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SASH Central Coast welcomes new Veterinary Criticalist

The team at Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) Central Coast has been bolstered with a new veterinary criticalist joining the ranks at its Tuggerah facility.

Dr Lisa Smart brings a new level of expertise to the team and will enable more critically ill pets to receive life-saving care close to home, rather than being transferred to Sydney.

Dr Lisa says she is looking forward to increasing the level of care provided to pets around the Central Coast.

“I’m excited to join the team here on the beautiful Central Coast and being able to help pets remain close to family in their time of need,” she says.

Dr Lisa brings with her an unparalleled level of experience, being board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, has completed a PhD in human medical research (Emergency Medicine), and has 13 years of experience as Senior Lecturer in Emergency and Critical Care at Murdoch University. She has an impressive track record in clinical research and teaching on the international stage.

Her role will provide additional support to the emergency department at SASH Central Coast, as well ICU and post-surgery care, should a patient’s condition deteriorate.
“Criticalists play an essential role in providing a high level of care to patients that have life-threatening illnesses. It is similar to what an intensivist doctor does in a human hospital.”
Being behind the scenes, the incredible work of criticalists is mostly unseen and so their impact is overlooked. Someone can’t walk in and book an appointment with a criticalist and yet their pet may have been given lifesaving treatment by a specialist in this field.

Dr Lisa Smart - New Criticalist
 at SASH Central Coast 
Dr Lisa will support local veterinarians, who often partner with and refer patients to the emergency department at SASH Central Coast, if they are critical or needing urgent specialist referral.

She will also play a part in SASH’s industry leading training and education program, presenting at webinars to an audience of hundreds of local vets, who can earn continuing education points.

“Later this month, I’ll be presenting a seminar reviewing the latest research on anaphylaxis in dogs,” says Dr Lisa.

“These types of cases can be tricky and are especially important to diagnose and treat correctly, as time is of the essence for severally affected patients. I’m excited to present case studies I’ve had contact with through my clinical experience and clinical research and offer local vets practical advice.”

Continuing through summer and the warmer months, SASH has also seen an increase in animals requiring emergency treatments for other time-critical conditions such as tick paralysis, which can be deadly for cats and dogs.

The warm weather combined with the continued heavy rain have made the conditions perfect for ticks to thrive.

“If a pet suffers from tick paralysis, it’s essential that they’re taken to a vet immediately so that they can receive treatment,” says Dr Lisa.

Paralysis ticks cause muscle paralysis, leading to breathing difficulties and, in serious cases, patients may require ventilation in an ICU. This is why tick prevention is paramount.

SASH Central Coast is open 24/7, every day of the year for walk-ins, when urgent veterinary care is needed.

To learn more about Dr Lisa Smart and her work at SASH, visit or contact (02) 4311 1311.

MEDIA RELEASE, 24th February 2022

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