What To Do In A Pet Emergency
Knowing what to expect at our emergency veterinary hospital can help to make your visit easier for both you and your pet. Here are the steps you should follow:
Call Ahead If You Can
Our team understands that in an emergency, you may be unable to call us before you arrive, but it's always best if you can. If you have time, we also suggest your complete and submit our New Patient Form before you arrive.
Get To Our Office Right Away
One of our team members will greet you and your pet. If you have not already done so, you'll be asked to complete our New Patient Form. A veterinary technician will triage your pet, then a veterinarian will perform a full exam.
Once your pet has been assessed your emergency veterinarian will recommend the best treatment options for your companion animal. We will keep your primary care veterinarian updated with your pet's medical history to ensure seamless, integrated care that provides your pet with the best possible care.
Emergency Animal Hospital FAQs
Emergency veterinary care involves the treatment of animals in situations requiring immediate medical attention, or could potentially be life-threatening.
- What is considered an emergency?
These situations are considered emergencies and will require immediate care. If your pet has had an accident or is experiencing any of these symptoms, bring them to our emergency animal hospital in Santa Cruz straight away.
- Obvious signs of pain or extreme anxiety
- Bleeding that hasn't stopped
- Severe bleeding
- Choking, difficulty breathing or continuous coughing/gagging
- Injuries to the eye(s)
- Pain associated with passing feces or urinating, or inability to pass feces or urinate
- Bleeding from nose, mouth, rectum, or blood in urine
- Staggering and/or seizures
- Severe lameness, fractured bones or inability to move legs
- You know or suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous (such as antifreeze, xylitol, chocolate, rodent poison, etc.)
- Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea; more than two episodes in 24-hours
- Heatstroke or heat stress
- How are emergencies prioritized?
When animals are brought to our emergency animal hospital we triage the pets according to the symptoms they are experiencing and prioritize them accordingly.
Priority one is if a pet requires immediate life-saving measures. Priority two is if a pet is likely to survive if care is given within a few hours. Priority three is if a pet is experiencing non life-threatening conditions.
Our emergency vets created a visual Red, Green, Yellow Tier Chart to help you determine the need to come into our Emergency Room and to understand potential wait times. Download Our Emergency Tier Chart
- What emergency services do you offer?
At our emergency pet hospital, we offer state-of-the-art emergency care for your four-legged family members. We are equipped to provide specialized diagnostics, a complete range of surgical services, and hospitalization.
- Do I need to call ahead?
If you can, it's always best to call us ahead of your arrival, but we understand emergency situations can develop very quickly and that this is not always possible.
If your situation does not allow time for you to call, please do not hesitate to bring your pet to our animal emergency clinic for immediate veterinary medical attention.
It is always best to call us ahead if you can, but we understand that in emergency situations that's not always possible.
- When is your emergency clinic open?
We are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- How long will we have to wait to see the vet?
A veterinary emergency hospital is very similar to a human emergency department — the pace can be unpredictable and you may have to wait.
We are not able to predict which cases we will see and when they will arrive, but we will prioritize cases based on medical need.
You'll find a comfortable area for waiting, and we will do our best to keep you updated about wait times and the status of your pet.
- Will you keep in touch with our primary care veterinarian?
Yes, we will keep your primary care veterinarian updated with your pet's medical history and files to ensure your pet receives seamless, integrated care.
Our Emergency Veterinarians
Our emergency vets and critical care specialists are equipped and qualified to provide attentive and compassionate emergency care 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.