Meet Our Doctors
In order to provide 24/7 emergency services to our community we have a team of emergency veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and highly trained client care professional. Our doctors and staff care for over 15,000 emergent and urgent care cases annually. Because of this caseload, AERC has developed a triage index system to help prioritize incoming cases which allows our doctors to exam patients based on criticality, in conjunction with time of arrival. This system has helped save countless lives because it reduced the wait time for these emergent cases. Some of the conditions that our emergency veterinarian treat include trauma, shock, respiratory distress, seizures, bleeding disorders, allergic reactions, fractures, vomiting and diarrhea.
Ashley Sides, DVM – Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Sides is originally from North Carolina and received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then moved to Gainesville, FL and graduated with honors from the University of Florida with her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 2002. An internship in small animal medicine in surgery at Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado brought her to Ft Collins in 2002 after graduation from vet school. She moved to Colorado Springs in 2003 and has been a part of the team at Animal Emergency Care Centers ever since. She is especially interested in soft tissue surgery and critical care medicine.
Outside of work, Dr. Sides enjoys traveling, camping, photography, hiking, painting, rock climbing, and snowboarding. She has 3 dogs (Kobie, a lab, and Lance & Luke, Chihuahuas) and 4 cats (Moses, Sammi, Talus and Coolie).
AERC Doctor Supervisor Team
Kara McArdell, DVM
Dr. McArdell is a 2009 graduate from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation she completed a one-year rotating small animal internship with a focus in emergency medicine, at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in Rhode Island. Dr. McArdell initially joined Animal ER Care in 2010 with strong career interests in emergency medicine and critical care, trauma, cardiorespiratory emergencies and toxicology. In 2018 she left Colorado to join the faculty at Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine in Arizona, as Assistant Clinical Professor in Emergency Medicine. During this position she worked alongside 4th year veterinary students during their clinical rotations.
Dr. McArdell moved back to Colorado and re-joined the team at AERC in 2020. The beauty and wealth of outdoor activities brought her back to Colorado where she loves to lead a healthy lifestyle. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, backpacking, international travel, food exploration, jigsaw puzzles and general exploring of the outdoors and our National Parks. Some of her international travel has been through volunteer work with the non-profit group, World Vets.
Heather Becker, DVM – RECOVER Certified Instructor (BLS/ALS)
Dr. Becker is a Nebraska native. She got her B.S. in Veterinary Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received her D.V.M. from Kansas State University. After working for a year in private practice, she opted to get more advanced training by completing a small animal rotating internship at the Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Akron, OH. During her internship, she acquired her passion for emergency and critical care medicine and upon its completion, she followed her dream to live and work in Colorado as an emergency veterinarian. Her interests in emergency medicine include diagnosis/treatment of shock and CPR, and she is certified in RECOVER CPR Basic and Advanced Life Support.
Outside of work she can be found hiking in the mountains, stand-up paddleboarding with her dog Mercy, agility training with her dog Ollie, running, snowboarding, visiting a local microbrewery, or traveling abroad to new destinations. Mercy is a certified therapy dog with the Go Team Colorado, so Heather spends countless volunteer hours driving Mercy to local hospitals, colleges, high schools, libraries, and other miscellaneous venues for visits. She is the co-owner of Animal Emergency Medical Training, which provides small animal first aid and CPR training to firefighters, first responders, police K9 units, search and rescue teams, and dog boarding facilities.
AERC Emergency Veterinarians
Angela Van House, DVM
Dr. Van House grew up just outside of Houston, TX, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Texas Tech University in 2004. She completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Texas A&M University in 2008, where her primary areas of interest became cardiology and emergency medicine. She then moved on to a small animal rotating internship at Kansas State University. After focusing on emergency medicine in San Antonio, TX, Dr. Van House finally got the opportunity to move to Colorado in 2012. She has been practicing both emergency and general medicine since then, but emergency and critical care have always been her passion. Outside of work, Dr. Van House enjoys spending time with her daughter, two dogs, and a cat. She is a life long Houston Astros fan, and her favorite activities include hiking, skiing, musical theater, and exploring the beautiful state of Colorado
Amy Estrada, DVM
Bio coming soon!
Arielle Aylor, DVM
Bio coming soon!
