By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care has designated University of Pennsylvania’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital as one of nine veterinary trauma centers in the United States.

“This is something that we’re clearly modeling over what is already done in human medicine.”

Dr. Erica Reineke, a specialist in emergency and critical care, says just as human trauma centers have to meet certain criteria to get the designation, so too do veterinary hospitals.

“A few of the criteria were the availability of specialists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide total comprehensive care for the management of a small animal trauma patient.”

That includes emergency treatment, medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care. Over the next year, the college will work with Penn and the other eight centers to ensure the guidelines are being met, and enter their cases into a national database.

“That can be used for trauma research, and furthering our knowledge of trauma.”

Dr. Reineke says with pets largely regarded as members of the family, the designation offers owners the same level of care that they themselves would get in a hospital.

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