Every pet owner hopes that their pets will never get sick. However, if they do, there are emergency veterinary services available to get your pet looked at and treated sooner, no matter the time of day. Here is some information about what a vet emergency can include and what emergency veterinarians do.
Symptoms to look out for
Some typical signs of your pet being unwell include lethargy, no appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and sleepiness. More urgent symptoms can include difficulty breathing, choking, unconsciousness, seizures, discomfort, a swollen stomach, straining, bite wounds, ongoing bleeding, heavy panting, weakness, blue tongue, rasping breath, not being able to stand or walk, being hit by a car or suffering a fall and contact with ticks or snakes. If you feel that there is something wrong with your pet, then it is a good idea to book an appointment with your vet. If this occurs during hours when your vet is not open, you can use an emergency vet.
What do emergency vets do?
Emergency vets offer services overnight. Typically, vets would work both in the day and at night, but this was not an effective method, so the job of emergency veterinarian was created. This meant that vets could work each day and then emergency vets could cover out of hours. They assess and treat pet emergencies, and they can also provide general advice. With some services, you may need to call to book an appointment, but other emergency vets offer a walk-in clinic. You should still call ahead to discuss your pet's symptoms.
After examining your pet, an emergency vet will either suggest outpatient treatment or they may keep your pet in for further tests and treatment. If your pet is required to stay, they will be monitored closely, and you can call at any time to ask how your pet is doing. You may also be able to visit your pet during treatment. If your pet requires further treatment, then this will be administered by your local vet. Emergency vets are trained to meet updated standards for veterinarians.
How to safely transport your pet to the vet
Cats should be placed in a box, crate or covered laundry basket. Dogs should be covered with a blanket, and you should handle them as little as possible. If your dog is finding it difficult to move, you should place them on a level and firm object, such as plywood. If your dog is unconscious, make sure that your dog's head is as close to a normal position and height as possible. If your dog has vomited, their head should be below the level of the heart.