Blake Wood, DVM
Bio coming soon!
Carin Cordelli, DVM
Bio coming soon!
Danika Hayden, DVM
Dr. Hayden grew up in Colorado and obtained her Bachelor of Science at Colorado State University-Pueblo. She then completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She has practiced in several states, including Indiana and New Jersey, but is happy to call Colorado home.
In her free time, Dr. Hayden enjoys rock climbing, hiking 14ers, traveling, and reading. Her family includes a yellow lab, a black lab mix, and a very fuzzy orange kitty.
Dorothy Kociuba, DVM
Dr. Kociuba grew up in Chicago, IL, and obtained both her bachelor’s and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She then returned to Chicago to complete her rotating internship only to realize that the mountains are her true home. She enjoys hiking, camping, and backpacking in the summer, and skiing and snowboarding in the winter. Eliza, her trusty canine sidekick, tags along with any adventure. At home she enjoys her collection of plants and having game nights with friends.
Erin Dixon, DVM
Bio coming soon!
Jennifer Price, DVM
Dr. Price is a southern USA native, growing up in Louisiana and Alabama. She moved to Colorado after graduation from LSU with a degree in biochemistry. She spent six years working as an organic chemist in Boulder, Colorado, and then went on to pursue her lifelong goal of becoming a veterinarian. Dr. Price attended CSU School of Veterinary Medicine where she earned her DVM degree in 2009. After traveling the country for a few years, she moved to Colorado Springs in 2011 and has been practicing emergency veterinary medicine ever since. Her passions within this field include shock resuscitation and cardiology.
In her spare time, she enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, and climbing with her exceptionally energetic son and spending time with her multitude of rescued pets (dogs, cats, and guinea pigs).
Julie Hesse, DVM
Bio coming soon!
Marek Mrzyglocki, DVM
Bio coming soon!
Rachael Thielmann, DVM
Dr. Rachael Thielmann was born and raised in Goleta, California and attended Texas A&M University for both her undergraduate and veterinary training. She moved to Colorado Springs in 2017, following her husband who currently serves in the Air Force. While she has always enjoyed emergency medicine, she comes to us with a background in small animal general practice.
Outside of work, Dr. Thielmann enjoys running, yoga, and riding horses. At home, she has two-Quarter Horses, a Sheltie, a Corgi, and a sassy orange cat.
Robyn White, DVM
Bio coming soon!
There is no need to guess or worry about your pet's health and behavior when you have access to the FREE PetIQ Veterinary Helpline. Call 1-800-775-4519 to speak with a dedicated veterinary professional who will listen to your concerns and provide you with the best options for your pet's care.How do you know if you can trust a vet? ›
- Good: They Care About Comfort. ...
- Good: They're Willing To Explain. ...
- Good: They Run Thorough Tests. ...
- Good: They Listen To You. ...
- Bad: They Rush You. ...
- Bad: They Try To Sell You Unnecessary Things. ...
- Bad: You Feel Uncomfortable.
Other Options. If you can't reach your regular veterinarian, you have other options for getting urgent veterinary advice. One option is to contact your local emergency animal hospital. The emergency veterinarians may be able to give you advice over the phone or they may recommend that you bring your pet in for an exam.Are online vets real? ›
Depending on the service, you can talk to licensed veterinarians through chat, a phone call, email, or a video call. Online veterinarians are a great resource for certain non-emergency situations and general health questions.Can you ask a vet a question for free? ›
Any user can talk with an online vet 24/7 for free by either video or text through the Pawp app. This 7-day free trial includes instant and unlimited access to licensed vets and nurses with a wait time of under 1 minute.Where can I ask a vet for free? ›
Want to seek 24/7 pet-care ? Look no further and seek advice from licensed veterinarians here at https://www.myfurries.com/askvetfree on click of a button or if you already have an account with my furries then post at https://www.myfurries.com/ask-vet.Do all vets charge the same price? ›
Two vets may be charging around the same amount for any given treatment. But pet owners have to rely on their vets being honest about what treatments are actually required. An unscrupulous vet could recommend all sorts of expensive procedures and tests.What do you do when a vet makes a mistake? ›
- You can send a complaint to your state veterinary licensing board. ...
