include such conditions as traumatic injury, severe toxin exposure, multiorgan dysfunction, and severe infection.

Here at Vista Veterinary Specialists, our facility is equipped to manage patients with life threatening conditions through 24-hour monitoring by skilled veterinary technicians and an on-site doctor who is part of the Emergency and Critical Care team. Specialized onsite equipment allows us to provide state-of-the-art care and includes supplemental oxygen cages, blood blank for transfusions, digital X-ray machine, blood analyzers, coagulation testing, and advanced cardiac monitoring. We know that having a pet with a critical illness is one of the hardest things to endure, and we promise to treat both you and your pet with the utmost compassion and care throughout the treatment process.

Our Team

Melissa Fetner, DVM, DACVECC

Born and raised in the Lone Star State, Dr. Melissa Fetner, DVM, DACVECC received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College in 2001. She then returned home to Texas, where she earned her DVM degree from Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. After completing a one-year rotating internship in general medicine and surgery at The Animal Medical Center (AMC) in Manhattan, she accepted a position as a staff doctor in their emergency department where she worked for several years. In 2008, Dr. Fetner began a residency at the AMC in emergency and critical care, which was completed in 2011. She has been working as a specialist in emergency and critical care medicine here in the Central Valley since 2011. Professional interests include but are not limited to trauma management, respiratory emergencies, and transfusion medicine. When she is not at work, she is an avid SCUBA diver, amateur triathlete and she enjoys partaking in all of California’s varied outdoor activities.