Charleston Veterinary Referral Center

3484 Shelby Ray Court
Charleston, SC 29414
843.614.VETS (8387)

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843.614.VETS (8387)

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Welcome to the Charleston Veterinary Referral Center. We are the most advanced and comprehensive emergency and referral practice in the greater Charleston area. We see appointments by referral from your general veterinarian and are open and fully staffed for emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Doctors and nurses are always on site and your pets are never left alone. While your pets are in our care, we will always treat them as an important member of your family. Our goal is to provide you a hospital that offers an exceptional level of patient care as well as exceptional client service. Please take some time to explore our site, meet our staff of specialists, highly trained emergency clinicians, as well as our outstanding veterinary nursing staff. We are excited for you to experience our brand new, state of the art facility, and understand what services we can offer you and your pets.

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News & Announcements at CVRC

Charleston Veterinary Referral Center Awarded Level I Certification as Emergency and Critical Care Facility.


June 25, 2014



Charleston, SC — The Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS) has awarded its highest certification to West Ashley’s Charleston Veterinary Referral Center, making it one of only six Level I Certified Veterinary Hospitals in the nation and the only facility in the Southeast to attain this designation.


David B. Sachs, Emergency Veterinarian and Medical Director of Charleston Veterinary Referral Center, who received the certification last week, said its purpose is “to recognize those hospitals that meet the extremely high standards and guidelines published by VECCS with goals of raising the standard of veterinary care while also increasing public and professional awareness of emergency and critical care providers.”


Chief of Critical Care Kristin Welch, DVM, DACVECC, explained that the certification program identifies three levels (I through III) based on operating hours, equipment and personnel. “A Level I emergency and critical care facility must have the resources and specialty training necessary to provide sophisticated emergent and critical care using the attendant technologies. Second, it must be open to receive small animal emergency patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Finally, a Level I facility must have a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care on staff full-time and available for consultation 24/7.”


Dr. Welch added that “We are one of an elite group that includes the world-renowned Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. We’ve worked very hard to find the specialists from all over the country needed to put this all together. Pet owners and their vets can have confidence in the training, experience and team approach we take in caring for the animals they bring us. They can benefit from all our skill sets.”


The Center’s 17 clinical staff members are designated according to their areas of expertise. Clinical services include cardiology, dentistry, emergency and critical care, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, physical therapy, surgery, radiology and physical rehabilitation.


Opened in 2011 by Dr. Alan Green, Chief of Staff, and Dr. Sachs, the Charleston Veterinary Referral Center is located on Shelby Ray Court, just off Glenn McConnell Parkway in West Ashley, and is the only veterinary facility between Savannah and Myrtle Beach that fulfills all the criteria set by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society to be called an Emergency/Critical Care Center.


Dr. Sachs concluded, “Being a VECCS Level I certified facility means that this respected society considers us among “the best of the best” and enables us to offer a level of care and service unparalleled in the Southeast.”

CVRC’s Center for Orthopedic Surgery welcomes Jennifer Au, DVM, DACVS, CCRT

May 10, 2013

CVRC’s Center for Orthopedic Surgery is pleased to welcome Jennifer Au, DVM, DACVS, CCRT to the team.

Dr. Au joins us from her position as Assistant Professor of Small Animal Surgery (Orthopedics) and Director of the Veterinary Rehabilitation Service at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. A nationally and internationally recognized lecturer on orthopedic surgery, minimally invasive surgery (arthroscopy) as well as minimally invasive fracture repair and physical rehabilitation, Dr. Au and her team look to make CVRC a regional surgical and rehabilitation center of excellence.

Appointments are available beginning May 20th, 2013. Welcome Dr. Au!!!

jennifer au and pup

CVRC’s Department of Cardiology welcomes Peggy Sayer, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

May 2, 2013

Charleston Veterinary Referral Center’s Department of Cardiology is pleased to announce the addition this week of Peggy Sayer DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology). Appointments with Dr. Sayer are available as of May 8th, 2013. We are thrilled to have Dr. Sayer joining our team and hope you’ll think of CVRC when an appropriate cardiology case comes into your practice.

Dr. Sayer has been honored with multiple awards for service and teaching during her internship and residency. Her background includes research focused on the effect of the drug pimobendan on the renin angiotensin system.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Dr. Sayer received her DVM from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Her internship was completed at Animal Medical Center in New York City and in 2006 she finished her residency at North Carolina State University.

Sayer pic

CVRC’s Michelle Parks receives SC Veterinarian Technician of the Year

Congratulations to our Michelle Parks! She has been voted the 2012 South Carolina Association of Veterinarians Technician of the Year.

Michelle is known for her extraordinary way with clients, doctors and patients. With Bachelor’s degrees from both Cornell and Mercy College, Michelle has developed expertise in the areas of theriogenology, cardiology, internal medicine and ophthalmology. She will be presented with a plaque at the South Carolina State Meeting in Greenville on October 20th.

The Dose Makes the Poison

This article was recently published in the Island Connection by Kristin Welch, DVM, DACVECC

As we enjoy the summer months with our families, it is important to be aware of how to avoid some common pet related emergencies. Dr. Kristin Welch is a board certified Critical Care Specialist, and the Director of Emergency and Critical Care at Charleston Veterinary Referral Center in West Ashley. This is the first in a series of articles by Dr. Welch to educate our readers and keep our pet family members safer this summer.

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Warm temps increase risk of snake bites for dogs, cats

 This article recently appreared in the  Charleston Mercury written by Alan E. Green, DVM and Kristin Welch, DVM, DACVECC

Beware of snakes as warmer weather arrives in the Lowcountry. Our outdoor pets are vulnerable these days, and it’s not just hunting dogs that are in danger.

Dr. Kristin Welch, who helped with this article, is the head of Emergency and Critical Care at Charleston Veterinary Referral Center and the only board-certified critical-care specialist in South Carolina. She reminds us that of more than 120 species of snakes identified in the United States, 20 of them are venomous. Those that are poisonous in South Carolina include three species of rattlesnakes as well as cottonmouth water moccasins, copperheads and coral snakes.

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Dr. Welch warns about the top four summer pet emergencies

This article was recently published in the Examiner.

It is summertime fun for you and your pet but do you know the top four pet emergencies to beware of this time of year? The region’s only Board Certified Critical Care Veterinary Specialist, Dr. Kristin Welch of Charleston Veterinary Referral Center (CVRC) wants you to know them to be better prepared to keep pets safe this summer. Dr. Welch is the Director of Emergency and Critical Care at CVRC, and recently treated a young, beautiful German shepherd named Seelow. Seelow experienced two out of these four which required surgery to remove a kidney and part of his intestine. He also had treatment for a severe snake bite just weeks ago.

Here are the top four summer pet emergencies in our areas:
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CVRC Raises the Bar for Vet Tech Education

CVRC’s partnership with Trident Technical College’s vet tech program is highlighted in the latest issue of the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Click below to read the article.
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Coonhound Paralysis Danger Lurks – Article from Charleston Mercury Newspaper

Dr. Jason King, CVRC Neurologist discusses Coonhound Paralysis in the latest issue of the Charleston Mercury. Click below to view the article
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Veterinary Economics Awards Best Facility Conversion to CVRC

Veterinary Economics has selected CVRC as the winner of the Best Facility Conversion Award in the 2012 Hospital Design Competition. An article on each award-winning facility will be publish in the March 2012 through February 2013 issues. Click below to read the congratulations letter.
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