- You may also want to sue the veterinarian in a court of law.
- A lawyer can negotiate a settlement or bring a lawsuit. ...
- Another option is pursuing your case in small claims court.
It's ok to switch practices if you are unhappy with the service provided, but make sure that you inform both your former and current surgeries that you wish to change so they can keep your pet's medical record up to date.
So, yes, we as veterinary professionals judge people. We all judge. And I know sometimes when I'm making a recommendation that the client likely won't be able to afford it.
It's not a replacement for regular in-office visits, and most vets on telemedicine services can't diagnose or prescribe medications for pets they haven't previously seen in person, but they are able to give helpful advice.What is considered an emergency for dogs? ›
If your dog has fainted, collapsed, or is too weak to rise, he is screaming “take me to the vet.” It could be due to internal bleeding, a failing heart, a poisoning, an allergic reaction, or even low blood sugar—all of which need immediate treatment.Can a vet write a prescription without seeing the patient? ›
A veterinarian shall not prescribe, dispense or administer any prescription drug without the establishment of a veterinarian/client/patient relationship.Can you order pet meds without vet prescription? ›
Some pet medications are available over the counter (OTC) which means that no prescription is needed. Other pet medications are classified by the FDA as prescription only, which means that they cannot be dispensed without an authorization from your veterinarian.Are online vets expensive? ›
Prices for online visits range based on the service, but expect to pay between $30 and $60 for a visit. Some services offer subscriptions so you can pay a single monthly or yearly fee for unlimited access to a professional.Why is it so hard to get into a vet? ›
Why is Getting Into Vet School So Hard? Vet school is challenging to get into because there are a small number of vet schools available in the United States. Some states don't even have a vet school, which can add to the difficulty of gaining entry into schools in states where they don't reside.Is JustAnswer veterinary legit? ›
Is JustAnswer legit? In one word: yes. I had a few questions about my Cocker Spaniel puppy's health, so I decided to find out if JustAnswer is legit or not by asking their experts a few questions. I visited JustAnswer.com and selected a veterinarian to answer my question.Can chewy vets prescribe medication? ›
Our Vet Diet team will personally contact your vet for approval. If your clinic needs more information from you or recommends a different diet, we'll let you know immediately. If you have a paper copy of your prescription, email a picture to email@example.com, start a chat, or fax your prescription ...more.What's wrong with my dog symptoms? ›
Sleeping more than normal, or other behavior or attitude changes. Coughing, sneezing, excessive panting, or labored breathing. Dry or itchy skin, sores, lumps, or shaking of the head. Frequent digestive upsets or change in bowel movements.What does a veterinary doctor do answer? ›
A Veterinary Doctor is responsible for determining the treatment of the diseases, illnesses and disorders of the animals after diagnosing it. He or she provides medical and surgical care to animals.
What documents do I need to bring with me to register at PDSA? You will need to bring with you proof of your benefits (dated within last 12 months) and photo ID (passport, driving licence, bank card). Although we will always ask for proof of photo ID, if you don't have any let us know and we can arrange an alternative.What happens if I can't afford my vet bill? ›
Speak with your vet
If you do not qualify for help with your veterinary bills from a registered animal charity, speak to your vet because they may let you pay in instalments to spread the cost. Whether you can do this will depend on your veterinary practice and the total cost of the treatment your pet needs.
Your vet has no place to store bulk amounts of medications and has to purchase smaller quantities. Hence, he or she doesn't get the bulk rate discount, forcing them to overcharge. Plus, there's an overhead cost for keeping the medication in stock and a loss risk if it expires while sitting on its shelf.Can I use more than one vet? ›
Yes, this is allowed, but there are cons to utilising different practices and switching between vets: If your pet is receiving treatment from different practices, this can make insurance claims even more complicated. And you may be faced with having to pay multiple excess fees.How often do vets get it wrong? ›
The problem is, in a fast-paced field like veterinary medicine, errors are inevitable. This can make vets (particularly inexperienced ones) feel guilty, anxious, and dejected. Serious blunders (around 15% of veterinary errors lead to patient harm) may result in individuals leaving the profession entirely1 2.How often do vets make mistakes? ›
The limited research in veterinary medicine shows that we have a long way to go. In one study of veterinarians in practice less than 5 years, 78% admitted to making a mistake that affected a patient, yet only 40% disclosed the error. One reason for the silence may be fear of creating emotional trauma for a client.Can you sue a vet for malpractice? ›
If a vet has been negligent
A vet is guilty of professional negligence if they don't meet the standard of care based on what other vets would reasonably do in the same circumstances. Negligence must result in harm, loss, injury or damage of some sort.
