No one wants to deal with the possibility that their beloved pet will require an emergency trip to the vet. However, it is important to know what to expect should a situation ever arise that can't wait for a regular appointment.
Finding an emergency clinic
Some vet clinics are set up to offer emergency services only after regular hours. Others maintain an emergency facility status at all times and do not really deal in regular vet visits. It is important to know what your own vet offers or ask if your vet can recommend an emergency clinic. The best plan for finding an emergency vet is to ask for references before an emergency arises. Visit a few clinics so that you know what to expect as well as how to get there so you don't have to try to find your way in a panic. If you do not locate an emergency clinic until after a pet gets seriously hurt or ill, the ideal next step is to call your vet immediately. Even if it is after hours, there is a good chance your vet will list emergency locations on a voice message so that you can easily get help at any time of day or night.
Emergency vet or regular vet?
Since an emergency vet's time is precious, it is essential to know when your pet's injury or illness requires an emergency clinic, or if a regular vet visit will suffice. Some situations can wait until morning or until an appointment can be made, but others cannot. Here are some situations that would definitely warrant a trip to an emergency clinic:
- A serious accident such as a fall, or if your pet is hit by a car. You may not see any problems, but there could be dangers that are internal that would require immediate X-rays or surgery.
- Your pet has been bitten by a snake, dangerous insect, or other wild animal.
- Your pet is experiencing seizures.
- Your pet is bleeding from his nose or ears or is showing signs of being in pain.
- Your pet is suffering from exposure to heat or extreme cold.
- Your pet is showing signs of poisoning.
- Your pet is showing signs of unresponsiveness.
What to expect at emergency vet clinic
Pets will be seen in order of urgency. This can be frustrating to a pet owner who is frantic about his or her pet's condition. However, the best way to deal with this is to call ahead and let the vet know your situation. In terms of vet costs, be prepared to pay more for an emergency vet visit or for an after hours visit. If your pet is stabilized, it is fine to ask that your pet be released to his own vet for overnight visits. This not only saves money, but allows you to complete any treatment or medical plan with the vet that you know and trust.
Even though every pet owner hopes that his or her pet will live a happy and healthy life with only routine visits to a vet, there will a chance that an emergency vet visit will become necessary. The best plan of action is to be prepared, ask questions before a problem arises, and try to remain calm while your pets are in good hands with an emergency vet clinic like Robert Irelan DVM.