Trip To Pet Emergency Hospital
What To Expect When You Have To Go To The Emergency Pet Hospital
Like a human hospital emergency room, an emergency pet hospital uses a triage system (meaning giving assistance to the most seriously in need first) to determine the order of treatment. There are no appointments; patients are seen in the order of arrival unless a critical case comes in. And like a human emergency room, doctors and technicians next go to work to check symptoms and vital signs and stabilize the patient.

When you have to go, this can be an uncomfortable place for both you and your pet. Most people take their pets to their regular veterinarian out of choice, but they go to the emergency clinic by necessity. People take their pets because they are worried about their pet, so emergency veterinarians get used to the barrier of distrust they encounter on their job. The Vet knows he/she will be taking a suffering Fido or Fluffy into an area off-limits to family members and they may need to tell the owners that surgery is necessary to save the life of the pet or that treatment will be prolonged, uncomfortable, and expensive.

What you should do before you leave

It is always best to call the hospital before leaving home with a brief report about your pet's condition and an estimated time of arrival. In order to ease the pet's trauma, bring along a blanket or an article of yours because once you get to the hospital it is normal for a technician or assistant to take your pet into the back treatment area for evaluation leaving you to fill out the paperwork the hospital needs. Often the wait is long, sometimes for an hour or more, while the staff takes your pet's vital signs and determines the seriousness of its condition.

What happens after the initial check in process?

Expect the on-duty veterinarian to speak with you before starting critical treatment, even if minutes can make a difference. If surgery or other immediate measures are needed, your pet moves to the top of the line. As it's owner, you are apprised of the situation and given the options for treatment. You will need to select which of those options you want done before the hospital will proceed.

Emergency Hospitals offer the most advanced treatments, but if finances interfere, they will try and find a solution to fit your budget. However, sometimes surgery is the only option available to handle the problem.

What if my pet has to stay over night?

If your pet is hospitalized for the night, usually you must pick it up the following morning. If continued hospitalization is required, your pet is usually taken to your regular veterinarian for follow-up. The emergency clinic staff will work closely with your pet's regular veterinarian to make sure your pet is recuperating as expected.

Be prepared before an emergency

It is a good idea to know your closest emergency pet hospital and how to get there. You should ask your pet's regular veterinarian who to take your pet to in the event of an emergency that happens when he/she is unavailable. Once you have that information, put it someplace that is easy access like in your rolodex along with your other emergency numbers. Hopefully you will never need to use it, but if you do, you will always know where it is. And remember, if you have any questions at all, you can always go to for answers.

Other Resources

When To Get Emergency Help For Your Pet
Pet First Aid Kit

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