A Final Note
Many other types of emergencies can, and do, occur. If you have questions concerning symptoms your pet is exhibiting, seek advice from a veterinarian. Do not administer any prescription or over-the-counter medication without first discussing your pet’s condition with a veterinarian.
Know your clinic's hours and if they provide after hours emergency care. Determine before an emergency where you are supposed to go in the event one does occur. Post the phone numbers of where you are supposed to go so that you don't waste time looking for it, and enter them into your cell phone. Emergency and critical care centers (where after-hours and 24-hour care is provided), and specialists in veterinary emergency medicine are common. Know the location and hours of operation of the closest facility. There may not be time for you to call first in some very critical emergencies, but in most cases a phone call to the emergency facility is a good idea. Visit www.VECCS.org and click on ‘Public” for a listing of veterinary emergency hospitals by state.
If there are any questions concerning your pet's health, call your veterinarian or the emergency facility. As a general rule, if you are worried enough to call for advice, you should have your pet examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Veterinary care in general, and emergency and critical care specifically, can place a high financial burden on families – make sure you openly discuss finances with your pet’s caregivers and plan ahead for the unexpected. Pet health insurance is widely available and can help you make decisions on what is medically the best option, not just the most affordable one.
This Web site was written in the spirit of providing pet owners with medical information to assist in their pets’ care, and it is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. Participating in your pet’s care at home carries certain risks, both to your pet and to yourself.
Remember to spay or neuter your pet, and use a leash to prevent unexpected and potentially tragic consequences.
VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community. To submit a commentary for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org.