The most common health issue overlooked by pet owners, Dr. Kochis explained, is dental disease.Can I get a 2nd opinion from another vet? ›
If you went to your doctor with a problem but left feeling unsure about the diagnosis or treatment plan, or you just wanted more information, you may decide to seek a second opinion from another doctor. But can you do the same with your vet? In short, yes, absolutely.When Should I fire my vet? ›
While all clients may have an occasional “off day,” clients who exhibit consistently hostile behavior should be terminated. Continuing to serve them will negatively impact the well-being of team members, which can also decrease the quality of care that is offered to other patients and clients.
You may see them twitch or take a final breath. This can be startling, but it's a normal part of the process. Your pet isn't in pain. Use of a sedative makes this step less likely.Should I be in the room when my dog is euthanized? ›
You have every right to be present when a veterinarian examines or treats your companion animal, and this includes euthanasia. A veterinarian should never ask you to leave or tell you that you can't be there for the entire process.What do vets do after they put a dog to sleep? ›
Following euthanasia, your veterinarian or veterinary nurse or technician will help to gently clean your pet if necessary, and remove any intravenous cannula that was placed. Then, depending on whether you are burying your pet at home, having your pet cremated or are still undecided, a few different things may happen.Can a vet write a prescription for a human? ›
A: It is unethical, and in most states, unlawful, for a veterinarian to write a prescription or dispense a prescription drug outside a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).Can I get a vet prescription online? ›
If your vet determines that your pet needs prescription medications, you can ask them for a written prescription so you can buy the drugs online – rather than directly from the surgery. You will then be asked to upload a photo or scan of the prescription during the checkout process.Can just answer doctors prescribe medication? ›
Can JustAnswer write prescriptions? No, the doctors are not providing specific treatment, and it is not a full-fledged telemedicine site. The experts here answer your questions about various medical or health topics.Which conditions can be immediately life threatening for a cat if not treated by a vet? ›
- #1: A pet having difficulty breathing. ...
- #2: Intractable vomiting in pets. ...
- #3: Pets who are bleeding severely. ...
- #4: Pets with pale or blue mucous membranes. ...
- #5: Pets unable to urinate. ...
- #6: Pets who cannot walk. ...
- #7: Toxin exposure in pets. ...
- #8: Seizuring pets.
Internal injuries and bleeding can quickly become life threatening. Previously undiagnosed seizures can be another sign of trauma. Breathing problems – A pet that seems to be experiencing difficulty breathing or is coughing or choking uncontrollably needs to be seen by a veterinarian.Can I call 911 if my dog is choking? ›
Signs Your Pet May Need Emergency Care
Your dog may need emergency care because of severe trauma—caused by an accident or fall—choking, heatstroke, an insect sting, household poisoning or other life-threatening situation. Here are some signs that emergency care is needed: Pale gums.
If you cannot get in touch with your doctor or you are in immediate need of your medication, go to a nearby pharmacy and tell them you need an emergency supply. You may be required to provide proof of your Rx, so bring your prescription bottle with you.
