Columbia Veterinary Emergency Trauma & Specialty

1321 Oakcrest Drive

Columbia, SC , SC 29223

Phone: (803) 995-8913

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Dr. Tracy Schlicksup, Dr. Michael Schlicksup

CVETS, Columbia Veterinary Emergency Trauma & Specialty, is a new 24-hour emergency and specialty veterinary hospital located on Trenholm Road Extension. The hospital has grown from the vision of Dr. Michael Schlicksup, a board-certified surgeon, and Dr. Tracy Schlicksup, an emergency doctor. Ultimately, they saw a need for advanced veterinary care on the northeast side of Columbia as there is no emergency hospital with specialty care in that area. Their goal was to transform specialty and emergency veterinary care by improving the client experience, decreasing wait times, improving access to specialists, decreasing the cost of care, and providing a culture where their team members can flourish. A staff of six specialists, four ER doctors, and 18 support staff trained and prepared for opening day.

The hospital, which opened on April 30, has been designed with every detail in mind. The lobby is expansive but also includes a patio waiting area that allows clients to sit outside with their pets in a low stress environment and enjoy the beautiful Midlands weather. Just off the main lobby is a private, extended waiting room with more of a “living room” feel for clients who stay for long periods of time or who visit the facility from the outside region. 

The 9,000-square-foot facility has three operating suites, one designed specifically for minimally invasive surgery, including arthroscopic and laparoscopic procedures. These procedures, including ACL surgery, liver biopsies, and gallbladder removal, have been shown to speed healing, decrease hospitalization times, and minimize complications. Dr. Schlicksup, having done his three-year surgical residency at the University of Pennsylvania, routinely performs these minimally invasive procedures, but he also has interests in wound care, total joint replacement, and fracture repair.

The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day by specialist-trained ER doctors and technicians. They are available for everything from simple phone consultations, if you have a concern about your pet, to advanced surgical procedures after hours. The website,, provides a huge resource for clients with emergency questions when their primary veterinarian is not available. A dedicated intensive care unit, capable of providing oxygen supplementation, blood transfusions and monitoring blood pressure, ECG, and oxygen saturation, acts as an extension of the emergency room. Additionally, the hospital also has facilities for chemotherapy administration and endoscopic procedures.

One of the places CVETS has differentiated itself is in its radiology department. CVETS will be the only hospital in South Carolina to have a board-certified radiologist on staff. No expense was spared in the advanced imaging as the hospital has a digital x-ray system, a state of the art ultrasound, 16 slice CT scan, and on-site MRI. The CT scan alone is the equivalent seen in many human facilities and allows scans to be completed quicker — and then the images interpreted immediately — in-house by a radiologist. Usually animals are placed under anesthesia for this type of advanced imaging, but with the speed of this machine only mild sedation is needed.

While the building is beautiful, the leadership is most proud of the staff that will help open the hospital. From multiple specialists including surgery, internal medicine, radiology, and ophthalmology to the licensed technicians, assistants, and client services representatives, the staff is truly amazing. Over the first year, the plan is to also include an oncologist, dermatologist, and dentist. Each individual believes in the culture of providing a higher level of both patient care and client service, something they have termed “concierge medicine.”

By partnering with you and your primary veterinarian, CVETS plans to become the regional provider of advanced emergent and complex veterinary care in the Columbia metropolitan area. Come, stop by — we would love to give you a tour.

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