What to Do When Your Pet has an Emergency


Veterinarian advice for dogs

Just as emergency care for humans has increased throughout the years, emergency vet care is also more widely available for those who own pets. No one plans for a veterinary emergency, but sometimes these instances can’t be prevented.

What is Emergency Vet Care?
Emergency vet care is very efficient now because many veterinary care centers have vets on call at all hours, even on Christmas day. These emergency vets sleep during the day in order to be alert and awake at night to care for your pet emergency. Around 80% of the veterinary industry revenue is derived from providing care to dogs, cats, and other small animals — and this includes an increasing niche of emergency vet care center costs.

When Not to Seek Emergency Care: Dogs and cats under the age of 10 should visit a vet clinic once a year, while those over the age of 10 should visit one every six months to ensure optimal health. This routine care should not be considered an emergency. Instead, if your pet has ingested a foreign object (such as a toy), has developed breathing problems, or is vomiting continuously, these are cause for concern and you should take your pet to an emergency veterinarian technician as soon as possible because they may need pet surgery.

First Steps: In the event of an emergency, call your regular veterinarian practice first and find out what their out of hours provider is. Or if there is a vet on call, be sure to call them first and they can direct you to an emergency vet clinic.

Normally the vet will tell you over the phone to seek out an after hours clinic if their over-the-phone advice is not sufficient enough. Sometimes, vets may visit your house to solve the issue.

At the Emergency Clinic: Once you’ve arrived at the clinic, you may need to wait a few minutes (depending on the severity of the issue). One way to avoid a long wait is to call the clinic ahead of time and let them know to expect you and tell them your pet’s symptoms — they may be able to put you on the top of the waiting list. They can also be better prepared for your pet if you tell them what is wrong.

Once the vet has admitted your pet and treated them accordingly, they will discuss what procedure they performed and if there are any medications your pet will need to take afterwards. They will also discuss costs and payment.

Payment for Pet Emergencies: At the time of your pet’s consultation with the vet, payment will be requested so that they can begin treatment. If you have pet insurance, either all or most of the cost will be covered by your insurance provider. Be prepared to expect higher fees for out of hours as opposed to daytime fees. The higher fee is due in part to paying to keep a highly trained team on staff.

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