Yes, there are antibiotics that you can get over the counter. These can be found at any local drug store or grocery store pharmacy. That said, only certain types of antibiotics, such as topical antibiotics, are available over the counter.What antibiotics can I get over the counter for my dog? ›
Some of the favorites are antibiotics like Neosporin, Bactine, Mupirocin, and Polysporin (and, of course, any of the generic versions). For anti-fungal products, one can use anything with the effective active ingredients like Miconazole, Ketoconazole, Clotrimazole, Tolnaftate, or Terbinafine.Do vets make money on prescriptions? ›
Nope. Vets, like any business, can make money from selling the actual products themselves. For prescriptions, there is nothing.Does CVS sell pet prescriptions? ›
Many prescription drugs — like antibiotics, antifungal medications, and even antidepressants — can be used for both pets and humans. In these cases, you can often fill your pet prescriptions at your regular pharmacy, such as a CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart.Does Walmart pet RX need a prescription? ›
Walmart pharmacies may offer over-the-counter medications that do not require a prescription. However, a valid prescription from a veterinarian is required for the medication to be eligible for coverage under a Nationwide pet insurance plan.Are online vets legit? ›
Without an established VCPR, virtual veterinarians cannot diagnose or treat your pet, but they can answer your questions, offer advice about your pet's medical or behavioral issues, and tell you if they believe your pet should be examined or treated in person.Will a vet prescribe antibiotics over the phone? ›
It's not a replacement for regular in-office visits, and most vets on telemedicine services can't diagnose or prescribe medications for pets they haven't previously seen in person, but they are able to give helpful advice.Is Ask a vet Online Free? ›
Any user can talk with an online vet 24/7 for free by either video or text through the Pawp app.What makes a good vet? ›
Love and care for animals as well as scientific curiosity are undoubtedly crucial for becoming a good vet. However, these traits alone can't ensure you will succeed in the profession. Becoming a vet requires many other veterinarian personality traits like patience and perseverance to establish a successful practice.How do I get a second vet opinion? ›
The basic principle is the same – talk to your existing vet practice to arrange it, if possible. They will have to send the notes over to the second opinion vet anyway.
All vets must follow the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' code of professional conduct. If you think your vet is guilty of professional misconduct, report them to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons - they regulate the professional conduct of vets and will investigate your complaint.Why is it so hard to find a vet? ›
One key issue affecting the veterinary industry, and one behind why seeing your veterinarian takes so long, is the ongoing staffing shortage. Veterinary practices across the country have battled staffing problems for years, an issue that has only worsened with the pandemic.How do I find a good vet near me? ›
- Ask a friend. Animal-owning friends are generally good sources of information. ...
- Breed clubs and special interest groups. ...
- Directories and the Internet. ...
- Your current veterinarian. ...
- Office hours.
- Professional staff.
- Fees and payment.
Traditionally, the majority of veterinary students tested as ISTJ and ESTJ personality types. (Learn more about the personality types and how they are indentified in the sidebar "The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator explained.") ISTJs are task-oriented and matter-of-fact.What's one of the 5 most important skills to be a veterinarian? ›
Empathy. Empathy and genuine love for animals is the first and foremost skill you require to become a successful veterinary doctor.What skills do you need to be a vet assistant? ›
Veterinary assistants require diverse skills to be successful. Physical strength and manual dexterity are important because vet assistant jobs are typically very physical. You may be handling animals, lifting cages or equipment, administering medication, using medical equipment and collecting blood and urine samples.Can vets make mistakes? ›
'To err is human', so the saying goes. But if you're a clinician, such as a doctor or a vet, your errors can have life-changing and life-threatening consequences for your patients. The truth is, in both human and animal medicine, mistakes do happen. They happen because of human fallibility.Do vets charge for referrals? ›
Your vet may charge for this service. Depending on the referral centre, they will either call you to arrange an appointment or it may be that you need to call them – your own vet will be able to advise further. The referral centre will discuss their processes with you thoroughly before you arrive for your appointment.Can I use more than one vet? ›
Yes, this is allowed, but there are cons to utilising different practices and switching between vets: If your pet is receiving treatment from different practices, this can make insurance claims even more complicated. And you may be faced with having to pay multiple excess fees.Do vets have a duty of care? ›
Veterinary surgeons and the public
6.1 Veterinary surgeons must seek to ensure the protection of public health and animal health and welfare, and must consider the impact of their actions on the environment.
Your vet has no place to store bulk amounts of medications and has to purchase smaller quantities. Hence, he or she doesn't get the bulk rate discount, forcing them to overcharge. Plus, there's an overhead cost for keeping the medication in stock and a loss risk if it expires while sitting on its shelf.Do vets give refunds? ›
Veterinarians cannot take back opened and used medications. They generally don't accept returns for any medication as a general policy. I don't think your local human pharmacy would either. There are too many unknowns about what happened to the medication when it was out of their hands.